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"Test finds Logan safe for takeoff"
Sunday, September 5, 2004
Test finds Logan safe for takeoff
By Jules Crittenden
The Boston (MA) Herald
It's hard to imagine who was more surprised - the undercover feds or the
statie who busted them at Logan International Airport trying to sneak a
``test device'' through security three months ago.
The trooper, trained in Behavioral Pattern Recognition, spotted two men who
set off a mental red light, state police Maj. Scott Pare said. ``They were
headed to the checkpoint. They fit what we'd be looking for.''
He and others won't discuss details, but say BPR works strictly on behavior,
such as signs of stress or excitement, and does not include racial
profiling. The trooper began asking the feds who they were and where they
were going. Their cover story wasn't holding up.
``Halfway through the process, they gave up,'' said Pare. ``They were very
surprised.'' Two of the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, took off from
Logan. The 9/11 Commission cleared Massport officials of any wrongdoing.
Since then, federal authorities say, Logan has exceeded federal security
requirements, adding new measures to screen passengers before they get to
the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.
Staties carry automatic weapons. Uniformed and plainclothes patrols practice
BPR techniques to single out potential terrorists. Though no terrorists have
been caught with those methods, the staties question about 50 people a month
on BPR suspicions and have arrested about 20 during the last year and a half
when they were found to have outstanding warrants.
Meanwhile, Aviation Director Thomas Kinton said he has initiated
``Loganwatch,'' a kind of neighborhood watch program in which airport
employees are trained in a lower level of BPR so they can report suspicious
Concerns were raised earlier this year about uncontrolled truck traffic into
Logan, and police now conduct random roadblocks to question drivers and
check their vehicles.
Meanwhile, Kinton holds a daily meeting of all federal and local security
chiefs and airline representatives to discuss any incidents in the previous
24 hours and what's coming up.
``Nothing is going to be 100 percent,'' Kinton said. ``What we're trying to
do is take the percentage of success and take it from X to Y.''
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