What is terrorism?
As a U.S. resident, it’s important for you to understand what terrorism is, and what it isn’t. For an act to be considered terrorism, it must be a crime.
It’s not a crime to:
- Say something radical or inflammatory against our country
- Have a strong set of beliefs that are outside mainstream ideology. Americans are guaranteed the right of free speech.
The goals of terrorism are usually political, social, or religious in nature. Terrorists truly believe they are working toward a better world. They may want:
- To influence policy decisions
- Their own homeland or some type of independence
- Special privileges
- Exemptions from rules
- To overthrow an existing government, believing It to be corrupt, nonauthoritarian, nonrepresentative or immoral
Terrorist activities could include:
- Threats against organizations or groups of people
- Harassment of particular groups of people
High profile crimes include:
- Assault, Murder, Assassination, Kidnapping, Hostage Taking, Skyjacking, Bombings, Arson
Identifying Terrorist Activity
Overcoming stereotypes! You can NOT identify a terrorist by:
- How a person looks
- What a person eats
- Where a person is from
- What a person says
You CAN identify a terrorist threat by observing a suspicious activity that may lead to a criminal act.
Unusual requests for information can be a warning sign of terrorist activity:
- A telephone request at work asking about the security system
- A mail survey asking the respond time and habits of emergency personnel
- Fraudulent Identification
Many 9/11 terrorists were in the country illegally using fraudulent ID’s. Altering or using false government identification in any way and for any purpose is against the law. This includes:
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Birth identification
- INS identification
If you believe someone is using or has altered government identification, PLEASE NOTIFY US!
Protecting Our Community
All should continue to be vigilant, take notice of their surroundings, and report suspicious items or activities to local authorities immediately.
We all play a role in protecting our community. Why?
- Security, police, and the military can’t be everywhere
- Terrorism personally effects every individual
- Heightened awareness communicates that we are not easy targets
How do we recognize the difference between normal and abnormal behavior? By staying alert in our travels and daily routines and getting to know:
- Who our neighbors are
- What cars are normally in our neighborhood
- Who regularly makes deliveries at work
- Who the regular maintenance and cleaning people are at work
- What is appropriate in our work area so we can identify what isn’t
Pay attention to.
- Issues that have been in the media
- Local/national/international news that may increase the risk for certain groups or facilities
- Government released “threat notices” indicating a threat against a type of facility
- Massachusetts and U.S. threat advisory systems, which help you determine how alert you should be.
Everyone should create a disaster supplies kit and emergency plan for themselves and their family, and stay informed about what to do during an emergency.
To Learn More About Preparedness, visit: https://www.ready.gov/terrorist-hazards
Please report suspicious activity to the Great Barrington Police Department by calling 413-528-0306.
Reports can also be made to the Massachusetts State Police Fusion Center by calling 978-451-3700.