Essay on The Act Of Profiling : America Is Not A New Phenomenon

1455 Words Dec 4th, 2016 6 Pages
The act of profiling in America is not a new phenomenon. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, citizens of Japanese decent were held in internment camps. Black and Hispanic travelers in New Jersey were often stopped and searched for illegal drugs during an anti-drug campaign known as “Operation Pipeline: (Fiala, 2003). Experts have attempted to create profiles of terrorists by studying characteristics such as race, gender, age, psychological traits, socio-economic backgrounds, and behaviors in an effort to determine who is likely to engage in terrorist acts of violence. If experts are able to identify potential terrorists, future attacks such as those occurring on September 11th could be thwarted. What factors influence a person’s decision to join a terrorist group and how can understanding these factors assist in identifying potential terrorists in an effort to increase the security of the nation?
Literature Review In reviewing the literature on profiling of terrorists, a number of common themes have emerged. First, a worldwide definition of terrorism does not exist which complicates the ability to identify who is or is not likely to engage in terroristic activities. The second common theme to have emerged is that profiling techniques currently used generally are ineffective in identifying possible terrorists and may result in discriminatory practices against American citizens because of their race or religious beliefs. Finally, there is much debate…

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