New Antiterror Policing Raises Profiling Concerns


Inside Seattle’s bomb squad headquarters, a former Starbucks warehouse, the police chief and 15 captains and sergeants – accompanied by a robot that can extract explosives from packages and pin down a suspect – huddled to consider how they would respond to a suicide bombers, the New York Times reports. A growing number of police departments, including Seattle; Boston; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Suffolk County, N.Y.; and Sterling Heights, Mich., are sending officers to Israel and bringing Israeli officers to the U.S. to train the police on the harrowing science of suicide bomber intelligence gathering and apprehension.

The Israelis advised looking out for suicide bomber “handlers” who scout bus stations or other crowded areas. The Israelis teach officers to aim for a suspect’s head so as not to detonate any explosives that might be strapped to his torso. “Israel’s antiterror tactics are largely based on profiling, whether it’s on airlines or at checkpoints,” said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said police were focusing on the behavior of potential bombers, not on race or religion. “None of the discussions I’ve heard have to do with profiling,” he said.


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