On Thursday, eight members of a cable television crew were arrested after they tried to smuggle a fake explosive device through security at Newark Liberty International Airport.
According to nj.com, a law enforcement source said that the team, which was arrested by agents from the Transportation Security Administration, was filming for CNBC; one source told nj.com that the group worked for the Endemol Shine Group. Nj.com also reported that the explosive device was a segment of PVC pipe with wires sticking out of it.
The TSA said members of the group “attempted to intentionally carry through the security checkpoint an item in a carry-on bag that had all of the makings of an improvised explosive device. At the same time, others in the group covertly filmed the encounter.”
One possible reason the group attempted such a stunt was to film the reaction to the discovery of a bomb at the airport; the New York Daily News reported the crew came from a reality TV show called “Staten Island Hustle” and wanted to film TSA agents and any public panic when they found the bomb. ABC News reported that some members of the group tried to sneak the fake bomb in a rolling bag through security at roughly 3 p.m. while others secretly filmed what was happening.
The New York Daily News added that “Staten Island Hustle” was recently picked up by CNBC.
According to nj.com, the group will be likely charged with creating a false public alarm, conspiracy and interference with transportation. ABC News reports there could be a $13,000 fine per security violation.
Julie Holland, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine North America, released a statement:
We are looking into the details of what happened as a matter of priority and are in contact with relevant authorities on the ground. While this process is ongoing we are unable to comment further but in the meantime, we sincerely apologize for any disruption caused.