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TSA ‘Terror Spotters’ Spot No Terrorists

From a blame shifting CBS News:

TSA Officers Lack Training to Spot Terrorists

May 20, 2010

A new government report released Thursday reveals that federal officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who are tasked with the job of spotting terrorists at airports have little training.

As CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian first reported on Wednesday the TSA’s behavior detection officers have never spotted a terrorist. Furthermore, the Government Accountability Office discovered that at least 16 known terrorists travelled through 8 different U.S. airports 23 times where the program had been implemented.

We also strongly suspect that the problem is not due to any lack of “training,” but rather it is the result of over-training.

That is to say, the TSA agents are undoubtedly rigorously trained not to be overly inquisitive of young Middle Eastern-looking men who might be of the Muslim persuasion.

The TSA aren’t seeing any terrorists because they are ‘trained’ not to look at them. After all, the TSA doesn’t want their agents to engage in ‘hate crimes.’

The GAO report says the TSA implemented its behavior detection program, which now costs taxpayers about $200 million annually, without first determining if there was any scientific valid basis for using it.

The “scientific valid basis” is that the Israelis, who use the real version of this program, have not had any terrorist attacks on their airliners for years.

As part of the program, specialized TSA officers watch passengers waiting in lines at select U.S. airport checkpoints and are supposed to be able to recognize anyone who is a security threat based on an analysis of facial expressions and body language.

According to the GAO, the TSA’s behavior detection officers typically work in teams of two and "training includes 4 days of classroom courses, followed by 3 days of on-the-job training."

In a statement, the TSA told CBS News that their program has resulted in about 1,700 arrests for criminal activities. The GAO report shows the majority of arrests between May of 2004 and August of 2008 was for individuals with illegal immigration status and outstanding warrants.

What’s this? Does Mr. Obama know they are arresting illegal aliens? — And for nothing more than looking suspicious while at an airport?

It sounds like these TSA agents doing exactly what the left (falsely) claims the police could do in Arizona — arresting people simply because of the way they look.

Come to think of it, maybe Mr. Obama was made aware of this program, and that is why there are no arrest numbers given since 2008.

Behavior detection is a strategy borrowed from the Israelis whose airport security is considered the gold standard.

Rafi Ron, the former head of security at Tel Aviv airport who specializes in behavior detection techniques, says the TSA program is too limited. In Israel, he says, behavior detection is spread throughout the entire airport, conducted by all airport employees and is coupled with strategic interviewing that is not done in the U.S…

That is to say, the TSA is not really using the Israeli system at all. And they surely are not approaching the problem with Israel’s total lack of concern about ‘political correctness.’

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 21st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “TSA ‘Terror Spotters’ Spot No Terrorists”

  1. proreason says:

    Round up every one they “don’t spot” and execut them.

  2. Right of the People says:

    “As part of the program, specialized TSA officers watch passengers waiting in lines at select U.S. airport checkpoints and are supposed to be able to recognize anyone who is a security threat based on an analysis of facial expressions and body language.”

    Easy, if they look Middle Eastern, are young and nervous looking its a pretty good bet you’ve got a suspect. Its call profiling and it works. Since the beginning of time people have used profiling for many different purposes. You don’t try to sell a Jaguar, Rolls Royce or Mercedes to someone who just walked out of a steel mill wearing a hard hat. Conversely, you wouldn’t hang around a private men’s club or exclusive private country club and try to peddle Kia Souls.

    We’ve got to get over this politically correct crap and start using any tool we have to stop these nutjobs before more people die.

  3. wtd says:

    Careful now, it sounds like this administrations efforts to avoid using terminology (jihad, islam, islamic, muslim, radical islam etc. etc) which identifies the culprit/enemy at large is having a negative impact on national security. All that money . . .how much was directed at funding the Islamic sensitivity training with each branch of security?

    Consequences. Imagine that.


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