Are you a Terrorist?

I read an illuminating article about how to spot a terrorist. The article told me that if I saw somebody buying hydrogen peroxide at Home Depot, I must follow him and make sure he buys gas or garbage butoxide that are all elements in making explosive. If I am certain, then I must inform the police. This left me wondering on so many levels as to what these informative articles are supposed to achieve.

Aa far as the terrorist is concerned, he is given a checklist to steer clear of. This reminds  me of the time, one Senior Assistant commissioner of our town gave a talk that was designed to instruct and aid.

There was an increase in the number of robberies about town and the Assistant Commissioner’s sense of duty beckoned him till he could ignore it no more. He came on television. What we really expect  a man with a large moustache and formidable stomach wearing a police uniform to do is of course, just twirl it (the moustache I mean, not the tummy) impressively and hearten our souls by saying the whole police force is stumped by the problem and are working round the clock in solving it. Why? Even yesterday, three of his constables had tea at 3 a.m. in the neighborhood that the most recent robberies took place in, along with some men of questionable intentions. More tea stalls are being constructed in the vicinity to aid the robberies. That was all he needed to do.

Instead what did the gallant man do? He came on television and said, “I am going to give you some tips on how not to get robbed.” He started light – “Lock your door”, “Close your windows” kind of instructions and swiftly moved onto juicier topics. “Do not leave your valuables in steel cupboards under lock and key. That is where robbers look first. Take them and hide them in the kitchen. That is the place they will not think of checking.” he said and beamed rather freely at the audience. I don’t whether the man was expecting all television viewers to stand up in honour or what, but he beamed for a full minute after this gem.

This man, because of the graciousness of his position, was allowed to come and make a statement like that instead of being muted out of office. There was an uproar, because of course folks were hiding their valuables in the kitchen or elsewhere before this man came and told the robbers where to start. Even the extra tea stalls were quite unnecessary since the robbers just made themselves comfortable in the kitchen during the quest.

The intention as always is good. If only his force had asked the men at the tea stall whether they were robbers, he could have come on television a victorious man, a man who knew what he was facing. Please head on over to this link to see what I mean.

This article about security checks in Israel interested me. Reminds me that we often forget the direct and obvious. Very few people can lie convincingly when posed the question, “Are you a terrorist?” Turns out that Israel has been using this simple method to weed out potential terrorists with remarkable results. Full body scans can reveal articles of questionable intent, but not the intent. People to people questioning can expose intent.

6 thoughts on “Are you a Terrorist?”

  1. Yup, been there.
    I was asked, a series of questions. Since my name is unconventional Indian name, I was asked more questions. What festivals do you celebrate in India and such. I was so scared to say I was a Christian! But effective indeed.
    And of course if your passport shows you are anyway related to the middle east be assured of a good couple of hours in the interrogation room.
    I am dreading the body scanners already!

    1. You’ve been to Israel? Wow – was it a very slow process though?

      Body scanners:
      Tell me about it. And, I am not too enthused by the idea of x-ray machines either!

      1. Saumya, yes, but I had the magic letter from work which expedited to a certain extent, but it still took quite some time! I guess they have to be cautious they are surrounded by enemies who are dying to wipe them away.

    2. Although I have never been anywhere close to Middle-East (including Israel), have heard from a few friends who have been there about the interrogation drill. I concur that it is a much better deterrent than the body scan will ever be.

  2. LOL! Can’t stop laughing. Reminds me of a cartoon where Airport Security staff ignore a whole pile of guns and bombs in the hand-baggage but are expounding on the dangers of harbouring a nose-hair trimmer in hand baggage!

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