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No racial profiling in aftermath of Times Square plot: US

world Updated: May 10, 2010 12:20 IST

The US has ruled out conducting "racial profiling" as an anti-terror measure in the aftermath of the failed Times Square bombing incident in which a Pakistani-origin suspect has been arrested, arguing that it is not a helpful law enforcement measure.

"I don't think that profiling is good law enforcement," US Attorney General Eric Holder told the NBC news channel when asked if US would go for racial profiling of Pakistani-Americans in view of the Times Square incident.

His statement came amid reports that some Pakistani Americans were posing as Indians following the Times Square incident to avert a backlash.

After the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, son of a retired Air Vice Marshal of the Pakistani Air Force, some members of the Pakistani diaspora, particularly in New York, had said they feared a backlash if they identify themselves as Pakistani Americans.

Ruling out any profiling based on nationality, Holder said law enforcement agencies would do better to identify people who are suspicious.

"You ought to pay attention to the person who you have a suspicion about. A person who you have a basis to believe wants to do harm to our nation," Holder argued.

"If you look at the arrests that we made in Pennsylvania of white women, those were people who were bound and determined to do something very negative and with regards to the United States. Racial profiling would not have picked those people up," he said.

Soon after the Times Square incident the New York Mayor had warned against any backlash against the Pakistani Americans, who live in large numbers in the City, particularly in the two neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, which also has the highest concentration of Indian Americans.

In fact, Jackson Heights is known as Little India -because of the large number of Indian Americans living here.

Earlier, in the aftermath of 9/11 as well, there were reports of members of Pakistani-Americans posing as Indians.

A few weeks ago, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley had said that Pakistani-Americans should emulate Indian Americans in building relationship between the two countries.

Meanwhile, several Pakistani American groups have come forward to condemn the Times Square bomb plot and acknowledged that the incident brought a bad name to the community.

In a statement Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) condemned the failed terror bid.