The Transportation Security Administration plans to clear 10,000 workers for access to secret intelligence, Fox News has learned.
The move comes as a slew of security agencies try to improve intelligence-sharing in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing. However, a TSA spokesman told Fox News that the plan to give thousands of workers security clearance was developed in July 2008, and that the background checks started one year ago.
Those in line to receive classified information at the TSA include "behavior detection officers," supervisors and managers -- or about 20 percent of the TSA airport workforce. USA Today first reported that the TSA was clearing employees for access to classified information, a process the paper said could take two years.
So far, the TSA has granted 744 security clearances, according to the TSA spokesman.
The spokesman said in an e-mail that the intelligence will give employees "valuable context" when procedures are changed, and will help them do their jobs on a day-to-day basis.
"Access to relevant intelligence helps officers spot anomalies at the checkpoint -- and helps them connect the potential dots," the spokesman said. "It gives these employees the opportunity to exercise discretion based on their awareness of tactics and threats in the transportation environment and gives context to things they see every day which may otherwise not appear unusual."
USA Today reported that the employees who are cleared will have access to information ranging from terrorist training videos to descriptions of suspects.
The most visible TSA employees -- those who screen passenger bags at check points -- will not have the security clearance.
Fox News' Mike Levine contributed to this report.