The United States, having had 2 and a half years to prepare for terrorism, especially from Arab sources, has f%nked up again.
Remember the scary orange-alert-combined-with-Christmas-Day-terrorist-flights-from-our-enemy-France fiasco? Turns out the scary bogeyman terrorists were a 5 year old child, an elderly Chinese woman, an insurance agent and a prominent, well-known scientist. Boogey boogey boogey!
Six cases of mistaken identity were behind the pre-Christmas grounding of six Air France flights between Paris and Los Angeles over terrorism fears, a police official said Friday.
The names of six passengers sounded similar to those of terrorist suspects provided by the FBI , prompting the French government to ground the planes, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Let me tell you what's not included in the story. The names on the passenger list don't actually "sound" like the names on the terrorism watch list. The United States uses an antiquated system for "codifying" passenger names, which takes the approximate sound of your name and converts it to what's called the "Soundex" code system, which uses 3 letters and 3 numbers. So whether or not your name is "Pat" or "Bahir-al-Shakir-al-Humaq-al-Husseini", you still end up coded as a 3 letter, 3 number byte. If your last name is spelled "Smyth" or "Smith", it will be given the same Soundex code because it "sounds" the same. The explanation of exactly how this is done is here.
Now, there are two languages which have a lot of sounds that don't exist in English and names and place spellings are not fixed between them and English. One of them is Arabic and the other is Chinese. That's how those two passengers ended up on the "terrorist" list. I imagine that the Welsh man probably had a Welsh name, and the idiot who coded his name put it in sounding something like a terrorist's name.
So if your name is "Cymru am Blyth" and its Soundex code comes out to be "AQR393" and another guy's name is "Mohammed al-Bakr-al-Sistani" and his Soundex code is "AQR393" then, according to the stupid American computer, you are the same person. In the United States, this often happens when peace activists and others get banned from flying, even on domestic flights. God help you if your Soundex code matches one of their names or you won't be making it in time for Aunt Ginny's plum pudding.
French police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said errors in spelling and transcribing Arabic names played a role.
That usually poses fewer problems for French intelligence, Debue said, because France is accustomed to dealing with Arabic names because of its high immigrant population from North Africa.
Ok, just for the record, Americans still refer to the Iranian earthquake struck city as "Bam" as in rhymes with "Jam" when it is CLEARLY not that difficult to pronounce correctly as sounding like "bomb". Another name routinely f%cked up by Americans is Saddam H.'s hometown of "Tikrit" which does NOT rhyme with "Chiclet" ok?
It's all fun and games until that moron at the Delta gate miskeys your Arabic, Chinese or Welsh name into the SOUNDEX codifier and suddenly you match some bearded tribesman in East Waluzistan who has never ridden in a car, much less an airplane.
French authorities went ahead and authorized a flight several days ago "that American authorities didn't particularly want," Deputy Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said Friday.
"We thought that all security measures had been taken, that the verifications of passengers had been such that this flight had every reason to fly," he said on Europe-1 radio. He did not identify the flight.
Meanwhile, two Air France flights, on Tuesday and Wednesday, were joined by F-16 fighter jets as they approached Los Angeles for landing, according to the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
Bussereau said French jet fighters also sometimes escort passenger aircraft. However, the interior minister said that such a scenario might occur "someday." Spokesmen at the ministries did not return calls seeking clarification.
Last line is SCARY! Ok, that's my coverage, now what do you think of this poor-ass excuse for "Homeland Security"? I work with these bozos on a regular basis and I wouldn't entrust them to walk my dog while I'm on vacation much less do any securing of the "homeland".
I hate to say it, but even the FBI would do a better job than these losers. Man, that depresses me to even say it, but it's still true.