Airport Police Union Links LAX, JFK False Alarms To Terrorists Possibly ‘Testing’ Security

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Union representatives Wednesday suggested a false report of gunfire at LAX and other recent incidents at U.S. airports may involve terrorists “testing” airport security.

A statement from the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers (AAAPO) restating its concerns about “unguarded TSA checkpoints” carried a provocative headline –“Could Terrorists Be Testing Our Airports?” — and also made reference to false reports of gunfire at LAX on Sunday and at JFK earlier this month.

“Normally, in situations like this, someone comes forward to say they misinterpreted something which led to a spillover affect– so far, nothing like that has come to light in Los Angeles,” the statement read. “It is not a conspiracy theorist stretch to wonder if a terrorist could be testing our airports.”

The source of the sounds that were apparently mistaken for gunfire at both LAX and JFK remains a mystery.

In the wake of both incidents, the AAAPO has reiterated its call for armed officers to be stationed within 300 feet of TSA checkpoints and for airport police to have real-time “unfettered” access to security camera footage.

“The point is, a bad guy does not have to be too sophisticated to be able to figure out that if someone just yells “shooter,” all bets are off and TSA clearance immediately becomes free flowing and airplanes become accessible in the unfolding chaos,” the statement read.

Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association and co-founder of the AAAPO, echoed the national organization’s
statement.

“Once again, we are all witness to a chaotic situation that has exposed security gaps at the nation’s airports,” McClain said.

A statement from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) officials earlier Wednesday attributed police response to the LAX situation to enhanced security resources and technology improvements that were adopted following the shooting of a Transportation Security Administration officer at LAX in 2013.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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