I can't see that such searches are unconsitutional, as long as the subway contract conditions are first changed to provide for passengers to give permission to be searched by the act of buying a ticket.
However, I really don't think it's sensible for New York's police chief to be giving assurances that the searches will be truly random. That merely guarantees that a large number of people are inconvenienced pointlessly, just to make up the ethnic numbers.
We didn't make police investigate a quota of non-Irish people during the IRA campaign so as not to appear "racist". The many innocent Irish who must have been inconvenienced by the police constantly looking for suspects in their community had the decency not to complain about it.
I was blackly amused by all our attempts to convince each other that the 7th July bombers were "tricked" into suicide. Since yesterday's attackers knew what happened on 7th July, presumably we can now discount such theories. The truth is that non-Muslims simply can't conceive of such fanaticism and always look for some other explanation. In Israel, stories circulate of children taken hostage to force mothers to carry bomb belts for exactly that reason. Maybe some such stories are true. But the sad truth is that Islam produces a plentiful supply of volunteers.
According to a poll conducted yesterday for Sky News, more than half of British Muslims see themselves as "Muslim first and British second". I did not find that shocking. Anyone who has religious faith is likely to put God before country. In the far-off days when we were religious, our patriotic slogan was "God, King and Country". If we start to demand that our Muslims put country before God, we will be following a dangerous route.
I was much more concerned that 2% of those polled (which translates to about 35-40,000 British Muslims) actually supported the London bombings. That's a large pool of potential terrorists.
It is time to drop the politically-correct nonsense on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course the prime suspects will be Muslims. If the security forces go in fear of being denounced as racists, we will never deal with this problem. If the Muslim community show themselves to be more concerned about such "discrimination" than about catching terrrorists, they will do themselves no favours.
BBC NEWS | World | Americas | NY commuters face random searches