Monday, August 08, 2005

More on profiling, terror, and shopping malls

This Wall Street Journal article ($$$) is interesting on a couple of points. It describes how American shopping malls are trying to protect themselves in the age of terror. They went to Israel to learn new techniques and a better theory of anti-terror security.

On profiling:

IPC has 6,500 uniformed employees guarding more than 400 malls in 46 states, including the shops at Union Station in Washington and Woodfield Mall outside Chicago. The company reached out for psychological studies of suicide bombers and was one of the first security companies to employ Israeli tactics in their training.

"We began to move away from the idea of what does a suicide bomber look like to how does he act," says Mr. Lusher. The beauty of the method, he adds, is that you are profiling behavior instead of people

On Richard Clarke's nightmare: The Journal makes no mention of Clarke's Atlantic article (discussed here), but I think that it undercuts Clarke's thesis that mall security is ignoring the threat of terrorism. It is becoming clear that Clarke's Washington-centric view of counter-terrorism makes him myopic. He assumes that if there is no law or interdepartmental task force, then nothing is being done on an issue. The WSJ story shows that work gets done in America even while bureaucrats squabble over the wording of a memos and white papers.

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