Friday, April 27, 2012

Uncommon good sense

Why airport security was right to stop four year old Isabella?

The incident strikes at the very heart of the issue of profiling at airports and border crossings. We know from history that when terrorist profiling is used (the deliberate selection of people who resemble most closely the profile of a probable terrorist) that terrorists adapt. During the Battle of Algiers, the French pursued a policy of stopping and screening native Algerians at checkpoints, but allowed European settlers through with little or no monitoring. The terrorists responded by planting their bombs and other weapons on European looking women, who were easily able to infiltrate across the checkpoints, moving weapons across at will. In recent years, the Chechen insurgents have attempted to adopt similar practices through their use of ‘black widows’: women suicide bombers (usually the grieving relatives of Chechens killed by the Russians) who they believe are less likely to seem suspicious to Russian officials.

The Folly of Heather MacDonald

Good article on the perils of profiling

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