Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER What the heck are Airport Behavior Detection Officers?
What the heck are Airport Behavior Detection Officers? PDF Print E-mail

Q: As if we don’t have enough hassles getting through airport security, the government has just announced that behavior detection officers are now on the job? Will they carry rulers and rap us on the knuckles if we misbehave?

A: You must have bad memories about your parochial school days. The specially-trained behavior detection officers are not there to punish bad kids, but to look for unusual psychological behavior in passengers as they go through security.

If the officers detect anyone acting oddly, such as showing unusual nervousness or acting very stressed, the suspected person may be held for further interrogation (no waterboarding) and physical examination. To skeptics, these measures may appear to be as strange as Spock’s mind meld on Star Trek.

However, the reality is that a similar psychological detection system was originally put in place and is continuously refined by El Al, the airline of Israel. Not one attempt of hijacking has ever been successful on El Al flights, where tight security measures have been absolutely necessary against terrorists since long before the American disaster of 9/11/01.


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