How tattoo parlors can fight the war on terror

Not too long ago, a tattoo parlor in Florida received this flyer from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The flyer begins by stating, “[i]t is important to remember the application of body art, including symbols commonly associated with extremist ideology, may be an exercise of the right of free speech or expression.” It ends by stating “[i]t is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; [sic] it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.” It’s what’s between these cautionary words that might raise a few eyebrows.

Tattoo parlors are advised to report any “suspicious behavior” or “requests” such as:

  • People who “insist on paying with cash or use credit card(s) in different name(s)”
  • People who “have missing hand/fingers, chemical burns, strange odors or bright colored stains on clothing”
  • People who “make suspicious comments regarding anti-US, radical theology, vague or cryptic warnings that suggest or appear to endorse violence in support of a cause”
  • People or Groups who “make repeated returns with multiple individuals requesting identical tattoos”
  • People or Groups who “inquire about unusual methods of tattooing or placement of tattoos which could allow the concealment of extremist symbols”

Paying with cash? Wearing clothes with bright colored stains? Individuals requesting identical tattoos? Really?

This reminds me of Dennis Miller’s stand-up show, where he suggested that the hardest job in the world had to be a bank guard in Alaska: “You’ve got 50 customers in the joint… they’re all wearing ski masks….” I can only hope the FBI doesn’t stake out a college campus’s go-to tattoo parlor just after Greek rush week. That would be a tough job.

I wonder if the gun shop owners got a flyer.

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