Paranoia, Vigilance, & terrorism
This is a repost from August 17. I thought in light of the attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th and the threats made against America by ISIS recently, it seemed appropriate.
The United States, and most of the western world, is becoming paranoid and scared about terrorism. We defeated a few Islamic extremists but then that just gave rise to ISIS. So should we be scared or terrorism? Or should we not be frightened and just remain as vigilant as we can in our snuggly warm sequestered lives?
I am paranoid. I make no bones about it. I will admit that being paranoid about a great many things has kept me safe from being injured or assaulted. And it has kept clients of mine from being robbed or suffering losses for whatever the reason.
I always stress the importance of being a tad bit paranoid! It is a trait that has served me well over the past 32 years and I have been told by more than a few that my instincts were correct. I’ve been asked by many how I knew something was going to happen. The simple truth is I didn’t, I’m just cautious and paranoid, therefore I always think, and walk, on the ‘dark side of the street’ and therefore life. My instincts are so on target I scare others around me. Other times, ehhh, not so much.
Being vigilant means you know what is going on around you at all times. Paying attention to anything & everything. You might only notice something peripherally out of the corner of your eye and it doesn’t concern you at the time. But you have to file it away for future reference.
Now with radical Islam utilizing the internet to radicalize young unsuspecting people to do their bidding. Add threatening us from all sides and parts of the world, we need to become vigilant, and a bit paranoid as well.
Terrorists can use toys to threaten aircraft. Drones have been sighted over every major airport in the country. From New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, & even Kansas City. They have threatened firefighting craft in wild fire areas. And these drones can be used for more than irritation and ‘sightseeing’.
There are videos on Utube that show drones with firearms attached. From your standard 9mm pistols to actual machine guns, capable of blasting through any bullet resistant glass. Then you can add unexplained explosions on the beach and other places as a possible dry run to kill us or drive us into submission?
People taking pictures of critical infrastructure, airport terminals, financial institutions including Wall Street, sports arenas, as well as bridges and highways. Many states have heavily overloaded highways that can be easily obstructed by any number of reasons.
For those that live in California, you know how bad it can be. One minor accident could prevent innumerable people from either getting away or getting help. How many remember the wildfire incident in San Bernadino a month or so ago. Traffic was at a standstill, cars burned and people were hurt because they couldn’t move fast enough to get out of the way – because the highway was too congested and overloaded.
Do I want you to be as paranoid as I am? Of course not. Leave being paranoid to the professionals (security and law enforcement). What I want people to do is to watch for those warning signs of terrorism. The ones that people ignore so well, especially with their own love ones. Look and watch for them and if you see anything beginning to happen and they start to pile up, then tell someone.
But being paranoid and being vigilant are 2 different things. You have to be vigilant in today’s violent world. It does no good for anyone to sequester yourself away from the world and believe everything will be all hunky dory in the morning. Therefore being vigilant is the best way to protect both yourself and your family.
And I’ll add that being just a tad bit paranoid isn’t necessarily bad either. It’ll help keep you on your toes and hopefully fine tune your own gut instincts to be more vigilant. And if you can become more vigilant hopefully you won’t get caught in a cross-fire or other crime.
But no matter what we can’t sit and sequester ourselves away and cover our windows with plastic wrap and duct tape. If we do these kinds of things then we might as well bow down to ISIS and convert to their form of Islam!
By conforming to what they want to fear them and for our own lives, then they win. I don’t want them to win and I would be willing to project that 99% of Americans don’t want that either. Therefore we have only one course of action.
Be vigilant and paranoid. Pay attention to people doing weird things and spouting off the Islamic propaganda of extremism. If someone is acting furtively and sneaking about, then say something. Don’t wait and be the one on the evening news that says in amazement “I didn’t think they’d do that. I didn’t think about that sort of thing in my neighborhood!’
NOTE: not all Muslims are or have been radicalized. Most are kindly citizens and only wish to live peacefully with everyone else.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany
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