20041007 In Hot Pursuit of Terrorist Funds

First that the participants behaved in what now seems strange:

• they would not go to a bank window if the teller was female

• they would check the bank balance, withdraw cash and then check the balance again, something that the banks now recognise was unusual

• they received money and then sent back whatever they had not used

• some of those involved had multiple accounts

• they purchased one-way tickets

• they paid for almost everything in cash – in a country where cash is not often used.

Secondly, they were very insular.

The Department of Homeland Security / FBI have issued a joint list of ways that might help identify a suicide bomber:

Indicative Behaviours of Suicide Bombers

• Clothing is out of sync with the weather

• Clothing is loose. Clothing gives impression that body is disproportionately larger than head or feet.

• Suspect may be carrying heavy luggage, bag, or wearing a backpack.

• Pale face from recent shaving of beard.

• Eyes appear to be focused and vigilant.

• No response to authoritative voice commands or direct salutation from a distance.

• Behaviour is consistent with no future, e.g. individual purchases a one-way ticket or is unconcerned about receipts for purchases, or receiving change.

• Suspect is walking with deliberation but not running.

Sherman Hospital in Illinois has added two more items to that list:

• Clenched fist that may be holding a detonator

• Wires hanging out of sleeves or clothing

But the danger is that we over-react and profiling becomes a serious problem.