James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Check yourself.

with one comment

Here in Iowa, many of us feel no need to worry about our personal security.  Generally we don’t need to worry, but it is not an excuse to completely let down your guard.

A good friend of mine who works in counter-terrorism recently shared with me two articles that can be useful to ordinary people.  They do not encourage paranoia, but they do call for a person to consciously consider their level of alertness.  Even in Iowa bad things happen.  Most Iowans leave the state from time-to-time and at those times have even more reason to remain alert to potential threats.

The first link is to a resource that will simply get you thinking about what it means to be alert to potential threats:

Regardless of the threat, it is very important to recognize that criminal and terrorist attacks do not materialize out of thin air. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Criminals and terrorists follow a process when planning their actions, and this process has several distinct steps. This process has traditionally been referred to as the “terrorist attack cycle,” but if one looks at the issue thoughtfully, it becomes apparent that the same steps apply to nearly all crimes.

Read more: A Primer on Situational Awareness | STRATFOR

The second link is particularly useful to anyone who is worried about a stalker, but can also be useful to anyone who fears that they are being observed in advance of a criminal act:

It is important to make one fundamental point clear up front. The operational behavior that most commonly exposes a person planning a criminal or terrorist act to scrutiny by the intended target is surveillance. Other portions of the planning process can be conducted elsewhere, especially in the age of the Internet, when so much information is available online. From an operational standpoint, however, there simply is no substitute for having eyes on the potential target.

Read more: Watching for Watchers | STRATFOR

If enough people start thinking about these issues, we will be safer as both individuals and as a community.  If you want to stop terrorism without the heavy hand of government surveillance, you must read these, remain appropriately alert, and encourage your friends to do the same.


Written by JamesEJ

Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 8:14 am

One Response

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  1. […] in a municipal airport – by securing aircraft, noting and responding to suspicious people, raising alertness, … – will probably do far more to thwart my described potential attack than any […]

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