You Can Tell the Bad Guys by How Nervous They Are

USA Today published a story about how airport security staff are learning from the Israelis on how to detect suspicious air travelers right from the get-go.

“Doug Kinsey stands near the security line at Dulles International Airport, watching the passing crowd in silence. Suddenly, his eyes lock on a passenger in jeans and a baseball cap. The man in his 20s looks around the terminal as though he’s searching for something. He chews his fingernails and holds his boarding pass against his mouth, seemingly worried.

Kinsey, a Transportation Security Administration screener, huddles with his supervisor, Waverly Cousins, and the two agree: The man could be a problem. Kinsey moves in to talk to him.

The episode this month is one of dozens of encounters airline passengers are having each day — often unwittingly — with a fast-growing but controversial security technique called behavior detection. The practice, pioneered by Israeli airport security, involves picking apparently suspicious people out of crowds and asking them questions about travel plans or work. All the while, their faces, body language and speech are being studied.

At the vanguard is the TSA, which plans to train 600 more screeners in the next year and have “behavior-detection officers” in every major airport to spot possible terrorists.

“We have to get out front and take the fight to them and let them know that when they show up at an airport, they’re susceptible to being identified,” TSA chief Kip Hawley says.”

So the next time you fly, try not to look suspicious!