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Coming soon to a bookstore near you, my new book on atheism (co-authored with Kenneth Hensley) is called The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism and will be released in the next two weeks. Pre-order your signed copy today.
On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security held a conference call asking the private sector to heighten its level of awareness and report anything suspicious to law enforcement immediately. Since theattempted bombing in Times Square earlier this month, there has been a flurry of alerts sent out from DHS regarding terrorist tactics and threats.CNN published a story quoting one document saying that “the number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other previous one-year period.According to DHS, businesses have to operate under the premise that other operatives are in the country and could advance plotting with little or no warning.” They also said U.S. officials “lack insights in specific details, timing and intended targets,” but trends indicate terrorists are looking for “smaller, more achievable attacks against easily accessible targets.”Officials have repeatedly said that terrorists use explosive devices as one of their most common weapons. Unfortunately, criminals don’t have to look far to find out how to make explosive devices: the information is readily available in books and other information sources and the materials needed for an explosive device can be found in many places including variety, hardware and auto supply stores. Explosive devices are highly portable using vehicles and humans as a means of transport. They are easily detonated from remote locations or by suicide bombers.Conventional bombs have been used to damage and destroy financial, political, social and religious institutions. Attacks have occurred in public places and on city streets with thousands of people around the world injured and killed.During the call with business leaders, Homeland Security officials requested private sector companies to consider the following points:
- Institute aggressive awareness campaigns.
- Identify entrance areas where crowds will collect and common traffic choke points exist.
- Pre-identify primary and secondary evacuation routes.
- Look at how you asses unattended vehicles in your area.
- Vary security patrol and surveillance routines.
- Rely on the people working in your buildings and stores every day. These folks will be more aware of things out of place in their normal environment.
- Remain alert for potential secondary devices. (In one case, small devices were used to force an evacuation, then larger devices were triggered to kill people.)