Antiterrorism knowledge, techniques essential
August 18, 2010
STUTTGART, Germany -- In an effort to increase awareness of how terrorists operate, August has been designated as Antiterrorism Awareness Month by the Department of the Army.
Every member of the community should know what suspicious activity is, how to report it, and how to protect themselves.
Terrorists come in many shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, and speak many languages. They look like everyone else.
The Times Square would-be bomber, Faisal Shahzad; the Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan; the foiled Fort Dix attackers; the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Sueng-Hui; and a little-known, but dangerous neurosurgeon on the FBI's most wanted list, Aafia Siddiqui, all spoke English well, dressed like other Americans, lived extensively in the U.S., and still conducted or planned attacks against U.S. citizens.
KNOW, REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR WHEN YOU SEE IT
Counting on someone to appear to be a terrorist might be a failed venture.
Instead, identify potential terrorists by their actions, such as:
Aca,!Ac People drawing or measuring important buildings;
Aca,!Ac Strangers asking questions about security or building security procedures;
Aca,!Ac Briefcases, suitcases, backpacks, or packages left behind;
Aca,!Ac Cars or trucks left in no parking zones in front of important buildings;
Aca,!Ac Intruders in secure areas where they are not supposed to be;
Aca,!Ac A person wearing clothes that are too big and too hot for the weather;
Aca,!Ac Chemical smells or fumes that worry you;
Aca,!Ac People asking questions about sensitive information such as building blueprints, security plans or VIP travel schedules, without a right or need to know;
Aca,!Ac Purchasing supplies or equipment that can be used to make bombs or weapons, or purchasing uniforms without the proper credentials;
Aca,!Ac Individuals who have isolated themselves or are emotionally withdrawn from friends and community;
Aca,!Ac Individuals who are absent from the workplace for seemingly no reason, or
Aca,!Ac Individuals with apparent grievances.
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING WITH iWATCH
"See something, say something." This is the calling card of the Army's iWatch program.
iWatch was designed to help to make every member of the military community aware of the threats that terrorists pose and how to identify them. The program encourages community members to take personal responsibility for watching and reporting suspicious behavior.
PREPARE YOURSELF WITH AT LEVEL 1 TRAINING ONLINE
It's prudent to be prepared ahead of time in the event of a terrorist attack.
A good way to do this is to take the online Antiterrorism Level One training at www.at-awareness.org.
The training provides basic techniques and strategies to avoid becoming an easy target and also teaches proven survival methods.
POLICE CAN'T DO IT ALONE
Many people may think that our military, police and intelligence services are the omniscient protectors of national security, and that they are aware of every terrorist or potential terrorist who poses a threat.
While they have done an outstanding job, these agencies cannot be everywhere at once.
They depend on reports from those who have seen something unusual in order to piece together the larger picture. They depend on you.
Take these possibilities seriously, and take the time to learn what to do now. It could help to prevent a successful attack against our families and communities.