Combating terrorism at home, work is an individual responsibility

| October 1, 2010 | 0 Comments

Elliott Ross
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — No singular definition of terrorism exists, as it differs from one agency to another within the government. 

However, the basics remain the same.

Terrorism is “the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. It is also the “unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or civilian population, in furtherance of political or social objectives,” according to the FBI.

So, what can individuals do to combat terrorism, no matter what the official definition is?

•Keep a low profile. A person’s dress, conduct and mannerisms should not attract attention. Make an effort to blend into the local environment. Avoid publicity and do not go out in large groups. Stay away from civil disturbances and demonstrations.

•Be unpredictable. Avoid habitual patterns and vary daily routes to and from work, the time you leave and return home, plus the way you dress. Do not exercise alone, at the same time and place each day, on deserted streets or on country roads. 

Always, keep people aware of where you are going, what you will be doing and when you should be back.

•Remain alert. Watch out for anything suspicious or out of place. If you think you are being followed, go to a pre-selected, secure area. Immediately report the incident to a force protection unit advisor, military intelligence officer, military police officer or law enforcement agency. 

•Protect personal information. Do not give out personal information over the telephone. Instruct family and friends not to provide strangers with information about you or your family. Do not give unnecessary personal details to information collectors and restrict personal data when using the Internet. 

Educate all family members on the safe and proper use of e-mail and Internet browsing. Do not open an e-mail if you do not know the sender. 

Be cautious about giving out information regarding family travel plans or security measures and procedures.

•Do not talk to strangers. Do not open doors for strangers. Be alert for strangers who are on government property for no apparent reason. Report all suspicious persons loitering near your residence or office and try to provide a complete description of the person and/or vehicle to the MPs. 

Don’t meet with strangers outside your workplace, or if you must, advise someone of your destination and the anticipated time of arrival.

•Maintain knowledge. Memorize key phone numbers like office, home, police and security numbers. 

Category: News, Safety

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