WASHINGTON - Government investigators smuggled liquid explosives and detonators past airport security, exposing a dangerous hole in the nation's ability to keep these forbidden items off airplanes, according to a report made public yesterday.
The investigators learned about the components of improvised explosive and incendiary devices on the Internet and brought the parts at local stores, said the report by the Government Accountability Office. Investigators were able to purchase the device components for under $150, and they studied the published guidelines for screening to determine how to conceal the items as they went through checkpoint security.
The tests were conducted at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at 19 airports in March, May, and June 2007. The report did not identify the airports.