The FBI wants airport security workers to watch for dozens of everyday items — from hairbrushes to crucifixes — that can conceal knives or other weapons terrorists could use to hijack an airliner, the Associated Press says. Many cost less than $20, are readily available, and can be difficult to detect, says an FBI statement accompanying an 89-page catalog AP obtained.
The catalog has been converted into a compact disc and circulated to airport screeners and law enforcement around the country. Most of the concealable knives, pepper spray devices and other items listed by the FBI are inexpensive and can be purchased from manufacturers.
Knives can be concealed in belt buckles, hairbrushes and combs, working cigarette lighters, crucifixes, lipstick cases, canes, umbrellas, keychains, pens, mock credit cards and money clips. While many of the blades are small, others can be at least 4 inches long and some are sword-length. Among more exotic items is a deck of fake playing cards made of metal, with sharp edges, that can be thrown with deadly results. One fake key made in Japan conceals a knife and a smaller key that could be used to escape from handcuffs. One device, a “shuckra,” is a metal tube containing a wire that, when locked into place, becomes a hardened spike that could be used as a dagger.
There are false name-brand soup, hairspray, shaving cream and cleanser cans with hidden compartments — the FBI calls them “can safes” — where weapons or dangerous substances could be placed. Fake books with hollowed centers are used as safes. Each item in the catalog is shown with a ruler to give security personnel a sense of scale and an X-ray image of how it might appear when viewed in a screening device at an airport or building entrance.