Sunday, 3 January 2010

Profiling won't work.

The photo I am about to link to might cause you to spill something. Put down any drinks and swallow before clicking.

A Muslim MP, Khalid 'Gnasher' Mahmood, thinks it's perfectly fair and reasonable to single out Muslims for special attention at airport checks. Not surprisingly, many Muslims disagree and perhaps surprisingly, so do I.

Not because of some oversensitive loony 'racism' nonsense. Not because it might cause all those Muslims to rise up and be awfully inconvenient until they realise that there are two million of them and 58 million non-Muslims in this country, and that 'rising up' might not be such a good idea after all. Not out of any sense of fairness or equality but for one simple, logical reason.

It will make it far, far easier for a suicide bomber to get past security.

Islam is not a race, despite Righteous pronouncements to the contrary. Profiling that selects Muslims is therefore not racism. It's also not possible. You might as well profile on the basis of people who shop at Tesco. You can't tell who they are by looking at them and you can't tell someone's religion by looking at them unless they are wearing religious artefacts or clothing.

Pakistan is a Muslim country so most Pakistanis are Muslim, but not all. Most of those of Arabian/Persian stock are Muslim, but not all. Indians tend not to be Muslim but some are. Chinese Muslims exist, as do black Muslims, and also white ones with Home Counties English accents. So who are you selecting here? What are the criteria?

If a mad Islamist lunatic wants to blow up a plane, he's hardly going to turn up in full Islamic dress shouting 'Allahu Akbar', now is he? He's going to turn up in a pinstripe suit with a laptop in a briefcase because the profilers will wave him through. He might even choose to wear overt religious symbolism, perhaps a cross, or maybe a Sikh turban, or as Massoud Shadjareh, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (oh, I have to resist a serious digression here) suggests, as an orthodox Jew. Nobody is going to suspect someone dressed as an orthodox Jew of being an Islamic bomber in disguise. It's about as unlikely as it gets.

Profiling can only work if based on race but Islam is not a race. Profiling will select Pakistani or African Muslims. The lunatic fringe that is radical Islam will simply enlist a Chinese or white sad loner with no future as their next vehicle of destruction. He'll be dressed as a member of a different religion and the profilers will wave him through with no more than a cursory inspection.

That's why I think profiling is a bad idea. It'll make it easier for the bombers, not harder.

Besides, even when the bomber's own father reports him to the authorities, they take no notice. It's almost as if they want them to succeed. But then, that would be absurd.

Wouldn't it?


banned said...

Have to say that I spotted that flaw straight away, though you put the case far more convincingly.
Both the shoe bomber and the chap who blew himself up in the ladies loo in Exeter fit your description of 'white sad loser' who were also half-wits and converts. Converts to many causes become the most extreme in promoting it so as to improve their credentials.

Would they profile Yusuf Islam? Probably, but Cat Stevens?

Morgan said...

And as for that wannabe bomber who roasted his nads - something doesn't quite sit right with that whole thing.

He's a muslim. He got on an aeroplane from Amsterdam to America without a passport.

How does that work?

Something not right about the whole thing. They call this sort of thing 'Black Ops' don't they. One wonders what new war they are trying to put us in the mood for - or possibly what other thing is it that they're trying to prevent us turning our attention to?

SaltedSlug said...

Besides, even when the bomber's own father reports him to the authorities, they take no notice. It's almost as if they want them to succeed. But then, that would be absurd.

Wouldn't it?

A bit. I default to my standard: "it's because they're shit and referring to what they do as 'intelligence' is an oxymoron of Earth-splitting proportions" stance.

Amusing Bunni said...

The latest reports are that obama was briefed about the underwear fryer 3 DAYS before it happened, and many times before. He chose to go to his vacay in HI.
I am thinking they are hiding a lot about's not absurd at all...I put nothing past this administration.

Anonymous said...

i thought the reason he blew his nuts off, he,d found out virgins look like susan boyle

non flyer said...

Susan Boyle's fanny on Cheryl Coles body with Kate Winsletts head. That would do it for me.

I think the profiling is a bit more than just watching out for pakis. It also involves looking out for signs of tension and unusual mannerisms etc. Well that will work (not) in a busy airport where you're herded like cattle and worried about losing your flight.

Leg-iron said...

Signs of tension, unusual mannerisms, sure, but that will pull in anyone with a fear of flying (including those who weren't scared before but are now), anyone nervous about being seen naked by a scanner attendant (most people) and anyone who doesn't behave in the 'standard' way.

A better option might be to put someone intelligent in charge of security, who will pay attention when they get a hot tip.

I mean, if a father's willing to report his own son, that must mean he's serious.

A D said...

The theory that, by turning the spotlight on to Yemen and following through with military deployment, this completes the circle of US troops around Iran holds no credibility whatsoever.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


Why should they put troops into Yemen? Thumrait (Oman) is heaving with American air force and army units. No doubt Salalah is now a major naval facility.

No, these aren't guesses: I spent nearly five years at Thumrait over three contracts between the 70's and into the 80s (When Yemen was the enemy and Salalah was an isolated fortress in the middle of enemy territory. Google Dhofar War.

The Americans used Thumrait (over the jebel from Salalah on the edge of the Empty Quarter)as a placement location for assets in the late 70s. Saw it happening or "I was there" as Boyce would say.

My brother also spent two years on contract in the same place in the 90s - was heaving with Americans by then.

Nobody needs Yemen to complete an envelopment of Iran - Oman is much closer (Carter's botched raid into Iran (hostages anyone?) flew from Masirah (ignore the official stories)).

Also, Bahrein is a major US Navy facility.

So as you said - no credibility whatsoever - though I don't think you ACTUALLY meant that did you?

I was at Thumrait so early and when it was so primitive my laundry number was 38. And we had Iranians based WITH us - and they used to fly night cover for us. I was a good looking (really) young man at the time, and every time I visited the swimming pool the Iranian commander was there and was always trying to persuade me to let him rub olive oil all over me. Hahahahahaha.


Sir Henry Morgan said...

The forward placement of assets may have been in the early 80s just after the Iranian US embasy incident. It was a long time ago ...

Sir Henry Morgan said...

There is a picture of me flying as a passenger with Roger Furlong out of Thumrait (read a bit of it to learn why Roger furlong is on that blog.

We old-timers have done stuff, seen stuff, and been places you young folk can't even imagine. Can't - some of it is beyond even Hollywood's imagination, never mind your own.

conspiracy theory said...

There are so many rumours and stories about the pants bomber that I'm sure a good film might be in the offing. So far I've heard that...

1.He had no passport but was put on the aircraft by a ' well dressed Indian man '
2.He had an Italian passport.
3. Mossad look after security at Schipol and set it all up.
4. He could have set it off in the aircraft toilet but didn't, allowing other passengers to see what he was doing and put him out.
5. His father shopped him to the authorities in order to save himself from losing his ill gotten wealth but he was ignored because all Nigerians are liars and fraudsters.
6. The whole thing was staged in order to get troops into Yemen creating another front on the NWO 'perpetual war scenario'
7. It's just about oil.

Ed P said...

The syringe detonator could not have (and anywat was not intended to have) worked - it's chemically/energetically almost impossible to set off PETP that way. The whole thing stinks, like most CIA set-ups (no passport, well-dressed Indian, jump all security, etc, etc).
The big question is - what are the CIA trying to achieve?

John Pickworth said...

In response to LI's original point... we shouldn't forget that 'proxy bombers' have been used before and would be again.

As happened when Nezar Hindawi convinced his pregnant Irish girlfriend to carry a bomb onboard an El Al flight to Tel Aviv. In this case, she was stopped by El Al's security checks at Heathrow. It is this 1986 event that prompts every check-in clerk to ask "Did you pack your case yourself...?"

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