When I came across this little tidbit I was both amused and frightened. Without further ado I give you the eight signs of terrorism (according to our government) and my comments.
Terrorist operations usually begin with extensive planning. You can help prevent and detect terrorism — and other types of crime — by watching out for suspicious activities and reporting them to the proper authorities. Be alert for the eight signs of terrorism!
1. Surveillance- Someone recording or monitoring activities. This may include the use of cameras, note taking, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps, or using binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices.
So the next time you go on vacation don’t look too long at any national monument and for God’s sake leave your camera at home.
2. Elicitation- People or organizations attempting to gain information about military operations, capabilities, or people. Elicitation attempts may be made by mail, email, telephone, or in person. This could also include eavesdropping or friendly conversation.
Elicitation, now that’s a real nice big word, I’ll bet George Bush was never able to pronounce it. If I’m reading this correctly – and I probably am – anytime someone talks to you or someone else it could be a terrorist action. And if you happen to overhear them talking then you could be a terrorist. Turn yourself in now. They saved the best for last – now I should also be suspicious of friendly conversation. I don’t want to be a hermit but I guess I’ll have to otherwise the terrorists win.
3. Tests of Security- Any attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches, attempts to penetrate physical security barriers, or monitor procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.
I have no idea when or where I would be the first or only person to witness this. I’m not even sure what it means. If I see someone trying to crash a car through a security gate I’ll be sure to let the police know because I’m sure it escaped their attention. And if I see someone ‘monitoring procedures’ I’ll have to ask them if they are looking for strengths and weaknesses or just looking.
4. Funding- Suspicious transactions involving large cash payments, deposits, or withdrawals are common signs of terrorist funding. Collections for donations, the solicitation for money and criminal activity are also warning signs.
Really? Collections for donations and solicitation for money are signs of terrorism? I have always suspected the Policemen’s Benevolent Society was a terrorist organization. Recently there were two transactions involving almost two trillion dollars. Was that a terrorist act or simply our government at work?
5. Supplies- Purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, etc. This also includes acquiring military uniforms, decals, flight manuals, passes or badges (or the equipment to manufacture such items) and any other controlled items.
I can understand stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, etc. Stealing is wrong no matter who does it. Purchasing weapons, ammunition, etc. however is something folks around here do all the time, especially my brother. He terrorized me when we were young but I’m pretty sure he’s not a terrorist. He is a Republican though so I can’t be positive.
6. Impersonation- People who don’t seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else. This includes suspicious border crossings, the impersonation of law enforcement, military personnel, or company employees is also a sign.
Ah yes, the outsiders. I don’t seem to belong in the workplace or at least I don’t want to. And if anyone wants’ to impersonate an employee where I work, aka the pits of hell, go for it. Although I am pretty sure generating mountains of paperwork that is forgotten shortly after it is created qualifies as terrorism.
7. Rehearsal- Putting people in position and moving them around according to their plan without actually committing the terrorist act. An element of this activity could also include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.
I’m sure this is not something terrorists would do. Sounds more like a Hollywood production, which is probably where the authors got the idea for this little bit of misinformation
8. Deployment- People and supplies getting into position to commit the act. This is the person’s last chance to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.
Right, because we all know how quickly the authorities responded before 911. If I see a terrorist attack I’m going to run away screaming like a little girl.
Seriously, being suspicious of almost every human activity is no way to live, or to prevent anything. The chances of things going horribly wrong are much better when we are frightened and paranoid. Like this scene from Naked Gun:
Mayor Barkley: Oh Drebin. I don’t want any more trouble like you had last year on the southside. Understand? Thats my policy.
Frank Drebin: Yes, well. When I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in plain view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that’s my policy.
Mayor Barkley: That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!
Want to know how to prevent terrorism? Live a free, full and generous life. And quit being afraid of your neighbors.