Senator Releases Video Showing Newark Airport Security Breach

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A video released by Senator Frank Lautenberg shows a man entering a secure area at Newark, New Jersey’s airport after a federal guard leaves his post.

Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who released the video today after saying he was “outraged” by the images, encouraged the man or anyone with knowledge of his identity to contact authorities. “We have a better chance of getting to the bottom of this” with the recording made public, he said.

The footage shows the Transportation Security Administration worker walking away from a desk where he was seated to keep people from entering the gate area at Newark Liberty International Airport. Less than a minute later, a man in a tan coat walks through the exit lane to the secure area, where he meets a woman in a white coat, the video shows. The two then walk together further into the secure area.

“The more people who see this image, the faster we will find the person in question,” Lautenberg said yesterday in a statement.

Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, didn’t return a telephone call or e-mail seeking comment.

The agency said in a statement yesterday that it has changed the staffing and configuration in Newark’s Terminal C and that it had placed the officer on duty during the breach on administrative leave Jan. 5.

Lautenberg and Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, called on the agency in a letter yesterday to take other steps, such as making sure all cameras are working at the airport.

Broken Cameras

Security cameras weren’t working at the time of the incident and were “apparently broken for some time,” Lautenberg and Menendez said. The agency was forced to rely on Continental Airlines Inc. cameras for a glimpse of the subject, the senators said.

The security agency said in the statement that it had met with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is responsible for the cameras, and that it will work with the authority “to ensure consistent performance.”

“When the TSA has given us notification the system is not working properly, we handle it immediately,” John Kelly, a spokesman for the port authority, said today. “In this case, we weren’t informed.”

To contact the reporter on this story: John Hughes in Washington at [email protected];

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