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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch 519

Posted by timothy
from the time-enough-for-love dept.
First time accepted submitter mbeckman writes "A man was arrested at Oakland airport for having bomb-making materials. The materials? An ornate watch and extra insoles in his boots. Despite the bomb squad determining that there was no bomb, The Alameda county sheriffs department claimed that he was carrying 'potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots, which were Unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles.' The man told Transportation Security Administration officers that he's an artist and the watch is art."
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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch

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  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:45PM (#42014743) Journal
    Well done Timothy. I submitted this story earlier and the submission by mbeckman appears to be copied from my submission. [slashdot.org]
  • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:53PM (#42014813)

    From the article, it seems as if the TSA did the safe thing and called the bomb squad, which I guess is the right thing to do. I don't expect the guy at the checkpoint to be able to decide if the "modified" watch is dangerous or not, and so they called in the experts (who decided that there were no explosives).

    What bothers me is that he was then arrested: "McGann was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin where he was charged with possessing materials to make an explosive device" (emphasis mine). Isn't that too broad a charge? I'm sure every household has material that could conceivably be used to make an explosive device. Is everyone a threat now (in an actual enforceable sense, not in a we-assume-everyone-is-guilty sense)?

  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:21PM (#42015049) Homepage Journal

    Anybody who's read or watched 1960s spy stories knows how to make a detonation timer with an ordinary watch or analog clock. You scrape the paint of one of the hands and position a bare wire on the face so it completes the circuit at the desired time. So the argument the cops are making that the watch was capable of triggering a bomb means exactly nothing. Anything capable of marking the passage of time can be adapted to trigger a bomb. You could rig a trigger with an hour glass if you wanted to.

  • by zill (1690130) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:21PM (#42015051)
    Since no one mentioned it yet, Casio F91W [wikipedia.org].

    Remember, choosing the wrong brand of watch could land you in Gitmo.

    Casio, not even once.
  • Re:Take that! (Score:4, Informative)

    by rullywowr (1831632) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:27PM (#42015087)
    Take that, 4th amendment! Shit, I just went through TSA today with a coiled air compressor hose (the yellow type)...that was lots of fun..
  • Re:materials... (Score:5, Informative)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:16PM (#42015437)

    Who builds a watch with wires and "fuses" hanging out of it and then walks thru airport security?
    Really, who does that?

    You're right, but only in this very refined case. About 10 years ago I built a noise cancelling system out of a microphone, some electronics and I was young so it all looked very home made. It worked well, almost as well as the Bose QuietComfort series headphones. Flying was a real treat with my custom contraption on. Yet now I suddenly can't take it through airport security for fear of me not actually getting to my destination.

    There are documented cases of artists, students, professionals, teachers, vendors with tech equipment, and likely more all having major problems with airport security for the same reason, they dared to build something.

    This guy may be a fool and an attention seeker, but many others aren't.

  • by mbeckman (645148) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:40PM (#42015601)
    Whoever57, If that is your real name.

    I did copy your previous post, after I replied to it and Slashdot for some reason deleted the whole article. I had saved a copy and reposted to help propagate this inportant example of TSA idiocy. I didn't give you credit because you're the kind of person that calls someone a plagiarist for simply reposting the existence and summary of a widely available news item. You plagiarist, you ;)

  • Re:Take that! (Score:4, Informative)

    by lhunath (1280798) <lhunath@lyndir. c o m> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:01PM (#42016059) Homepage

    He didn't have a watch in his thick boots. He had a watch. And thick boots.

    man was arrested at Oakland International Airport after security officers found him wearing an unusual watch

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:00AM (#42017791) Homepage

    You don't need anything fancy...a cheap CASIO will do [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Take that! (Score:4, Informative)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:09PM (#42020393)

    I did not say treason, I said traitor.

    Treason is usually specifically against the state, or the sovereign. Obama has acted within the legal frameworks of the US, although in some cases, that may be in dispute. Sometimes treason can mean a betrayal of trust, but most times in context when talking about a politician, it does not.

    Traitor, OTOH, primarily means the betrayal of trust and/or a cause.

    Obama was supposed to represent hope and change. That asshole betrayed us with FISA, the Patriot Act, the TSA bullshit, etc. Every single time there is a decision to be made that profoundly affects the civil rights of US citizens Obama betrays us.

    Everything he said to get elected the first time was a lie.

    I'm not a Romney supporter either. That man truly frightens me with this religious zealotry. Obama is helping to turn us into a police state, but at least when the secret police come for us, it won't be because of our beliefs in mythical beings in the sky. It will be because of our beliefs in freedom.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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