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In all seriousness…At airports all over the country, day in and day out, Transportation Security Officers hear over and over: “Do I look like a terrorist? You should be spending your time looking for the real terrorists instead of wasting time on me.”
Which got me thinking - what exactly does a terrorist look like? There’s no manual showing you what terrorists look like. We could put a Magic 8 Ball at each checkpoint lane and shake it every time a passenger comes through asking “Is this person a terrorist?” Some of the answers would really prove troublesome:
*Reply hazy, try again.
*Concentrate and ask again.
*Better not tell you now.
*Cannot predict now.
*Ask again later.
If my Magic 8 Ball idea sounds silly, it is. I used that example, because it would be just as effective as taking somebody’s word who says “I’m not a terrorist.”
In a perfect world, TSO training would include a class on what a terrorist looks like. But the fact is, terrorists look like anybody else coming through the checkpoint. All races, sexes, ages, and sizes… They can be an evil genius or dumb as a rock.
You don’t have to be taller than the sign to be a terrorist. You get the point…
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard somebody say “I don’t pose a threat.” Intelligence has shown that western acting/looking terrorists are being recruited just for that reason.
What I’m trying to say is you know you’re not a terrorist, but we don’t…and we can’t take any chances and just take your word. This is another reason why our Behavior Detection Program is so important. We focus on behaviors to flush out the possible terrorists, not appearance.