Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells

The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys.

The list -- not classified, but also not available to the public, somehow -- was leaked to the Intercept by "a source concerned about the quality of the program." The list includes such terrorism-tells as "a bobbing adam's apple," "arriving late," "trembling," "yawning," "excessive throat clearing," "improper attire," "gazing down," and "wide open staring eyes," Also: "being in disguise."

But if you appear to be married, are over 55, or are a woman over 55, you get points deducted from your terrorism score. Men get their not-a-terrorist bonus at 65.


Independent scientists and the US GAO say there's no evidence that the TSA's billion-dollar program works.

One former Behavior Detection Officer manager, who asked not to be identified, said that SPOT indicators are used by law enforcement to justify pulling aside anyone officers find suspicious, rather than acting as an actual checklist for specific indicators. “The SPOT sheet was designed in such a way that virtually every passenger will exhibit multiple ‘behaviors’ that can be assigned a SPOT sheet value,” the former manager said.

The signs of deception and fear “are ridiculous,” the source continued. “These are just ‘catch all’ behaviors to justify BDO interaction with a passenger. A license to harass.”

The observations of a TSA screener or a Behavior Detection Officer shouldn’t be the basis for referring someone to law enforcement. “The program is flawed and unnecessarily delays and harasses travelers. Taxpayer dollars would be better spent funding real police at TSA checkpoints,” the former manager said.

A second former Behavior Detection Officer manager, who also asked not to be identified, told The Intercept that the program suffers from lack of science and simple inconsistency, with every airport training its officers differently. “The SPOT program is bullshit,” the manager told The Intercept. “Complete bullshit.”

Revealed: TSA’s Secret 92-Point Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists [Jana Winter and Cora Currie/The Intercept]

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