A pair of alleged Islamic terror plots uncovered this week in Germany and Denmark share some disturbing hallmarks: Officials link both to al-Qaida and have found tentacles stretching all the way to Pakistan, the likely hiding place of Osama bin Laden.
The schemes which could have caused massive loss of life have been a chilling reminder to Europeans of the threat they still face due to porous borders, restive minorities and perceived allegiance to the United States.
Analysts and security officials warn that terrorists could be gearing up ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with German authorities saying the investigation there was aided by the suspects’ increased activity ahead of the anniversary.
So what can you do?
If you see suspicious behavior, do not confront the individuals involved.
Take note of the details using the following:
S – Size (Jot down the number of people, gender, ages, and physical descriptions)
A – Activity (Describe exactly what they are doing)
L – Location (Provide exact location)
U – Uniform (Describe what they are wearing, including shoes)
T – Time (Provide date, time, and duration of activity)
E – Equipment (Describe vehicle, make, color etc., license plate, camera, guns, etc)
Suspicious activity is often recalled after an event. We must train ourselves to be on the lookout for things that are out of the ordinary and arouse suspicions.
Keep in mind, those who commit terrorist acts:
• Usually live among us without appearing suspicious while planning and preparing for their attack. They may be your neighbor, student or friend.
• Often they will need training or equipment that will arouse suspicion.
• Need to conduct surveillance on possible targets and gather information on the planned attack location.
All of these things make terrorists vulnerable to detection, by those watching for certain characteristics.
Learn to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal behavior. It can be a fine line. Stay alert in your daily travels and routines and get to know:
• Who your neighbors are
• What cars are normally in your neighborhood
• Who regularly makes deliveries at work and in your neighborhood
Staying alert is NOT about becoming paranoid. Staying alert is being aware of one’s surroundings. Be alert to indications of possible trouble.Read More