Monday, January 12, 2015

French Terrorism and Your Response To Threat

Most of us have watched a drama played out in Paris, France. A French newspaper made light of jihadists and their religion and apparently the jihadists were not amused. They put a bounty on the head of the editor and others. The extremists were then taunted and paid a price. 2 Terrorists killed 12 people including the editor. He said this when threatened: “…I prefer to die standing…” Editor St├ęphane “Charb” Charbonnier. I hope he got his wish. Extremism should be met with courage and vigilance. But being stupid by taunting your enemy is not advisable. I’m not saying that the newspaper should change it’s view or opinion, but to ask for an attack is foolish. From what I’ve read, the French police gave the magazine security by putting 2 police officers in a marked car out in front of their building. As in any bank robbery, they took out the armed security first. Then, because of French gun control laws, the terrorists knew there was no one armed in the building. They were then able to kill 10 more people without too much resistance.
There are many things I could address here including how “well” gun control works. But what I’d like to address is the threat response and what we should do in a similar situation.
First is the threat assessment. Is the threat credible? Sometimes threats on the internet are just that, threats. Is the threat from an individual or an organization? Is it from an ex-spouse? You would know if the threat came from someone you know if it were credible.
Once you decide the threat is credible there are some basic things you should do.
As with every day, you should maintain situational awareness. Watch what is going on around you and what others are doing. Most people will hardly look at you. They are about their own business and unless you look different or are acting different, they will hardly notice you. You should not be this way. You should notice those around you. If you were to take a class on surveillance, you would learn to not look constantly at your target. Criminals who are intent on robbing or doing harm to someone will usually be staring at their target. If someone is noticing you, they should be watched.
Use locks and alarms. If you have locks on doors and home or business alarms, use them, always. Yes it’s a hassle. But it’s worth the peace of mind of everything being locked up all the time. Don’t forget looking up. Access to the attics, crawl spaces, and the roof should be secured. Gates should also be locked. Lock up your breaker and telephone boxes too if they are outside.
Vary your traveling. Change the route and if possible, the time that you go to work or home. Be especially alert at stop signs or lights. Know who is behind you. Have an escape route if possible. Don’t be predictable. Keep doors locked and windows up.
Tell others of the threat. Let those at work or close friends know what is going on. They can be an asset to you.
Arm yourself. Unlike the unfortunate French, here in the USA we can arm ourselves. Learn how to shoot. Become well trained. Practice and be legal. Seek out and find other weapons systems. There alternatives to a gun. I believe in redundancy. Be trained in a variety of defense weapons and disciplines.
If you are afraid for your life, involve the police.
We have covered personal and family security on this website extensively and with many focuses. Check out the following entries to start, then move to the labels PERSSEC and FAMSEC. This should give you a good idea of places to start.
Family Security Plan, Parts 1 through 6, 9/10, 11, 12, 15, 18/2014
Security: Determining Your Own Threat Matrix 10/8/2014
Hard or Soft Target, Don’t Be A Victim 11/7/2014
Semper Paratus
Check 6