As the events of September 11, 2001 demonstrated, terrorist attacks can occur quickly and unexpectedly. In Georgia, a college student was convicted in June 2009 of conspiring to provide material support for terrorism and was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.
During the 1996 Olympics, a bombing occurred at Centennial Olympic Park, killing two and injuring 111. The next year, an Atlanta-area health clinic and a gay nightclub were bombed by the same man. Eric Rudolph pled guilty to these crimes in 2005 and is now serving a life sentence in prison.
All Georgians should begin to learn about potential threats and know that by making a simple phone call, you may help thwart a terrorist attack.
Be Aware of Suspicious Behavior
- Surveillance: video recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps or binoculars near key facilities or events
- Suspicious Questioning: attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, e-mail, etc. regarding a key facility or people who work there
- Tests of Security: attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility/event
- Acquiring Supplies: attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility/event or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances that could be used in a terrorist attack
- Suspicious Persons: anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment or near a key facility or event
- “Dry Runs”: behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities/events, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities
- Deploying Assets: abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons being deployed near a key facility/event
If You See Something, Say Something
- If you see someone behaving suspiciously, report it to local law enforcement. The Georgia Office of Homeland Security also has a website devoted to reporting such behavior