Profiling is very important, but it is not perfect.
The youngest of the terror suspects arrested in the raids was a heavily pregnant woman from Hackney, London.
The Asian woman was taken by police handcuffed and still wearing pyjamas from a top floor flat in Denver Road.
It has been reported today that the woman, who has not yet been named, is the wife of Muslim convert Oliver Savant. Eye witnesses described her as five foot tall with braided hair.
One witness said: “I heard a man shout and then the door was knocked through. I looked out of the window and saw a team of armed officers – wearing helmets and goggles – pour out of a black unmarked Mercedes people carrier.
“There were another two vans full of police wearing bullet-proof vests. And there were two guys who looked like intelligence agents who were controlling things.”
In another raid, a young woman and her six month-old baby was taken into custoday. I agree with this Examiner editorial that it is time to be politically incorrect and start profiling. I believe it is a very useful tool and it doesn’t make sense strip searching Jewish grandmas from Miami when looking to prevent terrorist attacks. What I have feared, though, and what certainly must have been considered by terrorists, is that they would be eventually be successful in recruiting those who do not fit the terrorist profile.
It is hard to imagine a young, female, non-Muslim American agreeing to commit suicide and murder thousands of innocent women and children. It is highly unlikely that the jihadists will be very successful recruiting that demographic. It is possible, however, that they will eventually be successful in recruiting some who do not fit the typical profile. It is also possible that someone not fitting the profile could be tricked into unknowingly taking a banned substance on board a plane.
On my last trip to California, my daughter threw up in my neighbor’s brand new car on the way to the airport. After doing what I could to clean her and the seat, I found myself on the sidewalk outside the terminal with two kids (one covered in vomit) and about five bags of various shapes and sizes which we planned to carry on, looking for the nearest bathroom. Let’s just say it would not be outside the realm of possibility that someone could have slipped something into one of those bags without me noticing. It is also possible that a mentally unstable person who does not fit the typical terrorist profile could be convinced to join the jihad. I have thought about the possibility (I may have even seen this one in a movie) that a terminally ill (or a suicidal) person might, if offered enough money, decide to seize the opportunity to leave their famlly financially secure.
Profiling is a very valuable tool, and we should be doing more of it, but there are other things we must consider that won’t be caught by profiling alone. It might even be necessary for a security officer to take some time to examine the bags of this 40-year-old white woman with two small kids and a Southern accent. I will try to remember that the next time I stand in line for 45 minutes to get through airport security.