In case you missed it, Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group operating out of Somalia, recently called for attacks upon the Mall of America. What possible connection could a shopping mall in Minnesota have with a Somali terrorist group? Well, as it turns out, Minnesota boasts one of the largest Solmali immigrant populations in the United States. Reports were out as late as summer of 2014, that some members from that community had traveled to Syria to take part in jihad there. So, there you go.
The call for attacks prompted the usual response from authorities urging us to “be careful” and “stay vigilant.” Ok...so,stay vigilant. What does that mean?
Anxiety over terrorism is pretty high right now. Each time we read headlines about an attack in Paris, Sydney, or New York, gun sales spike. People want to do something – anything – to make themselves feel safer.The fear is understandable. Fear lives and thrives in the unknown. And right now, there’s plenty of unknown to go around.
Sun Tzu, the venerated general and military tactician of ancient China, gives us sage advise as we struggle with how to do personal security. His words from the Art of War are as relevant for us today as they were when he penned them over 2,500 years ago.
“Know yourself and your enemy and you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.”
Terrorism has become a the war tactic of the 21st century. The threat is real and dangerous, but living in fear or denying the the problem is not the answer. If you know yourself and know your enemy, you can take steps to keep you and those you care about safe.
As we contemplate a threat dynamics, let's divide it into 2 categories: major and conventional attacks.
This is not an exhaustive list, but to get us started, we consider major terrorists attacks to be:
- 9/11 style attacks
- WMD attacks: chemical, bio-terrorism, dirty bomb, etc
- Attacks on infrastructure, utilities, water supply, etc
Conventional attacks include:
- Active shooter scenarios
- Suicide bombs
- Knife attacks
Of course, the thing that separates the conventional style terror attacks with other criminal activity is the fact that terrorism is fueled by some political agenda.
In an earlier post, How To Prepare For the Next Major Terror Attack, we sketched out a basic plan for what to do in the event that a major attack. You can read it by clicking here Naturally, there's not much you can do if you get blown up in a building. But if you survive or are lucky enough to be outside the impact area, the steps we outlined can help you manage the stress and chaos that follows.
When it comes to conventional attacks, the military, law enforcement, and security professionals receive training for dealing with this threat. Why shouldn't you? After all, the majority of terrorists attacks are conducted against civilians targets. It makes sense that those most likely to be attacked should be prepared. It starts with awareness. Now is the time to start adding those self-protection skills and techniques you need to keep yourself safe to your toolbox, and Single Operative is a great place to start.
Photo courtesy of Duron290984
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