PROFILED: Does The FBI Consider You A Terrorist?

 

FBI command center

image courtesy of FBI.gov

Terrorism remains a major threat to national security in the United States. While citizens may appreciate the diligent efforts of the FBI to thwart more terrorist acts on American soil, the vast majority will be astounded by the list of common activities the federal agency considers possible terrorism indicators.
Many of the items on the FBI’s “What Should I Consider Suspicious?” agent training list are routine tasks for preppers, as well as the average American citizen.

The FBI terrorism lookout list

  1. Purchasing coffee with cash on a regular basis: Apparently citizens who prefer cash to accruing credit card debt or debit card fees are considered potential suspects. Until the 1950s, credit cards which could be used at more than one store did not even exist.  The Diners Club card was the first multiple location charge card and was geared towards salesmen and businessmen who often conducted meetings at restaurants and not the average family. The card was not made of plastic and had to be paid in full at the end of the month. American Express created the first plastic credit card in 1959. Initially, charges on the card were solely for entertainment and travel purposes, and the bill also had to be paid by the end of the month. A national credit card system was formed in 1966 by Bank of America. Cash was still king well into the 1970s. During this era of cyber hacking and identity theft, paying for coffee (or anything else) in cash is just good old-fashioned common sense.
  2. Paying cash for a rental car or a tattoo: Once again, merely opting to live within your budget and a desire to protect your identity from cyber hackers should not place Americans on an FBI watch list. Presumably, rental car agencies require a driver’s license before leasing a vehicle to anyone. Law enforcement officers often have a valid reason to review rental car records and tattoos related to a particular gang or group while investigating criminal cases… with a warrant, of course. While law-abiding and patriotic Americans do not want to place obstacles in front of officers and agents, we also do not want to be considered potential terrorism suspects simply because we opt to use cash for such activities. Searching through computer records is a tedious and time-consuming task. There is no reason to further clog up the process by tossing in all the names of thousands of citizens who just prefer to use cash and not credit cards.
  3. Taking inappropriate photos or videos: FBI agents surely should be made aware of individuals who appear to be doing surveillance of buildings, water plants, or various forms of infrastructure. Such surveillance could pose a threat to national security. There is a very fine line between possible surveillance and innocent picture or video taking. While questioning someone (and even requesting ID to run) who appears to be engaging in potential surveillance activity is understandable, Gestapo tactics should not be used when a citizen opts to shoot a video or take photos of any government office , facility, or piece of infrastructure for educational, professional, or sightseeing purposes.

terrorism suspicious activity

      4.

Being somewhere you “don’t belong”:

    Exactly who does not belong where involves quite a  subjective set of decision-making skills. Profiling is a necessary law enforcement skill, in my opinion. Profiling does not equate to racism, as liberals would like the general populace to believe. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are trained to quickly ascertain threats and size-up potential suspects encountered during the commission of a crime A border control agent looking for an illegal immigrant would be likely to carefully review a person of Hispanic descent as a possible suspect. All Hispanic folks encountered in a border town are obviously not illegal immigrants. Profiling training allows agents to differentiate between a possible suspect and the individual walking down the street. The manner in which the individual is treated when stopped or investigated determines whether or not civil rights violations occurred. The Department of Homeland Security presence at a Tea Party rally in front of an IRS officer recently illustrates how quickly an individual or group can be stereotyped or targeted based upon not a matching physical description, but a warped threat assessment. None of the Tea Party protestors were hampered during the demonstration, but the reason for the presence of federal agents was never explained. Perhaps it was a case of “being somewhere you do not belong.”

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