“We are training our officers in behavioral study in order to identify potential threats from a passenger’s behaviour. This is part of enhancing the multi- layered regimen of improving airport
security and targeted security,” an official briefed on the plan said.
The need to use behavioral techniques for spotting terrorism acts was felt after such an exercise had helped customs officials recover cash and drugs. “Anyone engaging in criminal activity or about to carry out an attack will not be able to hide signs of nervousness, anxiousness or other suspicious characteristics. A trained set of eyes can identify and prevent those.
We have been able to stop a lot of smuggling using this technique,” the official said.
The agency will also impart training on profiling so that there’s no bias or discrimination based on caste, creed or religion. “Our module will try to ensure elimination of causes which are subjective. It will be more of a standard process. This will ensure that passengers don’t get harassed due to a personnel’s prejudice,” the official added.
Worldwide, the use of behaviour study is picking up as aviation is vulnerable to terrorist activities. Among others, London’s Heathrow Airport is using behavior-detection officers. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is planning to use sensors to spot non-verbal behaviour, and track down terrorists as they walk through a corridor. However, the effectiveness of such schemes to prevent terrorism activities have been heavily questioned abroad.