US federal program incapable of detecting Moscow type attack: Critics

January 27th, 2011 - 1:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan.27 (ANI): Critics of the Transportation Security Administration’s 212-million-dollar federal program called “SPOT”, which has been designed to spot suspected terrorists at American airports, have said that it is “not capable of detecting what took place in Moscow last week.

SPOT was created in 2006 by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and now has more than 3,000 “Behavior Detection” officers at 161 airports. The officers receive four days of classroom instruction on how to spot certain unusual behaviors.

The ABC News quotes the Government Accountability Office as saying that the TSA has relied on unproven behavioral science.

Congressional critics say the program has done nothing to deal with the actual vulnerabilities of airport security.

The suicide bomb attack at the Moscow airport highlighted a physical vulnerability long recognized by both security officials and terrorists.

“Every airport in the world, including every airport in the United States, has virtually no security until you get to the security checkpoint,” said Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former White House counter-terrorism official.

He added: “Very large parts of all airports are inherently insecure.”

The Moscow attack took place at an arrivals area of the airport where there are no security checkpoints.

The TSA says its SPOT program is a “vital layer that enhances security at the nation’s airports.”

It says the program has resulted in 1,700 arrests although none on charges of terrorism. (ANI)

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