Newark Airport crowds.

Passengers fill the terminal after a security breach shut down Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. (Rich Schultz / AP Photo)

By Frank James

Sen. Frank Lautenberg has released video of Sunday's Newark Liberty International Airport security breach which delayed thousands of passengers after officials closed the concourse and launched a search for a man who sneaked past the security station at the exit for arriving passengers.

The entire six-minute video is available on the New Jersey Democrat's website.

In the fuzzy security video, the man who, last I checked authorities were still searching for, can be seen standing around the exit for several minutes.

At one point, the TSA officer gets from where he is seated at his post to ask the man to back away from the exit, apparently because he might have been getting in the way of exiting passengers.

At around the 4:52 mark in the tape, the TSA officer leaves his station and walks a few feet away. After a few seconds, the man takes advantage of the TSA officer's back being turned to him to sneak past the now -vacant security desk.

Then a woman on the screened-passenger side of the security area, approaches the man who disappears from view for a moment, apparently as he slipped under a security barrier. Then the two, who are evidently a couple, walk away happy, blissfully unaware that they are about to shut down part of one of the nation's busiest airports, inconveniencing thousands of people.

The TSA officer, by the way, was placed on administrative leave.

Lautenberg was displeased with how long it took for the video to be released:

An excerpt:

"The release of this video will give law enforcement another tool to help find the person who breached the security gate at Newark Liberty Airport," stated Lautenberg. "I encourage this individual or anyone with knowledge of his identity to immediately contact law enforcement."
"It is unacceptable that the Port Authority took so long to produce this tape, but now that it is public we have a better chance of getting to the bottom of this major security incident."

categories: Homeland Security

2:32 - January 7, 2010