The FBI, a Spanish lawmaker and bin Laden
Blogger Brian Robinson can't help but wonder why the FBI incorporated a picture of a Spanish minister of parliament into a wanted poster of the world's most infamous international terrorist. The Spanish PM is wondering too.
The FBI leaves a Spanish minister of parliament wondering why his picture was incorporated into a wanted poster of an international terrorist.
From the “Just what the @#!!*&# were they thinking?” department comes this story about how the FBI, lacking good sources for some of the uber-terrorist’s facial features, decided those of a Spanish member of parliament would be good enough.
According to the Associated Press, the FBI put together a wanted poster of Osama bin Laden based on age-progressed images from those they had of him at an earlier date. Except they were missing what someone thought were good examples of such things as hair and facial wrinkles.
A picture of Gaspar Llamazares, former head of Spain’s United Left coalition, was available on the Internet, so they used his features. But they forgot to ask Llamazares. Imagine the shock when the Spanish MP was informed, and there part of he was (part of him, anyway), pictured as one of the world’s most wanted villains.
It would be laughable except that, as Llamazares himself pointed out, those are exactly the kinds of things that authorities use in biometric recognition systems. Llamazares could be facing a torrid time of questions and searches at airports and other travel points.
The question we have to ask is whether this was a one-off on the part of the FBI, or was it standard practice? If so, how many other innocent people's features are out there?
Personally, most of my Internet pics come off looking like mug shots anyway. I don’t need the FBI to emphasize the point.