[ExI] Terrorist? Who can tell?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Aug 30 08:12:58 UTC 2008

On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 5:24 AM, Lee Corbin wrote:
> Oh?  It seemed to me to take tongs and pliers to extract this
> "self-evident" concession on some people's parts. I had to repeat no less
> than three times the precise question. And
> my question itself was a logical inference based on the (to me)
> overly broad claims being presented. But why did I have to
> repeat it so often, and then *finally* receive a response "oh,
> this is so self-evident that it needs not be asked?
> (I fear that in each time, people were reluctant to concede the
> conclusion for fear of being politically incorrect---thus lending
> a hand, they supposed---to racism and abrupt stereotyping).
> My very first interlocutor in this thread, for example, continues
> his notable silence on my precisely stated question.)

This is not a concession Lee. This is a very basic fact known by
everyone, including the police and MI5.

The problem mentioned in the original post is 'How do we detect Al
Qaeda terrorists?'
To say that they are more likely to come from the 40% non-white
section of the London population (about 3 million people) does not
help in the slightest to detect the tiny number of terrorists among
Especially as there are a few white converts among them also.

This type of profiling is useless as a guide to using police resources.

Victimizing this 40% of the population would be counter-productive.
Apart from all the civil rights issues, (non-white people are citizens
also, you know) the police are dependent on co-operation and
informants from within this group.

Even if we did have a really good profiling method, this would just
lead to the terrorists changing their procedures to avoid the profile.
(They're not stupid, some have degrees!).

The only method in use at present in the US and UK is to treat
everyone as a possible suspect.
Cases like the 5-year old who gets hassled because his name is on the
TSA watch list database.


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