Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

The TSA's Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists

From a confidential Transportation Security Administration document that was leaked to The Intercept by, according to them, "a source concerned about the quality of the program," comes this checklist of behaviors said by the TSA to be indicative of possible terrorist activity. The checklist is a guide for TSA agents to score suspects at the airport. It is part of a controversial protocol called SPOT, an acronym that stands for Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques. Each behavior on the checklist that is identified in a suspect scores them "points." 

Part of the list of behaviors reads as follows:

  • Excessive Throat Clearing
  • Exaggerated Yawning

After flying home from my last vacation still suffering from the remnants of a virus, its safe to say I could have been classified as dangerous based on those two behaviors alone.

Read more on this story and see copies of the TSA documents in question, which include the other behaviors that mark airline passengers as suspicious, at The Intercept

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

... And here I am, a middle-aged male of Middle-Eastern descent. Used to pulled out on most flights and somehow now qualify for the "walk on through" line. My only suggestion is to smile and be cooperative. Seems to have worked for me.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Yeah, I thought of that at the time, and I get that it's a good hiding place. But I think if they're going to make it a policy to lift wheelchair bound people out of their chairs and forbid their loved ones to be near them when it happens, they need to have someone on their staff trained to do so in a gentle, compassionate manner that doesn't risk hurting them. They also need to treat the disabled person in a polite way, and not act like they are an inconvenience purposely holding up their line.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Unfortunately, 'old person in wheelchair' actually -is- a red flag for a possible drug mule simply because the smugglers are hoping people will feel bad for the elder and not check them or their chair. See also 'pregnant woman' and 'small child'. Also, you can get a lot more stuff packed into a chair.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The TSA's Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More