JA Resorts

Published on Friday, May 18, 2018

TSA has a secret watch list of unruly passengers

It has been revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has been secretly compiling a confidential watch list of problem passengers.

It has a list of fliers who in the past have been belligerent, offensive or threatening to TSA officers.

The New York Times reports a TSA directive gives guidance on the type of behavior which could land a passenger on the list which includes being aggressive or loitering near security checkpoints.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said there were 34 assaults on TSA officers last year.

"TSA is committed to its people and wants to ensure there are safeguards in place to protect TSA officers and others from any individual who has previously exhibited disruptive or assaultive behavior at a screening checkpoint and is scheduled to fly," Farbstein said.

The NY Times reported there are fewer than 50 people on the list so far, citing an agency official.

Being on the list does not bar anyone from flying but gives TSA agents advance notice a potential problem passenger is traveling.

The watch list is 'simply a means to communicate that a passenger may be arriving at an airport who has demonstrated a history of assaulting officers or trying to circumvent security procedure' said TSA assistant administrator - security operations, Darby LaJoye.

During a House Committee meeting on the matter on Thursday, Rep. Bill Keating said behavior would likely improve if a person was aware they are being monitored.

"I think it would be more effective as a deterrent if these people knew they were on the list, especially if the goal is to affect behavior. There also should be a way to appeal, in case this is a subjective determination," he said.

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