I do love this story. There's good news from a report about the TSA in yesterday's Washington Post! In addition to relying purely on the screening techniques we all know so well from airport security lines, the TSA has people roaming the airports checking out travelers who give off a suspicious vibe:
"To identify potentially dangerous individuals, the Transportation Security Administration has stationed specially trained behavior-detection officers at 161 U.S. airports. The officers may be positioned anywhere, from the parking garage to the gate, trying to spot passengers who show an unusual level of nervousness or stress.
"They do not focus on nationality, race, ethnicity or gender, said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.
"We're not looking for a type of person, but at behaviors," she said."
Good idea! The whole complaint about rule-based, one-size-fits-all screening systems is that they're not sufficiently flexible, discriminating, or directed toward more serious threats.
On the other hand, this charming detail from the story:
"It's not easy to spot detection officers. Working in teams of two and clad in TSA uniforms, they blend in with those performing screening chores at the security checkpoint."
Yes, there is no chance the bad guys will spot them! Like plainclothes cops, cleverly hidden from drug dealers etc when they are disguised as regular policemen.
Of course, maybe this article itself is part of an elaborate cover operation, lulling plotters into thinking that the only people they have to watch for have TSA suits on. Yes, that must be it. [Thanks to D Lippman]