Cops, Security, Citizens Need to Be Aware: Does the Climate & Environment Shift in the Wake of bin Laden's Death?

“This is war. it is the most important skill in the nation. It is the basis of life and death. It is the philosophy of survival or destruction. You must know it well. Your skill comes from five factors (philosophy. climate, ground,  leadership, methods). Study these factors when you plan war. You must insist on knowing your situation.”~Sun Tzu

The climate, tempo and highly likely the environment where the war on terror takes place has just shifted in the wake of the great news of Osama bin Laden being killed by United States Forces in a REMARKABLE operation. In which direction the climate has shifted, we do not know as of yet, but our philosophy must be one of remaining vigilant as it is almost certain the followers of bin Laden (lone wolves and small cells), will seek retribution and will do so in their cowardly way by killing unexpected innocents around the world to include here on United States soil. Their efforts we most definitely increase. There is no place for complacency and neither is there a place for paranoia as the situation evolves. Its a balanced and relaxed state of awareness that is key to developing actionable intelligence to help prevent the next effort by our adversaries to attack.

Law Enforcement needs to step up there level of awareness in the wake of Osama bin Laden being killed by United States Forces in a raid of bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.  Cities which are populated in larger numbers need to have initiative driven patrols, of trains, subways, convention centers and business centers. Many of these locations have private security as well and they must be ever vigilant and report any suspicious circumstances immediately. Police must also focus in on soft targets schools, churches, malls, night life spots etc . Terrorist and extremist are well trained and willing to commit violence to achieve their goals. They will utilize a variety of resources, including the internet, blending into society, developing relationships in an effort to develop rapport and trust amongst their perceived enemies so when the timing is right they have access to those they wish to do harm. Terrorist/extremist examine past incidents in an effort to learn, unlearn and relearn increasing their effectiveness. Many work alone or in small groups and when necessary lager groups depending on the planned missions.

Each terrorist attack in history has produced information or patterns about the terrorist choices for target; the acquiring of materials to carry out attacks such as explosives and weapons; the flow of money, people, and other patterns of behavior. Detecting these signs and signals and sharing the information with one another provides the best opportunity to prevent future terrorist acts. Engage the people you police and they will engage you!

Here is a list of things to watch for, warning signs of terrorist events. The list is by know means all-inclusive so when something feels wrong, your gut says something is not right,  if your a cop check it out , if a citizen report it and prove or disprove you perception.

  • Loitering or parking in the same area over a period of time, without a valid reason (days or weeks)
  • Binoculars or night vision equipment, cameras and video equipment
  • Photos, maps,sketches, or blueprints of public buildings, power plants or other potential targets
  • Computer access to information about sensitive such as nuclear plants. Also soft target sites.
  • Unusual false alarms requiring law enforcement or emergency response
  • literature that promotes extremes beliefs; jihad, racist activities, terrorist/extremist agendas, or extreme religious beliefs
  • Bomb making, military or law enforcement manuals
  • logs or records detailing activities or movements of law enforcement or security personnel
  • An increase of thefts at military surplus stores
  • Modification of vehicles. to accommodate heavy loads
  • Signs of training and testing
  • Possession of or attempts to acquire:
    • Materials for developing improvised explosive devises such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer 
    • Body armor
    • Propane bottles or tanks
    • Uniforms, identification, license plates, or service vehicles; (law enforcement, military, repair, delivery, medical)
    • Weapons or ammunition
    • Prepaid cell phones
    • numerous high-dollar preloaded ATM cards
  • REMEMBER TERORIST’S ADAPT THEIR METHODS!

    • Do not get locked in to any one list of things to look for

Watch PEOPLE and their behavior. PEOPLE commit these acts and its PEOPLE ALL OF US (law enforcement, security and the citizen) being observant and willing to to take action by reporting that will help prevent a terrorist attack.

Stay Oriented!

Fred