Logan to beef up behavior-detection screening

The Transportation Security Administration will start testing a new layer of behavior-detection security screening tomorrow at Logan International Airport, the first airport in the nation to roll out the pilot program.

TSA officers will talk to each passenger going through the Terminal A security checkpoint, asking them two or three questions such as “Where are you traveling today?’’ and “How long have you been in town?’’ and then looking for suspicious behavior such as sweating or avoiding eye contact.

“We’re not looking for the answers necessarily; we’re instead gauging the reaction, the response, to the question,’’ said George Naccara, TSA federal security director at Logan.

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If the person is deemed to be a possible threat, he or she will be pulled aside for additional screening, such as a pat-down or a bag search, and State Police will be alerted if necessary.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of on-the-job training for the 80 Logan TSA officers receiving the new behavior detection training, and a 60-day pilot program officially begins in mid-August. After the trial phase, TSA will determine if it will implement the program nationwide. Logan was the first US airport to put a behavior detection program into place, in 2003, now used nationwide to identify suspicious passengers, and Logan is currently the only airport testing the concept of questioning every traveler.

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