For those that have yet to see the article, the Boston Globe has a fascinating article about the TSAs new ‘Quiet Skies’ programme. The scheme has been running since March 2018. The scheme identifies people who might have terrorist connections by undertaking visits to troubled areas, emailing people on the no-fly list or phoning suspicious individuals. The information obtain by the Globe that, on any given day, 35 people are being watched or followed by air marshals. The report even quotes an air marshal tasked to follow a Southwest Airlines flight attendant. All US citizens entering the country are screened to decide whether they should be added to the Quiet Skies programme.
A checklist is completed by the Air Marshal which records things such as whether the passenger fell asleep, went to the lavatory, or boarded last.
The TSA keeps up the tracking on at least three occasions over the 90 days following the traveler coming to their attention.
Replies from the TSA suggest that they have kept the US Congress aware of this programme. However, many of the air marshals quoted in the article are unhappy about being tasked to undertake this work, viewing it as pointless and a diversion from more significant activities.