American Morning

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July 8th, 2009
07:25 AM ET

Bomb parts smuggled into 10 federal buildings during test

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/08/goa.bomb.art.jpg caption="A GAO report cites lax security in federal buildings after investigators got bomb compenents past guards."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Plainclothes investigators sent to test security at federal buildings in four U.S. cities were successful in smuggling bomb components through guard posts at all 10 of the sites they visited, according to a government report.

The investigators then assembled the bombs in restrooms and freely entered numerous government offices while carrying the devices in briefcases, the report said.

The buildings contained offices of several federal lawmakers as well as agencies within the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security, which is responsible for safeguarding federal office buildings.

CNN obtained the report late Tuesday, ahead of its expected release Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, conducted the tests to check on the effectiveness of the Federal Protective Service .The FPS protects federal buildings by having about 1,200 federal law enforcement officers oversee an army of 13,000 private security guards.

In a videotape obtained by CNN, a covert GAO inspector places a bag containing bomb components on an X-ray machine conveyor belt and then walks through a magnetometer at an unidentified federal building. Unlike some covert tests that use simulated explosives, the GAO used actual bomb components in the test and publicly available information "to identify a type of device that a terrorist could use" to damage a building.

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Filed under: American Morning • Controversy
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. mike-sey

    Contract important things out to underpaid, undertrained , undersupervised ,undermotivated employees of for-profit private firms and what do you expect?
    Keep this in mind when you think about health care and those anti-government run option ads.
    And by the way when is CNN changing its slogan to "the Best Jackson DJ team on Television" or perhaps" CNN Tops of the Pops" ?

    July 9, 2009 at 6:29 am |
  2. nancy

    @ mike-sey ~~ "Only to ideologically committed cheap-skates is contracting out to private enterprise the be and all and end all of efficiency and effectiveness. So people should keep this incident in mind- and they are legion – when watching the anti-public -option health care ads about government-run health care."

    What does your paragraph have to do with the article?? ^^

    Looks like the guy is sleeping. Folks are getting too complacent since 911. something might happen someday ~~ then what?

    July 8, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  3. mike-sey

    What is so surprising about this? Contract the job out to private firms who want to make a buck by skimping on pay , training and oversight and this is what you get.

    Only to ideologically committed cheap-skates is contracting out to private enterprise the be and all and end all of efficiency and effectiveness. So people should keep this incident in mind- and they are legion – when watching the anti-public -option health care ads about government-run health care.

    July 8, 2009 at 8:14 am |