Site Network: Jeff Emanuel | RedState | Human Events | American Spectator | Peach Pundit | The Patriot Group |


Welcome to the official website of columnist and combat journalist Jeff Emanuel.

Click the tabs for biographical information, column archives, a regularly-updated blog, embedded reports from Iraq, and information on current projects.

In Defense of Profiling

Why a key tool in our quest for security should no longer be ignored.

Another terrorist attack on the United States was narrowly averted earlier this month when British authorities, acting on their own, Pakistani, and US-provided information (including “chatter” monitored by the NSA), arrested nearly thirty conspirators who were plotting to take down up to ten airliners with liquid-gel bombs which could be detonated by remote electronic device.

The most obvious commonality between this and the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 is that both involved airliners which were fueled up for long-distance flights. The less obvious commonality (due more to selective reporting than to a dearth of available information) is that, once again, Muslim men of middle-eastern origin or descent were the prime culprits in an international terrorist plot.

The response to this by such organizations as the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and others was, as usual, a hasty warning not to fall into the trap of “racially profiling” young Middle Eastern or Muslim men, as well as an issuance of the well-worn admonishment that “Not all Muslims are terrorists.”

Despite the truth of these words, the frequency with which they must be publicly spoken -- seemingly every day -- should be a matter of some concern, and should lead a vigilant public (and government) to do more than a bit of thinking about its methods of preventing future terrorist attacks.

Although pointing it out violates the standards of political correctness, it is an inarguable fact that, while most Muslims are not terrorists, the vast majority of terrorists are, in fact, Muslim, and of Middle Eastern descent. According to the National Counterterrorism Center’s “Report on Incidents of Terrorism, 2005," 58.3% of terrorist attacks worldwide were carried out by strictly-defined “Islamic extremists” – and that is just the number that was verifiable. Many more were suspected to have been carried out by radical Islamists, but proof of their culpability did not rise to the level necessary for inclusion in the report.

While America and the majority of the Western world continue to follow the advice of CAIR, et al, and look the other way, rather than address this demonstrable demographic fact and use it to our advantage in the quest to protect against future attacks, the British, after this recent brush with what Deputy Commissioner of police Paul Stephenson called “mass murder on an unimaginable scale,” have finally decided to stop ignoring this reality, and are working to implement new airport security methods which take it into account.

Scotland Yard chief Lord Stevens, in an interview with the UK Guardian, said that these protocols include focusing on “people that behave suspiciously, have unusual travel plans or are of a certain religion or ethnicity.”

In short, the British have decided to begin racially profiling the demographic which produces the preponderance of terrorists.

The instinctive recoiling on the part of the politically correct notwithstanding, this decision on the part of the British authorities makes perfect sense. Israel has used this method for years; its national airline, El Al, has a policy of singling out young Arabs for extensive search procedures. As a result, they have gone nearly thirty years without a hijacking. Likewise, profiling middle eastern men would have gained all nineteen 9/11 hijackers special attention – attention which may very well have ended up making all the difference in the world.

When there is a demonstrable threat from a particular demographic, then it is only logical that people who fit that profile should receive closer scrutiny. For example, if I rob a bank or convenience store, it would make perfect sense for the police, in their search for the culprit – in this case, a white male – to be suspicious of other white males, and to target them more closely for possible investigation. It would not make sense, though, for those police to also shake down African-American males, white females, etc., for the sole purpose of not hurting my, or other white males’, feelings. Likewise, the airport security practice of randomly searching elderly women, young children, and other people who do not even remotely fit the profile of a possible terrorist, for the sole purpose of not offending the Middle Eastern/Muslim population, is similarly illogical.

The highest-ranking Muslim in British law enforcement, Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, spoke out against the initiative, telling the Guardian that, in his opinion, passenger screening “becomes hugely problematic when it's based on ethnicity, religion and country of origin…I don't think there's a stereotypical image of a terrorist."

The problem, though Mr. Dizaei, CAIR, and others refuse to acknowledge it, is that there is, in fact, a “stereotypical image of a terrorist” – and to ignore that truth, simply out of fear of offending people, is to leave ourselves open to greater danger.

Profiling is certainly not the be-all, end-all of national security and counter-terror protocol; after all, it is easy to list terrorists who have either been non-Muslim or non-Middle Eastern. However, for every individual like Richard Reid, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, or Jose Padilla who commits (or plans to commit) an act of terror, there are exponentially more terrorists of Middle Eastern descent, such as the 27 now captured in the London bombing plot, the 19 hijackers from 9/11, the 17 arrested in the plot to blow up Canada’s parliament and to behead the Prime Minister, the Madrid bombers, the Bali nightclub bombers, the “Fantastic 4” of the 7/7 bombings in London, and countless others.

While profiling in and of itself cannot ensure the safety of our skies, our motorways, or other aspects of our lives any more than any other individual tactic, it can – and should – be yet another tool in the figurative tool kit of law enforcement, the TSA, and the general public. It is true that all terrorists are not young Muslim males of Middle Eastern descent. However, until it is no longer the case that far more terrorists fit that description than not, profiling is a tactic which must not only be allowed, but encouraged

Permalink |


Post a Comment

<< Home