A Texas congressman, dissatisfied with security procedures at National Airport that failed to detect a bomb inside a suitcase on a Texas-bound flight, has asked a House aviation subcommittee to look into Federal Aviation Administration security regulations.
Rep. Martin Frost of Dallas said Alan Reed, acting director of the FAA's civil aviation security, told him that not all baggage checked into the hold of an airplane is put through X-ray and physical inspections required of carry-on luggage.
In a letter to Frost, Reed explained that FAA security guards inspect checked luggage only if it fits a certain profile or if there is indication of a "credible bomb threat."
Frost initiated his inquiry about how the bomb passed through two major airports undetected because he and several other members of the Texas delegation frequently take the flight on which the bomb was placed. Dissatisfied with the FAA response, he has asked Rep. Norman Y. Mineta (D-Calif.) to pursue the matter.
The FBI has charged Airman 1st Class Thomas Martin Bradley, 27, of Andrews Air Force Base, with placing a plastic explosive device in his wife's suitcase before she boarded a Braniff flight for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on March 2. The FBI is still investigating why the bomb, discovered after Air Force Staff Sgt. Mary Jo Bradley arrived at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, failed to explode.