Lifestyle & Belief

TSA, under scrutiny over alleged strip-searches, finds grenades on passenger at JFK (VIDEO)


A TSA employee, who couldn't provide her name, demostrates the new advanced imaging technology software known as Automated Target Recognition that has been installed at Miami International Airport on August 23, 2011 in Miami, Florida.


Joe Raedle

Explosives experts at Newark Liberty Airport found five grenades in a passenger’s bag on Saturday, said the TSA — which is facing scrutiny over its airport screening practices after two elderly ladies were allegedly strip searched at JFK.

As a result, TSA officials have reminded passengers to review a list of prohibited items on the TSA homepage or download the free My TSA app.

The reminder came after "yet another credit card knife" was found in the wallet of a passenger headed to Los Angeles, reported.

The knife, the TSA said, was similar to one confiscated on November 22 during the Thanksgiving travel week.

Meanwhile, according to the CBS report, the grenades — being carried by a Belgium-bound woman — were determined to be "inert" and no threat.

She was allowed to continue her journey to Europe and the Port Authority Police Department, which investigates criminal activity at the airport, was not contacted about the incident, according to

The TSA has come under fire recently after two elderly women claimed to have been strip searched while passing through JFK Airport.

Lenore Zimmerman, an 85-year-old Long Island woman, claimed she was strip-searched by TSA agents at the JetBlue terminal at JFK on Nov. 29.

Zimmerman, who reportedly stands 4 foot 11, was on her way to Fort Lauderdale and said she had asked for a patdown — rather than having to go through the scanners — due to her defibrillator.

She claims TSA officials instead took her into a private room and began removing her clothes.

The retired receptionist, who uses a walker and stands 4 foot 11, told the 

"I walk with a walker -- I really look like a terrorist," she told the New York Daily News. "I'm tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched."

The TSA released a statement apologizing to Zimmerman but disputing her story.

"TSA contacted the passenger to apologize that she feels she had an unpleasant screening experience; however, TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case," the statement read.

"I say they’re lying," Zimmerman reportedly said of the TSA's statement. "They’re doing it to protect their butts."

Ruth Sherman, an 88-year-old frequent flier with JetBlue, meantime, told the media that she was taken aside by TSA officials and asked to pull her pants down and show her colostomy bag.

The Florida resident told NBC News that the initial X-ray screening apparently showed a bulge from her colostomy bag on the side of her body.

After puling her aside and giving her a patdown, she said:

“[Screeners] asked me to come into another room. I said ‘Don’t touch me — you have dirty hands.’ I had on plain sweatpants and a top. They made me pull my sweatpants down with my underwear. They invaded my privacy.

“I was so taken aback. I’m on medication, and I didn’t want to get high blood pressure. It was a horrible situation.”