GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The FBI is investigating a possible ISIS inspired terrorist threat in the U.S., according to CNN. The Transportation Security Administration alerted law enforcement agencies near airports, but officials have said it is not necessarily aviation related.
Tuesday, at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, travelers may have noticed extra security. There were officers checking cars in the parking garage, standing by the curb and by the baggage carousels.
"We want those who would do us harm to not exactly know when we are going to be at what venue and what time so they cannot plan attacks," TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said. "The idea is to deter but to also detect."
These men and women have various specialties. Some are explosive experts. Others are behavior detection officers. There are teams like these across the country that go to airports and other transportation hubs at different times. They provide extra protection on top of the TSA officers travelers are used to seeing at security.
"Our officers are very well trained. They are actually tested every day by having us put items through to make sure they can see exactly what they are going to look like on the X-ray," Koshetz said.
Koshetz showed us two large cardboard boxes full of items passengers at the airport had in their carry-on luggage in just the last few months. They had things like a knife, stun gun, hand grenade and even some less noticeable, but just as dangerous, items like a credit card knife.
"We might find a knife inside the handle of a brush, or we might find a stun gun that's actually inside of a cell phone," Koshetz said. "We know every day that terrorists are thinking of new ways to harm the American public or the traveling public in general, so our officers are very well trained. They are not just looking for an explosive device. They are looking for a component of an improvised explosive device, because one passenger might have one part and another passenger might have another part, and it can be very tiny parts."
"Whenever I go through security, I know I can't have change in my pocket, can't have my cell phone, so I take everything out of my pockets, put it in my bag. That way, when I walk through the machine, they don't pick up any metal," David Watkins, who is a frequent traveler and knows the drill.
Watkins and other travelers admit even though it may take more time to go through security, they don't mind.
"Anything I can do to help be secure, if it's taken off my shoes or whatever it takes, yes. Let's do that," Watkins said.
"I know they are doing their job, and I always feel safe anyway, but extra security doesn't bother me," Anne Middleton said.
Here's a list of the items you cannot bring in your carry-on luggage: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items .