By NINA GOLGOWSKI
The office of Homeland Security is warning that apparently innocuous behaviour in passengers could be a sign that they are a terrorist. A presentation released by the New Jersey office of the agency warns that passengers yawning, developing goose bumps and appearing fidgety could all be potential terrorists.
The presentation titled Terrorism Awareness and Prevention says it aims to educate the public on recognizing potential threats in any environment including at work and in the community as well as how to report them.
It says the ‘signs will become particularly evident in a person’s eyes, face, neck and body movements,’ the department lists some of the following descriptions as warning signs to watch out for.
If an individual has a cold stare, ‘trance-like gaze’ or wide ‘flashbulb eyes,’ they may be a terrorist, according to the report. If they seem to exaggerate yawning in conversation, repeatedly touch their face or ears, or excessively watch a clock or fidget, these may be indicators of a terrorist.
If they pace, tremble, perspire or have goose bumps, the department’s report states that these also may be indicators. While goose bumps or yawning may sound like harmless or bizarre indicators, some medical doctors link goose bumps to a physiological trigger – as well as more obvious chilly temperatures – which readies the body in a fight-or-flight mode.
Such a physical state because of an individual’s mentality, be it anxiety or fear, may explain the physical description of one of the department’s indicators for a potential terrorist. ‘The described indicators are not fool-proof. They are not guarantees of terrorist activities or the lack thereof,’ the report continues.
‘However, if you encounter an increasing number of indicators, common sense would tell you that increased attention and thought should be placed on reporting your observations,’ it states. The office’s presentation aims at raising awareness to both New Jersey citizens and workers for their assistance in combating terrorism.
The report states that ‘citizens should never use race or religion as factors for reporting suspicious activity,’ but instead report strictly facts to authorities. ‘Describe in detail what you saw and try to leave assumptions, prejudices, etc. out of it,’ it states.