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Man Busted on Terrorism Charges for Carrying Protein Snack

Busted by the TSA for Carrying Protein Bars

Vanderklok  Man Busted on Terrorism Charges for Carrying Protein Snack Vanderklok

Roger Vanderklok

A man who was jailed on charges of making “terroristic threats” following a run in with the TSA was acquitted within minutes at a court hearing, after video proved that a TSA agent lied.  [1]   On January 26, 2013, Roger Vanderklok passed through a TSA checkpoint at the Philadelphia International Airport while traveling to race in a half-marathon in Miami. His carry-on bag contained a watch with heart-monitoring capabilities, a standard tool used by fitness enthusiasts, and prepackaged protein bars. Vanderklok flies frequently for work and had set a goal of running 60 half-marathons by his 60th birthday. He never made it to Miami.  [9] TSA officers at the checkpoint asked Vanderklok if his bag contained organic matter, and he said that it did not, as he did not realize that the TSA categorizes his processed protein bars as such. Mr Vanderklok, not knowing what the TSA supervisor meant by “organic matter”, concluded that he was referring to fruit or vegetables, so he told Kieser that he did not have any in his bag. [1] Consequently, when they found the protein snack the agents assumed that he was lying and spent the next half-hour analyzing his protein bars and heart-monitoring watch for explosives. The Supervisor raised the question after also seeing a watch in the same bag and concluding that the items combined could be some kind of explosive… or something.  [1] Philly.com notes that “PowerBars, which contain milk, grain and sugar, are considered “organic matter” and can resemble a common explosive. Terrorists often use a small electronic device, like a watch, to detonate the explosive. Hence the agent’s concern.” [1] [4] After no explosives were found, Vanderklok asked Charles Kieser to provide him with a complaint form, as he felt TSA agents should have better informed him of their definition of organic matter.  Kieser then became confrontational. Vanderklok inists that he calmly asked to file a complaint and the security video have proven him right.  He then waited while someone was supposedly retrieving the proper form.”  The form never arrived, however, but Philadelphia police officers did, when Kieser called them in to arrest Mr Vanderklok [1] and he was hauled off to the police station in handcuffs and thrown in a holding cell without being told what charges he was facing. No one explained why he was arrested until he was arraigned at 2 a.m.when he was told that he was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats and threatening the placement of a bomb. [4] [8] Vanderklok missed his flight and remained in jail until around 4 AM the next day when his wife made arrangements to cover his $40,000 bail. “I was scared to death. I have never been arrested in my life, never had handcuffs put on. Throughout the night, I was in a dark place; no one knew where I was. I thought, ‘I could fall off the face of the earth right now, and no one would know it,’” said Vanderklok in comments to Philadelphia Daily News. [4] While Vanderklok was worrying, so was his wife, Eleanor. When her husband travels, his routine is to call her when he boards the plane, when he lands and when he arrives at his hotel. [4] This time, no calls. Nor did he respond to the increasingly panicked messages she left him. She called his Miami hotel. He’d never checked in. She called the airline. He’d never boarded the plane. She called the city’s hospitals. He wasn’t in any of them. Finally, she called 9-1-1. “I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Eleanor Vanderklok. “A million scenarios go through your head.” [4]

The TSA Caught Lying: Exonerated by the Judge Vanderklok is Suing the Philadelphia Police, the TSA and Homeland Security

 “The police at the airport never even questioned Mr. Vanderklok. They just detained him,” said Vanderklok’s attorney, Thomas Malone. “The detectives at the 18th [District] also never spoke with him. He was charged based on a single allegation by one TSA employee.”  [1]  When the case went to trial, the TSA supervisor told the court, “I saw a passenger becoming agitated. Hands were in the air. And it’s something we deal with regularly. But I don’t let it go on on my checkpoint.”   [1] Kieser also claimed that Vanderklok, “had both hands with fingers extended up toward the ceiling up in the air at the time and shaking them,” and “put his finger in my face. And he said, ‘Let me tell you something. I’ll bring a bomb through here any day I want.’ And he said you’ll never find it.” [1]   Vanderklok insists he said nothing about a bomb. [9] However, Kieser neglected to remember that the entire incident was caught on security video, which showed that Mr Vanderklok NEVER raised his hands, and in fact remained calm throughout the exchange.  [1] [8] The case was thrown out by the judge almost immediately and Vanderklok is now suing the Philadelphia police along with the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky is calling for TSA supervisor Charles Kieser to be fired.  [3] One would think that this kind of thing won’t go on again at Charles Kieser’s checkpoint, because he presumably no longer has a checkpoint or a job with the TSA. But one would be wrong, because unbelievably he still does. Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky wrote, “It’s unbelievable that [TSA supervisor Charles Kieser] still has his job,” noting allegations that “he swore under oath to things that were not true” in an effort to put an innocent man behind bars. [3] The TSA does not comment on pending lawsuits, a spokesman said. Kieser does not appear to have a listed phone number. [9]  The city’s chief deputy solicitor, Craig Straw, said his office had not seen the lawsuit. [9] In another TSA case in Philadelphia, a former college student recently won a $25,000 Department of Justice settlement and police retraining after he was held for five hours over Arabic flashcards in his pocket that included the words for “bomb” and “kill.”  [9]

[1] Steve Watson, Man Arrested On Terrorism Charges For Carrying Protein Snacks, Infowars.com, February 5, 2015
[4] Ronnie Polaneczky, Innocent frequent flier detained after run-in with TSA, Philly.com,  Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 3:01 AM
[5] Daniel Crane, Man Arrested on Terrorism Charges For Carrying Protein Snacks, Christian Patriots, February 5, 2015
[6] Maryclaire Dale, Suit: Man held 20 hours after asking to file TSA complaint, The Denver Post, 02/04/2015 03:37:18 PM MST
[8] Rachelle Blidner, Pennsylvania TSA jailed man who asked to file complaint: lawsuit, New York Daily News, Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 9:34 AM
[9] Suit: Man Held 20 Hours After Asking to File TSA Complaint, The New York Times, Febuary 4, 2015, 5:43 P.M. E.S.T.


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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