Last month, the DHS Inspector General published a report on the TSA’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program. The main complaints appear to be related to management – that the SPOT program lacks strategic planning and suffers from inadequate training and instruction, that there is unclear coordination with LEO, lack of budget assessment tools, etc. Since over 870 million dollars have been spent on SPOT since 2007, spotty (ouch) oversight and an inability to accurately assess the program’s effectiveness is a legitimate gripe.
The TSA basically concurred with most of the IG’s findings and has promised to improve. But let’s take a look at the basis for the SPOT program, its raison d’être. How does its role fit into supporting the overall mission of the TSA? Although identifying and assessing certain behaviors is one important element of a threat assessment, it is not the whole enchilada. Not by far.
Means of Aggression vs Intent
The focus today of the TSA on the whole remains on finding the means of aggression: the knife, gun or bomb. Looking for means is very, very Keep reading →