Terror Strikes Berlin & Holiday Revelers Across the Globe
This past Monday, a terrorist from Tunisia hijacked a truck, killed its driver, and then plowed the truck into a crowd at a busy Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. The sickening attack left 12 people dead and 48 injured—many of them seriously. While his identity is known, the attacker is still at large. Coming just weeks after a Somali native injured 11 people using his car to plow into a crowd at the Ohio State University and then stabbing those trying to flee, the attack in Berlin seems all too familiar. This attack also evokes tragic memories of the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, in which the ISIS-inspired perpetrator deliberately plowed a truck through a crowd, killing 86 injuring 434. Authorities investigating all three attacks have said that the men were each inspired by ISIS. In addition, after the attacks, ISIS conveniently claimed direct responsibility, subsequently boasting that each man was a “solider” [of the Islamic State]. While its quite probable that the three attackers were inspired by the radical beliefs of the Islamic State, these men were all self-radicalized and self-directed, otherwise known as Lone Wolves. In propaganda recently published by the Islamic State, attacks using vehicles as weapons are highly encouraged, especially during this time of year, while crowds gather to celebrate the holidays.
Authorities across the nation are ramping up security in public places, hardening soft targets, and advising people to be extra vigilant during the busy holiday season. Because this type of attack is becoming more frequent, it is important to know what to look out for. According to the Department of Homeland Security, suspicious activity can be classified as the following:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
- Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
You should report the above situations and other suspicious activity to local authorities. Together we can help protect the nation from the threat of terror.
Taino Consulting Group wishes you a safe and joyful holiday season.