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"Trust your instincts" anti-terrorism propaganda - who is NOT under suspicion of terrorism ?

As a public service, and at our own expense, Spy Blog has published a campaign button graphic for the Anti-terrorism hotline phone number 0800 789 321 for several years.

However, we are now seriously considering no longer publicising this "hotline" , due to the official "climate of fear" propaganda which may as well have been designed by terrorist sympathisers, who are trying to spread discord and suspicion:

N.B. despite the spread of mobile phone and internet technology and accessibility, there is still no SMS text message short number or a secure SSL/TLS encrypted web form, or a published PGP encryption key or even an email account, to use instead of the old fashioned voice telephone "hotline". Incredibly, the UK Government, with effectively unlimited funds being placed at the disposal of the anti-terrorism agencies, is not bothering to offer any financial rewards for anti-terrorism tip offs, somehow, the alienated communities in which the terrorists hide, are meant to inform on them, simply out of a sense of public duty and engagement with the wider society.

[via Famous for 15 Megapixels]

We appear to be in the middle of a five-week long anti-terrorism advertising propaganda campaign with the slogan 'Terrorism. If you suspect it, report it.' currently running in London, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

See the Metropolitan Police Trust your instincts: it could disrupt terrorist planning and save lives campaign web page

For example, this poster:

Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

In what way is simply using a camera, as per the poster, grounds for suspicion of terrorism ?

Given the increase in the capabilities of modern mobile phone cameras, and the miniaturisation of camcorders, are all the customers of Dixons or Curry's or Ccar Phone Warehouse etc. to be considered as terrorist suspects ?

Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they are going?

So anyone who travels, anywhere is now a terrorist suspect ?

Surely a terrorist could plausibly lie about their travel plans, and not appear vague ?

Do you know someone who visits terrorist-related websites?

What exactly does a "terrorist-related website" look like ? Most of the amateur bomb making instructions are published in the USA on, say Yahoo Groups or via Google search engines etc.

Is a "terrorist rellated" website, one which shows interviews and statements with alleged terrorist death cult leaders and video clips of bomb atrocities etc ? Like the BBC or any major news website ?

We are still awaiting some concrete proposals and policies which address our list of Questions to Franco Frattini and the European Commission, regarding "terrorist websites"

See "Response from the European Commission regarding the policy of censoring "terrorist" web sites - part 1"

If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?

Suspicious of what, exactly ?

The July 7th 2005 suicide bombers used a hire car to pick up and transport their bomb rucksacks and gang members. and then to drive down the M1 motorway to board a train into London.

What exactly was there for the people who hired the vehicle to the driver, to be suspicious of ?

Is every White Van, as per the poster, now suspicious ?

Anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical. Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobiles? Has it made you suspicious?

Most mobile phones in the UK are "anonymous, pay-as-you-go". Are all the tens of millions of people in the UK who use them now to be considered as "terrorist suspects" ?

What quantity of mobile phones is considered to be "suspicious" ?

The mobile phones used as simple timing devices in the Madrid train bomb attacks, were supplied by a conspirator who owned and ran a mobile phone shop

There is a second, equally alarming poster in this "climate of fear" propaganda campaign:

Lock-ups, garages and sheds can all be used by terrorists to store equipment. Are you suspicious of anyone renting commercial property?

What exactly constitutes suspicious terrorist behaviour regarding storage facilities ?

All that this vagueness in this poster campaign achieves, is to sow discord and suspicion, doing the work of the terrorists for them.

Handling chemicals is dangerous. Maybe you’ve seen goggles or masks dumped somewhere?

Is everyone who obeys the law and takes proper Health and Safety precautions, according to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations, now to be considered a terrorist suspect ?

Do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?

According to the then Home Secretary David Blunkett, together with the then Home Office Minister Des Browne, giving oral evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, on 4th May 2004, citing Security Service MI5 sources, implied that over two thirds of terrorists i.e. most of them, do not use multiple identities, they use their own names.

See "Home Affairs Committee ID Card soundbites"

In how many terrorism cases, have the suspects been stupid enough to let any one person see them use their multiple identity documents, without using a disguise ?

What if the names used are very common ones, but the address details are different ?

Do you know someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?

Which chemicals exactly ?

Why is there no specific mention of , say Hydrogen Peroxide, or Hexamine or Acetone or Citric Acid or Sulphuric Acid, or Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser etc. ?

Why have the Police not already identified the limited number of likely suppliers of these of these chemicals, and visited them regularly to provide training to all their staff about what to look out for ?

Cheque and credit card fraud are ways terrorists generate cash. Have you seen any suspicious transactions?

Why are there no financial rewards being offered to petty cheque and credit card thieves and fraudsters, to inform on their rivals or clients who may be terrorist fund raisers ?

Relying simply on the bureaucratic "money laundering" regulations and reporting system imposed so expensively on banks etc, which innocent customers have to pay for, has been an utter failure in terms of the amount of terrorist finance which has been detected or frozen or confiscated.

This latest anti-terrorism advertising campaign does nothing to properly inform the public of what they should be suspicious of, and just adds to the "climate of fear" and suspicion.

Would it really have been so hard to link to a website which explains things in the necessary detail, which cannot obviously be fitted onto a poster or into a short radio advert ?


> Incredibly, the UK Government, [...] is not bothering to offer any financial rewards for anti-terrorism tip offs,

That's a really *good* thing. Bounties is how the US army got "terrorists" to torture and lock up in detention centers all over the world including Gitmo. It is apparently also a cause for the very high number of judicial errors in death row cases in the US.

Otherwise, I couldn't agree more on how misguided this ad campaign is. Here are a few thoughts I posted two weeks ago: http://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/mps_ad_campaign_to_arrest_more_innocents.html

(and last year there were more local similar initiatives: http://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/islington_2006.html )

br -d

These posters have got to be a joke! They're also astoundingly similar to the spoof posters from Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Especially:
"Don't suspect your friends - REPORT THEM"

Readers may also be interested in digging out a back issue of Viz (124) which has a particularly useful and informative article entitled "Desk of hate! Is there a terrorist sleeper in your office?" It contains useful things to look out for on the desks of your workmates including:

  • Explosive devices. There can be no excuse for bringing live bombs into the workplace. It contravenes every Health and Safety regulation in the book
  • Biological toxins. Any member of your staff who brings anthrax spores into work and spends the day spooning them into envelopes and posting them off to international heads of state has got some explaining to do. Quite apart from being highly dangerous, using company time and stationary in this way is a sackable offence.
  • Large caches of guns and ammunition. It's possible your colleague may be using them to keep rats down in the warehouse, but there may be a more sinister explanation.

Let them eat fear.

The radio message is definitely worth a listen...

Roughly translated, it states
"Do no use your brain, Your own judgement is useless. Report everything just in case".

I really can't think of any other translation....

Oh, and don't forget that this ad campaign, combined with the new and improved definition of 'encouragement' (coming soon) means that people really will be reporting just about everything for fear of being listed as an accomplice!

Transcript (usual caveats) of radio ad follows:
(Female voice asking questions, male voice gives answer)
"How do you tell the difference between someone who just videoing a crowded place and someone who is checking it out for a terrorist attack?
How can you tell if someone is buying unusual quantities of stuff for a good reason, or if they are planning to make a bomb?
What's the difference between someone just hanging around, and someone behaving suspiciously?
How can you tell if they are a normal everyday person or a terrorist?

The answer is - you don't have to. If you call the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 nnnnnn the specialist officers you speak to will analyse the information.
They will decide if, and how, to follow it up.
You don't have to be sure.
If you suspect it, report it.
Call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 nnnnnn in confidence."

I hope they have several thousand people manning the phones!

Prehaps we should all 'report' all of our 'suspicions' All of them... as out lined in this fantasticly detailed and helpful ad...(tries to remove tounge from cheek)
See how quickly we can cause chaos / shut the line down / point out to the powers that be how silly and paranoid this all is.

After they restrain and summarily execute an innocent man on the Tube.
After the near homicidal debacle at Forest Gate.

Just how deluded is the head of the Met's counter terrorism command? They are not trusted. The commonplace I hear is outrage.

these terrorist are trying to destroyed the world as we know and we the citizen of modern world can't let this happen.many times i have listen the interview of the terrorist and i that interview they are not affraid of death or something like that they are ready to do whatever is neccesary but those individual are forgeting that we also have the gut to do the same thing.And no matter how hard they try they will never succeded because their principle if fake and hollow minded

@ rahul - agreed, however that is no excuse for treating everyone who uses or buys or hires a camera, a computer, a mobile phone , a delivery van or public transport etc. as terrorist suspects, which is what this poster campaign does.

By doing so, the UK Government is giving the terrorists a propaganda victory, and is furthering the aims of the terrorists, who are trying to destroy our society.

Well i guess if the adverts to get people to tell the authorities something of relevance dont work then sometimes the police go out and just arrest the people they do know about.

I got this to my phone this morning on freebetv's MNN News channel:

Anti terrorism officers arrested six Muslim men in London in dawn raids on Tuesday, on suspicion of inciting terrorism overseas and raising funds for terrorists.The six, including Abu Izzadeen who millions saw on television heckling British Home Secretary John Reid at a public meeting last year, were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000, a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said.

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