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Location: Idaho
Joined: 12/29/2003
Posts: 74
Now the POPE has stepped in it....
expatriate wrote:
My question still stands: if we're not put increased emphasis on people based on physical characteristics, what behaviors should we be looking for when screening a planeload of people? If you want to behavior profile, what are we looking for? I'm curious, because the hijackers took great pains to blend in.

I wonder what the Air Marshals are trained to look for?

On a lighter note, I came across this website while googling "Terrorist Identification"

http://www.imao.us/archives/000473.html

It gave me a much-needed laugh.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

To answer what behavior we should be looking for is far too in-depth to write about here. I will invite your rather to get P.O.S.T. certified and if you do or don't decide on a career in law enforcement, educate yourself by seminars and classes taught by law enforcement and similar professionals, they are available. The fact is that focusing on one aspect of a profile does not give you the whole story, and that is what I meant when I said that to just racially profile is ignorant.

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Location: Idaho
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....
WesternHunter wrote:
The fact is that focusing on one aspect of a profile does not give you the whole story, and that is what I meant when I said that to just racially profile is ignorant.

I agree... and it's short-sighted. Expatriate's question still reflects a deep conundrum.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Now the POPE has stepped in it....

I've never suggested that racial profiling alone is the answer. I just think we might be a bit foolish to pretend some factors don't exist. Admit it: when you're watching the people around you as you board a plane, who do you watch -- the middle-aged guy with the combover or the young middle-eastern guys sitting in aisle seats?

Petty criminals might exhibit certain behaviors, but someone resolved to dying can be harder to spot. The 9/11 hijackers were keenly aware of appearances took great pains to control dress and mannerisms to blend in. Similarly, the success of a suicide bomber depends on his/her ability to eliminate "tells" and blend in with a crowd. Such people plan well ahead, make up their minds to die, and work through all the emotions ahead of time. When the moment arrives, there's not much to indicate what they're about to do until it's too late.

I agree with the part about people refusing to be victims. The trick is getting a crowd to agree to act together and fight a battle of attrition. Surrounded by strangers with no affiliation, most people withdraw, take a herd mentality, and sheepishly try to be as invisible as possible, hoping that the bad guy will go after other people who are more noticeable.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

If you want to talk conundrum, mismary, here's one for you:

One night when I was in Afghanistan, security forces found that someone had cut through the wire and got onto the base. The base went into alert status, and everyone ran to bunkers and hunkered down. One of the guys I worked with found himself hunched over in a four foot high concrete bunker alone with a bunch of Afghans that worked odd jobs around the base.

So here's the conundrum. It's dark, there's intruders inside the wire, and he's stuck in a bunker with an unfamiliar bunch of guys behind him jabbering away in Peshtu. Which way does he point the M-16? Think

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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

If in doubt, pull the pin out of a pineapple and leave bunker. Thumbs up

WesternHunter's picture
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

Your actions will determine how badly you want to live or not.

True, small children against an adult with a gun is a whole different situation, but you can't tell me that someone who knew the guy didn't think that he was about to do something bad.

Hind sight is 20/20. There was lots of stuff brough up after 9/11 about the hijackers, stuff people noticed before the tragedy. Not everything can be masked, and people do notice things, just fail to take action.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

WesternHunter, has anyone close to you ever committed suicide or done something heinous? I've been there and it really isn't that simple. Even if you suspect that their behavior seems slightly different (i.e. quieter or more animated than normal), it's quite a stretch to see that and decide that he/she is going to do something extreme. It's even harder to make that leap when it's someone you don't know and you have no baseline to compare them to. I've had a friend put a bullet through his head in an unsuccessful attempt, and known two others who successfully killed themselves. Not a single person in any case saw it coming or thought there was a problem.

There's a lot of training out there (and I've had it) to recognize warning signs of suicide or workplace violence. Unfortunately, those that are serious about it often don't telegraph their intentions because they genuinely want to die and realize that warning signs could lead to unwanted interference from others.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 12/29/2003
Posts: 74
Now the POPE has stepped in it....
expatriate wrote:
If you want to talk conundrum, mismary, here's one for you:

One night when I was in Afghanistan, security forces found that someone had cut through the wire and got onto the base. The base went into alert status, and everyone ran to bunkers and hunkered down. One of the guys I worked with found himself hunched over in a four foot high concrete bunker alone with a bunch of Afghans that worked odd jobs around the base.

So here's the conundrum. It's dark, there's intruders inside the wire, and he's stuck in a bunker with an unfamiliar bunch of guys behind him jabbering away in Peshtu. Which way does he point the M-16? Think

Well... WHAT HAPPENED!?!? Please tell us the rest of the story!!!

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Now the POPE has stepped in it....

Well, on one hand I can wish it had a more exciting ending, but on the other I"m glad it didn't. After a few minutes he relaxed a bit and decided that if they were up to no good they would've tried something already, since he was alone. But after spending an hour or two dividing his attention between activity inside the bunker and activity outside it, the all clear was given and he went back to his hut. But for the rest of the deployment he made sure he went to a bunker where other GIs were going.

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