back to article Heathrow T5 security tackles Transformers t-shirt threat

An IT consultant who attempted to board a British Airways flight to Dusseldorf at Heathrow's T5 wearing a Transformers t-shirt was told to take off the offending apparel or else, The Sun reports. Brad Jayakody, 30, was travelling with four colleagues and ill-advisedly decided to sport an image of Optimus Prime wielding a …


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  1. Steven
    Thumb Down

    PC Gone Mad

    How utterly f'in stupid. Who on Earth would be offended by one of the greatest 80's cartoons ever made! What's the bet they waved through the guy behind him with the real rocket launcher...

  2. Tom


    This doesn't make anyone safer, but makes everyone's lives worse.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    You not comming in here with trainers

    I find people wearing Hackett shirts offensive can I ask for them to be removed before boarding the plane???

  4. Rob McDougall


    I guess they'll be arresting kids who crash toy planes into the ground next....

  5. DM

    It's official...

    The terrorists (decepticons) have won!

    /Mine's the plain coat with no distinguishing features, images or logos.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Don't these people know their transformers?

    As pointed out, that's Optimus Prime - leader of the Heroic Autobots.

    Now, if it had been Megatron, they may have had cause for alarm.

    Alternatively, they got confused about what sort of Transformers they were and thought that it was one of the exploding data-centre powering ones.

    - Black helicopter because it's the only vehicle you have

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Some people seriously need their heads seen to

    How can you be arrested for wearing a commercially freely available T-shirt? What's the offense?

    Imagine the trial:

    >> "Can you describe to the court what happened then"

    >> "He came at me wiff a tee-shirt, guv"

    >> "Did you percieve this as a threat?"

    >> Yes, guv, them Transformers always scared me shitless when I was a kid"

    What a bunch of complete idiots. What next, no souvenir T-shirts of HMS Victory allowed (and that at leats is a picture of a REAL weapon)?

    Mine's the one with the picture of a Spitfire on the back.

  8. Kyle
    Thumb Down

    It's good to see they've got their priorities right when it comes to security

    Your bags may not arrive on the right continent or even at all, but they've halted the growing menace of 2-dimensional fictional robots committing acts of terrorism by, er, being depicted on t-shirts.

    If this is the kind of guidance provided to their security staff overall, then it's little wonder they made such a spectacular balls of the opening of the new terminal...

  9. Gordon Pryra

    With all this "security" at the air ports

    How the hell can we feel safe when its obvious that the people actually controlling it are complete and utter idiots?

    If(when) we give them guns, I really hope someone shows them which is the "shooty-end" and which is the "holdy-bit-under-the-arm"

  10. Simon
    Thumb Up

    Famous for a day

    The guy has an account on and was talking about this incidence in a thread (Nooo, we *never* read any other websites apart from El Reg).

    Here is a link to his blog:

    Yup, hes making the news on the intarwebs right now.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I see common sense has gone completely out of the window these days.

    I mean come on, how the f*** can having a cartoon image of a transformer holding a gun on your t-shirt be reason enough for to be told you would be arrested and unable to get on the plane.


    Anyone who agrees that this article is ok and those people were in the right, is part of the same shallow end of the gene pool that the airport security are from, probably still dragging your knuckles along the floor, waiting to evolve into a higher primate. Here's a Banana knock your self out.

    This is yet another example of over zealous idiots imposing ridiculous and quite frankly irrational ban's on items of clothing, like a former retarded prime minster Mr Blair did with hooded jumpers aka the dreaded "Hoodie".

    "Last year Gatwick guards made a woman hand over a beef sandwich before boarding and last week a PhD student was stopped for wearing a gun-shaped charm necklace at an airport in Canada."

    So how dangerous is a beef sandwich? Or a necklace?

    -Paris, because she has as much intelligence as the security guards at T-5

  12. James


    I think the military should be armed with t-shirts. If a "terrorist" can use one to hijack a plane, then I don't see why the army can't use them to take out "bad" guys.

  13. u235

    Idiocy backed into a Corner

    It's like this. Some security guy makes an idiot of themselves by making a really stupid decision or saying something outrageous. They won't back down as they'll lose face. The supervisor is called over and as the security guy is their friend and colleague they're unlikely to say the initial action were the actions of a loopy loop. They then defend the action using further dubious excuses and so the chain of idiocy continues right up to the top if necessary.

  14. Anthony Mark
    Thumb Down

    Words... me...

  15. Danny Thompson

    A case of .....

    .... having lost the plot entirely. This nation's forefathers must be spinning in their graves at the antics and pettiness that is prevalent these days. The operative and their supervisor should immediately be given specialised "Training" in "Not being so bloody stupid" with the follow up course "Stop wasting everyone's time". Following that they should both be issued with a Bog Brush and confined to managing T5's lavatories for the forseeable future.

    People like this should not be let out in public. What a pair of utter buffoons.

  16. Joe K

    Yeah right...

    ...and i'm sure the fact that he looks a bit "ethnic" had *nothing* to do with it.

    This country is going to pot, it really is.

  17. Andy Turner

    Serves him right

    He's 30 years old and wearing a Transformers tshirt FFS?

    GROW UP!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    next time I board a flight...

    ...I'll be wearing a t-shirt with a smoking shoe on it, or perhaps a cartoon box cutter.

    This has got to the point of stupidity now. Basically, you pay through the nose to board a flight and are then treated as a potential criminal and subjected to being treated like cattle.

    "Please leave your human rights at the door when you board this flight"

    Paris Hilton because she's more offensive than a cartoon gun.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward


    T shirts don't kill people....people with t-shirts kill people

  21. Nomen Publicus

    Common sense running out faster than oil

    What if the rude word is in a language that the jobs-worth doesn't understand? Surely to cover that possibility any t-shirt with any text, icons or glyphs should also be banned?

    Stupid rules for implementation by stupid people.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    so many new and stupid rules

    There should be a new route of appeal in court in this day and age since we have so many new ill-thought out rules and laws.

    You should be able to appeal a rule on the basis that it is stupid.

    I am travelling though T5 later today after this i better re-pack removing all those t-shirts that have any cartoons on them (as most geeky cartoons have weapons).


  23. Mei Lewis

    Cool t-shirt

    Stupid rule.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    British Incompetence Ltd (TM)

    You couldn't make this stuff up. After the wonderful advert and stupendous press coverage for British Incompetence Ltd that T5 produced you'd think BAA would at least try to inject some kind of common sense into their staff.

    But no.

    A t-shirt. I still can't believe it. A bloody t-shirt!

    I've got an Iron Maiden t-shirt somewhere with "Shoot That Fokker!" on the back (a Fokker is a plane btw for those who don't know). Guess I won't be wearing that anywhere near Heathrow then.

    Name and shame the halfwit security people so we know who to look out for and to avoid. Stupidity is dangerous!

  25. Doug Glass

    Image is everything; substance is nothing

    Sure makes things simpler and easier now. Governments can be overthrown, people can be killed and wars can be fought with pictures of weapons. Wow, why didn't I think of that. Of course the admirals and generals will be more toys to actually hurt people with.

  26. bothwell

    If you're wearing a Transformers t-shirt at the age of 30

    Then you deserve to be arrested.

  27. Andrew


    What's next? Thundercats T-shirts banned because Lion-O has a massive chopper?

    Mine's the one with the furry hood...

  28. Stephen Cole

    Lucky it wasn't megatron...

    This guy is pretty lucky it wasn't megatron with his ball & chain weapon on his T-shirt instead as he would have been charged as a extreme porn abuser & placed on a sex offenders list by now!

  29. Neil

    Customs officer won award for most stupid annoying reason to stop someone

    They have "in house" competitions to see who can upset passengers the most. Surely the UK airport security has gone daft in lowering themselves to this ridiculous level? What about t-shirts with pictures of teddy bears – thats surely going to indicate some kind of terrorist rebel, or how about a t-shirt with the word BOMB on it? Very dangerous.

    I was stopped in Teeside recently because the bottle of camera lens cleaning solution (<100ml of course) was in the wrong size ziplock bag. Obviously a terrorist threat if ever...

    Sheer madness.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    First your belt, then your shoes, now your t-shirt... I for one welcome our new naked travelling overlords ;) What would matey have done if he had no other shirt to change into, FFS?

    The terrorists have already won.

    Dead vulture as it perfectly represents the common sense (or lack thereof) currently in operation in the security world.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would have banned him as well - just for being a big enough arse to wear a transformers t-shirt when he is obviously over the age of 8.

  32. Dr. Mouse


    I dispair. What is wrong with these people...

    Oh hang on. They are trained monkeys given a little power which has gone to their heads.

  33. radian


    Just when you think things can't possibly get any more ridiculous...

  34. Anonymous Coward

    These guyz are more and more creative!

    I do not know who believes that any of these items is dangerous:

    - a pair of nail scissors more than a big, sharp piece of plastic ripped of an aricraft chair

    - <rofl actually="really big rofl!"> a mobile phone switched on</rofl>

    - water/sun cream/day cream in a 101ml bottle

    However, anybody can board a plane with 10 kg of sulfuric acid (dehydrated), mix that in the toilets with water and throw it through the cabin once airborne ... just as an example, I mean, they should stop us from taking anything on a plane (shoe laces, belts etc) ... if they were really serious about security, the aircraft interior should look like the cells of mental institutions ...

    BTW, it has NEVER been proven that any mobile device (or hard drive device) had interfered with ANY piece of navigational equipment, at least on the US American side! I hold this info from several "senior" aviatation engineers that have carried-out a number of tests on prototype commercial aircraft. [that is why I post anonymous - they hate to upset airlines, who do not want you to start talking to your loved-ones during landing or taxi over a phone ;-)]

    Is it not easier to stab somebody with a ballpoint pen than nail scissors, which are usually too short for that?

    I hate airports, they are never honest ... always try to talk around the issue ... when a flight is late they say it's late because of the late arrival of the aircraft (in other words, it's late because it's late)

    I always think: thank you guyz so much for the info, but can you say why it is late in the first place?!?

    These guyz are plain idiots, but don't get me wrong, it's not the poor souls we see in uniform at the security check, nor their managers, it's the brainless decision-makers. Especially in the US, they are the problem, they even enforce that on other nations ... 3 hours boarding time is ridiculous - it used to be 30 minutes ... ;-)

    Damn, I cannot wear my stereolab t-shirt, from the "peng!" album ... :(

  35. Ross

    Like Natalie Imbruglia

    I'm torn.

    Heathrow is private land and they are within their rights to have a "dress code" if you will. However, the idea that a t-shirt with Optimus Prime on is dangerous, offensive, likely to induce panic/fear etc is ridiculous.

    I can understand them causing grief for the fame whores that wear bulky jackets with wires coming out of them, and I can understand them not wishing people to wear clothing that is generally accepted to be offensive (e.g. with profanity), as you can expect children to be present. Pictures of robots, guns, bombs etc though don't seem to fall into either of those categories. At least to me.

    Time for a bet with my mates methinks. Must get me a t-shirt printed up before my hols - "suicide is painless" on the front, "as long as you mix the chapatti flour and hydrogen peroxide in the correct ratio" on the back... I won't be flying from LHR mind.

  36. Alan Donaly

    Poor taste finally made a crime.

    They couldn't make it any clearer that they don't have a clue as to what it is they are doing. I am glad I don't have to fly.

  37. Dean


    What more can I say?

  38. Adam Foxton

    Because of this guy...

    ... T-shirts of trucks aren't allowed in case they're depicting things that may be weapons-weilding Transformers.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Security? REALLY!

    Nice to see T5 security "cottoned" onto this security threat.

    I'm concerned about their attitude to the gun in my pants!

    Paris cause she'd be the first to fire off the gun.

  40. The Cube
    Black Helicopters

    What a Wunch of Bankers

    Seriously, I understand that the gits in Government need some security theatre to pretend that they are doing something about the 'terrorist threat' that they created in the UK when we (re)invaded the middle east but exactly where did they hire these muppets? Was there nobody at the Job Centre that day? Primary school children would make more effective security decisions than this lot.

    Whilst we are on the subject though, how is it that those expensive new 'smart' body scanners T5 is fitted with, that were supposed to stop all the bullcrap with taking your shoes and everything else off are still being used like the old scanners? There are only three real possibilities;

    1) The morons in charge of security are too stupid to tie their own shoelaces and have not trained their staff to use the new kit (of course this begs the question of how they get to work, maybe the employer issue them with slip-ons)

    2) The morons in Whitehall want to keep everyone scared of those nasty terrorists (not the people we are victimising or killing, just the completely unconnected terrorists) by subjecting us to laughable security theatre at every available opportunity. Don't forget the War on Terra (TM) got that retard Bush re-elected, no reason for Nu-Labour not to give it a try over here.

    3) The smart folks in Whitehall know that we are running out of oil (and invading half of the middle east has backfired and put prices up not down) and that making air travel as unpleasant as possible to reduce the number of flights we take won't get them voted out as fast as the same level of aviation environmental tax.

  41. George Johnson
    Thumb Up

    I suppose...'s the "table-leg shooting" all over again. I suppose in a certain light, at the right time of year, when the moon it full and the right number of people present, you could mistake the picture of a gun on a shirt for a real one, but come on?! Just another case of your welcome the 51st state!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parallel universe

    Well, my initial reaction was to check to see if I'd somehow been transported to a parallel universe where it's April 1st every day.

    Ok, I can quite see why they'd want to arrest him on grounds of sartorial bad taste and anyone over 10 years old wearing that kind of thing looks definitely suss anyway.

    But I have to wonder just what kind of retards BA employ in their management team that finds an image printed on a piece of clothing to be a threat.

    "If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it"

    WHY? What rationale can possibly be used to justify this type of bullshit?

    Can't we just heard all of the risk averse obsessives onto a walled island somewhere so that the rest of us can get on with life without being constantly subjected to this crap, (put all of the politicians there too while you're at it).

  43. sean macdonald

    Over zealous security

    Don't they know that "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings"

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    CCTV Image Processing

    I suspect that there might be some form of image processing going on at T5 linked to the CCTV systems, systems that might be trained to recognise the outline of a gun for example. Such systems based on 2D images would, I expect, have difficulty differentiating between a real gun and a picture of one on a T-Shirt.

    To avoid false positives, they might give staff a list of banned pictures not allowed to be displayed, without necessarily conveying exactly why they are banned.

    This could be the result of such a policy where staff use their discretion to decide what is a gun and what isn't, resulting in the situation we see today.

  45. John Arnold


    He should have transformed it into a teapot or something less terror related...

    Already got it and off out the door....

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The dress code

    " 1. Clothing must cover the entire body, only the hands and face may remain visible

    2. The material must not be so thin that one can see through it.

    3. The clothing must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not apparent.

    4. The female clothing must not resemble the man's clothing.

    5. The design of the clothing must not resemble the clothing of the non-believing women.

    6. The design must not consist of bold designs which attract attention.

    7. Clothing should not be worn for the sole purpose of gaining reputation or incre"

    Wait, that's the *Muslim* dress code, silly me, I got confused there, thought we lived in a country with a lot more freedom...

  47. Lloyd

    It could be worse

    He could have been wearing a Manga t shirt and been arrested for kiddie porn.

  48. gabor
    Paris Hilton


    There's probably a user's manual for the airport workers and this manual includes something along the lines of "weapons or items that might look like weapons" so they, in one sense, we right.

    But by COMMON sense (lawyers, politicians, civil servants are trying damn hard to kill this one, entirely), this is something to fire both the first worker and his boss for.

    Of course, not in Britain. Nobody here gets fired for utter incompetence.

    Paris, because... well, because... she wouldn't ever wear such T-shirt perhaps?

  49. Richard

    One has to wonder

    Whether this principle will be extended to other items on the prohibited items list:

    Thermometers (but only if they're mercury based)

    More than how ever many ml of liquid it is these days.

    Fake Passports

    Common Sense

    Mine's the one with SECURITY? on the back. Clearly, the ? is offensive.

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. Phil Kingston
    Thumb Down

    V poor

    Next they'll stop people for wearing a menacing frown.

  52. Mike Morris


    This should be a joke but...

    ...and I thought the TSA had hired all the loons here in the states. Thank you T5 for reducing the load on this side of the pond.



  53. Bob


    I mean i could understand if it were Megatron, at least he was evil.

  54. Steven Cuthbertson

    And the caves rang with laughter..

    Osama and his cronies must be getting fed up with all the celebratory parties.. They've won, and now don't have to do anything even remotely dangerous. We've got self-perpetuating nitwittery.

    What happened to our 'get on with things' outlook?

  55. Anonymous Coward

    T5 is retarded

    The more i hear about T5 the more i think its run by fools who make stupid decisions (ie Naomi's incident and the baggage issues/flight delays/etc). I wish T5 was shut down.

    The shirt being considered a threat is absolutely gobsmacking, i cant imagine a single person being offended by it or scared from it, do they want to make sure people only wear plain shirts or ones with Paddington Bear or something on it? You know, just incase it makes baby jesus cry or something!

  56. Anonymous Coward

    This is an outrage

    Down with this sort of thing

    (although would have been even more outraged if it had been G1 prime)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More shocking... a 30yr old going round wearing cartoon robot T-shirts.

  58. Ivor
    Paris Hilton


    30 year old IT consultant wearing a Transformers T-shirt... now if they'd just said look just take it off you're embarrassing yourself...

  59. Anonymous Coward


    yeah - airport security/customs types/police in general don't have serious power problems mixed with intellectual issues.

    I think we may have reached the bottom of the barrel now, not being allowed on a plane becouse your transformer is holding a gun...

    What a bunch of useless ----s that protect this s-----y little country.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    reply in kind

    All secutrity jobs-worths must be identifed and their ID's published so we can deny all these useless *****ers service.

    Want petrol - don't think do security person.

    Food - forget it.

    Shive it right up 'em

    (finally a use for the ID card - hehe)

    Welcome to the Uk - where the mindless turd is king

  61. Anonymous Coward

    A stupid

    and objectionable decision from a stupid and objectionable minor official and now there will be a cover up to ensure that it was the passengers 'fault' that _he_ deliberately wore objectionable clothing and _not_ the airport staff being prats again.

    Stupid stupid stupid.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How the hell do they manage to recruit these utter imbeciles?

  63. wim
    Thumb Down

    this is why equal opportunity jobs suck

    See I think it is time again to start discrimination against stupidity again in the job hiring process or am I the only one who things this is going beyond reason ?

    Soon you can't wear any t-shirts with any drinks on it as you are not allowed to bring bottles on board anymore.

    I think the aircraft carriers should give you proper clothing along with your ticket reservation.

    Djeezes somebody stop this planet so I can get off.

  64. Simon Hill


    Security concerned it could transform into a real gun.

    T-shirt = Mr T = extremely resourceful = able to transform T-shirt with worn pants and socks, into chemical weapon.

    Someone suspected he was going to use a Bot for terrorist purposes.

    (Optimus) Prime example of over reaction by security...

    Mine's the one with the image of Bagpuss on it, as I don't want to be stopped by security on my way out. (Then again I could be carrying a bomb in a stuffed toy cat I suppose...)

  65. John Ferris
    Dead Vulture

    Might be Americans Aboard

    ...and according to the picture, the gentleman wearing the allegedly dangerous T-shirt had a darker than white skin-tone and so the combination would have resulted in panic and hysteria amongst the American passengers.

    I wonder what the response would have been if he had been, say, a redhead?

    Though I would have asked him to remove it simply because it's a naff bit of clothing.

    Dead bird because common sense seems to have joined it.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Should get that photo printed onto a T-Shirt - would be interesting to see just how many levels a gun has to be removed from reality for it to be safe.

    Paris, 'cos shes got two tits working with the public as well.

  67. Bob Gender


    One can't help but notice that he looks somewhat.... Swarthy?

    Not that anybody's profiling, oh no!

  68. lee lawson

    Hidden Menace

    This is just so typical of airport security staff that do not understand the real implications of their actions. I used to work in an Army bomb disposal team and I am confident that I can sneak a bomb through airport security, but that's beside the point. When they are employing staff that have not gone through basic security checks then they are leaving themselves wide open to attack by the 'back door'.

    Doing this kind of thing will just alienate the security staff from the public and slowdown the whole process.

    I have a colleague that responded with the below text when I sent this link around work:

    "I’m not surprised... airport staff confiscated (correction: when I asked for a receipt to prove they had taken it they said they don’t do that because in fact I was “voluntarily surrendering” it) my Kensington laptop lock on the pretence that I could use it as a restraint. Of course a cunning terrorist would simply buy one in the departure lounge from Dixons..."

    He actually checked that you can buy the exact same model for £14.99 from the terminal shop!!! When will the insanity end?

  69. Tom


    I'm surprised they didnt arrest him right there and then, hold him in detention for 28 days, then deport him for having a foreign sounding name.

  70. Louis Cowan

    quite terrifying really

    They'll sell discounted booze and fags before you board, are quite happy to have officers armed with sub-machine guns patrol the grounds, but have a t-shirt with a cartoon gun on it and you're reprimanded??? Seems like there is a sinister book of rules we should all be following, written by shadowy figures in power, which people are supposed to know...

  71. Craig

    Airports, grrr

    I had a keyring taken from me in Birmingham Airport 'cos it was an empty bullet case (with a massive hole in it for the keyring part). I said "What am I going to do, throw it at someone?" -- this didn't go down well at all!

    I can't believe how many people have dissed the wearing of the t-shirt just because the guy is 30... what fucking losers!

  72. Nic Brough
    Paris Hilton

    Am I barred too?

    I have two shirts with fluffy bunnies on them. But as far as I can make out, the bunny from the Quest for the Holy Grail, and Max (of the Freelance police) are both far more dangerous and offensive than any gun.

    Paris because she's got the same IQ as Heathrow security (and that's after adding all of theirs together)

  73. Lukin Brewer

    This is insane.

    Ill-considered rules, badly applied.

  74. Darren Kirk

    Would they...

    ask a 10 year old to change the shirt if he was wearing it?



    A government spokesman has just confirmed that the action taken was due to a 'real & credible' security threat.

    "Terrorists were using coded t-shirts to signal other operatives to action.

    You will be happy to know that thanks to the diligent actions of our security services yet another terrorist atrocity has been thwarted. This incident outlines why we should increase the detention time for suspects to 40 days."

    Well that's that cleared up then.

  76. John Imrie

    The Sun missed a publicity stunt here.

    They should have turned up at T5 with a bevy of page 3 girls all waring the same teeshirt, when ordered to remove them ...

    Oh hell you get the picture.

  77. FathomsDown

    He's lucky...

    He's lucky his surname wasn't "Gunn"...

    ...mine is the one with the telescopic sight and the tripod.

  78. BoldMan
    Thumb Down

    BA & BAA can go fuck themselves

    I flew to Scotland on Saturday via London City Airport which is NOT run by BAA and it was a very pleasant experience. No long queues at check in or security and a very comfortable and peaceful departure lounge.

    Coming back via Edinburgh Airport (owned by BAA) huge long queue at security, noisy & dirty departure lounge.

    This incident just emphasizes my determination to NEVER fly with BA again and avoid BAA airports as much as possible.


  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Idiots found there way here too

    @Bothwell & @Andy Turner & @anyone who concurs with these two.

    Get a life the pair of you! Age has nothing to do with wearing a t-shirt of a movie/cartoon.

    I think it infacts shows he's lost less of his self image than over bearing dictators like you two morons. *gives you two a banana*

    Personally i think Joe K nailed it on the head, and its because he looks ethnic, sad sad tale.

  80. Roach

    Lucky for him...

    ... he didn't wear a tattoo of Optimus Prime. Would he have been asked to remove the arm / shoulder / whatever then before he could enter?

  81. P.Nutt

    Whats the point in fighting terror!

    If our fear of terror makes us give up the rights that make us free, then the terrorists have already won. Just employing these brain dead idiots at airport security only goes to prove we have already lost.

    Mine is the one with the nuke picture of the back - If you are going to be a security threat you might as well go for the WMD option.

  82. Ash

    culture of fear

    the sheep are afraid, cartoon guns on tshirts clearly threaten the new world order.

    these kind of dangerous tshirts cannot be allowed, quick make a new law!

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does nobody here...

    ...have any respect for classics?!

    Seriously. You guys must lead awfully boring lives, studiously avoiding anything that isn't 'adult' enough for you. I'll take being childish any day.

  84. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    So if you are

    wearing a Taz the Tasmanian devil t-shirt you are smuggling endangered species?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    would of been funny if he just stripped his t-shirt off and stood around flexxing his belly though...

    Personally I'd have found that far more offensive - no offense to his well looked after for belly.

  86. Le Tundoir
    Thumb Down

    Go-Bots fans...?

    ...It's the only reason I could think of - aside from utter-retardation - for these empty-headed goons making this guy remove his shirt.

    What the fcuk gives here? Wheres the common sense gone? And why is a thirty year old man wearing a cartoon character-based tee-shirt in the first place?

    The world's gone mad I tellsya!

  87. Fluffykins Silver badge

    If pictures are so very powerful:

    Here's a photo of £2500

    Can I have a return ticket to Australia?


  88. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What if...

    .... I don't have another shirt with me because all my baggage has been checked in. I would have thought wandering around bear chested would be more offensive. Brad Pitt I am not!

    Can we have a Jobsworth icon?

    Paris, you know why...

  89. Graeme Hill

    Post open for people who want to be minor megalomaniacs...

    Please send your cv to security at T5. We will require you to take an intelligence test, and if you score higher than the pencil, we would not be able to employ you........

    Its stupidity gone even more stupid. Reminds me of the uproar over the French Connection t-shirts (remember them, they said FCUK on them)..............

    Mines the 1940's leather trenchcoat and matching fedora hat please.........

  90. Anonymous Coward

    Well, it may only look like a harmless T-shirt...

    ...but what if there was more to it than meets the eye?

  91. Nick M
    Black Helicopters

    Name and shame

    El Reg - time for some investigative journalism....

    Let's discover the names of these witless individuals at T5 and have their names and photographs posted. The public need to be given information to protect themselves from such idiots - if only so that we can be sure to avoid their queue next time we have to suffer the hellhole of Heathrow.

  92. Anonymous Coward


    We'll all be like party boy in airport security before long.

    @AC, yes, dressing like movie ad men want a 10yr old to dress shows his powerful self image.

    *Mines the one with the tellytubbies on the back.

  93. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Would they have got on with this I wonder??


    Incidently, last week, on the way back from Monaco at Nice airport, there was a bloke wearing "I am a terrorist" on his T-Shirt, what an idiot, I don't know if he managed to get on his flight back home or not...

  94. Anonymous Coward

    You're all missing the point

    I think the security guards were right on the ball with this one. I mean, lots of terrorists and suicide bombers have worn t-shirts, so obviously a t-shirt is an item that "could be useful to a terrorist" - a clear offence. Good job they spotted it - another potential terrorist attack thwarted.

  95. The elephant in the room

    Nazis - I hate those guys

    You can take away our T-shirts, but you cant take our FRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!. Oh wait, you have. Shit.

  96. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    30yr Old Wears Transformers T-Shirt...

    ...hardly a fashion high point, but why the fuck have we got so many cretins on here denouncing someone else's fashion sense? To my eyes, this geek's grey T-Shirt is MASSIVELY less offensive than just about any football shirt I've ever seen, and there's a huge constituency of twats (of all ages) who wear those 24/7/365.

    I'm no fan of logo'd tops, but what the fuck is wrong with wearing a film tie-in T-Shirt to fly in?


  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not so much security theatre... security panto.

  98. andy

    Scary t-shirts

    I think the question is: What does a gun look like?

    Considering Mr transformer person has something that looks nothing like a real-life gun I wonder how abstract a picture could get whilst still being against airport rules?


  99. George

    Its not the Heathrow thing that bothers me...

    ...its that these people do no good for an industry trying to shed its geekiness.

    I mean he is over 9 years old and wearing a Transformers t-shirt, now I know why companies invented uniforms!

  100. Steve Copley

    Oh no...

    I used to feel quite smug reading the stories of ridiculous behaviour by paranoid, ignorant and power-crazed security people in North American airports - smug because that sort of thing wouldn't happen in Dear Old Blighty... but now the buggers are at it here too!

    Great! I had already decided never to bother flying to the US because I didn't want some DHS drongo treating me like a criminal: fingering my laptop and my prostate.

    But I can't ban myself from flying into my own country. What will I do?!

  101. Robert Stockton

    Cartoon guns - PHAH!

    The BA list of in flight films for first class pxs includes, "There will be blood", "Silverado" and "Shoot 'Em Up".

    Good job there's no cartoon guns in them then.


  102. Ashley Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    Power and stupidity

    Unfortunately that's what happens when you give too much power to very stupid people.

    Well, that and the 10p tax fiasco...

    Paris because even she's brighter than these goons.

  103. Dale

    It would have been ok

    if he had been carrying a certificate proving the gun had been permanently deactivated.

  104. Anonymous Coward

    It happened to me too - Transformers LED torch!

    This is too funny.

    This happened to me at another London airport. It is probably an indication that the Transformers are real, and a real threat to our way of life and liberty and democracy and all that jazz. They will be stamped out!

    I had a transformers LED keyring, given to me by my little nephew. Its gone through another london airport umpteen times. But at this particular airport, they said it was a LASER that would be used to BLIND someone.

    Its a £1.99 LED keyring torch, given away free with the film.

    Anyway, after much much bikering, they took the batteries out.

    Obviously, that made it safer.

    And yes, I was entirely random, so random that I was the only one in the entire airport that didn't need to use a sunbed to look tanned. That random.

    I have to admit, they won. I no longer carry that keyring. I will have to stop wearing branded t-shirts as well. Just in case someone thinks the Nike swoosh is an arrow or that the Lacoste alligator means i am a cannibal. Bah.

    IMHO Optimus Prime should save everyone else, and let us rot...that'll learn them.

  105. Anonymous Coward

    Everyone's said it so well already

    The terrorists have won, and apparently airports hire security personnel that couldn't hold down a job at Burger King.

  106. Slaine

    given the level of management - what do you expect from security?

    @ John Imry's "page3 publicity stunt"... ehhh nope, honestly - can you send me a few pictures pleeeeze pleeeze pleeze.

    @ Craig, AC (12:38 on 2nd June), David Wierniki and Michael Wilkinson ... saves me the trouble of pointing that out - thanks guys (unless of course AC is of the other genital persuasion in which case it's "thanks non-gender-specific-iarchs").

    Anyone remember "Not The 9'O Clock News"?...

    "... 'Walking on the Cracks in the Pavement' and one charge of 'Walking Around with an Offensive Wife'.

    "but he's a JAILBIRD, sir".

    "Yes, I know he's a jailbird, Savage. He's in the cells now. We're holding him on a charge of 'possession of curly black hair and thick lips'"

  107. Alex


    Now that is just stupid!

    FFS! I recently wore my replica H Bomb shirt (French band, immortalised by AC/DC drummer) on a plane.. not one bat of an eyelid!

    I could get arrested for that?!?!?

    Oh, this is just truly beyond belief. The Freaking Pathetic Squad seem to have been labottomised!!

    (Spelling bad? Who fucking cares!! I'm pissed off!!)


  108. Owen Williams

    My other T-Shirt...

    is a Porsche wielding a chain saw!!!

  109. This post has been deleted by its author

  110. Magnus Egilsson
    Thumb Down

    Perhaps . . .

    Hmm . . . what happens if I am at Deathrow airport reading a book about the history of modern warfare, do I get shot on the spot?

  111. Dai

    Perfect link

    Is it a coincidence that one of the links at the bottom of this story is for "Vulnerability management for Dummies" ?

  112. This post has been deleted by its author

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be...

    ..the same retard who prevented my ex-father in law from boarding a plane because the clothing he was wearing had the word 'bomb' on it.

    He was wearing his uniform as a "Bomb Disposal Officer"

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with you people?

    by the governments own thinking (cartoons/violent pronz lead to real acts) obviously wearing a t-shirt with a gun means you are a violent criminal. It's obvious isn't it.

  115. Graham

    Test of security....

    I wonder what would happen if you wore a T-shirt saying "I am not a bomb" through T5. Would you be stopped for the word "bomb" despite the prefix declaring you're not one and so they should not fear?

    in regards to the above - Disposal is an eight letter word, it's quite possible the airport monkey just simply could not read it.

    -mines the one with an anagram of TERRORIST on the front. Make the security work harder.

  116. Anton Ivanov

    Re: Must be...

    And at the same time I have boarded a plane more than once wearing the "Practical Unix Terrorism" O'Realy t-shirt in Spain.

    The security guy had a look at me a couple of times and after that smiled and let me go. It downed on me what I was wearing only half an hour later.

    I guess it comes with the territory... My T-shirt, the one with the clockwork and the dinamite on it...

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    T shirt

    If i go to T5 with a durex T-shirt on wil i either get laid or the 5 finger rubber glove treatment

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The banality of evil

    ... comes from the top down.

  119. Rick Eastwood

    Reminds me of my T Shirt when I was a Teenager in the 80s

    Now that was offensive. It was the Adolf Hitler European tour T Shirt.

    With details such as


    England - cancelled

    Russia - Cancelled


    I took it as a badge of honour when i was refused to be served or kicked out of shops. That was the point of me wearing the T shirt at that time. Id not consider wearing it now cos Ive grown up (A little)

    But this guy wasnt trying to upset anyone, the T shirt was not remotely offensive.

    All I can say is Madness !!!!!!!

  120. dervheid

    @ Slaine

    showing your age off there!

    But yes, I do recall, very fondly.

    I think "looking at them <sic> in a funny way" has been used already.

    If not, bagsy it!

  121. James Summerson



    I find people wearing Hackett shirts offensive can I ask for them to be removed before boarding the plane?


    But Genesis went right downhill after he left!

    Mine's the one with the batwings.

  122. Scott


    If he'd put a jumper on over it would he still of been let on, what about going on with no T-shirt asrrested for indecence i surpose.

    Jobs worth got a love 'em and for the people moaning about common sense i think we can assume that these twits have none.

  123. M Anton
    Thumb Down

    Had this conversation with Lester....

    a couple of years back when El Reg were running T shirts with 'Unix Practical Terrorism' written on them and a cartoon alarm clock cum bomb picture.


  124. Jeff Minter


    Hopefully this will make the Transformers Movie commercially nonviable and finally get that Michael Bay away from the director's chair.

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Anyone seen the film list for BA travellers?

    Interestingly, the BA film list shows that if passengers are suitably well dressed, they can watch such pacifying and soothing films for travelling as:

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

    Shoot Em up


    There will be blood


    Lots of others.

    Still, as long as there are no transformers tee shirts and there are no double standards....

    Keep them scared, keep them obedient.

    Paris because she would suit a skimpy transformers tee shirt.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I regularly fly...

    wearing a bright red t-shirt with the words "Gravity kills me" printed on it!

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Assuming it is not April the first again and I failed to notice, can only be more evidence that the workld has officially gone mad.

    Or maybe it's me. Yeah that must be it. T-shirt pictures are terrorist weapons; cops must be able to hold suspects without evidence for 3000 days minimum, the world is much safer now various countries have been invaded, which is why there are more threats, and we are all treated as criminals because it is good for us: and I'm just too daft to realise it.

    gibber gibber gibber

  128. Schultz
    Thumb Up

    It's a small step ...

    from carrying a gun on a shirt to carrying one in real life. Look, the guy chose that shirt deliberately, and that probably means he thinks comic guns are cool. Bet you, he also thinks real comic guns would be cool and with those transformer types you can't tell if he's hiding one in his wristwatch!

    You'd never want to see such a guy near a real comic gun, or other technical wonders such as airplanes. In particular if he is versed in those transformer skills and knows how to turn a Plane Engine into a supersonic Projectile Emitter. Thumbs up to the alert and brave security personal.

  129. Highlander

    Utterly appalling and ridiculous.

    You know, you just can't make this stuff up. If you did, no one would believe you.

  130. Jon H


    Better not wear an Arsenal shirt then... not only has it got a cannon on it but the squad's been completely infiltrated by foreigners... clearly a sign of a terrorist group up to no good.

  131. Anonymous Coward

    Complaintards to the fore!

    Anyone who complains about 30-somethings wearing Transformer T-Shirts is hereby required to explain why they feel the urge to play fashion nazi.

    Mine's the one with "Adolf Hitler - European Tour 1939-1945" on it.

  132. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Gordon Pryra

    <quote>If(when) we give them guns, I really hope someone shows them which is the "shooty-end" and which is the "holdy-bit-under-the-arm"</quote>

    Oh no, at least if they're not shown that we'll only have to dodge half the number of bullets because the ones that grab it the wrong way round will have shot themselves.

    This sort of treatment will get someone killed one of these days. Someone who just snaps and goes for the fuckweasel who's taking the piss.

  133. Tim Seely

    Remember kids

    They can have my NRA T-Shirt when they pry it from my cold dead hand!

  134. Haku

    Dude, that's pretty fucked up right there

    I can completely understand getting the attention of authorities/police if you went into an airport carrying a shopping bag like this:

    But a freakin' Transformers tshirt?! the mind boggles

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offensive T-shirts

    The MOD can't afford any more bullets, so all soldiers in Afghanistan are being issued with those T-shirts to scare the Taliban sh1tless.

  136. Stephen Cole

    T-Shirt = Window to the soul!

    Didn't the 7/7 tube bombers also wear T-Shirts with pictures of guns, bombs & in 1 case the little mermaid?!

    I think heathrow security has stumbled onto a good way of identifying the evil do'ers!

    I know I never leave the house without wearing a T-shirt that describes my current state of mind & criminal intent...

    Now where's that Bambi Tshirt, it's huntin' time!

  137. John Savard

    The Obvious Reason

    A while back, there was a news item about how nervous passengers at an American airport led to several Muslims being prevented from boarding a plane, because it happened that while they were waiting to board, it came time for their daily prayers.

    If someone were to try to board a plane wearing, say, a T-shirt that expressed support for a violent revolutionary movement, it might make the other passengers nervous.

    So, the fellow with the Transformers T-shirt, with a gun on it? They have to stop people like that too, to prove they're not engaged in racial profiling or other discrimination!

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Other items

    You're not allowed to take green gunpowder tea because it's got gunpowder in the name. You can take an empty water bottle in your carryon and fill it at the water fountain once on the other side. Not sure if they'd object if they found one it on search though, I've only had mine pass through the xray machine (several different airports).

    i think we should campaign for all films with guns or bombs in them to be banned from the in-flight movie selection. Plus all the evil video games that contain similar items. Sometimes the way to defeat stupid rules is to stick to them and push for full enforcement.

    Anon this time just in case, I can hear the helicopters coming over the hill...

  139. Adair Silver badge

    Laugh or cry?

    Seeing everyone else is having a mouth frothing moment I'd better join in:

    Welcome to the asylum---'you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave'

    (I'm sure the Eagles would understand)

  140. iSuff44


    I reckon these security guards wanted the t shirt and were trying to keep it like the booze and after shave the bar stewards take off us cause they are in our carry on bags.

    Mines the wheelie bin full off ck one and teachers!

  141. Gary

    Phew, that was a close one

    Thank goodness we have these alert security types protecting us from potentially offensive t-shirts. I mean, it's fine in hindsight that this guy wasn't a threat, but who knows what could have happened if he had managed to board in that clothing.

    I feel much safer knowing that our fine democratic government is planning on interning this type of maniac for a good 42 days or so to make our streets (and obviously Dusseldorf's streets as well) that much safer for us upstanding citizens. We obviouslyknow where this guys lives so I reckon we need to get the met round to his place sharpish to relieve him of his liberty right now before any other offensive clothing gets unleashed on an unsuspecting public.....

  142. Anonymous Coward

    @T shirt by AC

    You're just HOPING they're wearing that rubber glove and that it's only a finger you just got!

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All flights to burgundy cancelled.

    You can begin things on a plane, but not comment on how they begun.

    Heaven forbid, the plane ever gets messy that gunk will keep it on the tarmac, but only if there is no gunite there.

    And folks with bags of burlap, best to leave those gunnysack's behind.

    Can't fly over those lagunas now either.

    And if Ms Clinton gets in then well the US turns into a Gunarchy, no flights for all.

  144. jason

    Idiots wont back down.

    As alluded to earlier this is a classic case of idoits having to back each other up.

    One makes a cock up and the manager has to back him up because either -

    a. He/she's stupid too.

    b. He/she's been trained by some PC hippy that "you should always support your staff and not be negative to them!"

    If I'd have been in the passenger's shoes I would have toyed with the idea of standing my ground. I would have stated "you may waste a load of my time but you may well lose your job!" Would be a case of who blinked first really. I feel that a lot of this current 'rules & regs is total BS and they just use threats to push it on us.

    Would be interesting how they could make the charge of "wearing a tshirt in public" a prosecutable offence. Any judge in their right mind....oh hold on..sorry.

    However, how about a group of say 20 folks went on a cheap flight to somewhere all wearing the same tshirt, also with guns draw on their trousers, then asked to remove them they have "love gun" on their underpants?

    As my dad would say...."two can play silly buggers!"

  145. John Munyard

    I mean.. seriously...

    Don't incidents like this seriously make you wonder about the quality of staff being recruited to carry out security duties at our airports? How on earth did this particular security guy get a job?

    Is "security" one of those jobs that the Government is using to get unemployable fucktards off the UB40 stats?

    This stupid prick has made our whole country a laughing stock to international travellers - not that BAA has been working hard on that for the past couple of years.

  146. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Complaintards to the fore!

    I don't see anyone complaining about him wearing the T-shirt, It's just that if you're over juvenile age and going to dress like a twat you have to expect people to take the piss.

    (and why is it most of you tshirt defenders have to post anymously?)

  147. Anonymous Coward

    If you tolerate this then your children will be next

    This is part of a trend,not a one-off incident. It follows on from people being harrased by PCSOs, security guards and even real police officers for trying to take photographs in public.

    Next it will be security guards in shopping centres throwing people out for what they wear or people in the Sony Centre being asked to leave because they're wearing a football strip with the Pioneer logo on it. Then it will be the police arresting people in the streets for what they wear - not people wearing next-to-nothing, 'FCUK' and other veiled rude words, or fight-spoilt teenagers wearing steel toe caps - just those wearing T-shirts with 'offensive' images on them such as Elma Thud or a Dalek. And all the while, our taxes and going up and we're being hounded for money throgh silly disproportionate fines and other charges.

    It's a horrible atmosphere. What is it building up to?

  148. me
    Thumb Down

    Maybe don't wear a shirt?

    Well, I better forget about the t-shirt with the Barrett .50 cal M-107 sniper rifle then, huh?

    What about a Walther PPK? Does that work OK? Yes?

    I'll bet you brits feel really secure now, huh? That's what ya get for listening to the dumb a$$es in Washington!

  149. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @By jason

    If I'd have been in the passenger's shoes I would have toyed with the idea of standing my ground. I would have stated "you may waste a load of my time but you may well lose your job!" Would be a case of who blinked first really. I feel that a lot of this current 'rules & regs is total BS and they just use threats to push it on us

    I understand were you are coming from. Some thing my father to me once. Don't argue with an idiot with power. You just might wind up in a place you cant get out of.

    Of course he was talking about idiot bosses , but I think applies here. Argue with airport security you could wind up in jail or shot.

  150. Scott

    He's late to the party

    I got told to remove my T-Shirt at Heathrow last year as it had a graphic of an M16 on it. I then had my camera bag searched, and my air blower confiscated as it "resembles a bomb". There were jobsworth "supervisors" crawling out of the woodwork to tell me what I had done wrong. It was a surreal experience.

  151. Rukario

    No, don't not wear a shirt!

    Not if your tattoos are of laser-gun-wielding characters! What'll they do then?

    Mine's the one with the Pokémon battle.

  152. Julian I-Do-Stuff
    Thumb Down

    Peace in Death

    When I was finally persuaded to ditch the collar, tie and suit I got a bit carried away with the whole "dress down" thing at certain (UK) government locations

    My favourite T-shirt is the "Supreme Being (03-SB-PCD) Terror Tactics (Peace Corp Division" with a large image of an M16-ish rifle and an even larger Nuclear Disarmament logo...

    MoD didn't seem bothered in the slightest... but maybe they knew it wasn't really backstreet nano and likely to materialise a real M16/universal peace

    Given the Common-Sense Quotient on display at T5, suppose I had a T-shirt which just said "One false move and this man gets it - Help! Help! I'm a hostage!" - would that work?

  153. Anonymous Coward

    Oh bugger!

    I'm 37, I've got two of these t-shirt's and I'm due in Mumbai on Friday.

    Mine's the orange one with 'Welcome to Camp X-Ray' on the back and the handy tie back arms. (Or it would be if it hadn't been confiscated, for being an offensive colour)

  154. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Hidden Menace

    "...airport staff confiscated (correction: when I asked for a receipt to prove they had taken it they said they don’t do that because in fact I was “voluntarily surrendering” it) my Kensington laptop lock on the pretence that I could use it as a restraint. Of course a cunning terrorist would simply buy one in the departure lounge from Dixons..."

    IANAL, but if people *as part of their job and supported by their line management* remove your (evidently harmless) property from you despite your protests and make it perfectly clear that it isn't coming back, isn't that theft and aren't the directors of the company legally liable?

    If it isn't, why not? Can I just set up a company and start mugging anyone who sets foot on my premises?

  155. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    That's what it does I tells ya, the mind boggles.

    Paris, because she looks like a fkn mastermind contestant next to those idiots.

  156. Gary
    Black Helicopters

    @Peter Timon

    Personally I thought it was part of democracy to be able to dress how you please, twat or not; let's face it, if that were the criteria for arrest then about 75% of the population would be behind bars...

    However, if you're happy letting other people tell you how to dress then good for you, but let's hope someone doesn't decide that what you are wearing is worthy of arrest and restriction of your freedom of movement.

    Bring on the book burning

  157. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ John Munyard

    "Don't incidents like this seriously make you wonder about the quality of staff being recruited to carry out security duties at our airports? How on earth did this particular security guy get a job?"

    There was a lot of fuss at Manchester Airport when it was discovered the cleaners were on higher wages than the security guards. Guess where all the intelligent staff were working.

  158. edwoodjnr

    Guns n' Roses

    does this mean that any T-shirt with a gun is now off limits?

    Slash had better watch out when he flies to London for the rumoured Zep gig

  159. Fuzzy

    I wonder ....

    If I walk into an airport with my Elmer Fudd T-shirt with the caption

    "Be vwery, vwery quiet, I'm hunting Terrowists. ha.ha.ha ha."

    Does give me complete access to all areas of the airport.

  160. Gordon Pryra

    BAA are our moral guardians now?

    "A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA offered: "If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it."

    Since when did BAA have the right to tell me what I can or can't wear and what alternative reality has overlaid ours that lets them decide on my morals?

    If I wear my "The Church of Scientology is a Cult" T-Shirt, they can stop me flying?

  161. Feef Lovecraft
    Paris Hilton


    Should have asked to be arrested and then sued for wrongful arrested and pressed the police to press for wasting police time.

    Interestingly main point here, Heathrow T5 security <> Police, i'm sure they have some special bit of paper saying they can act like our beloved enforcers of minutia details however...

    Paris, 'cause she'd like to be stopped at any airport.

  162. Anonymous Coward

    Best is cheap Bic pen

    >> Is it not easier to stab somebody with a ballpoint pen than nail scissors, which are usually too short for that?

    Take a cheap ballpoint stick pen, remove the ink tube. Thrust it in and open a hole about the size of a small caliber bullet. Bleeder.

    Also great for emergency trach tube.

  163. mezla


    ...the guards were offended that anyone would wear a t-shirt sporting the Optimus Prime from that pathetic excuse for T transformers movie.

  164. Jon Tocker


    Once the big danger in travelling the world was that you may get mugged or held up by bandits in the back-blocks of "grubby-little banana republics". Now the threat is that you'll get accosted by moronic jobsworths in the gleaming airports of "civilised nations". I think I'd rather ride my motorbike through the more troubled African nations than take a plane out of Deathrow.

    I'm seriously thinking that I'll have to give up writing Future Dystopia fiction - despite being told by a number of former teachers that I have an overly-active imagination, I couldn't have come up with a scenario like this - and if I had, any half-way decent editor would reject it as "unrealistic, implausible and overdoing a hackneyed stereotype".

    "Yeah, yeah, I think you're overdoing the "moronic rent-a-cop" schtick, here, tone it down a bit or you'll have your readers tuning out..."

    And I have a horrible feeling that no twisted dystopic view of the future that I can dream up would be a match for current reality - even a Neo-Inquisition set in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world set against the backdrop of interstallar war would appear "light" and "overly optimistic".

    As to 30-year-olds wearing Transformers T-shirts - well, I'm not posting anonymously and I say to the detractors and the wannabe Fashion Police: "Get a fucking life." I've seen 40-year-old professionals with colourful "Simpsons" ties, surely as geeks we can dress however we choose.

    And yeah, I'll take "childish" any day over whatever trip you're on.

  165. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I have a T-Shirt that says..

    ...Fly United, it has a picture of two ducks enjoying intercourse, mid flight!

  166. jimvach
    IT Angle

    why is...

    a 30-year old IT consultant wearing a t-shirt any way?

  167. Tony Rogers

    You get what you pay for

    When you take into account the demand for skilled and intelligent labour required to run Heathrow...there seems to be a finite limit of availability.

    After the baggage handlers and cleaning staff have been selected there is

    an ever decreasing pool of high IQ people to glean work in the security section of the operation.

    Whilst the T5 may be spotless, the baggage handlers have already shown their

    own keenly honed abilities at the job.

    It is only fair that the security section should try and claim some of the action

    in upsetting the passengers.

    If there are no passengers there is a vastly reduced security threat.

  168. Mr Larrington

    I am tempted... wear this one:

    next time I have cause to fly somewhere (for those without a Junior Pocket Microscope model 3a, it has a tank on it, and the phrase or saying "To The Pub").


  169. Eddie Edwards

    Nerd dress code

    Don't know about any other industries but in the games industry you can be sent home for *not* coming in to work in a T-shirt.

  170. Christopher Hogan

    Please tell me you made that up?

    >A government spokesman has just confirmed that the action taken was due to a >'real & credible' security threat.

    >"Terrorists were using coded t-shirts to signal other operatives to action.

    >You will be happy to know that thanks to the diligent actions of our security services >yet another terrorist atrocity has been thwarted. This incident outlines why we >should increase the detention time for suspects to 40 days."

    Surely not even the rejects from the asylum that we have "in government" could say something as outrageously stupid as that?

  171. Steve

    @ Andy Turner, bothwell

    "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up" - C.S. Lewis

    In other words, the desire to appear mature is the surest sign of immaturity.

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @By Gary


    you need to read a bit further back in the thread to see that I think being threatened with arrest for wearing a piece of clothing is the product of the minds of morons.

    For the record I firmly believe that anyone should be able to wear (and say) whatever they like, and personally yes, I do think he looks a twat in that T-shirt, but if that's what how he wants to look that's up to him.

    What you seem to be saying is that I can wear a crappy t-shirt but can't express an opinion about it. (Which is why incidentally, I never post anon, I'm quite happy to be identified with my words and I'll stand up for my rights to express them, more than you can say I think).

    your logic escapes me.

  173. Pete

    You've missed the point.

    Surely the point of this story is that the T-Shirt indicated that the wearer worked in IT.

    No-one wants to sit next to a retarded, hygienically challenged bore on a long flight.

    "Big-up" to the security staff for trying to do something useful I say.

  174. Richard

    30 and wearing transformers?

    i loved the cartoon as a kid and had the toys, but i wouldnt go out now and buy the t-shirt. i think he did need to take it off, but for different reasons.

  175. alan

    Perhaps he felt curious and...

    ..knew that there was something that more than meets the eye...?

    Perhaps he knew the dangers that Optimus could transform into Gordon Brown and tell everyone on board that Fiscal Policies are on an upward trend and that the housing market would recover it's sustainable growth blah, blah, blah - a dangerous scenario indeed.

  176. Anonymous Coward

    T5 T5 T5

    what else could u expect.

  177. Anonymous Coward

    Wonder whether they'd stop...

    ...somebody wearing a rip-off of that classic Magritte painting... T-shirt sporting a smoking S&W six-shooter, with "ceci n'est pas un pistolet" lettered underneath...

    Honestly, those idiots should be forced to eat any clothing they ask people to remove before boarding a plane.

    As to everybody complaining about a 30-year-old wearing T-Shirts, who cares what's printed on it? Do you suggest he go naked instead?

    Now, that gives me an idea... T-shirt with a print of a naked male torso on it... *hmmm* This has potential...

  178. Anonymous Coward

    @jim vach

    Why not? What is this obsession with wearing uniforms? Oh, shirt and suit is just smart not a uniform. Pull the other one ...

    mine's the one with bells on

  179. Righteously Indignant

    some people take things too literally...

    I have a t-shirt I picked up in the States that says in big yellow letters 'I'm probably lying' on the front. I have worn it twice whilst flying and got pulled aside and rigorously (not vigorously - no lubricants required) searched both times. As I arrived (at Heathrow funnily enough) I put a jumper over the top of it as soon as my bag came off the conveyor as I didn't want to be searched whilst going through the Green Channel with 3000 fags and 2kg of Golden Virginia on me... :)

  180. Tonto Popaduopolos

    What would have been said here if........ was a police officer that was wearing this t-shirt.

    There would have been more than the 180 posts currently showing here saying what a wanker he/she was for wearing such a t-shirt. Blah - blah - blah.

    Yes the security man was a knob and so was his supervisor but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

    By the way, why does this sort of shit happen to IT consultants?

  181. Anonymous Coward

    Mobile phones on planes

    "BTW, it has NEVER been proven that any mobile device (or hard drive device) had interfered with ANY piece of navigational equipment, ..."

    OK - the nonsense about "switching off your phone" when you get on a plane made no sense to me either (don't get me started on service stations who reckon you can ignite petrol using a mobile phone....wankers...).

    So, what I did was go and see the govt. department in charge of radio frequencies here in Australia (ACMA) and asked them what the score was - bearing in mind the following -

    - if mobile phones really CAN interfere with plane navigation equipment, then surely the potential risk is hardly addressed by a simple announcement?

    - if frequencies are carefully regulated, how the f&$% could it come about that plane navigation equipment and mobile phones could be competing on the same frequencies?

    and their answer was this:

    - the phones and the aircraft equipment use completely different frequencies

    - the interference CAN happen (same way you get interference on your landline when your mobile is near) and it does occasionally send dodgy signals up the comms wires to the aircraft electronic which sometimes trips an alert.

  182. david wilkes
    Paris Hilton

    Surely a case of the fashion police?

    Anti terrorism? phah, this guy deserves to be denied travel

  183. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Cuff me!

    He should have just got arrested. I would have.

    I'd loved to have seen the faces of the arresting officers. Especially when they take him to the station..."Sarg, I arrested this guy for wearing a t-shirt".

    This would be a case definately thrown out of court after wasting a lot of tax payers money.

    And would certainly taint the already poor name of BA.

  184. tony trolle

    Mobile phones on planes

    CH-47 Chinook helicopter crash.

    All news items about mobile phone use 'just' before the crash have been removed from general viewing. Then again no mention of gun on t-shirts either.

  185. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Letter of complaint

    We should all write letters of complaint to the chief executive of BAA, that tall lanky fellow who was clearly very angry and refused to talk to journalists at the height of the T5 baggage fiasco.

    I watched the chief executive of BA infront of a house of commons select committe hearing, that guy was really honest, direct and upfront about the whole fiasco, and was asked to comment on why BAA's version of events, answers were not as forthcoming as BAAs. BAA are totally spineless.

    BAA are the pits.

  186. Anonymous Coward

    How many years since 9/11...?

    I am doing about 50 business trips a year which, as most of them are not direct flights, require >150 flights. Over 150 times security check, and I still fuc**ng can't get used to it. Why not? Because instead of getting back to normal things are going constantly worse.

    After 9/11 I though "they are a bit jumpy now. they are overshooting the target a bit (no pun intended), but it will pass". Then I thought " O.K., they have those rules established now, but they might see them a bit more lax once things cool down". The opposite happens. The rules are getting more strict as the attack scenarios they aim to prevent, as ridiculous as they might be, are getting more numerous. But if a terrorist comes up with something truly innovative they have no chance catching him because they didn't check the _guy_, but only a few possible attack vectors. All this is not going to make us safer at all.

    But what's even worse: While a few years ago the security staff at the airports was comprised of the same kind of people that would be helping with Your check-in it looks that nowadays the security companies handling the airports security are hiring every buffed up primate they can find. Social losers with half a brain, little education, no self esteem, but a hefty profile neurosis. Then they are stuffing them into fancy uniforms and hand them down a piece of the way too big authority they got.

    This way we find todays airports full of of under-qualified, over-equipped thugs using their newly acquired leverage to harass everyone they please, simply because they can.

    Instead selecting security guards with a good background, and an education in as well as a nack for psychological profiling (the one and only way to separate the dangerous individuals from the harmless), they take monkeys and hand them a catalog of ridiculous rules with the words "You can always as strict as You like, but never be sloppy with those rules".

    So whenever one of those jerks has a bad morning because he didn't get any that night I am risking to miss my flight.

    The alien because that's how You feel nowadays- on any airport...

  187. david


    If they had to arrest you they would be more circumspect about looking stupid. The fact is they can make as many silly rules as they like, if you don't comply you don't fly, no appeal, no arguments. And if you do argue you'll find yourself barred.

    I guess a civil action if you missed your plane would be possible but that takes money in the bank because you need a guarantee payment for most barristers up front.

  188. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another solution...

    ... which is the one I'd be tempted to do, would be to strip off the tshirt then and there, turn it inside out then put it back on. Meanwhile ensuring that everyone within earshot knew exactly why you were doing this.

    OK that might not seem like a high impact action, until you realise I'm a rather "cuddly" middle aged woman who can give JUordan (pre-reduction) a run for her money ;)

  189. Glenn Amspaugh

    George missed something here

    Man, Orwell never mentioned Rule by Morons. How the f*#& is this the 21st Century? Man, I want to go to bed and wake up back in 1977.

  190. Jesse

    Operations Alert:


    Dear Mujahadine fighter,

    Our plan has sadly been foiled. The infidels have discovered the meaning behind our western robot communique.

    Please switch immediately to the pink My Little Pony shirt in your field operative kit.


  191. Dean H.

    Stupid, but not new

    I was told to take off my tie pin once when boarding a flight because it looked like a gun. It was a bronze, 2 inch replica of an 1894 Winchester rifle. I asked if they thought I might hijack the plane with it, and they said their policy stated that images of guns could not be worn. I turned the tie clip around so the deadly Winchester was on the inside and not showing and they said that would be fine.

    This was 30 years ago in the southwestern USA.

  192. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Liquid explosives

    Wear a shirt with a puddle depicted on the front, and a dog.

    When they let you through security, turn around and tell them that they fell for the dog-pee ruse -- it's actually depicting a puddle of nitro, and the depicted dog is a depicted accomplice.

    Expect to be violently tackled, maced and cuffed.

  193. David Beck

    contacting BAA

    I've just sent two mails to BAA -

    One to the media centre asking for a list of banned images

    and one to the careers office asking if there is a specific t-shirt checker job and what the requirements are.

    I took the opportunity to congratulate them on keeping BAA in the news.

    How can we possible trust these people with the security when they clearly have no idea what they are doing.

  194. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nah - you're missing the point....

    The security guards have no criminals to hassle - the criminals all have airside passes and are able to bypass security at will.....

    ....while the innocent get harrassed.

    "Credible security risk" - a hijacker or a t-shirt. Let Heathrow security decide.....

  195. Steve Roper
    Black Helicopters

    This has nothing to do with security...

    Remember the wisdom of Orwell:

    "How does one man assert power over another?"

    "By making him suffer."

    "Exactly. Obedience is not enough. Power is inflicting pain and humiliation otherwise you cannot be sure. Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them together in new shapes of your own choosing. Power is not a means, it is an end."

    These types of antics therefore aren't about security, they're about showing you who's boss. It's saying, "We have all the power, you have none, so we can do with you what we like. You are ours to toy with, slave!"

    Enjoy your shining new police state, fellas.

  196. Christopher Hogan


    "BTW, it has NEVER been proven that any mobile device (or hard drive device) had interfered with ANY piece of navigational equipment, ..."

    When you take a mobile to the edge of a cell, it ramps up its signal & attempts to get a better connection. This tends to swamp those signals from mobiles nearer to the centre of a cell.

    As far as I'm aware the reason for turning of your mobile on a 'plane is so that 200+ mobiles screaming "attach me to the cell" being dragged over every cell on the approach to a runway doesn't crash all the mobile networks around an airport.

    It's estimated that every jumbo flying across the Atlantic has 10 mobiles in hand luggage which people have forgotten to turn off.

    I don't see flocks of 'planes falling out of the sky every day.

    Just don't tell security at T5 or it'll be another excuse to rifle (should I have used that word?) through your hand luggage.

  197. Clive Powell

    Being a little pedantic

    the quote ""When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up" - C.S. Lewis" might seem to be C.S. Lewis but he is in fact quoting from another book called The Bible ( T-shirts with kids designs on them were no known or else they would have been included.

    Some also mentioned that someone wearing "Bomb Disposal Technician" had to remove the Item of clothing. Do you really want to see a Bomb Disposal Technician on your plane? I would prefer if the bombs were removed BEFORE I flew.

  198. Kevin Dole

    I'd have told him to arrest me

    After the judge laughed it out of the court room, illegal restraint for agent, and a civil rights suit for the agency. And I'd be very public about it. The "security" this BS provides is a sham, it just scares people more and that is all it is designed to do.

  199. Jasper

    The Dutch Method

    When travelling to Amsterdam from London Gatwick a few weeks ago I was standing behind a group of Dutch guys and Girls. When the security guard asked one of them to remove his shoes and belt he calmly responded he would be happy to. He duly removed shoes belt and then continued on until he was standing in his underwear; pausing only to neatly fold his trousers prior to placing them on the belt for the X-ray machine. To pass credit all around:

    1. The security guards waved him through, rather than taking him to one side for a the obligatory cavity searches reserved for anyone daring to mock their authority

    2. The guy had a remarkably ugly body, but carried the whole performance off with suitable gravitas

    3. Two of the girls travelling in his Group offered to remove their clothes and bras (stating underwiring as a potential threat). Sadly the guards declined their kind offer

    All around a bit of light entertainment in a normally hellish journey

  200. Jon Tocker

    I think they're being quite clever...

    What better way to remove the necessity of being polite to your customers and giving good service than blaming "Security Precautions".

    Everywhere else in the Customer Service industries you actually have to pander to your clients - regardless of how obnoxious, delusional, arrogant and fucking brain-dead they might be and whether or not they have sufficient grasp on the physical laws to know that meals actually take time to cook - while airport staff can be utterly arrogant annoying pricks to any random clients they choose and say "it's a security precaution".

    We really need to get the US govt to fake a few terrorist attacks on hotels, IT help desks, retail outlets, restaurants etc so the rest of us can enjoy the luxury of taking out our frustrations at dealing with an utter fucktard by dumping heaps of shit on the next poor bastard that [walks in the door|phones up] and then blaming our unprofessional behaviour on "Security Precautions".

  201. Captain Kephart
    Jobs Halo

    But metal tent pegs are allowed

    I was allowed to go to California with a bag of metal tent pegs 10cm long in my hand baggage because they were'nt on their list of forbidden things. But today I wasn't allowed to take a nearly empty 300ml water bottle on because it had half cm of *water* in it. Apparently water isn't allowed - when they can see it that is - most cosmetics are 90% water - sigh. read Naomi Klein's 'Shock Doctrine' and hear what's reaally / possibly going on in the USA.

    PS: The terrorists bought shares in security firms before 9/11, so now we have self-funding terrorism - if the security trade is a bit slack and share dividends are down, just set off a bomb somewhere (and no their bank accounts aren't all disabled - they don't have 'owned by a terrorist' written on them). Anyway, one person's terrorist is someone else's freedom fighter. Just hope you don't have to fight for your (diminishing) freedom some day.

    ciao ... Captain K

  202. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Security - We Have to Do This for Your Security!

    Hmm - maybe this sort of attitude by a jobsworth at Heathrow shows why we have to make absolutely sure the "42 days without charge" idea gets defeated, otherwise people are going to end up banged up without charge for questioning the common sense of such things. I must admit I didn't know Optimus Prime and Osama had anything in common....

    Gnu Labour seem determined to make the UK into a Police state that Joe Stalin would be proud of (well, Gordon Brown was a member of the Communist party for quite some time, probably explains it!).

    It would be nice to say "that is the end of the Gnus"....

  203. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    better late than never....

    Coming soon, starring Sylvester Stallone:

    "Stop! Or my T-Shirt will shoot!"

    Paris, because she'd only be seen in a Transformers T after they'd finished making movies together :-D

  204. John Dougald McCallum

    Offensive Tshirt

    Personaly I would have told this "security "officer? to take a run and jump as far as I know they do not have the power of arrest they are only the same as the security "guard" that delivers money to banks etc after all what legislation is there to back him up?NONE as far as I know.Willing to be informed otherwise of course.☼

  205. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    could be funny .... (or ruin your lives & cause you to get a very 'thorough' search)

    Can someone please arrange a protest in the form of 40 (or preferably about 200) people turning up to Heathrow, all wearing shirts with various pictures of guns etc, on them. Fake bloodstains.

    Maybe a few swastikas (pretend Buddhists) thrown in... trying to board a plane?? (after all, it is probably cheaper to fly to Poland and back than it is to get from your house to the airport)

  206. pctechxp


    Oh dear oh dear and to think these wankers are responsible for security.

    We'd probably be safer with the Autobots watching our borders and airports.

    C'mon Honda, how about making Asimo bigger and giving 'him' some firepower.

  207. maxh

    ceci n'est pas une pipe

    or a gun.

    or a fictional gun.

  208. Grant Mitchell

    A new T-Shirt idea...

    Let's all get t-shirts made with pictures of 101ml bottles of water!

  209. Jon Tocker
    Black Helicopters

    @ A new T-Shirt idea...

    Yeah, great plan, Grant - if you're really keen to be cavity-searched at gunpoint...

  210. Anonymous Coward

    Where does the line get drawn?

    So would he have been told to remove a t-shirt depicting a cartoon of Mohammed? Or "Scientology is a Cult"? With decisions like this there doesn't seem to be any logic or policy, just sheer make-it-up-as-you-go-along-edness.

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