Honor those that died by maintaining vigilance

  • Published
  • By Nicholas M. Zallas
  • Installation Antiterrorism Officer
The tenth anniversary of Sept. 11 is almost upon us. Although there has been no specific threat identified, this date does remain a potentially attractive terrorist target and there is still intent to attack the United States. Terrorists groups could seek to advance or execute attacks with little or no warning.

In advance of and immediately following the anniversary, we should maintain increased vigilance for indications of any terrorist pre-operational planning or suspicious activity.

A key element in our nation's effort to protect ourselves against crime and terrorism is the concept that homeland security begins with hometown, or base, security. An alert public plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe.

When determining whether an activity is suspicious, focus on the actual behavior. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious.

The terrorist threat level for the U.S. is still significant and has been so since November 2010. Anti-U.S. terrorists are present and could prefer to attack personnel using large casualty producing attacks.

What exactly is "suspicious" activity?

No one knows what goes on in your area better than you. You may see or hear things that seem out of the ordinary and may indicate suspicious or illegal conduct. Law enforcement officials often rely on the instincts and perceptions of citizens to detect activity that is out of the ordinary.

These incidents are actual examples of recently reported suspicious behavior:

1. U.S. person asking suspicious questions concerning train operations, weapons and base access.

2. Several threatening text messages stating they wish to kill military members.

3. Suspicious activity at a casino by individuals claiming to be members of the U.S. military.

4. Individuals walking on tracks with a large professional grade video camera. As the train approached, the individuals videotaped it leaving an air base.

5. Hate mail received at a recruiting center.

6. Individuals reported behaving suspiciously at a hotel. Their actions included sleeping all day and staying up all night working on their computers and cell phones.

7. An individual with strong religious beliefs sharing his opinions, including anti-Islamic sentiments with strong opinions against the U.S. government, with other co-workers.

If you see something, say something. Recognizing we all play a part in spotting the signs of a possible terrorist attack, we must be aware of our surroundings. Report any suspicious activities to 9-911 if you're on base, call security forces at 781-377-2315 or the OSI "Eagle Eyes" hotline at 781- 377- EYES (3937).

If this is an emergency and requires immediate law enforcement response, call 9-911.