Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Families receive AT Awareness brief

By Melony Gabbert | iWatch | September 09, 2011

"Being prior military, I already knew a lot of things, but I will definitely be more aware in different environments and think ahead more," said Becky McDonald, retired military spouse, who attended an antiterrorism awareness briefing for Families Aug. 16 at the ACS Annex. The briefing was offered as part of Antiterrorism Awareness month. The typical terrorist profile is changing, and the targets are changing, said Chris Hallenbeck, installation antiterrorism specialist. "'Sudden Jihad Syndrome' is what is typical now. The target has become any Western non-believer."

Hallenbeck told the audience Osama Bin Laden is gone, but his writings are still out there. He also said there is a radical indoctrination process going on YouTube, the Internet and blogging sites. "Individuals who fit a terrorist profile are accessing these, saying, 'Yeah, I believe that. I should do something,'" Hallenbeck said. This process, he said, produces more individual terrorists, often without a "handler." These individuals fall

into "lone wolf" categories, he said, based upon whether or not they are connected to anyone else, whether or not they have a handler or a voice instructing actions and whether or not he or she acts alone. With groups, someone can be more easily caught, Hallenbeck said. The time period for more traditional attacks often took years of planning, like 9/11, Hallenbeck said. But often the time from an Internet viewing of extremist propaganda to the time of an attack with an individual can be as short as two weeks. "The cycle has decreased," he said. This shortened period not only gives less time to stop an attack, Hallenbeck said, but eliminates many steps and therefore many points at which notice could be taken or discovery could be made. The good news, he said, is there are still points at which notice can be taken and reported. "There have been over 40 incidents of home-grown Jihadist terrorist plots and attacks since September 2001, with 22 of those occurring in 2010," Hallenbeck said. "Reporting thwarted many of these." There are several methods for reporting suspicious activity. In an emergency, call 911. Reports can be phoned into either 785-239-MPMP (6767); the Installation Antiterrorism Office at 785-239-6303;

902nd Military Intelligence Detachment at 785-239-2268; or 1-800-CALL-SPY (2255-779). Reports also be made to gate guards or supervisors. And then there is iWATCH, he said, which "is kind of the Army's neighborhood watch." Through iWATCH, reports can be made anonymously, or with contact information, through the iWATCH tab on the 1st Infantry Division webpage. To report suspicious activity, go to www.riley.mil/Unitpage.aspx?unit=iWatch. Giving your information allows follow-up if necessary, but all tips are welcome and could prevent an attack, he said. "We want people to report anything suspicious. It is our job to investigate and assess," Hallenbeck said. "See what's not normal. That's a red flag." Some examples of activities or behaviors that should be reported, include someone drawing or measuring a floor plan or building; persons or objects that are out of place; strange odors or fumes; questions about sensitive information; a person wearing clothing too large or hot for the weather; or anti-American verbage or acts. In addition to reporting suspicious activity, Families should always be ready with an Army Ready kit and a plan, Hallenbeck said. An important measure also can be to sign up for AtHoc emergency text alerts, Hallenbeck said. For Fort Riley, this can be done at www.riley.army.mil or at kiosks in buildings-208, 210, 212, 7673 and 7264. Those signed up for AtHoc alerts will receive texts about buildings or areas of post that are closed, and signing up will not tie up your phone, he said. Similar sign up processes for emergency notifications are available for Riley county at ww.rileycountyks.gov.and Geary county at ks-geary.manatron.com, or by calling 866-894-5474. For more information, call the Fort Riley Antiterrorism Office and speak with Hallenbeck at 785-239-6303 or Brian Larson at 785-239-6044. There is a four-page information packet for parents available on the iWATCH tab on the 1st Infantry Division homepage titled, "Antiterrorism Fundamentals for Parents."

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