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Does profiling work? 8, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
Tags: ,

Comment Central has a great little round-up of a few sources answering the question of whether profiling works. In terms of automatic profiling – i.e. not behavioural profiling – Bruce Schneier highlights some serious problems.

The problem with automatic profiling is that it doesn’t work.

Terrorists don’t fit a profile and cannot be plucked out of crowds by computers. They’re European, Asian, African, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern, male and female, young and old. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was Nigerian.

Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was British with a Jamaican father. Germaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 London bombers, was Afro-Caribbean. Dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla was Hispanic-American. The 2002 Bali terrorists were Indonesian. Timothy McVeigh was a white American. So was the Unabomber.

The Chechen terrorists who blew up two Russian planes in 2004 were female.

Palestinian terrorists routinely recruit “clean” suicide bombers, and have used unsuspecting Westerners as bomb carriers.

There is other evidence available too. Specifically, a study by the US’s National Research Council.

It must be said that this is not exactly breaking news. Though for those of a more Fox News variety, it will either be a bitter pill or yet more ‘liberal rubbish’ to be ignored.


1. Abstract JK - 8, January 2010

liberal rubbish it is.

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