(UPDATE 04/02/2008: Read the updated story. )
You might have seen on the news or the web today that Behavior Detection Officers at Orlando International Airport spotted a passenger in the airport lobby, well before the screening checkpoint, who was behaving suspiciously. Because of the passenger's highly irregular behavior, the officers ensured he was under surveillance as he moved through the airport, and requested that his checked bags immediately be searched.
As a result of the bag search, a variety of suspicious items were found. (Since the FBI is leading the investigation, we're not saying exactly what these items are although there is speculation in the press and on the web). The individual was taken into custody by Orlando Police and the FBI is now questioning him. If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably seen the bomb squad removing the passenger's clothing curbside to ensure he did not pose a threat.
Since the passenger was stopped before he could get to the checkpoint, checkpoint operations were not affected and flights continued to take off and land. A perimeter was established in Terminal A while the bomb squad did their work.
This is an excellent example of the layers of security in action throughout the airport. This is also a good example of using specially trained Behavior Detection Officers to look for people with hostile intent as well as the items they intend to use. It's a further testament that the behavior detection program works (yes, I'm partial...).
For the official TSA statement, click here.
TSA EoS Blog Team