TSA Signs of a Possible Terrorist: Sweaty Palms, Arrogant Attitude

Friday, 27 Mar 2015 11:58 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

Airport agents of the Transportation Security Administration trying to pick out terrorists have a checklist of suspicious signs they are looking for, *according to The Intercept* .

Based on behavior, the signs of stress or deception include fidgeting, whistling and sweaty palms, which get one point each, while an arrogant attitude and widely open staring eyes get two points each.

The program, known as the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, employs specially trained officers, known as Behavior Detection Officers, to watch and communicate with passengers as they are vetted in the screening process, The Intercept reported. *Special:**A Breakthrough Treatment Is Changing the Face of Skin*

The other criteria includes exaggerated yawning, excessive throat clearing, gazing down, exaggerated grooming gestures, rubbing of the hands, wearing improper attire, excessive complaints and face pale from recent shaving of beard.

Then there's the more obvious signs such as "appears to be in disguise," which is worth three points while "trembling" and "arriving late for a flight" are also listed.

But The Intercept says many of these nervous types of behavior, 92 in all and known as the Spot Referral report, are common among people who fly.

The TSA has never released the SPOT referral report obtained by The Intercept, although it is not classified.

"Behavior detection, which is just one element of the (TSA) efforts to mitigate threats against the traveling public, is vital to TSA's layered approach to deter, detect and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation," an agency spokesperson said in a statement. Latest News Update <#> More Cable Systems » Watch Online » Watch Online » *Special:**The One Thing You Should Do for Your Prostate Every Morning*

Launched in 2007, the controversial program has been attacked for having no scientific evidence to support it, according to The Intercept, and it is said to be a form of racial profiling.

In 2013, the Government Accountability Office declared that that there was no evidence to back up the notion that "behavioral indicators ... can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security."

The GAO concluded that "the human ability to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance."

In 2013, the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security said in a worrying report that that that TSA "cannot ensure that passengers at United States airports are screened objectively, show that the (SPOT) program is cost-effective, or reasonably justify the program's expansion." *Special:**Obama's 2016 Strategy Revealed*

Last week, the ACLU sued the agency for records on its SPOT programs, while alleging that they lead to racial profiling.

"The TSA has insisted on keeping documents about SPOT secret, but the agency can't hide the fact that there's no evidence the program works," said Hugh Handeyside, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.

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