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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Netanyahu Security Officers' Guns Lost on U.S. Visit -

new toys for the security guards...

Israeli Guns Lost on U.S. Visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security detail lost four high-powered semi-automatic guns over the weekend when its luggage was rerouted across the U.S., only to resurface without the weapons.
Members of the prime minister's security team flew on Israeli airline El Al Sunday into John F. Kennedy airport in New York, in advance of Mr. Netanyahu's visit with President Barack Obama, according to officials with knowledge of the incident. After passing through customs, the Israeli security officers checked two hard carrying cases—one containing four .40-caliber Glock handguns and the other containing three Glocks—before boarding an American Airlines flight to Washington, the officials said.

The officials said Transportation Security Administration agents made sure the security officers had permits for the weapons and affixed stickers to the cases indicating clearance for the guns and their transport. The TSA agents then forwarded the cases to American Airlines baggage handlers to be loaded onto the plane, according to the officials.

The security officers arrived in Washington Sunday evening, but the case with the four guns didn't, the officials said. American Airlines personnel found the case, with its Washington destination tag still on it, at a Los Angeles Airport terminal at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday in L.A., about two hours after Messrs. Obama and Netanyahu met at the White House to discuss U.S.-Israel relations.
The locked case—which wasn't checked by the American personnel who found it in L.A. to see if it still had the weapons—was put on an American flight to Chicago and then to Washington, the officials said. When the security officers opened the case, they discovered that the four Glocks were missing, the officials said.
Investigators with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey police, the lead investigative agency in the incident, reviewed security videotape that confirmed the TSA agents processed the cases at JFK Airport and passed them on to baggage handlers working for American.
An official with knowledge of the incident said the investigation at this point is focused on employees of American and the baggage handlers it contracts.
American spokesman Tim Wagner declined to comment on what he called "a potential security incident." The TSA declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. Officials at the Israeli Embassy in Washington deferred comment to U.S. law-enforcement agencies investigating the incident and to American. A spokesman for the Port Authority police declined to comment.
Write to Sean Gardiner at

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