Calls for Racial and Religious Profiling After Most Recent Terror Arrests

August 23, 2006

Source: Voice of America

On August 23, 2006 Voice of America reported, "The recently foiled terrorism plot in Britain has once again raised questions about whether airport security personnel should begin screening airline passengers based on race and religion. At least one U.S. Congressman has publicly called for extra screening procedures for people of Middle Eastern or South Asian heritage. That proposal has provoked angry denunciations from civil rights groups.

Security checks have become more rigorous at U.S. airports. Personal belongings and carry-on bags are being more closely scrutinized. And passengers are not allowed to bring liquids or gels on board.

This latest restriction has come in the wake of the recent foiled plot in Britain. Terrorists allegedly planned to blow up U.S.-bound airliners over the Atlantic Ocean with liquid explosives carried on board in hand luggage.

British authorities have formally charged 11 suspects in the conspiracy. Twenty-three people were arrested, many of them British Muslims of Pakistani descent. A militant in Pakistan is among those wanted in connection with the plot... U.S. officials say racial profiling is not practiced by airport screeners. Instead, they focus on specific behaviors to determine if a passenger should be further scrutinized."