We all know, from successful terrorist events in the past, that much preparation is conducted prior to an event. This preparation is designed to identify targets, establish times for greatest impact, identify and log any security weaknesses and lastly to lock in their mode of destruction. This pre-planning time is crucial to an effective event that maximizes their efforts at invoking fear into the minds of others.
The SNCTC lists the following as the Seven Signs of Terrorism:
SurveillanceThis involves the recording or monitoring of activities or places of interests.
Information GatheringThis involves individuals attempting to gather operational information, such as police or military tactics.
Tests of SecurityDuring this phase they will test response to breaches of security, such as police response to alarm activation.
Acquiring SuppliesWhile this may seem obvious, it may involve the stealing of uniforms or name badges which may grant them access to restricted areas.
Suspicious Persons/ItemsPeople or things that seem out of place or simply do not belong in the workplace.
Dry Run / Trial RunThis is a critical step in their planning process a dry or trial run tests all of their information and materials obtained thus far. Once this has been completed, they will make necessary adjustments to the plan prior to the actual event.
Deploying AssetsThis is your last chance to thwart an attack. The people and supplies are getting into position for the terrorist act.
The SNCTC is also quick to point out that none of these signs by themself is necessarily an indicator of terrorism; however, collectively they may amount to something of significance. It is incumbent upon all members of the community to maintain a higher sense of vigilance to be successful in preventing future acts of terrorism. SNCTC says it best, if you see something, say something!
John Chase can be reached via his e-mail address at Jchase@bcnv.org.