In 1986, a young Irish woman named Anne Marie Murphy boarded an El Al flight from London to Tel Aviv. She was interviewed by Israeli profilers, who became suspicious when they learned Murphy had a Palestinian fiancé. This, coupled with the fact that Anne Marie Murphy was young, pregnant, and a bit naive, caused the profilers to search Murphy's luggage. Inside, they found seven pounds of plastic explosives, set to detonate on the flight to Tel Aviv. Murphy was completely unaware that the bomb was in her suitcase (Simon 3). The Israeli profilers considered a number of factors to find this bomb, including behavior, circumstances, personality traits, and racial profiling.
The case of Anne Marie Murphy is a perfect example of how law enforcement officials can catch terrorists. Airport security kept an open mind about who could be a terrorist, and did not dismiss anyone, not even a young and pregnant woman. They then used many techniques to find the bomb, one of which was racial profiling. The fact that Murphy's boyfriend was Palestinian caused the profilers to be suspicious.
Since September 11th, the United States has employed the use of racial profiling in an attempt to apprehend terrorists. However, the government has not considered other important factors that make a terrorist. Instead, it has used racial profiling to detain citizens, question immigrants, and encourage racial backlash at great costs to the American citizens . The government has used racial profiling liberally and irresponsibly. What should be a single factor in locating and capturing terrorists has at times become the sole crutch of terrorist investigations. Racial profiling is not always an effective method of catching terrorists, and blatant use of racial profiling is a violation of constitutional right. Negligent use of racial profiling is also very harmful on a societal level. .
In the months after September 11th, the American government detained over 1,200 people in connection with the attacks.