The mainstream media must operate on logic that works in some alternate universe. That alternate universe allows for illogical stories, in which the thesis is disproven in the first paragraph. Case in point is this WaPo story headlined “Terrorists Proving Harder to Profile.”
The opening paragraph states something that is internally contradictadory:
On the surface, the young Dutch Moroccan mother looked like an immigrant success story: She studied business in college, hung out at the pub with her friends and was known for her fashionable taste in clothes.
So residents of this 900-year-old river town were thrown for a loop last year when Bouchra El-Hor, now 24, appeared in a British courtroom wearing handcuffs under an all-encompassing black veil. Prosecutors said she had covered up plans for a terrorist attack and wrote a letter offering to sacrifice herself and her infant son as martyrs.
The story then goes on to tell us that profiling doesn’t really work. After all, many Muslims wear “fashionable” clothes. One must suppose there are fashionable burkhas. Obviously, not all Muslims are terrorists. Just that most terrorists are Muslims. And, at least in the West, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are Middle Eastern, South Asian, or East Indian in appearance. For every ethnic Anglo-Saxon or European terrorist suspect, there are probably over a hundred who are not.
Does profiling lead to success? Not by itself. Only if it is combined with something that is at least hinted at by one source for the story:
In an interview, [Edwin Bakker, a researcher at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague] said that many local police agencies have been slow to abandon profiling, but that most European intelligence agencies have concluded it is an unreliable tool for spotting potential terrorists. “How can you single them out? You can’t,” he said. “For the secret services, it doesn’t give them a clue. We should focus more on suspicious behavior and not profiling.”
This researcher is half right. Behavior is the first determinant. But, given limited security resources, it first makes sense to do some preliminary screening. As in, pay closer attention to young males who appear to be from Muslim countries, and who appear to be between the ages of 15 and 50.
No, you won’t catch all would-be terrorists this way. One in a hundred won’t match this rough screening profile. But you will have an much, much better chance if you don’t waste your screening resources on the elderly, or on middle aged white women.
It is horribly politically incorrect to suggest that Islam itself is the source of the terror. After all, our president has told us, repeatedly, that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Perhaps the peaceful Muslims, which is to say the vast majority of them around the world, will suffer some unwarranted inconveniences due to security profiling.
To which I say, hard cheese. Police your community; purge yourselves of that small fraction, large in absolute numbers, who actively support Islamic terror. Unless and until that happens, we should not allow political correctness, or avoidance of hurt feelings, to allow our people to be put at risk.