Probe Into Missing Guns Shifts to Los Angeles
By SEAN GARDINER
The focus of the investigation of four guns that went missing after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security team checked its luggage at John F. Kennedy Airport Sunday has shifted to Los Angeles International Airport, according an official with knowledge of the investigation.
On Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu's security detail flew into John F. Kennedy Airport in advance of the prime minister's arrival to the U.S. this past week. Two hard carrying cases, containing a total of seven Glock handguns, went through a Transportation Safety Administration screening point. One of the cases with four handguns in it was opened by the TSA agents, the official said.
After the agents ascertained that the officers had the permits allowing them to transport the weapons, the case was closed and a sticker acknowledging that the case had been inspected was placed on it, the official said. The other carrying case, which had three guns in it, wasn't opened, according to the official.
Both cases were then turned over to baggage handlers from AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, officials have said. When the Israeli security team arrived in Washington, the case with the three guns was there but the case with the four guns wasn't.
The official says that investigators have reviewed videotape surveillance from JFK and saw the carrying case with the now-missing guns being loaded onto the wrong, Los Angeles-bound American Airlines plane. The official said that investigators now believe that the case was mistakenly routed to Los Angeles and that the guns disappeared there.
The case had on a wrong routing tag that may have been left on the case from past airline trips.
The official said that the carrying case was found sometime Monday morning, not Tuesday night as was originally reported. The case was then sent on an American Airlines flight to Chicago and then onto Washington. When the Israeli security officers opened the container, the four guns were not in it.
American Airlines and TSA officials declined to comment on Friday as did a spokeswoman with the Israeli Consulate.
Write to Sean Gardiner at email@example.com