Over-dressed Tube train travellers who look like they’re high on drugs could be Al Qaida terrorists, London’s Evening Standard revealed this week in an article examining the latest police anti-terror tactics.
Cops on the Underground and also at Heathrow airport are applying Israeli style profiling tactics to hunt out potential suicide bombers, the paper revealed, also looking for those demonstrating ‘nervous behaviour and avoiding eye contact’.
In more anti-terror news, Doncaster traveller Paul Chambers, 29, was arrested and detained in a cell for seven hours a week after he Twittered a message to friends in which he joked about ‘blowing Doncaster Airport sky high’.
In a sympathetic article, the Independent newspaper said Mr Chamber is the first person to be arrested in the UK for a Twitter post and revealed police have seized his mobile phone, laptop and home computer while they continue deciding to prosecute him or not. Mr Chambers has also already been banned for life from Doncaster Airport. Civil liberties guru Tessa Mayes was unimpressed.
"Making jokes about terrorism is considered a thought crime, mistakenly seen as a real act of harm or intention to commit harm,” she told the Independent.
"The police's actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us. In a democracy, our right to say what we please to each other should be non-negotiable, even on Twitter,” she suggested.
In lighter war on terror news, the New York Times published a fascinating article examining the psychology of typical terrorists based on interviews with former fighters which revealed that many eventually grow out of it. The paper focused on the findings of John Horgan, director of International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Pennsylvania State University, who analysed IRA and Al Qaida defectors last year.
“Recruits are often promised an exciting, glamorous adventure and a chance to change the world. But what they often find, Dr. Horgan said, is that the groups they join are rife with jealousies and personal competition,” said the Times, ”Also, the life is boring. You end up in a safe house drinking tea.” (The Terrorist Mind)