Thursday, September 14, 2006

Behavioral Pattern Recognition for airport security

There is an interesting article on the Airport Business website about a technique that can assess threats from passengers while they are still at the departing airport.

The technique, a form of behavioral profiling, is known as Behavioral Pattern Recognition (BPR). It teaches airport and airline personnel how to spot odd conduct that could signal a security threat. According to the article, the BPR program has been adopted at Miami-Dade airport, as well as airports in Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and San Francisco.
The crux of the program is that terrorists are human and give their motives away via stress-induced behavior. Often they are first-timers with no prior record of illicit activity, and they are aware that they will probably lose their lives in the attack.

"Their ability to contain their stress or excitement is low," says Rafi Ron [president of New Age Security Solutions in Maryland]. "You can note movements or actions that are relevant only to someone who has something burning under his head."

Likewise, before the actual staging of the attack, there are certain tactics and information-gathering methods known to terrorists that can be spotted by an educated observer. "Attacks follow a stage of information collection, which is characterized by certain patterns not typical for people at an airport," says Ron.

Finally, there are distinct behavioral differences in people concealing something on their body, reflected in their style of dress or the way they walk.
Mr. Ron notes that the method works for thwarting crime as well as terrorism.

Source: Assessing Threats from Passengers - Airport Business

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