Goldblog reader Edward Rybsen forwarded me this Daniel Pipes piece, in which Pipes shows that Islamic garb (this is one of those hack phrases, like "flowing African robes," that should really be retired) has been used in various criminal schemes. I still think, however, that it would quite difficult to pull off an airplane hijacking in a chador.

These attempts fall into the "Are you just glad to see me or is that a gun under your burqa?" crime subcategory:

Mesmerising yashmak gang: This first incident is perhaps the oddest of all. I quote from the "British Muslims Monthly Survey," which got this incident from the Chingford Guardian of October 8, 1998:

Two thefts in Chingford and Walthamstow have been blamed on "mesmeric Muslims." At an off-licence in Walthamstow, two women wearing yashmaks with two children, asked for a bottle of Bacardi and sweets. They gave the owner of the shop a £50 note, which he changed. They then said they did not want the drink and asked for their money back. The owner of the shop said his mind went blank and he gave them the £50 note and an additional £10 note. He said: "I was just frozen and had no idea where I was. I have never known anything like that in my 16 years in the business. There was some sort of spell on me." Later the same day, in Chingford, a similar event took place at a music shop where the owner returned the £50 note plus an additional £20 note.