While screening procedures in the US and Europe are stringent, 23 year old terrorist Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab still managed to fall through the cracks as he was allowed to board the flight where this Al Qaeda terrorist almost blew everyone to smithereens.
As a result, airlines around the world have issued notices that there will be heightened screening, more bomb-sniffing dogs, officer units and an increase in all Behavioral Detection Officers (BDO’s) at some airports.
But he problem is that that are not enough Behavior Detection Officers to go around. In fact, there are current estimates that BDOs are currently at less than 200 airports around the US.
That is why I feel compelled via this blog. I want to share with you the importance of body language and how it is a science and an art used by law enforcement and the FBI.
I will share valuable body language information with you about how to detect a potential terrorist. Hopefully, this make you feel safer the next time you have to fly. The information may even end up potentially saving your life!
NEVER LISTEN TO ANY “NAY SAYSERS’ REGARDING BODY LANGUAGE – KNOWLEDGE OF BODY LANGUAGE CAN POTENTIALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Anyone who poo poohs the area of body language or makes disparaging comments about it, such as calling it a “pseudoscience’ is to be ignored in my opinion like a certain blogger recently did by the name of Leslie E. Packer, a Tourette Syndrome psychologist and author of http://www.pogowasright.org and Chronicles of Decent who goes by the moniker “dissent. ”
Leslie E. Packer, by the way, is the person, who without even knowing me, has had an obvious personal axe to grind, ever since I wrote a blog about Britney Spears back in 2008 when dear Britney was in so much trouble and people wondered what was wrong with her and why she possibly behaved as she did.
LESLIE E. PACKER, TOURETE SYNDROME PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF POGOWASRIGHT.ORG AND (“DISSENT”)CHRONCILES OF DISSENT –BODY LANGUAGE IS NOT A PSEUDOSCIENCE!
Leslie E. Packer, “dissent” of pogowasright.org and Chronicles of Dissent, of North Bellmore, New York, admits she also has issues with “media psychologists, ” including Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura, along with the work which I do in the media as a commentator, in addition to my work as a body language expert. She has even resorted to making disparaging remarks concerning Nancy Grace, a show on which I appear regularly as a commentator.
My personal opinion is that perhaps the reason Leslie E. Packer has lashed out at so many in the media, is due to “professional jealously” and her own envy at wishing to appear in the media.
It is ironic that Leslie E. Packer has called the area of body language a ‘pseudoscience,” when it was my use of my body language analysis techniques that uncovered this once “anonymous “ blogger who made farfetched and ridiculous claims about me concerning a blog I once wrote on Britney Spears back in 2008, during the time everyone was so concerned about dear Britney, who thank God, has turned her life around.
It is so ironic that Leslie E. Packer has called the area of body language a ‘pseudoscience,” when it was my use of my body language analysis techniques that uncovered this once “anonymous “ blogger who made farfetched and ridiculous claims about me concerning a blog I once wrote on Britney Spears during the time everyone was so concerned about dear Britney,who has now thank God, turned her life around.
Since I am obviously on Leslie E. Packer’s radar so often, in my opinion, her behavior smacks of nothing other than “professional jealousy.” or envy. As a very famous psychotherapist, Sigmund Freud once said , “envy seeks to destroy.’
In their attempt to destroy others through their vitriol , they end up destroying themselves with stress related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
They even end up destroying themselves like what happened in the case of an obviously jealous and envious “Non- Model, ” Rachel Port, who anonymously called “Vogue Model,” Lisukula Cohen, a “skank” in her blog. Subsequently, Rosemary Port’s ‘ anonymous “ identity was outed by Google, so she could no longer hide her nasty posts under the cloak of anonimity.
I didn’t need Google to discover the identity of Leslie E. Packer, PhD, who made what I believe to be ridiculous and far fetched claims about me. All I needed was my body language analysis skills to detect her identity which I did successfully.
So in my view, it is rather ironic that I used the exact same body language skills that Tourette Syndrome psychologist, Leslie E. Packer, author of pogowasright.org and Chronicles of Descent, refers to as a ”pseudoscience” to uncover her identity after she made her farfetched claims about me, while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.
Even if someone has psychology training or is a licensed psychologist or even a Tourette Syndrome psychologist, like Leslie E. Packer, this does not mean they necessarily know anything about body language. In fact, most psychologists do not. They have not been specifically trained in this area or studied it intensively or had the practical experience it takes to understand the subtleties of this very important field of endeavor.
BODY LANGUAGE IS BOTH A SCIENCE AND AN ART
So the bottom line here is to never listen to anything negative a psychologist or anyone else may say about body language. It is a science based on research that has been replicated time and time again. While there are indeed cultural differences and nuances, there are universal behaviors that all human beings have, regardless of ethnic background.
There is also an art to the study of body language, as it takes years of experience to become very skilled at it in order to accurately read others.
In this day and age, as you will see in this blog, understanding certain body language “tells” can potentially save your live, especially when dealing with a potential terrorist.
WHAT DOES A BEHAVIOR DETECTION OFFICER DO?
A BDO basically observes a person’s body language to identify potentially high-risk passengers to help detect people exhibiting behaviors which indicate they could be a threat to aviation and/or transportation safety.
The program these officers undergo is a derivative of other successful behavioral analysis programs where ‘body language’ analysis has been employed by law enforcement and security personnel both in the U.S. and around the world.
In a nutshell, they screen travelers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered. No matter how much people try to main train their cool, they are only human. So there is a response elicited deep in the brain – the limbic system, that translates the feelings of fear into autonomous nervous system responses. This can be seen in the form of uncontrolled eye and pupil movement to uncontrolled perspiration and respiratory response.
There are also associated body language movements and vocal as well as speech changes. So in essence, people convey emotions in subconscious gestures, facial expressions, speech and voice patterns in answers to simple questions such as what flight they are taking.
It is important that I bring out the point that even though a lot of these signals are exhibited, it doesn’t automatically mean a person is a terrorist or has criminal intent.
It does mean that this particular person needs to be watched carefully, as they would be determined to be a higher risk than those who don’t exhibit these signals.
So, to make sure these higher risk individuals who exhibit certain behaviors are well screened, they are referred for additional questioning and screening at the checkpoint.
But the problem here lies in the astuteness of the screener. Some screeners may be more lax than others, while other screeners may look at the wrong behavioral cues and misdiagnose the situation. Thus, they may allow those who shouldn’t be allowed through the screening process. As well they may misinterpret certain behavioral cues whereby they focus on the wrong person.
So because of the unpredictability to the security screening process some ‘terrorist types” may get through the security process as the Nigerian Northwest airlines flying terrorist just did.
That is why I am writing this blog for you so that you can feel a bit safer when you travel. I will share with you what signals you can look for to help you determine who may be suspicious as you travel. Who knows, the information I may be sharing with you may even end up saving your life.
THROWING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OUT THE WINDOW WHEN IT COMES TO DETECTING TERRORISTS
While I don’t particularly like the notion that people are profiled because of their race, religion, or ethnic background, I believe that if it comes between a person’s hurt feelings and upset that they were singled out because of how they looked and our safety, I say, single them out!
Let’s face it, how many little old ladies or four year olds or tall blond women have blown up a plane? Every single terrorist thus far in terms of airport security have men male’s in their 20’s and 30’s of a specific ethnic group. While there have been women suicide bombers in Palestine. It is usually the exception rather then the rule.
Even though the TSA and BDO will never publicly admit to it, it does go on. Unfortunately it is upsetting to those who would never even dream of committing any terrorist act. I have spoken to enough people who mentioned to me they are repeatedly singled out, which they believe is the result of their skin color and how they look. Many with whom I have spoken to have even said they become used to it. Even though they don’t like it, they understand it- that it is all about safety.
They are even more upset that a few fanatics had to ruin things for the rest of their ethnic group.That is how most people feel about shoe bomber Richard Reid. He ruined it for everyone becuase now you have to inconveniently remove your shoes at the airport just because of him!
But no matter who is more scrutinized, it has to be the ones who fail the behavior analysis test- a recognized by legitimate law enforcement tool used worldwide whoa re scrutinized the most.
If someone look like they may be walking strangely because they have a device strapped to their leg or is doing a lot of bending down, or fiddling with chemicals, or they obviously need to be looked at more closely than others.
TRUST YOUR GUTS!
A day before shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to light his shoes on fire and blow up a plane, other lives were also spared. On an earlier flight the shoe bomber was refused boarding because the airport personnel’s instincts said something was amiss. But since he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was amiss, the shoe bomber boarded a flight the next day and tried to do his dirty deed.
Using your “gut instinct” is your key to survival and can greatly help in your identifying a potential terrorist. Essentially, it is your body telling you that something is just not right! Maybe you see something in someone’s eyes, or the way they move that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. That is something to never be ignored! It is nature’s way of telling you something is wrong with this picture.
In looking for terrorists, the New York Post reported that “New York police officers are taught to be on the look out for men who appear freshly shaven with cuts or nicks — which could indicate a beard has just been removed or unfamiliar identification. It’s the little things like that which may set off alarm bells in your system. So listen to them!
I remember having those alarm bells going off in my system years back when a client was referred to me to help him with perfecting his communication and speaking skills as he wanted to appear on television as a financial analyst. Even though he was dressed well and wore an expensive, well tailored suit, there was something about him that literally made me sick to my stomach- so much so that I told him I wouldn’t be able to help him. There was something about his mask like smile and creepy stare that made by body feel sick. It turned out my instincts were right! Today he still sits in a federal penitentiary for his nefarious financial dealings.
Your instincts MUST be trusted. If someone seems suspicious to you, there is usually something you are picking up in their body language that just doesn’t seem right!
Maybe it was a sudden flash if anger you saw in their face or maybe their lack of movement bothered you. Maybe they were sweating on their forehead and upper lip when the temperature was cool inside the airport. Whatever it is, they rubbed you the wrong way- trust it!.
If you notice a person is sweating when the temperature indoors is climate controlled, that may not be a good sign. This is especially true if you see sweat above their upper lip or on their forehead.
This is usually a signal of nervousness. It can easily be spotted a red flag during the screening process at the airport. If they are asked more detailed questions, they will perspire even more , to the point they will have to wipe their foreheads or upper lip with their had or forearm.
When the terrorist gets a sudden flash of reality they are about to die as well when they commit their final act of terrorism, their whole body reacts in the form of uncontrollable shaking. This is due to the brain’s knowledge that something horrible is about to happen. It is the body ultimate response to fear.
The body undergoes a temperature change when it knows something harmful or scary is about to take place so it creates a shaking vibratory motion in order to help regulate the temperature change.
In fact one of he things that the hero, Jasper Schuringa, the Dutch tourist, who saved the flight mentioned during his CNN interview was that the terrorists shaking.
They will usually walk with a purpose and often walk as fast as possible. They are people on a mission and are focused to get to that mission. As a result you will never find them walking at a slow or leisurely pace.
They will walk as fast as possible without being noticeable and when they are walking their eyes will be fixed ahead. They will not be looking around . If they do it will be somewhat quick nervous glances- looking for authority figures or escape routes.
If they are in a group and walk behind one another in a single file as though they are on a mission. You need to pay attention to that. Most people walks side by side and not in single file.
You may see a lot of upper chest breathing and a lot of sighing behavior whereby they quickly take in a breath of air, and forcefully release all he air in a sudden burst. This often indicates a highly emotional state. It is their autonomic nervous system kicking in, over which they have no control.
When interviewed by security, changes in breathing such as a rapid rate, can also be a tell that the person is up to no good.
FACIAL EXPRESSION OR LACK OF IT
One of the things that passengers who were interviewed who were on the recent Northwesr flight said was that the terrorist appeared calm and showed no facial expression. This is consistent in what we know about the facial animation of terrorists.
According to those who have studied them like famed body language expert and Stanford University researcher Paul Ekman, who the show Lie to Me is based on, has discovered is that these terrorists lack animated facial expressions.
Thus, their facial expression will be consistent and not change. This is not normal behavior as our facial expression consistently changes. In essence, there is a mask like appearance. They appear to be focused on their mission and it show in their lack of facial animation.
You will often see tight or pursed lips. This indicates that they are holding something back (like the fact they are about to blow up a plane).
The mouth is very tense and doesn’t deviate from that position. This is one of the first things Israeli officers observe when then are screening people for possible terrorism. Once again, it is the function of the autonomic nervous system operating and muscularly bracing the terrorist for what is to come.
When they are interviewed by security and asked a lot of questions, there will usually be a lot of lip licking and lip biting and continued lip pursing, to indicate they are lying to authorities.
EYES- AVOIDING EYE AND FACE CONTACT AND BOWED HEADS
When researchers have studied body language of terrorists, the one thing they notice is a common denominator- all terrorists or potential terrorists have terrible eye contact.
In looking back at the security tapes of all of the 911 terrorists, not one of the men looked at the security guards. They all had their heads bowed down.
So this is a hue red flag indicating the kind of behavior that could reveal someone is planning a terrorist attack, as those from the TSA- Transportation Security Administration have reported.
The bowed heads often reflect a fear of discovery, So in their attempt to get under the radar, they will often bow their heads and not look at anyone. Therefore, avoiding eye contact with authorities is the kind of behavior that could indicate someone may be up to no good.
Because they know that their end and your end is near, another autonomic nervous system reaction is for them to widely open the folds of their upper and lower lids, thus giving a wide eyed appearance. In essence, what they are doing is taking in every detail of their last minutes.
When they are interviewed by airport security and asked a simple question like ‘where are you going?’ or “Where have you been?” you will often see a lot of eye “tells. ‘”
They may try to act as though they are in control and stare directly into the questioner’s eyes.This is a huge warning sign and an indication of deception.
Or they may be thrown off guard and look around to the left and right in their attempt to manufacture a response. This is also a huge warning sign.
Another “tell” is if their eyes continually art around as though they are looking for an escape route.
A final tell which indicates they are lying and fearful is rapid eye blinking.
There is often a lot of nose scratching and scratching in general. Once again, it is due to the increased blood flow, which is the result of the autonomic nervous system taking over. The capillaries expand. As a result, it causes you to itch and then to scratch.
Just as there is a serious lack of facial expression, there is often a serious lack of gestures . This is another huge red flag!
Often you will see unnatural hand movements that appear awkward.
Usually you will see their hands will be balled up in a fist like position. This represents a subconscious display of anger- anger at the enemy they are about to annihilate. This internal anger, which is revealed externally through their hands, helps them justify their upcoming egregious act.
If you see them with one hand is in a pocket and the other is not (and you see other intensity signs, know that you are in immediate danger!)
If their body is turned to the side it is also a signal that they are ready to attack!
When interviewed the security officer will notice a lot of foot shuffling and nervous hand movement such as hand picking, wringing, and pulling. These are all red flags, especillay when these gestures are being done while they are asked pointed questions.
Oftentimes when a person is nervous, you will hear their voice crack or go up an octave in pitch. The reason for this is due to the body’s defense mechanism that something awful is about to take place.
When being interviewed by security ,if the person is lying, their voice will give it away as their throat may often close up due to all the muscle tension as they have to clear their throat.
They may also speak at a rapid rate as to hurry up and get it over with.
They may even pause and hesitate, with a lot of like um and ums.
They may also speak loudly as if feign confidenc. But if they die off at the end of sentences when they speak, or speak too softly there is a good chance they may not want you to hear what they have to say. It is often a tell of deception.
SIGNALS OF FEAR
Even though they may think they believe in their mission and in what they are doing intellectually, the terrorist’s body is telling them a completely different message.
Their body is screaming “ Are you crazy? Are you really willing to end your life and the lives of others for some promise that might not exist like having 40 beautiful virgins at your disposal? After you blow your body to bits how are you even going to enjoy the virgins you were promised?”
SKIN TONE CHANGES
So besides the fear “tells” I listed earlier , you may also see changes in the color of their skin. Depending on their skin tone, it may become red and flushed if they are ligher skinned or grey and ashen is they are darker skinned.
WIDE EYED FEAR
As As they become more realistic that they will soon die you may see a flash bulb appearance to their eyes, as they open wide to take everything in one last time.
There may also be a lot of self touching or self grooming , brushing things off of them in a vigorous manner, which is a self comforting mechanism.
DON’T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! SHARE YOUR OBSERVATIONS WITH THOSE WHO CAN DO SOMETHIN ABOUT IT!
Being vigilant and observing all of the “tells” described in this blog when you encounter a fellow traveler who may rub you the wrong way or cause your hair to stand on end, may save your life!
If you feel something is amiss, don’t let it go. DON’T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! Share your feelings with those in authority positions so that they can take a second look and save innocent people’s lives.