August is Antiterrorism Month

By Tom Janis, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Antiterrorism OfficerAugust 1, 2023

August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month
August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

TOWER BARRACKS, Germany -- August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month, an annual observance to recognize risks associated with terrorist threats and an opportunity to provide education to our community in order to increase awareness and vigilance.

Terrorism in Europe is an enduring threat, but we can do something that terrorist fear – report their suspicious activities.

Of the 28 reported European terrorism events in 2022, 12 failed. Of the 16 attacks that were completed, the majority were attributed to left-wing and anarchist terrorism, two to jihadist terrorism, and one to right-wing terrorism.

Of the 380 individuals arrested in Europe last year, 30 were arrested in Germany following investigations. Most left-wing terrorist attacks were perpetrated utilizing improvised incendiary devices (IIDs), fire accelerators and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The three fatal attacks reported in 2022 were carried out using a bladed weapon and strangulation by jihadist terrorists, and a firearm by a right-wing terrorist.

A simple observation of something that doesn’t seem right that then gets reported to the Military Police or local police can stop a terrorist attack. The Army antiterrorism and protection programs (including insider threat) are an integrated effort to deter, detect and mitigate risk to Army readiness and support mission assurance.

Indicators may include –

  • Persons advocating loyalty to a foreign interest over loyalty to the U.S.
  • Persons expressing hatred for or advocating violence against American society or government.
  • Persons advocating support for terrorist or violent extremist organizations.
  • Persons attempting to radicalize others, especially peers and family members.
  • Persons expressing acceptance of violence as a means to achieve ideological goals.
  • Evidence of terrorist training or attendance at terrorist facilities.
  • Persons repeatedly viewing websites that promote terrorism.
  • Persons participating in online sites or groups that promote violent extremism or exchanging information on websites that promote use of force against the U.S.
  • Persons joking or bragging about association with a foreign intelligence service, terrorist group, or violent extremist group.
  • Persons sending large amounts of money to foreign countries.
  • People photographing, drawing or measuring important facilities.
  • Persons asking questions about sensitive information such as building blueprints, security forces/plans/procedures, or VIP travel schedules.
  • Persons purchasing explosive devices or bomb-making materials or seeking instructional information on their design and use.
  • A briefcase, suitcase, backpack or package left unattended.
  • Vehicles left unattended in No Parking zones adjacent to important buildings.

You can report suspicious activity through iWATCH, iSALUTE, CID, the Military Police or your chain of command. Once you report the activity in these situations your job is done, and your tip may contribute to preventing an incident and ultimately save lives. Local authorities are counting on all of us to be the eyes and ears in the communities where we work and live.

“Today’s persistent threat from near-peer competitors employing a wide range of asymmetric, terrorist tactics, combined with relatively new threat actors, forms a complex operating environment. These threats present force protection challenges.”
– HON Christine E. Wormuth, Secretary of the Army