BOSTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) — America’s first behavioral screening to weed out suspicious air travelers began Tuesday at Boston’s Logan International Airport, officials said.
Transportation Security Administration staff will ask every passenger passing through the Terminal A checkpoint a few simple questions like “Where are you traveling today?” or “How long have you been in town?”
“We’re not looking for the answers necessarily; we’re instead gauging the reaction, the response to the question,” George Naccara, TSA security director at Logan, told The Boston Globe.
He said screeners will be on alert for nervous behavior like heavy sweating or avoidance of eye contact, taking about 20 seconds per passenger.
People who seem to be possible threats will be taken aside for more screening, like patdowns or bag searches, and more questioning.
The program is modeled on the Israeli practice of questioning all passengers, but some question whether that is feasible in the United States.
“The question is obviously, what is the quality of the verbal interaction that is going to be implemented?” Rafi Ron, a former Logan security consultant, told The Boston Herald. “If it will have a poor quality, then obviously it will be another way to waste taxpayer money and increase the hassle to passengers.”