The Undercover Dealers You Failed to Even Comprehend Had been on Your Flight

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In the past decade, the number of U.S. air marshals has increased exponentially, from 33 to an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 agents.

But while there’s a one in 20 chance that your flight has an air marshal aboard, you’re unlikely to realize it: Marshals wear regular clothing to “blend in with passengers,” according to the TSA. Their training is also tailored to aircraft-specific situations, incorporating investigative techniques, behavior recognition and self-defense training designed for the closer quarters of an airplane.

See also: The Top 10 U.S. Summer Travel Destinations for 2014

The air marshal program began in 1962, after former President John F. Kennedy signed an amendment to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. The amendment enhanced the penalty for interfering with airline crew members, according to the TSA. Read more…

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