TSA’s job is to scan only for explosives, not weapons

  • Guns found in US professor’s luggage by Egypt customs 

Police in Egypt have arrested an Egyptian-American academic discovered to have several weapons in his luggage as he arrived on a flight from the New York’s JFK airport.

Officials said they saw the man, named as Mohammed Ibrahim Marei, a professor of botany, “behaving nervously” as he waited to pass through customs.

In a secret compartment in the bag they found two handguns, 250 bullets, two swords, five daggers and six knives.

The authorities said they had launched an investigation, it was reported.

It was not immediately clear how the man was able to get through security in New York and board the plane. Packing weapons in checked baggage is legal in the United States. When a passenger is flying internationally it is the responsibility of the passenger and the airline to clarify rules at the destination for the goods, according to US law.

“Transporting firearms within the US in checked baggage is permitted if properly declared to the airline,” the TSA said in a statement.

“Many other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. We recommend passengers traveling internationally check with the authorities at their destination about their requirements.”

A US security official who asked not to be identified said that the TSA’s job is to scan only for explosives, not weapons, in checked baggage, since it is not possible for a passenger to access the plane’s hold during flights.

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