“Can common items sold in airports after the security screening be used to build lethal weapons?” That’s the first thing Evan “Treefort” Booth asks on his website, Terminal Cornucopia.
Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. Very much so. Since the question first came to Booth (who calls himself an “independent security researcher”) nearly three years ago, he’s managed to illustrate that point at least eleven times over, creating such devices as the “Blunderbussiness Class” and the “Chucks of Liberty.” All far scarier than that confiscated Buzz Lightyear toy.
Lest you think this man is a complete psycho, rest assured: Booth never actually assembles the devices (or handles them…or transports them) anywhere near an airport, and only does it for reasons of pure curiosity and research (and, hopefully, helping TSA). He also reports all of his findings to the Department of Homeland Security — as a means to help better equip them for dealing with threats similar to the ones he’s crafting.
As for the rules Booth follows in creating each device, they’re very specific. He only uses items that can be sourced in an airport terminal post-security, he works on the assumption that the only things he’s brought with him into the terminal are cash and a TSA-approved multitool, and, in his words, “anything in the airport you’d get yelled at for taking or messing with is off limits.”
Which means that the weapons he builds are very, very creative. Breaking down the Chucks of Liberty, you can see that they’re made of two tightly-rolled magazines bound in Scotch tape, strands from a leather belt, and, as a pain-inducing finishing touch, spiky Statue of Liberty fridge magnets.
Although Booth states on his website that his research is ongoing, he’s posted videos of eleven of his lethal creations for freaked-out Americans’ viewing pleasure and is most certainly on every TSA agent’s radar from New York to California.