THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM a review of Daywalt's new DVD, and it's about something important a citizen can do to help halt terrorism — be observant and know what to look for. You can learn how to recognize the kinds of events that lead up to a terrorist attack, and to report them to the proper authorities. Security professionals cannot be everywhere all the time.
"Your eyes and ears and those of your friends, family, and co-workers," says the narrator, "can be of enormous help in preventing terrorism. You are the only one who knows best what activities do or do not belong in and around your community.
"...your inputs are immediately shared with law enforcement agencies for rapid assessment and investigation, as necessary. As part of your daily routine, being observant and reporting anything out of the ordinary could be the crucial first step in preventing a possible terrorist attack."
How many times have you seen the "heightened alert" sign? Do you know what to do during heightened terrorist threat levels? The DVD lays out for you exactly what you should do: Look for "indicators of terrorism." There are seven things terrorists often do before they launch an attack, and those things can be spotted by a citizen better than a uniformed police officer. Here are the seven indicators of terrorism:
1. SurveillanceThese are actions terrorists often take before they launch an attack, and they are usually in plain view of regular citizens. If those citizens are paying attention and know what to look for, they can report it to the local police, whose system is now tied into national security agencies.
3. Test of security
4. Acquiring supplies
5. Suspicious persons
6. Dry runs
7. Deploying assets
The DVD explains details of each indicator. For example, the first one is surveillance. Terrorists often scope out a potential target first. Things to be aware of are note-taking, recording or monitoring the routines of the target (say, a nuclear facility or stadium), using cameras, drawing diagrams, drawing on maps, using binoculars, possessing plans or blueprints of the site, etc.
If you see something like this and you've never seen it before in your area, you can report it to your local police. They can then investigate. If the apparently suspicious people are innocent and their activities are for a legitimate purpose, no harm was done by checking them out. But if they had ill intent, the discovery of their activities can lead to the identification of a terrorist group. You've just saved lives.
"If you feel you've observed something suspicious, do not dismiss it," urges Daywalt. "Many criminal and terrorist plots have been averted just because someone was observant enough, and reported what they saw to the authorities."Here's another good list of what to look for: Signs That Indicate An Impeding Terrorist Attack.