By Matthew Harwood
In an effort to educate and increase ordinary citizens’ awareness of terrorism planning, the state of Colorado, its fusion center, and the Denver-based nonprofit Center for Empowered Living and Learning (CELL) have co-produced a video exploring suspicious activities that may indicate terrorist planning.
The video was released yesterday by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter after giving a tour of the CELL, an antiterrorism education center, to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano. The film was financed by a $30,400 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reported 9News.com.
“Eight years after 9/11, it’s important to remember that the United States is not immune from terror attacks,” Ritter said. “The video will help empower citizens with the knowledge they need to protect our communities, our state, our nation.”
“The vigilance of individual citizens is critical to protecting our country from the threat of terrorism,” said Napolitano. “This video provides essential information on how to identify the warning signs and emphasizes the vital role of such assistance in state and local law enforcement’s counterterrorism efforts.”
The eight minute video, “Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism,” is narrated by Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and local news anchor Kim Christiansen. In the opening of the video, Elway explains to viewers that terrorism “can happen anytime, anywhere” as news footage of terrorist attacks of 9-11 and Oklahoma City roll across the screen.
This segues to Christiansen, who lists the eight signs of terrorism experts agree on.
- Elicitation (or trying to get information out of people close to a target)
- Tests of Security
- Acquiring Supplies
- Impersonation (e.g. government personnel like mail carriers or company employees)
“When you witness any suspicious activities, you should report them to theColorado Information Analysis Center,” Elway says, referring to Colorado’s fusion center. That is unless you believe the suspicious activities mean an attack is imminent. If so, contact 911, Christiansen says.
The film comes just weeks after federal authorities with the help of state and local Colorado law enforcement arrested Najibullah Zazi, a Denver shuttle bus driver believed to have been planning a terrorist attack against New York City. One of the suspicious activities Zazi engaged in before his arrest was buying hydrogen peroxide and acetone from beauty supply stores around the Denver area.
♦ Screenshot from the CELL’s Web site