Port Authority investigating after jet skier breached JFK’s $100M security system

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A man who swam ashore and walked undetected into John F. Kennedy International Airport over the weekend has prompted an investigation into why the approximately $100 million security system was breachable.

“We have called for an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation,” said Anthony Hayes, speaking for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

According to the agency, a man identified as Daniel Casillo, 31, trespassed onto the airport’s grounds late on Friday. The Port Authority said it was investigating the details of the breach and how Casillo was able to get past the security system.

Media reports said Casillo had been stranded in the waters of Jamaica Bay after he was separated from a group of friends and his jet ski failed him. He swam several miles to the airport, located in Jamaica Bay in New York City’s borough of Queens, the New York Post reported.

Casillo, who the agency said was charged with criminal trespass, would have walked past motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras that make up the airport’s state-of-the art, Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, which was designed to detect threats from the waters around JFK. The system is valued at about $100 million, according to the Port Authority.

He entered one of the airport terminals where an airport worker alerted authorities.

“The catastrophic failure was that nobody sounded the alarm to go to condition red intruder alert,” former New York City Detective Nicholas Casale told USA Today. Casale was deputy director of security for counterterrorism at the MTA.

“Immediately there should’ve been an armed response,” he continued. “Heavy weapons, armored cars to the area that the perimeter was breached. The airport should have been locked down.”

Hayes said the agency was communicating with the maker of the security system, Raytheon, to determine how the perimeter intrusion detection system, built in the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, could be improved.

Hayes noted that the system exceeds federal guidelines for airport security. He also said the airport had increased police patrols along the perimeter and in the waterway.


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