Feature

Vulnerable air cargo

A government watchdog says the Transportation Security Administration is failing to ensure the security of boxed cargo in passenger planes.

The Transportation Security Administration is failing to ensure the security of boxed cargo in passenger planes, exposing them to terrorist attacks, a government watchdog reported this week. The inspector general of the Homeland Security Department said that agency investigators were able to enter and move freely through supposedly secure warehouses, where cargo is stored prior to being loaded.

The TSA screens all passenger luggage, but it does not screen the 12 million pounds of cargo, ranging from produce to automobile parts, that is carried aboard passenger planes every day. However, the agency oversees the freight handlers, airlines, and manufacturers that pack the cargo, and is charged with ensuring its safety.

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