A report by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness ranked homegrown violent extremists as the number one threat to security. As a result, companies should continue to bolster their security training, response planning and preparedness efforts into 2017 so that they are better prepared to identify and respond to security issues.
According to the report, “Homegrown violent extremists are individuals inspired by foreign terrorist organizations and radicalized in the countries in which they are born, raised, or reside.”
Companies, security personnel and employees should remain vigilant. The report identified “Eight Signs of Terrorism” that the private sector should be aware of. The signs include:
- Surveillance: Terrorists will attempt to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and number of personnel that may respond to an incident.
- Elicitation/Seeking Information: Attempt to gain information through inquiries, including seeking knowledge about a place, person, or operation.
- Tests of Security: Either through visual observations or physical entry, suspects may move into sensitive areas, and observing security and law enforcement responses.
- Acquiring Supplies: The purchase or theft of explosives, weapons, or ammunition. It could also include unusual purchasing or storing of fertilizer or harmful chemicals. Terrorists also find it useful to acquire law enforcement equipment and identification, military uniforms and decals, and flight passes, badges, or manuals.
- Suspicious People: Observe suspicious people who do not belong. The suspicious person could be anyone in a building, neighborhood, or business establishment who seems out of place because of their demeanor or line of questions.
- Dry Run: Before the execution of an operation, a practice trial is usually run to work out any flaws or unanticipated problems.
- Deploying Assets: Look for someone deploying assets or getting into position. This is your last chance to alert authorities before a terrorist act occurs.
- Terrorism Funding: Terrorists use a variety of methods to raise, launder, and transport funds including false credit cards,
But with so many dynamic and security-related response planning variables, site-specific security training and preparedness planning can be challenging. A database driven, web based response planning system can alleviate some of those challenges.
A security assessment should be performed in order to identify areas at the facility that may be vulnerable to a security threat. In order to address security issues, a facility response plan should include, but is not limited to the following security related components:
- The Facility Security Officer must have a means to effectively notify site personnel of changes in facility security conditions.
- Transportation security incidents must be reported to the National Response Center and to appropriate emergency responders.
- At each active facility access point, a system must be in place to allow communication with those that have security responsibilities, including the police, security control, and the emergency operations center.
Fencing and monitoring:
- Security measures should be in place to prevent unauthorized access to storage areas. Facilities should provide continuous monitoring through a combination of lighting, security guards, and other detailed methods.
- The owner or operator must identify the location evacuation routes and assembly stations to ensure that personnel are able to safely evacuate during a security threat.
A security plan should describe the training, drills, and security actions of personnel at the facility. These actions should deter, to the maximum extent practicable, a security incident, or a substantial security threat. Facility personnel should receive varying levels of security training depending upon their responsibilities. Security training levels may vary, but might include:
- Knowledge of current security threats and patterns
- Recognition and detection of dangerous substances and devices
- Recognition of characteristics and behavioral patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security
- Techniques used to circumvent security measures
- Crowd management and control techniques
- Security related communications
- Knowledge of emergency procedures and contingency plans
- Operation of security equipment and systems
- Testing, calibration, and maintenance of security equipment and systems
- Inspection, control, and monitoring techniques
- Relevant provisions of the Facility Security Plan