Saturday, January 03, 2004

Beware of Almanacs and Other Tales from the War on Terror

Yes, that's right, the FBI has sent out a communication warning local police departments that they should be on the lookout for persons carrying...wait for it...almanacs. Yes, that's right...almanacs. It seems that...oh hell, let the memo speak for itself:

"(terrorists may use almanacs) to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning."

The memo goes on to warn officers to "watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways." (Emphasis added for purposes of ridicule.)

The FBI does, at least, acknowledge that almanac use may be, at times, the "the product of legitimate recreational or commercial activities." (Read the rest of the story, if you don't believe me, here.)

I applaud the FBI for pointing out this overlooked terrorist accessory, though the list is far from complete. Here are a few other artifacts that any crafty terrorist would have in their possession, and law enforcement should be on the lookout for them as well:

  • Pencils. Not only can terrorists poke people with them, they can use them for jotting down their evil ideas on cocktail napkins.
  • Cocktail napkins. See above.
  • Money. They can buy stuff with it.
  • Credit cards. These allow terrorists to buy stuff without money, so they are EVEN MORE DANGEROUS!
  • Western style clothing. It is rumored that many terrorists are doffing their evildoer garb and donning normal western style clothing.
  • Bottled water. What does that guy know about the water supply that you don't?

In my own ignorance, I had, some time ago, a rather different list in mind. For example, I thought that looking for people taking flying lessons and not having much interest in the taking off or landing part of the curriculum might arouse some suspicion. Apparently, this was not the case, even when reported to the FBI. I also thought that since the alleged hijackers' names were known within hours of the 9/11 attacks that some effort might have been made to get these fellows BEFORE they were allowed on commercial airliners. Or even into the country, for that matter. And I'm not anti-immigration. No xenophobe, I. However, if you know someone is a terrorist and you let them into the country, it's almost as if....nah....couldn't be.

I should also point out that the Department of Homeland Security has also warned law enforcement to look out for...oh jeez..I can't do it...they make it too easy. Oh well...I'll finish the joke. MALL WALKERS. You know, those folks who walk around in the malls for exercise before the stores open. They should also look out There's just no challenge anymore. Read it yourself here

Your Department of Homeland Security: Looking busy, till the big one hits.


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