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Fighting Terror in Iceland

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Iceland’s elite police force known as the Viking Squad spread its dragnet tight, arresting a man on Friday for showing an “unnatural interest” in the parliament building.

So who was this shady character cloaked by a scarf and a hat? A terrorist, perhaps?

Turns out after denying the man his liberty for Friday night and much of Saturday the police discovered that he wasn’t casing the parliament after all. He wasn’t even a terrorist. He was, in fact, an Italian tourist.

Okay, but why did he have an unnatural interest in the building where Iceland’s political leaders debate the most pressing issues of our times? Sounds sketchy to me.

The Viking Squad’s crack investigation revealed that the Italian tourist was taking pictures of the parliament building because he is a student of architecture.

Nothing gets past the Viking Squad.

We tried to get more on this story by calling the police yesterday, but when our editor, who happens to be female, spoke with the PR guy at the Reykjavik Police Department, she was told: “My dear, I can’t understand why Iceland Review would possibly be interested in police matters.”

“My dear?” I wonder where this guy studied public relations – Cave Man University? I’m guessing that his brother or cousin or best friend from menntaskoli somehow finagled him the job.

Why would Iceland Review be interested in the arrest of a tourist for taking pictures of parliament? Hmm, "my dear", I wonder.

Hopefully the police harassing tourists with black hair and olive skin is a one off. There’s already a short supply of diversity on the rock, and if tourists from southern locales become targets for overzealous police Iceland will turn an even whiter shade of pale. EW

Note to readers: For an interesting article on Iceland, check out “Wash Thoroughly Without a Swimsuit” by Jason Wilson. It can be accessed on the Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63998-2005Mar1.html

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.