In a world
where Islamic extremists are involved in elaborate plans to force
earth’s civilization into their vision of Islamic domination through
terror attacks, people are being taught to pay attention to their
surroundings, to be observant, and if suspicious activities are
seen, report it to law enforcement officials. As we have seen
since 9-11, what one man or woman reports can save many lives.
People have also found that things out of place can be reason
for concern. Many citizens have discovered thus far important
oddities, such as an oddly packed bag, a vehicle out of place,
or a man nonchalantly trying to light his shoe on fire while on
an aircraft. Observance and reporting suspicious activities is
encouraged, as seen with the US military this week.
By Sgt. 1st
Class Doug Sample, USA, AFPS
Jan. 24, 2003 — Several plastic containers and what appeared
to be a timing device were found near a military checkpoint at
the Pentagon yesterday, arousing the suspicion of a passer-by.
members of the Arlington Fire Department and the Pentagon Force
Protection Agency were on the scene. The Air Force Office of Special
Investigations was contacted.
sent out over e-mail and the Pentagon’s emergency communications
system informed those in the immediate area of what action to
turned out to be nothing more than cleaning tools left behind
by a vendor who’d been in the Pentagon to disinfect bathrooms.
scare caused quite a bit of confusion, the passer-by did the right
thing, said Tom Smith, a retired NYPD detective who now commands
Detachment 344 of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
In light of
what happened Sept. 11, 2001, "we don’t dismiss anything
— we can’t afford to," Smith said. Part of the mission of
his six-man detachment is to help protect the 20,000 military
and civilian personnel who work at the Pentagon.
to take such incidents personally, no matter how frivolous. Which
is why today in the Pentagon auditorium, he and his team met with
workers to clue them in on "Eagle Eyes," a program created
by the Air Force that has become the Defense Department’s "Neighborhood
teaches military personnel and civilian employees to be on the
watch for, and to report, suspicious activities of people they
suspect may be:
the workplace or monitoring activities using cameras and video.
o Trying to
gain information about military operations, capabilities or people.
security measures, attempting to measure reaction times or to
penetrate security barriers.
or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, uniforms, decals,
passes or badges.
o Taking notice
of people who don’t seem to fit in the workplace, neighborhood
or business establishment.
said, pay special attention to any threat received by any means
that contains a specific time, location or place.
He told the
audience not to be inhibited about reporting what might turn out
to be innocent behavior. "You don’t know it’s innocent until
you report it," he said. "We’re much less concerned
about too much reporting than too little. When lives are at stake,
it’s better to be safe than sorry."
He said he’s
not sure what effect Eagle Eyes has had on Pentagon security,
but he believes that having everyone be more aware of what’s going
on around them is an effective counterterrorism measure.
active-duty military to family members to government contractors,
anyone could see something out of the ordinary. Report it, and
make a difference between a terrorist act occurring or not occurring,"
That, he said,
would be a constant reminder to would-be terrorists — among the
more than 20,000 people working in the Pentagon, someone is likely
to be watching.
Suspicious or Unusual Activity You May Contact the FBI Through
Their Web Tip Center HERE