March 22, 2016
The bombings in Brussels today are just another proof that terrorism is still active
and well. The fact that we haven’t suffered an event since San Bernardino is absolutely
no reason to believe that that we have been forgotten. Our law enforcement
agencies identify and neutralize terrorist plots and activities almost every day
throughout the country. But as good as these organizations are, they can’t catch
everything and it is just a matter of time before an event occurs that was not identified.
Today’s attacks in Brussels were at two major public transportation locations, the airport
and a subway. Information is still being gathered and it will be a day or two before a
more complete story is available.
Some things to consider when traveling, however, is that it is more likely that bombs will
explode BEFORE the TSA or security checks.
The best way to avoid these risky areas is to check-in early, even on-line if possible so
you will have a boarding pass. If you don’t have to check a bag, don’t. That way you
can head directly for the security line and zip through those checks. Don’t spend a lot of
time in the ticketing and check-in areas. When you return from your trip, walk quickly
through the public areas to get to your transportation.
If you have choices of airports, you might select the smaller ones. These are less likely
to become a terrorist target. Terrorists want more bang for their buck, so they want large
crowds for more propaganda and publicity.
If you have checked a bag, be particularly watchful for anyone who has a bag with them
and walks away from it while the crowd is gathering at the carousel to pick up their
luggage. Large gatherings of people are what terrorists are looking for in terms of soft
targets. Also be careful of people wearing gloves when the temperature doesn’t call for
them. Some terrorists will wear a glove to hold a bomb release detonator. If it is only
one glove, immediately call the authorities’ attention to it, whether it is an innocent
person or not. A pair of gloves is more difficult to justify, unless the weather is wrong,
however, it is far better to be a little embarrassed than injured or possibly even dead.
For Subways, additional attention is required. Be watchful for bags left on trains when
the owner steps off. The same rules apply for gloves. Watch for people perspiring if the
weather is cool, or if their clothing is inappropriate for the circumstances, like a coat in
the middle of summer. Jihadist often say their prayers to themselves on their way to
their target or just before they activate their devices. Of course, not everybody who talks
to themselves are terrorists, or they may even have a mobile phone with an earpiece. It
is just another possible go-by to help provide some early warning.
If you have to take the Subway or public train, expand your awareness of your
surroundings and inspect and suspect everyone until you have satisfied your concerns.
Be aware of your environment at all times, it is better to be a little over-cautious than not
at all. Be safe.