Antiterrorism awareness: everyone is key to preventing terrorist attacks

By Debralee LutgenAugust 31, 2022

August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month
The Army Antiterrorism Program protects personnel, information, property and facilities in all locations and situations against terrorist and violent extremist threats. (Photo Credit: Rachel Everett) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – August is observed as Antiterrorism Awareness Month throughout the Army and Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center’s protection office is spreading knowledge throughout the factory.

“Antiterrorism is a critical warfighter capability supporting Army readiness,” said Ed Peterson, security specialist, Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. “Terrorists can attack anywhere, anytime. The threat is enduring and persistent.”

Antiterrorism covers a wide array of topics, including insider threats; training to counter violent extremism; suspicious activity and threat reporting; operational security; and unmanned aircraft systems (drones) reporting procedures. Insider threats include espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure, extremist activities and the loss or degradation of Army resources or capabilities. These threats are a “people problem” where every individual can make a difference by effectively identifying and mitigating these issues. Various reporting programs ensure employees have avenues to voice their concerns. Operational security, a process to identify seemingly innocuous actions that could reveal critical information, is essential in ensuring information that could be used to plan an attack is limited. All of these play a role in a whole program dedicated to protecting people, information and critical assets against terrorist and extremist threats and activities.

“Everyone plays an important role in preventing terrorist acts,” said Peterson. “By including antiterrorism principles and concepts throughout antiterrorism plans and programs, we protect the Army community.”

At RIA-JMTC, providing employees the tools to fight these threats is essential to the organization. The protection office encourages employees’ knowledge of antiterrorism with thoughts of the day throughout the month of August. Employees are encouraged to read these thoughts and apply them both on duty and off duty and offered an early off incentive each week to answer various questions from the week prior. The protection office provides printed materials to employees as well.

While August increases awareness of antiterrorism, it is important to always remain vigilant. Due to this, the RIA-JMTC protection office provides active shooter training, information on emerging threats and remains available to address employ concerns, year-round.

Mitigation is a team effort, but it begins at the lowest level with early intervention. Employees should be aware and report concerns to identify and prevent threats to national security and the local community. By reporting suspicious behavior, an individual may stop an attack before it happens, saving lives and keeping the community safe.

Some tips to help prevent terrorism include:

• be observant and attentive

• remember details about people, places, conversations and vehicles

• report concerns to authorities: installation military police, local police or Army CID Crime Tips:

Terrorism and threats remain constant and ideology can spread quickly.

“What is new, is the speed and the pervasiveness with which extremist ideology can spread, thanks to social media and the aggressive, organized and emboldened attitude many hate groups and their sympathizers apply to their recruitment and to their operations,” said the Honorable Lloyd J. Austin, Secretary of Defense in a message to the Department of Defense.

An effective Army Antiterrorism Program protects personnel, information, property and facilities in all locations and situations against terrorist and violent extremist threats in conjunction with sustained community vigilance.

Various resources are available such as the Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) providing integrated and fused threat reporting and the Joint Analytic Real-time Virtual Information Sharing System (JARVISS), a common operating platform enabling leaders to make informed force protection decisions.

For more information on these topics, visit these links (CAC not required):


CDSE Insider Threat:

JARVISS: U.S. Army STAND-TO! | Joint Analytical Real-time Virtual Information Sharing System: