Terrorism: Could It Happen Here?
It probably won’t, but theoretically it could happen anywhere. Several lessons, learned the hard way, from 2001 point to one conclusion: citizens can prevent terrorism by reporting suspicious activity to the police. In fact, the average citizen is our first line of defense against terrorist acts.
Don’t worry about “bothering us.” Don’t worry about “feeling silly.” If you see something suspicious, call us. Here are some specific things to watch for:
1. Individuals taking photographs or video of, or otherwise displaying unusual interest in, fuel depots, bridges, airports, school buses, and other locations critical to infrastructure, energy, transportation, or where lots of people gather.
2. Unusual requests for information about a location, facility, or area.
3. Unattended packages, boxes, briefcases, and luggage–particularly in public areas.
4. Strong or unusual odors coming from a building or vehicle.
5. Individuals over-dressed for the weather, particularly when displaying other suspicious behavior.
If you see anything you believe you should report, take careful note of an indivual’s physical characteristics (approxmate age, sex, facial hair, clothing, height, weight) and vehicle characteristics (style, make, color, license plate) and call 911.