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Expert: New Israeli-Inspired Security At Logan Falls Short

Passengers pass through a security checkpoint at Logan Airport in October 2010. (AP)

Passengers pass through a security checkpoint at Logan Airport in October 2010. (AP)

Starting this week, travelers passing through Logan International’s Terminal A will be subjected to so-called “behavioral screening.” TSA agents will ask travelers simple questions — such as, “Where are you headed?” — and watch for shifty responses that might indicate devious intent.

As reported by NPR’s Tovia Smith, this 60-day trial program is inspired by Israeli security procedures that have kept Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International safe from attack since 1972.

But Rafi Sela, an international airport security consultant based in Israel, says what the TSA is trying out at Logan probably pales in comparison to the Israeli protocols.


  • Rafi Sela, international transportation security consultant based in Israel; president, AR Challenges

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  • D Docw

    The point is being made that the interview is only a part of the Israeli system. Typically, this new interview system will only irritate passengers!!! This will continue to reduce the credibility of the TSA.
    Profiling is an intergral part of the Ben Gurion security system. One will  notice that’intent’ is what is being monitored. The worst thing the TSA can do is rely on an intwerview by a poorly trained individual and consider that the TSA is working effectively. It is a waste of money as is most of the money being spent by the TSA. This is just for show. If the individuals who have brought this forward really believe that what they are doing is a worthwhile ‘pilot’, it is time to sack the lot!!! 

  • Dghmailcan

    Any attempt to improve on the current pornographic manhandling of women and children by TSA should be applauded. A conversation will IRRITATE PASSENGERS…? That’s like saying burning alive is preferrable to being touched with a lit kitchen match. dgh

  • wsinger

    TSA already implemented behavioral detection screening in US airports.  A GAO report released in May 2010 disclosed that behavioral detection screened over 2 billion passengers, leading to 1,083 arrests–none of which were on terrorism charges.  The same report noted that 16 alleged terrorists passed through behavior checkpoints at 8 different airports without being noticed.  (The full report is available, among other places, at consumertraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/440715-SPOT-PUBLIC-REPORT1.pdf .)

    TSA’s apparent mission is to make people feel they are being protected, while actually doing almost nothing to protect the flying public from terrorists.  At an annual budget over $7 billion, TSA implements security measures that make American airports unrecognizable to those of us who believe people should travel freely within the U.S.  This madness should end.

    We would be better off as a country to declare the war over and try living our lives in peace again.  Pulling the plug on this wasteful and deceptive agency would help with the budget deficit or (if peace isn’t your thing) free up resources to invest in truly effective counterterrorism measures.

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