[ExI] Terrorist? Who can tell?

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Thu Sep 11 02:55:18 UTC 2008

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 07:38:17PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:

> Such a pity that all the movies have it wrong about The Authorities
> waiting at the end of a gang plank to apprehend someone. From now
> on, they'd be well-advised to get help from some traitorous family
> member, who might stand a decent chance of recognizing a husband
> or other close relative, or a personal acquaintance of long standing.

That's a different problem.  That's "we have reason to believe X is one
of the few hundred passengers on this vessel, we'll wait to catch him."
Chance of someone resembling X enough to be a false positive is low.

Scanning a million people looking for X is a different problem.

> >>A: "Are telling me that a row of six or more recent convicted

And of course this "recent convicted bomber" thing is a red herring;
recently convicted bombers are probably in prison.  MI5 reportedly
looked for traits usefully distinguishing probable future bombers, and
failed to find them.

The fact that modern bombers may all have some connection to Islam is
not that useful a distinguishing feature, not when you're talking of a
few dozen bombers out of millions of Muslims.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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