Has the Time come to Profile Would-Be Terrorists?


September 19, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013


Is this the face of terror?


Has the time come?

Should we allow even embrace the use of religious and ethnic profiling as a means to help protect our nation from would-be terrorists?

Is such a step, even if constitutional, now necessary?

FBI profilers tell us that they use fairly complex algorithms to identify and determine certain behavior patterns to predict with statistical certainty future behavior of individuals and groups that share a variety of common variables and components.

Critics of such profiling say that’s a nice way of saying “round up the usual suspects” with or without actual cause. if you are of a certain skin color, age and gender (black, 15-35, male) and in a car after a certain hour (1o pm) in certain areas then you know what they mean. Your chance of being pulled over and questioned with no cause if you fall under such a profile rockets upwards.


The quiet NY Chelsea neighborhood after the bombings


Supporters counter that part of profiling is simply using common sense.

There’s a reason they say that many terrorists do yell ‘Allah Akbar’ and not “reject radicalism” before they murder innocent people and it has everything to do with their religion, age, gender and ethnicity.

After a week-end that saw our nation endure terrorist attacks in MN, NJ and NY, more leaders are forcefully asking the question, actually demanding, that law enforcement officials be allowed to engage in religious, ethnic and even racial profiling as a strategic, preventive measure against terrorism. In this case, LEOs, including a former FBI anti-terrorist profiler and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, have both recently demanded that such a move be made.


The MN Mall before the multiple stabbings


Front and center.

There’s a reason folks that police don’t immediately start searching for females age 65 and older when a terror attack has occurred. Or when police get word that a gang is infiltrating the local high school they don’t immediately go to the Math Honors Club and round up the usual suspects. Or when police believe that a serial killer may be at work they do start to immediately profile any single, white, loner men between the age of 35-45 associated with the victims and put him on their short list.

It may not be fair if you land in a profiler’s matrix and have done no crime, but maybe, just maybe, many argue, that is a fair price to pay for more security these days.

It’s also why we are learning that a number of anti-terror experts have been and are continuing to quietly profile possible radicalized terrorists, singling out Muslim men between the ages of 15-45 who have traveled abroad to so-called “hot spots” like Afghan, Iraq, Syria and Iran (non-US Military ) and are increasing what they call “preemptive” surveillance. We are also hearing from a number of politicians and citizens that surveillance be stepped up on a number of large Mosques across the nation and that these be targets for undercover surveillance as some argue this is often where young, vulnerable Muslim men become radicalized.


Profiling is as old as the FBI itself


President Obama has asked that we remain calm and not give in to fear and that “attackers will never undermine our way of life.”

Hillary Clinton echoed the president’s thoughts today (9/19/2016) and in the immediate news of the most recent NY bombing called for us to “not overreact” and that “even calling it a bombing may be reckless.”

Her rival, Donald Trump showed no such reluctance, calling “it” a bombing, arguing that “we have to get tougher” and this morning as news reports broke making it a lot more probable that the suspected NJ/NY bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami) was indeed, a radical Muslim, called for an uptick in profiling and surveillance.

So, who is right here? What is truly the best path as we move forward?

Profiling, surveillance, a blocking of further immigration, in essence a presumption of guilt until proven innocent or a measured, more cautious response?

Certainly, detractors of using religious and ethnic profiling argue that it is not legal, not the American way and that so many innocent men and women, though more men, will be caught up in the net of suspicion that only resentment, rage and resistance are likely outcomes.

Yet, proponents are pointing to the recent attacks like the Minnesota Mall of America stabbings (where the suspect allegedly yelled ‘Allah Akbar’-God is Great) before his attack and the self-proclaimed ‘Soldier of ISIS’ in the NJ/NY bombings as further proof that overwhelmingly terror, at least the brand targeted toward the USA and much of Europe is in fact, radical Islam and not any other profile or type.

So, why not simply admit that we are in a war against radical Islamists who want to destroy all western ‘infidels’ and take steps now to aggressively protect our way of life?


At least we know where these folks stand, ideologically at least


A way of life that has already, many argue, been undermined and changed forever.

Is it fair to generalize that “all” Muslims want to destroy America and murder all they see as ‘infidels’ to their religion? of course not.

But by the same token, should we ignore the fact that a significant number of Muslims take very literally scripture in their holy book (the Koran) that in fact commands them to do this exact thing?

Or to continually ignore thing “army” of ISIS soldiers and loyalists who apparently believe they live for no other reason than to kill as many Christians as they can before dying?

It’s difficult to amass knowledge, have a sense of history and observe what seems like daily attacks on your country, your city, your neighbors, your way of life without begin to ‘quietly profile’ isn’t it?

On the other hand, is refusing to engage in such presumptive profiling really just “political correctness” as Mr. Trump and others charge?

Or is our way of life and what we believe in now and for well over 250 years really at stake if we take this ‘step’ and profile those we think have and will harm this way of life?

In a haunting bit of irony, the NJ/NY bombing suspect’s family owned a small restaurant called “The First American Fried Chicken.”

Somehow I lost my appetite.



42 thoughts on “Has the Time come to Profile Would-Be Terrorists?

  1. Harry Nelson says:

    There has been a major advancement in the notion of profiling, specifically that it is now an activity subject to broader public scrutiny. Because of this it can still be engaged while remaining securely within the American way of life.

    • Thomas R. says:

      Criminal profiling not just profiling of potential terrorists gets a bad name in the press and from those in our society that fall into one or more of the demographic groups that are commonly viewed as part of a profiled group. This does not mean that profiling in some fashion is not only necessary for national security and civil rest, in reality it is conducted in some fashion on a continual basis by all governments around the world. The question is at what level of government, and what level of profiling should be carried out.

      Some will argue that profiling due to race, religion, or any other factor is wrong and unconstitutional while in fact our history is ripe with examples of our government going above and beyond just profiling to internment camps (Japanese in world War II for example) to limiting people from entering or immigrating based on nation of origin (quotas and complete prohibition). I do not advocate the return to this level of paranoia. We are a nation predicated on the perception of individual liberty. Not a nation of actual complete individual liberty as society requires the removal under due process, of some individual liberty to ensure the public good.

      Therefore, due to the number and veracity of the incidents that have come to our shores over the last 20 years or so in the name of Islamic terror, I feel that it is in our best interest as a nation to conduct an increased level of profiling to limit the occurrence of these incidents. I do not know if this is best done in customs and immigration or domestically with the NSA and the FBI. What I do know is that there is an increased and real threat to not only our way of life but to our very lives if nothing is done. To ignore this fact is foolish, to over react and demonize a religious group based on fear is as well.

      What say you all

      • Harry Nelson says:

        The only thing that truly bothers me is that we have to keep it controversial in order to keep it under control. It’s not always pretty (who’m I kidding? It’s never pretty) but it works.

  2. A. Hughes says:

    What a heavy subject. Also, REALLY?! “The First American Fried Chicken.”, ha! Can’t they just stick to killing people one-calorie-at-a-time, maybe it wasn’t fast enough and they caught on… (I know, I know, poor humor).

    Truly though, how can fear not drive people’s emotions and actions. Even when I was watching the news this weekend my eyes were wide and I felt a twinge of fear. I’m happy that I don’t live in a big city. Thankfully I wasn’t traveling those days and that I wasn’t in a crowded area.

    I despise the idea profiling people or situations, I’m glad I’m not in the shoes of someone who is making these decisions to proceed with such methods.

    Fear is no way to live, that’s why refugees are spreading to other countries. So what happens from here?

    *sigh* It’s sad. For everyone. Safety at what cost. I don’t know but I do know I want to feel safe in our own country…

    • Lexis Lloyd says:

      I agree that the topic on profiling is a touchy subject. It’s important to be fair and treat everyone equally, however, it doesn’t seem like that would be the case if profiling were to be issued. I think it’s important to plan for the worst but think for the best. I can understand why the topic of profiling could be beneficial, however, it just doesn’t seem morally right in my opinion. There is such a thin line with this subject. I agree with you when you state, “I’m glad I’m not in the shoes of someone who is making these decisions to proceed with such methods.” There is definitely a lot of pressure to make steps forward with.

      • April Brauda says:

        I would say that we lack the empirical evidence to properly access the effectiveness of ethnic profiling in regards to our security. I do not feel the gut feelings against or in support of profiling is unwarranted, it all comes down to liberty vs security. However, I will state that there is a reason why polygraphs aren’t permissible in court, false positives (and negatives) can be quite dangerous when making decisions regarding someone’s freedom. Racially profiling can be deceptively detrimental for members of the targeted ethnic group, as stigmatization will occur. It would also make logical sense that those who are alienated/isolated are more likely to commit crimes.

        Thinking about this topic reminds me of the situation of the iPhone that belonged to the shooters in San Bernardino, CA earlier this year. This was a huge ordeal, as information could theoretically protect Americans from future attacks, as well as reveal any helpful information about the terrorists and their contacts. The FBI requested a backdoor, allowing the government to bypass the security measures and access the encrypted data which Apple denied. However, the phone had already been accessed, as later revealed when the lawsuits were dropped against Apple. In my opinion the massive amount of attention on this subject could serve only one purpose….to utilize (in)security to set a precedent for future concerns of privacy, leading to the slippery slope that is a world with no privacy.

        Ultimately, I might be a person who has read 1984 a few too many times but these are the dangers that we have to consider. But, as our resources are limited research is required to prove what is an efficient ways to maximize our efforts without jeopardizing our rights as citizens. Privacy was deemed imperative by our forefathers and could prove crucial in order to combat any corruption that may occur in our future.

  3. valdostaphil says:


    I think it’s an awfully slippery slope, and it’s one that people shouldn’t be supporting unless they’re OK with doing it to whatever group is a threat to anything, ever, at any given moment: religious groups, political groups, etc. (That’s where the term “political prisoner” comes from in the first place).

    There are even some fringe elements of the extreme right that are basically anarchists, but they would never tolerate being profiled without making some kind of liberty argument. Even for those who support racial/ethnic/religious profiling and similar activities (I’m not among those supporters, just for the record), but it’s not much of a jump from that to doing it to entire groups. There are real first amendment issues with activities like monitoring mosques, particularly when those institutions may be full of natural-born US citizen American Muslims. I don’t think anyone would ever tolerate 24/7 surveillance of the Westboro Baptist Church by law enforcement. McCarthyism has also pretty well been condemned by history. How is this any different?

    • valdostaphil says:

      Addendum: The idea of monitoring mosques has been a frequent suggestion in the current Presidential election.

    • valdostaphil says:

      The problem with big dragnets* is that even if you manage to show the restraint to cast “only this one, and only for this reason” which is highly unlikely, you’re going to catch people up in it that don’t belong there. You can’t justify violating the constitutional rights of a completely innocent, natural-born American citizen because of their appearance or religion and then try to justify it by saying “it isn’t pretty but it works.” When you’re doing surgery and not getting the outcomes you want, you get a better scalpel. Not replace it with a broadsword.

      * Well, other than the fact that they make it OK to cast as many big dragnets as you want on any group you want for any reason you want, effectively eliminating selectivity from our toolkit)

      • Thomas R. says:


        Profiling is not and should not be broad dragnets. When the topic is truly intelligence gathering and watching the usual suspects, just as in your analogy to surgery, if you are not getting the outcome you want you do not get a larger or better cutting instrument you develop better intelligence on the subject through continual refinement of the collective knowledge.

        Terrorist or criminal profiling is not illegal and is in the same vain as criminal registries, they are meant to be a portion of the collaborative effort of government agencies to improve the safety of everyone to include those being profiled. When an individual engages in associations that are known to have a high probability of illegal acts associated, it is only wise for law enforcement to then watch that person for indicators of rash or illegal activity.

        If that association is hanging out with known drug smugglers, gangs or any other known criminal group to include radical anti-American groups from Imams to white separatist groups, it makes no difference the individual has set themselves apart for this level of scrutiny. It is governments responsibility to do everything it can to prevent criminal activities that would result in the loss of Life, Liberty, or the pursuit of happiness for that largest portion of its citizens as absolute protection of these rights is not possible.

        Do I like that we need to profile anyone? No, but I do acknowledge that it is more effective to prevent criminal activity than to recover from its effects. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the argument both for and against this practice. The focus between the two sides is the difference. The argument against profiling is focusing on the protection of civil liberties above the potential costs of life and property. While the other is focused on the protection and continuation of the broader civil liberties by protecting the population from potential physical harm.

    • David S Pittsenberger says:

      I agree. An the answer to the question post by the OP was given by the OP. “Certainly, detractors of using religious and ethnic profiling argue that it is not legal, not the American way and that so many innocent men and women, though more men, will be caught up in the net of suspicion that only resentment, rage and resistance are likely outcomes.”
      I don’t have a problem with following up on individuals that have traveled to countries where terrorists are being trained or led from. But we should tracking all of them, not just of certain ethnicities or religions. There are plenty of non-Arabs that have been radicalized. One good reason not to limit ourselves to profiling is that we might miss potential terrorists. It is even known that these organizations try to recruit those that don’t fit the profile. Caucasians, those older and younger than the norm, etc.
      And how quickly have we forgotten the lessons of our past. The names Sacco and Vanzetti probably don’t even ring a bell anymore.It’s easy to rush to judgement of the other.

  4. Clint Backstrom says:

    While I do not think that profiling simply on religion is the correct thing to do we must profile individuals to ensure our safety. If our data and intelligence tells us people with certain characteristics or demographics are statistically more like to harm us then those are the ones we must seek out and watch, no matter what those characteristics are. If it is religion, sex, race, money, ethnicity, etc. then so be it. As long as we don’t start from a place of irrational fear and hate and instead use imperial data then we are moving in the right direction. If I happen to match the profile of someone the FBI is looking to watch then I will spend the necessary time to ensure them I am not a threat so they may move on. That is just the cost of being able to live as free as we do.

  5. Greg Gates says:

    In its current state, profiling does not violate civil liberties to the extreme (such as Japanese internment camps). I would argue that profiling may result in the annoyance of having one’s privacy invaded, being pulled over, being questioned, etc., but I would argue that a responsible citizenry should tolerate these annoyances in order to promote the public good; if a real threat to public safety exists. In other words,I believe the benefits of profiling outweigh the costs. Now if profiling results in rampant wrongful arrests, or more extreme deprivations of civil liberty, I would certainly oppose it.

    • Nathan D. says:

      I never looked at it like that and I agree with you. I think if law enforcement did not have a history of abusing that power, it would be considered more acceptable among people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

  6. Chardonnay Watson says:

    I am against profiling possible terrorist, not just because I feel that it is wrong; but because I have been “racially” profiled before and it is the absolute worst feeling. Profiling a person based off of religious affiliations and skin color/country background is ethically wrong; however, morally that depends on the individual. Imagine if this were you being profiled, how would you feel?

  7. Kyle Rudrow says:

    At this point it seems cliche, but definitely worth reiterating when we have public discussions about profiling. The United States has notions of itself as exceptional and a country built on a criminal system that, most of the time anyway, presumes innocence until proven guilty. Are we a people who are willing to abandon our way of life and freedoms because of fear and speculation? At that point, have the terrorists won? We need to remind ourselves of what makes a “terrorist” and “terrorist.” Let’s look at the response to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. In some respects, the police were applauded for their aggressive tactics. But look how the police treated individual citizens and violated search and seizure laws and entered homes and property without warrants. Watch the videos of the search effort where police demanded people to go back into their homes and not look outside their own windows, and ask yourself if you want this to be the norm in “the land of the free.” Do we want police profiling citizens whilst they continue to look and act like a paramilitary force and implicit biases that lead to deaths on a daily bases already permeate throughout the system? We’re all allowed to have our own opinions on the topic, and mine is an absolute no. How about instead we develop a more proactive foreign and domestic cyber/information strategy and military/diplomatic strategy to combat extremism abroad and in the homeland so that we don’t have to lose anymore of our freedoms or allow an already broken criminal justice system to adversely effect more lives.

    • Thomas R. says:


      The only problem with your argument on this issue is that to produce a “more proactive foreign and domestic cyber/information strategy and military/diplomatic strategy to combat extremism abroad and in the homeland” is to profile. This is not a profile built on prejudice of a race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other mass group factor, yet it is no less a profiling technique. Effective profiling is the use of known associations, patterns of behavior, and statistics to limit the time needed to find an offender and to reduce the potential of offenses by limiting the opportunity to offend.

      We must not allow our existence to be fundamentally changed by the removal of individual liberties in an effort to limit terrorism. Yet the effort to ensure these liberties must be balanced against the reality that some intrusions on these liberties is necessary to ensure there existence. Those who which to cause us harm do not support our ideals of individual liberty, and in fact the idea is one of the reasons then want to carry out acts of terror. We must not allow liberty to be the route of our own demise.

      View it in the prism of the social contract theory, to live in the collective we give up some of our individual liberties to live in a society rather than state of complete freedom or nature. Yet it is the relinquish of these individual liberties that allows us to live in a collective society in the first place as without doing so there can be no law. It is this balance of acceptable restrictions on behaviors, and the power of the government to remove individual liberties that must be decided.

  8. Brett Stanelle says:

    I think that the use of the term “profiling” has morphed into a generally negative application. Merriam-Webster provides the following definition: the act or process of learning information about someone based on what is already known. Your examples on terrorism, gang activity and serial killers carry weight because there have been commonalities identified among offenders. That does not mean that every potential offender fits the mold, there are outliers. However, if there are commonalities or clues that could be used should we not use them reasonably to narrow down investigative efforts? Some would argue that profiling more simply means knowing what to look for.

    In the wake of the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech, colleges and universities began to implement Behavior Intervention Teams (BIT), which comprised of various member of the campus community who reviewed reports, made assessments and recommended, if necessary, some form of intervention in the interest of campus safety. The idea was to break down silos of information among campus entities, similar to what law enforcement has done at all levels of government. Breaking down these silos allows everyone to be more informed because various entities or organizations may have pieces of the puzzle that complete the picture. In the case of Virginia Tech, one person saw this, another saw that and so on. Taken by themselves, the individual observations didn’t mean anything, but taken together they painted an entirely different picture, which if properly identified and assessed could prevent a tragedy. Commonalities have also been identified in active shooter attackers, for example, they are almost always male, the majority of them have carried out single shooter attacks and there is usually some form of real or perceived grievance. Does this mean that every college male who goes out and buys a gun is going to be the next active shooter at a university? No. However, demographics taken in conjunction with other indicators like a fascination with weapons/explosives, abnormal behavior, research into previous attacks, etc., may create a more complete picture for analysis. We can’t ever return to the internment camps of WWII, but using observations, data and logic to narrow down the threat pool makes some sense if such techniques are employed reasonably and fairly.

  9. Junior Jackson says:

    My thoughts on this issue, of whether to profile residents and some citizens of the United States because of the religion they practice, or their ethnicity is wrong however the country and its peoples are not as safe as they once were. I know that the country needs to ramp up security and protect of it territory. I know there are better measures out there to protect against and capture terrorist but citizens and residents are very afraid and they are desperate for any kind of measure that offer protect and comfort -ergo Trump supporters. I don’t think I know what to do to combat against terrorist attack any better then the country already has however I have faith that the American federal government is working tirelessly to protect its borders and its occupants, because its not just ordinary people who are in jeopardy but its the entire country and every human being has a built in mechanism to protect themselves and that’s what our leaders and ordinary people are doing daily.

  10. Nathan D. says:

    I think profiling can be a slippery slope. On one side you want to remain impartial and on the other end you want to get the job done. Unfortunately it’s not possible to profile a person without offending someone because it’s not 100% effective. Also, once you go down that path it becomes easier to justify doing it for other ethnic groups, minorities, or religious groups. I believe profiling is completely out the question at this point. The government would need to find other means to get a handle on the situation. There are other things that can be done that aren’t as intrusive. It’s still a difficult problem to deal with to be honest. At the same time what would you do if there were sleeper cells in your country carrying out sporadic attacks on civilians? Guerrilla warfare has always been one of the most difficult forms of combat tactics to deal with. I personally would create some type of religious registration act, where every Muslim would have to register and undergo extensive background checks.

    It sounds simple to me but even implementing that would be considered unconstitutional. I also look at what the US did during WWII when they placed the Japanese in camps out of fear of retaliation. What the country did was at the time unconstitutional, but I do understand why they came to that conclusion even though I don’t agree with it. I also believe that a country has a right to do what’s necessary in order to keep it and its citizens safe. I do agree with Obama, in reference to not allowing terrorism to place fear inside the people to the point where they lose all sense or morality.

    Overall, I feel like the US government is slightly culpable for the problems we have in this country with terrorism. The lackadaisical style of immigration enforcement and political correctness has severely damaged this country in my opinion. I don’t believe the citizens needs are always made a priority. The US has an accommodating nature for foreigners for a multitude of reasons. One of the immediate issues is that the US lacks a proper vetting process and strict guidelines. This broken system opens the door for people with malicious intent to enter smoothly into the country. There needs to be accountability, even when it comes to our freedoms. Freedom of religion is one of the many awesome things about this country. At the same time with every freedom we are given, there should be caveats to them.

    At the end of the day, we truly don’t have a clue. For all we know this could really be the CIA simply posing as terrorist and implementing attacks on US soil in order to further our governments’ personal agenda…sounds crazy but it’s definitely not a stretch.

  11. Dustin H. says:

    I think we have, over the years, been implanted with the notion that “profiling” is negative. Profiling is not negative and indeed very needed and useful in criminal investigations, including terrorism. However, profiling must start with behavioral and psychological characteristics, not race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, etc. This, coupled with a strong intelligence system and better border security, should be all we need to successfully combat terrorism.

  12. Savianna says:

    My step-father actually just retired from the FBI terrorism unit and I still find this a tough topic to argue. Morally, religious and ethnic profiling is not right. I don’t agree with it and they are nothing but generalized assumptions that usually aren’t logically proven. It also brings about hatred and a number of other negative aspects of our society.

    However, if profiling is at all making the slightest difference AND it outweighs the cons of what is causes (I don’t think it does) then I would be for it, but I believe it causes more harm than good. When you profile by ethnicity, religion, age, gender, etc. at that point EVERY ONE is a suspect. So what is this “complicated” algorithm? = ALL? Can you imagine the man power, equipment, and money needed for this type of profiling. Wasteful!

    Outside characteristics should not be focused on to guesstimate a potential terrorist threat, inside characteristics should. (behaviors, thought processes,). I think fear can make people go over the top; like building walls. smh. Don’t get me wrong. It is an understandable reaction but it is also more damaging to society as a whole than one may think.

  13. Aaron Whitehead says:

    I guess this would be hard for someone to profile without the right equipment. The FBI profilers use complex algorithms to identify and determine certain behavior patterns to predict with statistical certainty failure behavior of individuals and groups that share a variety of common variables and components. I just don’t believe that profiling would be correct every time. I know that you must use your best judgment.

    The critics should look at it more than just “rounding up the usual suspects”. Everyone that looks suspicious is not. That would be very hard to do every time there is a crowd of people you do not know.

  14. Cenetta. B says:

    To be quite frank, I think what this country considers terrorism and the people it considers terrorists alone puts me on the “No” side of this debate. For whatever reason, it seems that only Brown Muslims can be considered terrorists. I don’t think this country is able to separate profiling from discrimination, nor is it able to call all the attacks on its citizens terrorism.

  15. Angel Maxwell says:

    I would honestly agree that this could be something worth looking into had any of the societal implications were even considered. However true it may be that there are reoccurring racial, religious, gender occurrences for terrorism; individuals as a collective whole do not possess the level of empathy and comprehension to separate this data gathered towards fighting against terrorism from the individual; with this being the case social equity will not be attainable when black children/ men wearing hoodies at late nights of the hours and persons participating in their traditional religious beliefs are targeted as prime suspects for crimes. I’ve learned to understand that as a collective we fear what we don’t know, and if all we put out there is that these sorts of individuals are the problem, I foresee those from other backgrounds reading no further into the matter. So I would advocate against this as I value a society where we all can work towards equality rather than placing individuals into a crime expectancy matrix the promotes a society of segregation.

  16. Kendria Swift says:

    I would like to believe that the world has progressed beyond the realm of racism. By us positioning ourselves to actively profile those who we perceive to be terrorists, we are openly discriminating against others. Racial profiling is not new. Blacks have endured these for years. I would like to believe that our society could transcend beyond the notion of looking at someone and simply stating that “they fit the profile.”

  17. gljackson33 says:

    I don’t think that we should use religion to profile a terrorist. Anyone can be a terrorist and anyone can become a domestic terrorist as well. So how would the FBI profile domestic terrorist. Do they look at their religion as well. But the FBI does what they want.

  18. Kyle Poe says:

    So why would this even be a thing? Why are we going above and beyond to protect a country that is “free” from forcing religious beliefs. We are supposedly extremely intelligent, right? So why cant we create a universal screening system in which we will be able to see a background of anyone seeking to enter this country. For those living here the FBI are the only ones who should be able to investigate “would-be terrorist”.

  19. Hampton Raulerson says:

    The sad truth about terror attacks is that they do weaken the resolve of the American people. That is not the resolve to resist a foreign threat or an ideology but the people’s resolve to have control of their own lives. People give into fear and gladly sign their rights away. It is funny to me that the people in this instance who are saying to not give into fear are the same people fear mongering about firearms in the U.S. There is a need for law enforcement to be able to use common sense when policing but limitations must be imposed or we truly have lost. I’m not opposed to law enforcement collecting information on suspected terrorists but at the same time I am the type of person who wants that activity to cumbersome and a delicate dance for them. At the end of the day we must remember that no matter our color or creed, we are United States citizens and by golly we have our rights.

  20. kade bell says:

    The sad problem about terrorist attacks is that it has made more people start profiling and being scared of certain kinds of people. I don’t think its right to profile certain people because all races can do bad things and has happened before. Just because people believe a certain thing or look a certain way doesn’t mean they have a better chance of being a threat. I dont have a problem with the united states targeting suspects but we have our own rights as Americans.

  21. Taylor Anderson says:

    At the end of the day, it is the job of our government, military, and law enforcement to protect the lives of Americans and those within the borders of our country. If the best way to protect our people is to begin profiling potential terrorists then I support it. The only issue that I have is if profiling is taken over by prejudice. There should be a strict script that profilers have to follow when profiling and enough probable cause.

  22. Sierra Freeman says:

    I think the idea to begin profiling potential terrorists can have its pros and cons. I believe that it is a good idea because you can save the lives of fellow Americans before something really drastic happens; however, I believe that it would be a bad idea if the grounds of this said profiling results in prejudice and discrimination.

  23. E. Griffin says:

    Let’s be clear here, profiling definitely involves prejudging and stereotyping. When it comes to profiling potential terrorist it’ll be no different. I’m not absolutely sure it will save more lives than it hurts. The fact of the matter is that the government has immense access to our private information already. Apparently they are using their access to this information wisely. If they were perhaps some of the acts of terrorism we’ve experience would’ve been avoided or at least lessened. So when it comes to profiling terrorist I’m not convinced it’ll decrease the amount of terrorism acts.

  24. Briana Holloway says:

    When it comes to doing what we need to do protect out country, I don’y know if I would necessarily refer to is as profiling. When it comes to preventing terrorism you can never be to sure and too comfortable that certain things get left out because we’re afraid that someone way may think that we are profiling.

  25. Yvonne Valdosta says:

    Profiling has existed for a very long time in America’s legal system. As you’ve stated, Black and Latino Men are profiled for criminal activity, Muslims for practicing Islam, and white men for serial killings and domestic terrorism. I think that choosing to monitor the actions of immigrants who come from certain regions where terrorism is known to occur, is prudent on behalf of homeland security efforts. I do think it is important that the media and those involved in enforcing our nation’s immigration and homeland security laws are careful about creating a narrative that Islam is evil and that all Muslims want to kill Americans, because it simply isn’t true. Sociopathic criminals are just that, regardless of what religion or ideology they profess. In fact, Christianity was used to justify slavery and subjugation of native and black people in America for hundreds of years. It has also been used to denigrate women and the poor. Because it is difficult to track lone wolves, terrorists, serial killers, and other threats to peace in our world, it doesn’t give the government the right to treat everyone as criminals in the name of homeland security. All citizens, government workers, the military, and politicians have to be vigilant in our fight against those who want to sabotage our democracy and freedom in this world.

  26. We must keep our standards. In fact, I believe that our standards should rise as Trump and other highly influential public figures lower the bar. Our values and morals should tell us that we can’t settle for profiling. Just because things get tough does not mean we have to conform to weak minded trends. What if wealthy Caucasian males were apart of the ISIS efforts. Profiling wouldn’t conclude in an appropriate outcome. We’d all be doomed! There has to be a better way. I mean, why do we pay our intelligence agencies so much if they aren’t coming up with anything better than profiling. That’s falling right into a trap. People are clever these days. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump fooled the world! If that’s not pulling the wool over your eyes, I don’t know what is. Let’s not be so simple.

  27. I am on the fence for this post in that I am highly alarmed and concern with the ever rising terrorist attacks. However I am highly against the practices of “Profiling, surveillance, a blocking of further immigration, in essence a presumption of guilt until proven innocent or a measured, more cautious response?…” This is highly unconstitutional but it has been going on for decades to many other ethnic groups and minorities. And to think it isn’t going on now is naive of us take Syrian refugees who aren’t receiving refugee here in the US or other countries from our fears. I get the fear of who we are letting in but as well are we doing it right no, were a leading countries in foreign rights for women and children, i.e Eleanor Roosevelt and President Roosevelt’s role in the creation of the United Nations and its creation. But I believe that finely teased background tracks and interviews are should be in place.

  28. Lindsey B Jones says:

    This issue is becoming more and more prominent. While I do not think that it is fair nor do I believe that ever Muslim is a terrorist, I do know that there are some that are radicals and I think that are things that can be done to prevent terrorist acts. I don’t think it is right to profile someone based on their race and ethnicity. However, I think that profiling someone based on their actions would be a more accurate assumption. I think if there are people of concern, it would be important to look into their travel history and their online interactions as well which I’m sure is already being done. The more these terrorist incidents occur on US soil, the harder it will be for the government to not take these steps. Unfortunately for the Muslim population, there are radicals that do things to create negative thoughts about the Muslim religion and it is not fair. It would be important to proceed with caution so that each person, no matter what their race, age,sex, ethnicity, and religion are treated fairly and equally which is something many have strived to achieve for hundreds of years.

  29. Susan Hacker says:

    I think the value of profiling lies in the profiler and what type of crime is being profiled. The FBI has highly trained individuals who excel at developing profiles of criminals who have committed crimes. These teams enjoy a very high success rate (if you believe what you see on Criminal Minds) because they have studied patterns of past crimes and can see similar patterns in the crime they are investigating. These profiles are extremely specific, which is why they are so successful.

    What is much more difficult, and problematic, is developing a profile of a crime that has not yet been committed. What type of person might bomb a building or subway station? Under that kind of scenario, it is almost impossible to narrow down the suspect pool to any reasonable degree. As a result, these profiles are much more vague and encompass a much wider section of the population.

    Add to this dilemma the fact that some law enforcement personnel are unethical, and you have a recipe for disaster. If a police officer wants to increase his numbers, he may be tempted to engage in racial profiling even if it is officially prohibited. It is also much easier to claim to have prevented a crime than to prove that someone has actually committed a crime. I have no doubt that many innocent Muslim men have been arrested based on racial profiling, and the police officers were hailed as preventing what could have been a terrible situation. How can you ever be sure that these men would not have committed crimes? You can’t, and that is the problem.

  30. Sarah says:

    This is such a tough subject. For another course that I am taking I wrote a paper on the Patriot Act and I discussed racial profiling a lot. There are so many “benefits” when just speaking about stopping potential terrorist attacks, but what does that do to the people or the groups that are targeted for profiling? One article I remember reading questioned whether or not this actually did the opposite because if I were targeted for being a potential terrorist over and over, would this actually make me angry and in return would I begin to support terrorism? In most groups this was not the case, but it actually did cause negative feelings towards the country. This is really sad because people think profiling will help, but honestly in the end it could end up hurting even more.

  31. Molly Giddens says:

    Criminal Profiling should be a tool used in appropriate settings. I could see where using it tool loosely could allow room for racist-type presumptions. From what I have read, criminal profiling should be used when there has been a serious criminal offense involving an unknown offender (e-criminalpsychology.com). Criminal profiling should foreshadow both physical and nonphysical characteristics that can be reflected directly in how, when, and why the crime was committed (e-criminalpsychology.com).

    Obviously, like all tools there are flaws. Many seem to not agree upon what personal attributes creates an offender profile (e-criminalpsychology.com). With such loose standards, too many opinions and feelings could hinder probable cause. In addition, who is to truly equipped enough with experience to profile? And at that, correctly?

    I also feel that it is a natural reaction to profile, especially when several cases have had similar offender profiles. When the media depicts continuous terroristic activity how could one resist becoming super vigilant?

    A “getting tougher movement” may not always bring about desired results. As for history repeating itself, I know the war on drugs (one get tough movement) had much backlash including wasted tax dollars and over-populated correctional facilities.

    In another sense, how is the rest of the world treating Muslims? I would like to know more on that subject. I am sure we are not the only ones having this discussion.

    In summary, I think with preventative/proactive policing and security, criminal profiling maybe inevitable. Or is it more of the opposite? Is criminal profiling solely a reaction to fear of a former incident?
    I am quite sure everyone has a different answer.

  32. lrtrower says:

    This is a pretty interesting question? I think that this type of profiling should be done on a case by case basis. Religion and ethnic profiling should not be considered fro everyone. The reason it should be a case by case basis is because not all of them are religious. Now because one of them is listed as being part of a certain religion, not all of the apples have all been placed in the same barrel. The is a real big issue because it makes them at everyone in the same religion. Muslims is a great example. Not all Muslims are evil or terrorists. All Muslims are now under the radar. When they see one Muslim, they see all of them. now all Muslims are going to be treated disrespectfully. These cases should be on an individual basis. Take a good look at that individual and see what their background is. Now everyone has the same issues. Not every black person are thieves. Just because one person is black and is going around robbing people, don’t say that it is all of them. This is an individual thing. They should be punished on an individual basis.

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