A new study explains:

Plucking out of line most of the vaguely Middle Eastern-looking men at the airport for heightened screening is no more effective at catching terrorists than randomly sampling everyone. It may even be less effective. ... [I]t devotes heightened resources to innocent people and then devotes those resources to them repeatedly even after they’ve been cleared as innocent the first time. The actual terrorists, meanwhile, may sneak through while Transportation Security Administration agents are focusing their limited attention on the wrong passengers.

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