By Dustin Volz. Next time you go through airport security, do your best to avoid yawning, whistling, or complaining too much: Any of those behaviors could make you look like a terrorist in the eyes of a Transportation Security Administration screening agent, according to newly disclosed government documents.
A secret 92-point checklist, obtained and published Friday by The Intercept, reveals for the first time what kind of passenger behavior can merit a red flag for TSA agents responsible for pulling possible terrorists and criminals out of airport security lines.
The checklist reveals a step-by-step process for assessing whether passengers deserve additional scrutiny. Those deemed suspicious under “observation and behavior analysis” are pulled aside and searched for “unusual items” such as almanacs and prepaid calling cards. During the inspection, TSA agents are also instructed to look for “signs of deception,” which can include a fast rate of eye-blinking.
Other suspicious signs listed include exaggerated yawning, gazing down, a pale face due to a recent beard shaving, widely open staring eyes, wearing of “improper attire,” and arriving late for a flight.
The program, known as Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, has been in use nationwide since 2007 and has cost taxpayers upwards of $1 billion dollars. (Read more from “This Is How TSA Decides If You Might Be Acting Like a Terrorist” HERE)
TSA Terror Checklist Includes Body Odor, ‘Exaggerated Yawning’
By Nick Gass. You might want to clear your throat before going through the airport security line. And avoid “exaggerated yawning” and “repetitive grooming gestures.” And mind your body odor.
Those are just a few of the signals that you could be a terrorist, according to Transportation Safety Administration documents obtained and published by The Intercept on Friday.
The program, which began in 2007 and has cost the TSA $1 billion, is called Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT. The checklist tasks “behavioral detection officers” with assigning varying levels points based on stress factors (one point), fear factors (two points) and what it calls deception factors (three points).
Stress factors include: avoiding eye contact with security personnel, a pale face “from recent shaving of beard,” an “obvious ‘Adam’s Apple’ jump” when asked to go through screening procedures, among others. Fear factors include: a “cold penetrating stare,” “bulges in clothing,” “individuals who are seemingly unrelated but display identical dress or luggage,” and showing an “unusual interest” in security officers and their routine. (Read more from this story HERE)