Ft. Pierce bomb tech spent years sneaking explosives thru TSA - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Ft. Pierce bomb tech spent years sneaking explosives thru TSA

picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Ft. Pierce Army Veteran Brian Mast spent three years working at Miami International Airport sneaking bombs through the TSA checkpoint.

But Mast was making the bombs for all the right reasons.

As part of a special Homeland Security detail, Mast spent three years building bombs and testing TSA agents to see if they found them.

"I like to think I am the perfect example of why people across the USA should allow TSA officers to do their job," Mast said.

Mast lives in Ft. Pierce now. The Army veteran was seriously injured in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2010.

"Anyone can look at me and say I have the loss of two legs above the knee. I have a missing finger. This is what happens when something explodes," Mast said.

Mast can't give specifics about which of his bombs made it through TSA because he obviously doesn't want to give terrorists any ideas.

He also says he had an unfair advantage because he knows the way TSA works and he knew what they were and were not looking for.

While overall he said many of the TSA agents do a good job, he did leave with some concerns.

"There are agents within TSA that have no place in the security agency. They have been tested and failed and tested and failed and they are allowed to stay in the system," Mast said.

And then there are questions Mast has about the system itself.

He says the TSA could easily calibrate their machines to detect even more bombs.

But that comes at a price.

"Do you want to give up your liberty in exchange for security at the checkpoint? Or do you want more intrusion into your person and your carry on luggage and be more secure," Mast said.

Not to mention longer lines if security is increased.

It's what Mast calls a balancing act between increased safety and convenience.

"Bombing is up to the creativity of the bomber," Mast said.

Mast no longer works as a bomb technician and is now running for Congress.

 

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