TSA's behaviorial screening wing failing to spot potential terrorists

Posted By: Staff
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New York, May 20 (ANI): A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) program put in place by the US Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 is failing to catch terrorists on time.

According to a CBS report, the TSA training program for "behavioral screening" of terrorists has an annual budget of 200 million dollars and 3,000 specially trained employees are involved in it.

But the irony is, that this "hidden layer of airport security" has never caught a single terrorist, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO uncovered at least 16 individuals later accused of involvement in terrorist plots, who flew 23 different times through U.S. airports since 2004. Yet none were stopped by TSA behavior detection officers working at those airports.

"It's a disgrace," said aviation security analyst Charles Slepian.

Specialists are tasked with the responsibility of looking for unique facial expressions and body language that may identify a potential threat.

These 3,000 officers work at 161 U.S. airports, and, cost American taxpayers nearly 200 million dollars in 2009.

This year, the TSA has asked Congress for 20 million dollars more to expand the program.

Scientists, however, are split over whether it's even possible to recognize terrorists simply by behavior detection. A 2008 report found no evidence it works.

In a statement Wednesday, the TSA called the program a "vital layer" of security, "based in science," that has resulted in more than 1,700 arrests for "illegal activities" like drug smuggling.

The report based on the GAO investigation is due out Thursday.

It will recommend across-the-board improvements in the program - ones the TSA is expected to accept. (ANI)

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