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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


I'm pretty sure the idiots at TSA also consider "white guy with no criminal intent or history" to be mighty suspicious, based on the number times they've hauled me off to the side for an extra-personal patdown (10 seconds after successfully walking through the metal detector).
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... 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.
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