TSA Finds Water Filter in Luggage at Sky Harbor, Says It "Looks Like a Pipe Bomb"

Categories: Boom
PHX Filter 1-small.jpg
Not a bomb.
Go ahead and add water filters to the things you're not supposed to bring to the airport.

The Transportation Security Administration's review of all the good things it did last week includes an interesting bit about a Phoenix passenger's water filter -- between tales of someone trying to hide weed in a peanut butter jar "yet again," and a passenger asking a TSA agent to help them get a bomb onto the plane.

Accoring to the TSA, you may want to leave those water filters at home, because this is the third or fourth time they've seen one, and it just "looks like a pipe bomb."

Here's what our near-10-year TSA veteran Bob Burns has to say about water filter pipe bombs:

Certain Water Filtration Systems Look Like Pipe Bombs - I've read about this 3 or 4 times now where a water filtration system looks like a pipe bomb on the X-ray monitor and the checkpoints/terminals have to be evacuated while the bomb experts do their thing. So... if you have a water filtration system that is similar to this one, you might want to consider shipping it or coordinating with TSA or your airline prior to travel. This time it was discovered in checked bags at Phoenix (PHX).

PHX Filter 1.JPG
Upon closer inspection, still not a bomb.
Several of the comments on the TSA's post were about the water-filter weirdness, and brought up a couple good questions:

You're admitting that the TSA cannot tell the difference between a water filtration system and a pipe bomb? Something is seriously messed up here, and it's not passengers flying with water filtration systems.

Great. With all the money spent on you guys you can´t tell a pipe bomb from a water filtration system, and evacuate terminals because of them?? And you admit it??

That said, the TSA did find actual things at Sky Harbor that can kill people, as people are still trying to sneak guns onto planes.

A loaded 9 mm pistol was found in someone's bag on July 23, and a loaded .32-caliber pistol was found hidden in a guy's carry-on bag the week before that.

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schultzybeckett topcommenter

We have to improve our safety and our enviromental responsibiltity in the power industry. But there will be no green power that is going to support any part of the country or the world in the forseeable future any substantial form. 

Schultzy  https://www.yourmechanic.com/services


A bomb made out of plastic pipes? ARE they RETARDED? Isn't the idea to pack a metal pipe with explosives and nails and shit and then it blows up the pipe and the casing (in this case metal pipe) becomes shrapnel?




There were a total of 94 TSA workers arrested in the last 20 months including 12 arrested for child sex crimes, over 26 for theft, ten for smuggling contraband through security and one for murder. The most recent was a drunken lead TSO, Milagros Casanas, arrested for beating a woman and trying to steal her cell phone in Key West this week.


A sampling of the other fine TSA folks searching your child at the airport:


TSA agent Jose E. Salgado among 55 caught in child pornography arrests

The Boston Herald - Christine McConville - Wednesday, April 11, 2012


TSA agent Paul David Rains charged in online child-predator sting

Orlando Sentinel - Arelis R. Hernandez- December 15, 2011


Harold Rodman, TSA worker, arrested for sexual assault

WJLA News - Gail Pennybacker - November 21, 2011


Orlando airport (MCO) TSA employee Paul David Rains faces child pornography charges

Orlando Sentinel - Jeff Weiner - November 1, 2011


TSA Manager Bryant Jermaine Livingston Arrested for Running Prostitution Ring

MyFoxDC - John Henrehan - March 28, 2012


Md. TSA Agent Michael Scott Wilson Charged With Child Pornography

ABC2News - Joce Sterman - March 18, 2012


Nashville TSA Agent Clifton Lyles Charged With Statutory Rape

WTVF - Staff - September 20, 2011


TSA employee Andrew W. Cheever faces child pornography charge

MyFoxBoston - Staff - September 2, 2011


TSA Screener David Ralph Anderson Charged with Lewdness and Child Molestation

Elko Daily Free Press -Jared DuBach - August 26, 2011


TSA Screener Randall Scott King arrested for kidnapping and attempted rape of 14 year old in ATL

Lagrangenews - Staff Reports - November 23, 2010


PHL TSA Screener Thomas Gordon Jr Charged with Child Pornography

Fox Nation - John Shiffman - The Inquirer - April 23, 2011


Orlando TSA agent Charles Henry Bennett Arrested For Attempting To Make 15 year old Girl His 'Sex Slave'

The Huffington Post - Staff - May 25, 2011


TSA Agent Dwayne Valerio Arrested for Rape of Juvenile in Londonderry NH

Eagle Tribune - Jillian Jorgensen - April 2, 2011


Logan TSA employee Sean Shanahan accused of raping 14-year-old girl

WHDHTV - Staff - March 9, 2011


Disgraced Catholic priest who was defrocked after 'sexually abusing two young girls' now works as a TSA airport screener

CBS3 Philadelphia - Ben Simmoneau - May 24, 2012


good lord, the sheep are out.  Are we really that afraid of the bogeyman?  The basic truth is that we will never catch everything.  Apply occam's razor to the search and empower passengers rather than emasculate them.


TSA grope-point and the belief that they make anything more secureis as stupid a conceit as the war on a concept (e.g., terror).  there is no measurement of success, no identifiable enemy and no way to tell whether you won or lost the war.


Any proof that the owners of any of these items, including the guns, intended to kill anyone?

These people could carry these anywhere except onto a plane but didn't kill anyone while on the ground so TSA didn't relly protect anyone from anything, since no one had any ill intentions.


TSA is a sick joke and does nothing to improve security. Their only purpose is to harass and humiliate passengers so they think that TSA does something.


If weed can be hidden in peanut butter jars, who's to say that the water filter might be filled with explosives? I don't think that their suspicions when it comes to these are unwarranted.


If I, family or friends was on any flight, I'd like to know for as sure as I could there want a bomb on that airplane.


Better to be safe than sorry.


true story follows:

In 81 or 82, I was on the east coast doing some testing of computer communication.  I left that city, with a modem in a small box.  Security at the air port went NUTS.  With the x-ray on the screen at the scanner, I pointed out the power cord, the place where the computer connected, and where telco plugged in.  They opened the box, but were still confused, even though the unit was professionally made, with a brand name of a company made in that very state!. I gave them my business card (fortune 500 company), and gave them my manager's name.  They called the number, verified I worked there and what I did, and what the item was.  Then security asked to speak to my manager.  He was out of the office.  They hemmed and hawed, but let me on the plane.


Airport security are the folks too stupid to work at McDonalds.  That's the moral of this story.


We definitely need to be concerned about he weed hidden in the PB jar. Water filters? Man, these guys need pink slips.

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