What do High School Killers and Terrorists Have in Common?

Department of Homeland Security studies show that the Columbine High School killers and the Virginia Tech gunman planned those attacks using the same techniques used by terrorists.

The study talks about the “7 steps” that terrorists take prior to executing an attack. The steps begin with; Surveillance, Acquiring information, Testing security, Acquiring supplies, Appearance of being “out of place”, Test run and putting everything into position for the planned attack/strike.


Is there much that ordinary civilians can do to thwart a Terrorist attack or High School killing spree? The answer is; MOST DEFINITELY. DHS advises that 25 possible school attacks have been prevented this year so far, due to attentive citizens noticing something that seemed unusual and then reporting it to Law Enforcement.

We should not be reluctant to report suspicious persons or circumstances. Every once in a while the media will run a story about a suspicious package being left behind in a taxi or public place. Many people will be afraid to report something like that in case it turns out to be a hoax. BUT YOU SHOULD REPORT IT, NEVERTHELESS. That “hoax” might very well be a “test/dry run” by terrorists to see if what they leave behind will be detected, or how long it will take to be reported. The terrorist/bad guy will most likely be timing the reponse as well.

Those of us who travel regularly can tell you how long an unattended backpack or shopping bag would be allowed to sit unattended in London or parts of the Middle East. A Police officer would never get angry at having to respond because; 1)they are happy to see it does not contain a life threatening device (that would threaten their life as well as the lives of the general public) and 2)they know that one day it will be the real thing and when that time arrives, they will be glad of the practice and the fact that the public are helping them to identify danger.

In these dangerous times, we should never forget that we are all in this together. There is no room for complacancy. Just because you think you are safe and on holiday – remember what happened in Bali. If you think you are safe because you are in a secured facility or an Embassy overseas, remember Oklahoma and the countless Embassies and Consulates where deadly attacks are becomming a daily occurance.

If something doesn’t look or feel right to you, there is a reason that you feel that way. Like the animals in the jungle, we are able to sense fear/danger in order to assist us with survival. The next time you report a suspicious activity, the life you save just might be your own.

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