Monday, 22 April 2013

Misspelt names

  In my last post I was wondering whether security forces looked closely at names in the search for "extremists". It now seems that the Russian security service alerted the FBI about the Boston suspects but  that there was a mix-up over different spellings. Of course, many names are spelt and pronounced differently in English, Russian, Arabic, Chechen or whatever, let alone the difficulties with alphabets and characters.

  Also we hear rather a lot of reports of people being wrongly arrested because their name corresponds to that on a suspect list. Then we hear that it was, say, Samir Ahmed or a very common Arabic name, something like John Smith! Also names of suspects often seem to be obvious noms de guerre like Mohammed Baghdadi, or similar. One sometimes wonders what sort of intelligence is in operation and what advice is taken.

No comments:

Post a Comment