Monday, March 12, 2007

Terrorists Come In All Shapes, Colors

The Washington Posthas a story today about Europe's recent experiences with attempted racial/ethnic profiling of Terrorists, and it devastates the American right-wing's arguments about how we need to ethnically profile Americans.

Seems that European Authorities are seeing more people from different backgrounds or characteristics that don't follow the patterns that were once the norm for terrorists. Some European intelligence officials say that terrorist organizations are purposefully recruiting these types of people so they won't be the targets of unwanted attention. The suggestion of the experts that we should be focusing on suspicious behavior and not skin color probably won't sink in to the Michelle Malkin's of our political world, but one hopes that the people in charge of protecting us are paying attention anyway, though I highly doubt the FBI is.

The demographics of those being arrested are so diverse that many European counterterrorism officials and analysts say they have given up trying to predict what sorts of people are most likely to become terrorists. Age, sex, ethnicity, education and economic status have become more and more irrelevant.

European authorities said the trait patterns of those arrested on terrorism charges are constantly shifting. In the Netherlands, officials said they are seeing an increase in the number of young teenagers and people of Turkish descent, two groups that used to be low on their radar. Among the key players in the Hofstad group, a cell of Islamic radicals that targeted Dutch politicians and cultural figures, was Jason Walters, the teenage son of a U.S. soldier.

In neighboring Belgium, people are still perplexed over what drove Muriel Degauque, 38, a blond, white Catholic, to convert to Islam and travel to Iraq to blow herself up in November 2005. Nizar Trabelsi, convicted two years earlier of plotting to bomb a NATO base in Belgium, had been a European soccer star before going to Afghanistan to attend al-Qaeda training camps.

In Britain, three of the suspects arrested in last summer's alleged transatlantic airline hijacking plot were religious converts who grew up in north London's affluent suburbs. One was the well-to-do English son of a Conservative Party activist; he worked in a bar and loved the movie "Team America."
It's all true... just look at THIS surveillance photo of the most dangerous Terrorists in the United States: