“The TSA simply has nothing in its files that would suggest that it can validly use these techniques to screen passengers in an unstructured environment like an airport terminal.”
Some of the materials the TSA turned over rely on problematic assumptions. One TSA presentation from 2006, titled “Femme Fatale: Female Suicide Bombers,” says that “females tend to be more emotional and therefore easier to indoctrinate.”
What’s more, you’re not just being watched using pseudo-science in the security line — plain clothes TSA employees are also watching you in the terminal. They’ve had people deployed to check whether you look nervous or have body odor (seriously, that’s apparently one of the signs you may be a terrorist) since 2009.
The TSA’s checklist used in behavior detection training even suggests that if you object to the screening process, that’s a sign you’re a terrorist.
Meanwhile no matter how much security agencies may want to ‘be like Israel’ — the Tel Aviv airport model doesn’t scale. Las Vegas airport handles about 25 million passengers a year. Tel Aviv – the nation’s only major international airport — handles about 18 million. That’s one airport. There are over 350 ‘primary’ commercial airports in the U.S. [those that process over 10,000 enplanments annually].
There’s insufficient science and insufficient training. Presumably recognizing this, the TSA stopped having these Behavior Detection Officers pull people out of the regular screening line to go through PreCheck instead. However they still allowed people identified as safe by dogs to leave the regular screening line — dogs handled by officers who had to interpret what the dogs were saying.
None of this reduces security of course, PreCheck screening is what everyone should be going through.