Some 9/11 families angry over loosened TSA rules on knives

Knives that were initially proposed to be allowed on flights.
Transportation Security Administration

NEW YORK Some family members of Sept. 11 attack victims are speaking out against new airport security rules that permit small knives on planes.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that people will be allowed to carry folding knives with blades 2.36 inches or less onto planes.

The new rules, to go into effect next month, also permit souvenir baseball hats, golf clubs and other previously banned sports equipment.

Debra Burlingame's brother Charles Burlingame, the pilot of Americans Airlines Flight 77, was killed when his plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. She told CBS News that the TSA's plan is dangerous.

Looking at the list of allowed knives, Burlingame said, "Do you really think a terrorist can't make deadly use of these permitted items?"

Burlingame called attention to a written statement from the alleged planner of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that said the hijackers trained with Swiss Army knives "to prepare them for using their knives during the hijackings."

Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son at the World Trade Center, told The Associated Press she's "flabbergasted" by the new rules.

Flight attendants also expressed alarm over the relaxed regulations. Stacy Martin, president of the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Union, told CBS "This Morning" that he doesn't think it's worth the risk.

"When you look back before 9/11, all it took was box cutters coming through," Martin said. "At this point you have knives, small knives, it's all the same to us ... They're allowing these items to come through and they're putting the responsibility of the cabin completely on us even though they know coming through security are these items "

Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and a CBS News consultant, told CBS New correspondent Bob Orr security officers have to stay focused on the real dangers.

"This really is a good decision," he said. "We've seen underwear that can blow up. We've seen people that have shoes they've attempted to blow up. We've seen people with chemicals that could potentially blow up. And they really need to be looking at the kinds of threats that are significantly more lethal than a two-and-a-half-inch blade."