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Girl, 9. questioned about making bombs by Ottawa airport security




TORONTO - Little girl, are you currently carrying on your person anything that could be used to make a bomb?
An Ontario grandmother is fuming after her nine-year-old daughter was allegedly asked that question like that by airport security officials before boarding a flight from Ottawa to Toronto the afternoon of March 13.
A spokesman for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) confirmed Friday the backpack of McKenna Black set off an alarm during passenger screening at Ottawa International Airport.
Officials said the backpack was searched, McKenna was put through the airport’s full-body scanner and an “interaction” took place between her and a CATSA security agent.
McKenna’s grandmother claims her granddaughter was asked by a female security officer if she was carrying anything that could be used to construct a bomb, as well as if she had recently done any “drugs.”
Wendy Black said the incident left her granddaughter shaken.
“They asked her if she had anything that could possibly make a bomb,” Black, 60, insisted. “She was upset. She said to me, ‘Grandma, do they think I have bombs? Do they think I do drugs?’
“(The agent) was nice, but it was like she was zeroing in on McKenna ... asking her questions that they should’ve been asking me, an adult,” said the grandmother.
When the incident took place, McKenna and her grandmother were on their way back to Palmerston, Ont., via Toronto, after visiting the girl’s aunt and cousins in the nation’s capital.
Black said the search and interrogation included McKenna being made to lift each leg and have the bottom of her shoes examined.
CATSA spokesman Louis-Charles Roy said a video recording confirmed an interaction did take place between McKenna and airport security, but couldn’t confirm what, exactly, the female guard said to the girl.
Roy said security guards were simply following the procedure of questioning a passenger whose luggage sets off an alarm.
Roy said Black could have, at any point, requested she be able to answer the questions on her granddaughter’s behalf.
“For CATSA, security is a priority,” said Roy. “When a bag sets off alarms ... CATSA is required to ask a series of questions to resolve that alarm.”
Roy also said the bomb-related question would have been a standard query to see if the passenger had come in contact with any explosives during their trip. He said the question about drugs would have been to determine if the passenger had been taking any “medication” that could set off sensitive security equipment used in the passenger-screening process.
“If the question was misinterpreted, we apologize,” said Roy. “We don’t ask questions about illegal drugs, we ask about medication.”
As for the bomb-related questioning, Roy insisted it was all part of CATSA procedure.
“It was the bag of the minor that set off the alarms, so we ask the passenger (the questions),” he explained.


Girl, 9. questioned about making bombs by Ottawa airport security | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun


Quote:

“For CATSA, security is a priority,”

Sure it is. Except when they stop 18 year olds who've actually packed a pipe bomb into their carry on. In those cases they just take it away and let him board his flight anyway. But 9 year olds are subjected to hard questioning and scrutiny.


Does anyone in airline security actually know what the hell they are doing?