Tag Archives: security theatre

All mouth and trousers

There is a story in Russia Today about how MI5 use a panel of experts (as, no doubt, would the BBC) to determine whether or not someone is going to become a ‘lone wolf terrorist’.

I had to read this story several times before I could persuade myself to believe it. Of course it might just be yet more security-theatre piffle. Then again the temptation to shovel public money at the index-linked pensions of the usual suspects must have been strong.

Citing the Sunday Times, RT says:

People selected for surveillance are chosen through intelligence gathered from the agency’s network of informants, as well as from the public.

The experts then search for signs of unusual activity such as an “increasing sense of grievance, a desire to acquire skills and tactics – an attempt to identify material for their plans and logistical practice and trial runs… it takes some doing to go from talking about carrying out a violent act like killing to actually doing it.”

Well, all I can say is that they’re dealing with very, very soft targets.

Of course it is true that the usual worthless Muslim youths are likely to brag on social media before committing atrocities, and that many are ‘all mouth and trousers’. However.

Anyone competent will always have used the regular internet, if they have ever used it at all, to create an impression of themselves as someone completely boring and ordinary. They will obtain the information they need using other means. They will never carry a cellphone of any kind. They will not draw attention to themselves by using Tor or realtime encryption. They will endeavour to become so trusted that they are allowed to approach their target unchallenged. And so forth.

The problem being that if this story is not merely bullshit MI5 will soon (being a publicly funded agency operating in secret and without any testable supervision) become so lazy as to rely entirely upon Muslim terrorists announcing their intentions on social media, and will make no effort to deal with those of any greater sophistication.

To whom the only response conceivably effective would be a personal firearm, drawn, aimed and fired only after the bloody savage has yelled “Allahu…”, but preferably before he can finish yelling “Akhbar!”.

We need fire extinguishers despite having a fire brigade.

We need first aid boxes despite having an ambulance service.

We need personal firearms despite having a police force.


Thomson Airlines has passenger detained for reading a book

It is not often that I agree with the Tell MAMA organisation, usually preferring to view it as yet another hate-spitting, worse-than-parasitic fake-charity or pseudoquango with special responsibility for grievance-mongering and offence-seeking.

However, on this occasion I entirely endorse the organisation’s mildly stated and wholly logical view.

A Ms Shaheen, who is an NHS mental health practitioner, was

…reported by airline staff who spotted her reading ‘Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline’ on an outbound Thompson flight… Police quizzed her under the Terrorism Act about the award-winning book, which compiles essays and poems about the war.

This moronic jobsworthism is entirely counterproductive. Ms Shaheen, an wholly respectable British Muslim, has been treated as a terrorist suspect because some semi-literate brownie-point seeker without the slightest idea of anything that really matters saw fit to police the reading matter of people of many times their own intelligence.

I would go further than Tell MAMA. The airline should not merely ‘apologise’. They should IMHO be sued into the middle of next week by the righteously indignant Ms Shaheen, should be boycotted (that’s Thomson without a P, as in ‘Venezuela’ [Hergé]), and should be obliged, preferably on TV, to identify and publicly humiliate the idiot responsible.

Thomson Airlines defended its crew’s decision, insisting they are trained to be ‘vigilant’.

Yes. Right. And if Thomson regularly have their own passengers ‘taken away’ for reading the sort of books that they could perfectly easily have bought at the airport, then said victims are just going to have to read the airline’s house magazine, aren’t they?