(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — As August gets into full swing, so does Antiterrorism Awareness Month for Soldiers, their families, civilians and everyone else in the Fort Leonard Wood community. August is about continuing education and training for all persons to increase antiterrorism awareness and vigilance.

The emphasis this year is on a wide range of extremes — from insider threats to cybersecurity awareness — and this week, the focus is on domestic violent extremists.

Sometimes referred to as homegrown violent extremists, a domestic violent extremist is a person who lives or operates primarily inside the United States or its territories; can be of any citizenship; and advocates, is engaged in or is preparing to engage in ideologically motivated terrorist activities to further political or social objectives promoted by a foreign terrorist organization.

The threat posed by DVEs has increased and decreased over the course of U.S. history, reflecting their time period’s ideological motivations. Today’s domestic terrorists are motivated from a variety of topics. One current key motivator is racial, ethnic and religious hatred.

This hatred can be directed to a variety of individuals, but most DVEs focus on persons of color, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, other religious minorities, females, LGTBQI+ and others. DVEs often express violent anti-government and anti-authority motivations, which can include violently resisting government authority, anarchist violent extremists or facilitating violence in opposition to government actions. DVEs can also be motivated by a singular issue or ideology, such as abortion, animal rights or environmental concerns.

Preventing DVE attacks starts with the “See Something, Say Something” Army initiative. Suspicious activities or behaviors that should be reported include:

  • People drawing or measuring important buildings;
  • Strangers asking about security or procedures;
  • A briefcase, backpack, suitcase or package left unattended; and
  • Vehicles left in a No Parking zone in front of important buildings.

Suspicious activities or behaviors can be reported to military police, local law enforcement, the chain of command and Army counterintelligence. Call Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services at 573.596.6141, or report it online.