Homeland Insecurity or The Right Profile?

…with apologies to The Clash for that title.

The story of some kind of plot to assault Fort Dix is all over the news tonight. What is interesting to me is that the guys accused of doing this are Albanian Kosovars.


Well, Kosovars, despite being Muslim have a stubbornly European appearance. Seeing these guys on the street, I suspect a lot of people might have thought them Russians or something. Those that call for swarthy looking middle-easterners to be singled out for attention would have missed these guys. Sure they have beards in the court drawings, but to those who would profile bearded men I should hastened to point out that Gillette (among others) have an entire product line devoted to thwarting this reasoning.

Profiling, aside from being racist, doesn’t work because, among other things, the terrorists can figure it out. Think that all suicide bombers are men? They start recruiting women. Think that they all have funny-sounding names? They get a guy like Richard Reid. Think they are all from the Middle East? They get some Kosovars.

This case was solved apparently because a video store clerk was asked to copy a jihadist video. He didn’t like what he saw and he called the cops. In other words it was NOT solved because the Patriot Act lets the FBI check up on your reading list at the local library. It was NOT solved because we put all the Arabs in concentration camps.
Picture: None of Kafka’s ideas were used in the solving of this crime.


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