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Govt. Report Says Program to Spot Suspected Terrorists at Airport Not Effective

airport-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A behavior-protection program designed to spot suspected terrorists and others who pose dangers at U.S. airports doesn’t appear to be working all that well.

The Boston Globe reports that at least 16 people who were later tied to terror plots passed through U.S. airports without being detected by federal officials who were part of the program created in 2003 by the Transportation Security Administration.

The Globe reported that a General Accounting Office report released Thursday questioned the scientific basis of the program dubbed “SPOT” (Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques).

The report said the Transportation Security Administration “without first validating the scientific basis for identifying passengers in an airport environment.”

“A scientific consensus does not exist on whether behavior detection principles can be reliably used for counterterrorism purposes,” report said.

“TSA has bungled the development and deployment of a potentially important layer of aviation security,” Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) told the Globe. He had requested the report.

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