[ExI] Terrorist? Who can tell?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 10:20:18 UTC 2008

On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 2:38 AM, Lee Corbin wrote:
> Yes. Now it so happens that I don't travel at all, and have
> not been to London, and know of the bombings which occurred there only by
> means of my admittedly very
> faulty memory, but I could have sworn that *all* those
> arrested and convicted in the recent bombings were
> born in the Middle East, and have the same ethnic
> profiles that allow me to often recognize the origins
> of people I meet.
> Hence my guess that at the 95% level of confidence,
> six such individuals would be chosen as "the probable
> convicts" and the other six average Londoners of the
> same age and sex chosen as the "non-terrorist" group.
> And only 5% of the time would the group of Londoners
> picked at random---which surely includes a very wide
> variety of people, nothing so nearly homogeneous
> (I thought) as the bombers' group---be identified as
> "the terrorists" by an ordinary set of citizens seeing each
> group in a line-up.

No, Lee. You wouldn't be able to do that in London.

If you walk the streets of London, or watch London TV news reports, in
many cases you will only rarely see a white face. And that white face
is often the news reporter.

Actual statistics are difficult to obtain as ethnic origin is a very
sensitive subject for the government.
Ethnic groups tend to group together in their own boroughs and
statistics apply to the whole of the region. So saying that, overall,
about 40% of the 8 million Londoners are from a minority ethic group
can be misleading. In some areas it will be nearly 100% white and in
other areas nearly 100% non-white.

A recent survey suggested that over 300 languages are spoken in the London area.

I agree that the group of six bombers don't look like a group of six
white people resembling Hugh Grant. But neither do any other members
of the non-white half of the London population.

Give the police and MI5 some credit please! If it was that easy,
terrorists would be arrested as soon as they stepped outdoors.


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