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Techie and terrorist behavioural profiles are the same

David Mery | 27.09.2005 01:55 | Analysis | Repression | Technology | Terror War | London

‘LONDON (Reuters): - A London underground train station was evacuated and part of a main east-west line closed in a security alert on Thursday, three weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people on the transport network, police said. A Transport Police spokeswoman said Southwark station was closed and Jubilee Line services suspended between Waterloo and Canary Wharf in the east London business district.’

This Reuters story was written while the police were detaining me in Southwark tube station and the bomb squad was checking my rucksack. When they were through, the two explosive specialists walked out of the tube station smiling and commenting ‘nice laptop’. The officers offered apologies on behalf of the Metropolitan Police. Then they arrested me.

Sari Horwitz writes, a few days after my arrest, in the Washington Post:

‘After the July 7 attacks on the London transit system by suicide bombers, the international police chiefs organization produced a detailed training guide for dealing with suicide bombers [that] recommends [...] an officer needs to use lethal force to stop someone who fits a certain behavioral profile.’

Here are some more details from the International Association of Chiefs of Police training guide on profiling suicide bombers:

‘Behavior. Does the individual act oddly, appear fearful, or use mannerisms that do not fit in? Examples include repeatedly circling an area on foot or in a car, pacing back and forth in front of a venue, glancing left and right while walking slowly, fidgeting with something under his or her clothes, exhibiting an unwillingness to make eye contact, mumbling (prayer), or repeatedly checking a watch or cell phone. [...]

Appearance. Is the clothing, grooming, gender, or age of an individual out of place within the context of the environment? Examples include someone wearing a heavy coat or jacket in warm weather [...]

Equipment. Does a briefcase, duffle bag, or backpack seem extra heavy or have protrusions or visible wires? When the individual sits down, is he or she overly protective of this item or preoccupied with it? [...]’

How many computer and telecoms enthusiasts – basically techies – fit the Police terrorist behavioural profile so well and are not only wrongly detained but wrongly arrested every week in similar circumstances to mine?

David Mery
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Hide the following 6 comments


27.09.2005 02:46

Not too surprising if ur a geek really...

Nice interview on radio.indymedia / rampart radio btw - put it on ur blog :)


Nerd too

27.09.2005 03:11

"How many computer and telecoms enthusiasts – basically techies – fit the Police terrorist behavioural profile so well and are not only wrongly detained but wrongly arrested every week in similar circumstances to mine?"

I take it you mean nerdy. Yes I would fit the bill. Work with computers not people. Lucky I don't live and work in London, although I visit sometimes - seems to be every few weeks or so at the moment. Usually wear too many clothes, don't like to strip off I don't fit our society's fashion/fitness requirements, so I will probably get shot by the police at some point (taser or real bullets...whatever).
Quite often have poor time-keeping and will often be late and therefore check my watch a couple of times. I am also forgetful so will check that I don't forget that my bag exists a couple of times as well.
Also been told I walk slowly as well, and believe I tend to look down and then left and right to find my way etc.
One thing in my favour at the moment is that I do not have coloured skin so I suspect that will increase my life expectancy somewhat - hopefully.


Just a one off will do

27.09.2005 10:41

Imagine that on the day of the event your wife had just left you, was killed in a car crash.
Some one you love very much was in hospital , anyway you were distraught pacing up and down scared
to death that your mum was gonna die, and there are plenty of other situations that make ordinary honest people act very strange. Some armed plod happens onto the scene and pumps a clip of bullets into the back of your neck, the met PR machine then goes into action and hey presto you jumped the ticket barrier ect ect.
Could happen to anyone in Bliars brave neo Britain .. better to keep off the streets have plenty to drink watch plenty of TV and keep the wool pulled well down over your eyes ..


"Citizens" to be known as "suspects" from 2007

27.09.2005 11:03

David - your account of the arrest was excellent; a real eye-opener. This is a whole interesting new take on the terrorism/civil liberties issue.

While ordinary people on the tube are getting harrassed by an increasingly jumpy police force desperate to stop another terrorist attack, how is Blair working to bring us peace and security?

By holding secret negotiations with the Saudi government, a dictatorial regime widely despised by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, about a multi-million pound arms deal for his friends at British Aerospace.

Best of all, the sweetener he's offering is that he will personally ensure that the Serious Fraud Office halts its criminal investigation into bribery and corruption by members of the Saudi Royal family, if the Saudi government goes for the deal.

Bin Laden and his terror nerds had already been using Western support for these tyrannical regimes as powerful propaganda for recruiting new followers.

Now, the British Prime Minister is going to interfere in an independent criminal investigation, in order to appease a widely-despised Middle Eastern government, in order to sell them weapons. And we wonder why so many people hate us...

For more, see:,10674,1579155,00.html

- Homepage:,10674,1579155,00.html

related news

27.09.2005 12:00

there is a link on nsti today concerning this i will attatch it later...



relevant issues...

27.09.2005 15:15

Moscow to Install Chemical, Biological Weapons Detection Equipment in Subway System

Russian authorities plan to install a chemical and biological agent detector at a Moscow subway station following a foiled bombing attempt in the system, the Moscow Times reported Friday (see GSN, July 27).

Subway passengers provided information that enabled authorities prevent two large explosions, Moscow metro chief Dmitry Gayev told RIA Novosti yesterday.

“Thanks to the timely information provided by passengers, the explosives were successfully removed before they went off,” Gayev said.

He said a chemical and biological weapons detection device would soon be installed in the Belorusskaya metro station.

“We will soon open this experimental site to learn how this equipment to detect chemical and biological weapons works,” Gayev said (Moscow Times, Sept. 23).

n.b. this is the most relevant point i feel...

Subway passengers provided information that enabled authorities [to] prevent two large explosions