Paying Cash For a Cup of Coffee a ‘Potential Indicator of Terrorist Activity’

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I’d be funny… except… it’s real:


Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An FBI advisory aimed at Internet Cafe owners instructs businesses to report people who regularly use cash to pay for their coffee as potential terrorists.
FBI: Paying Cash For a Cup of Coffee a Potential Indicator of Terrorist Activity buying coffee.

The flyer, issued under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program, lists examples of “suspicious activity” and then encourages businesses to gather information about individuals and report them to the authorities.

“Each flyer is designed for a particular kind of business,” writes Linda Lewis, a former policy analyst and planner for the U.S. government. “For example, this list was prepared for owners of internet cafes. Unquestionably, someone planning a terrorist attack has engaged in one or more of the “suspicious” activities on that list. But so, too, have most of the estimated 289 million computer users in this country.”

Indeed, the flyer aimed at Internet Cafe owners characterizes customers who “always pay cash” as potential terrorists.

Of course, the vast majority of people who visit Internet Cafes use cash to pay their bill. Who uses a credit card to buy a $2 dollar cup of coffee? A lot of smaller establishments don’t even accept credit cards for amounts less than $10 dollars.

Other examples of suspicious behavior include using a “residential based Internet provider” such as AOL or Comcast, the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” (these are routinely used by mobile web users to bypass public Internet filters), “Suspicious communications using VOIP,” and “Preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attack” (this would apply to the vast majority of people who work in the news or political blogging industry).

Searching for information about “police” or “government” is also listed as a potential indication of terrorism, as is using a computer to “obtain photos, maps or diagrams of transportation, sporting venues, or populated locations,” which would apply to virtually anyone who uses Google Maps or Google Earth.

People who may wish to keep private the contents of a personal email or an online credit card purchase by attempting to”shield the screen from view of others” are also characterized as potential terrorists.

Business owners who spot patrons engaging in these types of activities are encouraged to call the FBI’s Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), after first gathering information on license plates, names, ethnicity, and languages spoken.

In total, there are 25 different CAT flyers aimed at businesses from across the spectrum – everything from hobby shops to tattoo parlors.

As we have documented on numerous occasions, the federal government routinely characterizes mundane behavior as extremist activity or a potential indicator of terrorist intent. As part of its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign, the Department of Homeland Security educates the public that generic activities performed by millions of people every day, including using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application,” are potential signs of terrorist activity.

The CAT program again underscores how federal authorities are empowering poorly trained citizens to become terrorist hunters, stoking fears that America is sinking deeper into a Stasi-style informant society. Last week we reported on how the DHS had trained hot dog sellers and other vendors to spot terrorists at this past weekend’s Super Bowl event.

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  1. The day before they came

    When Microsoft and the FBI came for the communists, I remained silence, since I wasn’t a communist.

    When Microsoft and the CIA imprisoned the democrats, I remained silence, since I wasn’t a democrat.

    When Microsoft and the NSA came for the programmers union members, I didn’t protest, since I wasn’t a union member.

    When Microsoft and the Secret Service came for the security researchers, because they found a severe security leak in Windows, I did not protest, since I wasn’t a security researcher.

    When the television said “you’re either with us or you are with the terrorists, there must be war!”, I started feeling uncomfortable since I believed that war is not a solution.

    When and send me an email, they wanted me dead, because I was a programmer, there was no one left to protest. I now live my life in an anti-terrorist Fema camp for just a little over 7 years, we are forced to develop Microsoft products against our will or they will kill us one by one.

  2. Explanation for why:
    (1) Bureaucratic nitwittery writ large. Never underestimate the power of common stupidity.
    (2) Gives Federal law enforcement (FBI, ATF, and related gatherings of morons), as well as state and municipally-sanctioned doughnut munchers) a flimsy and marginally-plausible pretext to circumvent the constitutional right(s) of the “person(s) of interest”. Of course, if you can get a media hag like Nancy Grace to conduct a media kangaroo court, even better.


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