TSA report: ‘thermite is a major threat to aviation & we are unprepared’

The Intercept published classified documents today from the Transportation Security Administration that say the agency is unable to effectively prevent threats posed by thermite incendiary devices on aircraft. The TSA document, marked secret and dated 16 Dec 2014, was in response to a 10 Dec 2014 FBI report that called thermite “the greatest potential incendiary threat to aviation”.
Excerpt from the document:
“The ignition of a thermite-based incendiary device on an aircraft at altitude could result in catastrophic damage and the death of every person onboard. These devices are easily assembled and concealable; current TSA procedures would likely not recognize thermite-based mixtures.”
The report goes on to say that use of currently available on-board extinguishers would make the situation much worse, causing a violent chemical reaction. The warning stems from FBI testing done in 2011 that concluded thermite devices “spew molten metal and hot gasses” and can potentially “burn through steel and every…

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