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Published on Friday, March 15, 2013

TSA: Only an act of Congress will stop knives on aircraft

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole was in Washington yesterday defending his decision to allow small pocket knives on US passenger flights beginning April 25.

Standing before a subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, Pistole maintained that the TSA's mandate since 9/11 is to prevent terrorists from bringing down airplanes. And a small knife will not accomplish that.

"It is the judgment of many security experts worldwide, which I agree with, that a small pocket knife is simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft, and an improvised explosive device will," he testified.

The recent rule change, which allows knives with blades smaller than 2.36 inches, has created an angry backlash from travelers, flight attendants, and Congressmen across the country.

Too bad, Pistole said. Only an act of Congress will stop the change from taking effect as scheduled.

By Cheryl Rosen

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