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Worst Security Screening Nightmares: Bombs and Play-Doh

January 6, 2010 | Posted in: Europe,Security,Travel Safety,Travel Tips

security screening nightmares bombs play-doh

Okay, here’s two of the worst I’ve heard of, at least this week. Jog my memory, if you wish, for others — I’m sure there are plenty more security snafus out there.

Hiding Real Bombs in Real People’s Luggage — Jaunted relates the absolutely harrowing tale of security screeners at an airport in Slovakia in which they performed a test that involved hiding actual bomb parts in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers! And while security caught the parts in 8 of the 9 bags, one passenger made it all the way to Dublin, with bomb parts in his luggage. Crazy or what?

Taking Play-Doh from a Baby — A 3-year old child watched sadly as a TSA officer removed his favorite toy from the family carryon — 20 little tubs of Play-doh — and confiscated it. No, it is not on the TSA list of banned items, but according to the AP, because “plastic explosives can be camaouflaged to look like Play-Doh, screeners are told to use their own discretion” — and use it, they did. Sorry, kid.

7 Responses to “Worst Security Screening Nightmares: Bombs and Play-Doh”

  1. d j says:

    Better to be safe than sorry..

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    I’m with you. I’m also glad that wasn’t my tearful 3 year old!


  3. Matt says:

    It’s about time we put an end to 3-year-olds blowing up planes. How many more planes have to be blown up by 3-year-olds before we really get tough on them? Thank goodness this vigilant TSA guard was on the scene.

  4. Caroline says:

    They also took my boy’s Play-doh. He’s 2. You know, the terrible twos. It was quite a drama. My trip was sooo much more difficult because we had no play-doh. Sigh

  5. Stephanie says:

    Unfortunately it isn’t unheard of for a toddler (or their toys) to be used for “terrorist” attacks. I flew with my then 2 year old just after 9/11 and was suprised at how little they looked at his carryon items. If I had been a terrorist, it would have been the first place I thought of.

  6. Rick Seaney says:


    I suppose if a would-be terrorist can hide explosives in his underwear, he can hide them in children’s toys.


  7. Shirley says:

    Matt: You are missing the point. A terrorist isn’t going to look like a terroist. If they hide something in a kid’s play-doh or in some geriatic’s carryon, that’s when we become complacent. There’s plenty of other toy’s that parents can bring that won’t be confiscated. Stephanie’s got it right. And so what if your 2-3 year old was upset? Don’t they get upset, like every other minute anyway? Better that than a whole plane (and more on the ground) dying. Get your priorities straight.

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