On Friday, November 11th, 2022, someone tried to sneak a double-bladed knife onto an airplane hidden inside a gaming laptop. The incident took place at Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia, and was foiled by officers of the United States Transportation Security Administration—more commonly known as the TSA.
The laptop, which our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) note was neither “a Razer Blade or an MSI Sword,” looks to have been a Gigabyte Aorus notebook with entirely–too-dusty uncleaned fans. If you’re going to open up a laptop to hide a knife in it, why not at least give it a little spritz of compressed air while you’re in there?
“The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine … spotted what appeared to be a knife inside the man’s carry-on bag,” said the TSA in a press release.
“The contents of the bag were searched, but at first no knife was spotted until each item in the carry-on bag was separated and re-introduced through the X-ray machine. At that point the X-ray image indicated that the knife was inside the laptop and required closer inspection. After obtaining tools that could disassemble the laptop, a double-edged knife was found to have been artfully concealed inside the guts of the computer.”
That term used in the TSA’s report—artfully concealed—is not one of respect or descriptive whimsy, but rather of law. Artful Concealment is a specific charge for not just attempting to hide a dangerous object and get it where it’s not supposed to be, but to hide it—like a sword cane, or a knife in a hollowed out book. Separate charges may apply, but the perpetrator in question could be in for something like $5,320 to $10,700 depending on how a federal judge and/or jury is feeling that day.
My favorite part is this, though: “The traveler initially claimed that he had no idea that there was a knife inside his laptop, however after the knife was revealed, he confirmed that the knife was his.”
Nothing else is known about the man attempting the knife smuggling at this time, including motive, other than that he was from Williamsburg, Virginia—which is about an hour from Richmond along the coast.
Honestly, I’m amazed that the agents bothered with the part about “obtaining tools that could disassemble the laptop,” because the TSA’s reputation is not exactly one of subtlety and nicety when they think you have a knife.
You can read the full press release on the TSA’s website, tsa.gov. (opens in new tab)