Antiterrorism awareness efforts focus on homegrown threats

| August 9, 2017 | 0 Comments
Carlos Whitehead, Fort Rucker community police officer, and Sgt. Michael Adams, 6th Military Police Detachment, advance on a suspect during a scenario for the installationÕs recent annual all-hazards exercise.

Carlos Whitehead, Fort Rucker community police officer, and Sgt. Michael Adams, 6th Military Police Detachment, advance on a suspect during a scenario for the installation’s recent annual all-hazards exercise.

Story and photo by
Nathan Pfau
Army News Service

FORT RUCKER, Alabama — As forces around the globe continue to combat terrorism, Army officials want to ensure that Soldiers and citizens know what it means to be vigilant.

August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month, and this year’s observance is focused on homegrown violent extremism, of which there has been an uptick in recent years, according to Cory Greenawalt, Fort Rucker antiterrorism analyst.

“There is a lot of activity and things happening (overseas) that is driving things that are going on here in the U.S. with (law enforcement agencies), and we’re all still saying the same thing – see something, say something,” he said. “But one of the big things that we are looking out for is radicalization and homegrown violent extremism.

“ISIS is still very prevalent on the Internet, and people need to be vigilant about (operational security) when venturing online,” he said. “OPSEC and (antiterrorism) go hand in hand, especially where social media is concerned. Social media can be a breeding ground for bad things to happen.”

Although Greenawalt said social media isn’t bad per se, it’s when young, impressionable minds are able to be reached out to through the medium that it becomes a problem. But it’s not just traditional social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, that are the targets of terrorist groups, but gaming platforms, as well.

“It’s spilling over into game play through (computer gaming and console gaming),” said the antiterrorism analyst. “We’re seeing conversations going on in chat rooms on video games, so it’s very entrenched and in depth. It’s something that parents and Soldiers need to be aware of because it’s out there.”

It’s because of the depth of reach that these organizations have that Greenawalt said it falls on parents to make sure they know who their children are talking to and what they’re talking about. The best way to do that is through conversation.

“Bring them back to the dinner table and ask them who they’re talking to online and things like that. Let them know they need to be aware of these things,” he said.

“One of the things that I’ve learned over the last 28 years is that terrorism will find a way. It’s prolific,” Greenawalt said. “(Terrorists’) tactics, techniques and procedures change, as ours do. That’s why we need to people to remain vigilant.”

The main way people can remain vigilant is by utilizing the iWatch Army program, which is an antiterrorism program that focuses on encouraging Army-wide community awareness and outreach efforts to address important topics related to protecting those communities, said the antiterrorism analyst.

If people see something, they should say something, he said.



To access the iWatch Army website, visit


Points of Contact

To report suspicious activity, call these numbers:

-Antiterrorism/Force Protection, 656-6734.

-Physical Security, 656-6671.

-Use 9-1-1 only for emergency situations.

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