Evolving security threats require heightened vigilance
In light of the Times Square bomb plot, the subway plot and other recent events, intelligence and law enforcement analysts assume that Al-Qai’da and its affiliates have an undiminished intent to attack the United States and that there are people already here who might do so with little, or no, warning. The number and pace of the attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other one-year period. Note: there are no known, specific threats to the Jewish community or to our institutions.
Some patterns underlying of recent attempts lead analysts to consider the possibility of attacks using improvised explosive devices or small arms. Likely targets include “softer” targets such as transportation hubs and mass transit, government buildings and commercial facilities.
The heroic T-shirt vendors in Times Square can teach us the most important lessons: everyone should be vigilant, take notice of your surroundings and report suspicious items or activities to local authorities immediately. To protect ourselves – in the subways/trains, in our institutions or at home – there are specific actions we should be engaged in, specifically:
- Immediately report any suspicious activity to 1-(888) NYC-SAFE in New York City or 1-888-SAFE-NYS across New York State.
- Maintain a heightened level of vigilance.Be especially aware of your surroundings, what is happening around you and your building. Get more information and tips on the JCRC-NY security and emergency planning resources page: http://www.jcrcny.org/securityresources.
- Know the rhythms and routines.Be alert as you go about your daily business. This will help you to learn the normal routines of your neighborhood, community and workplace. Understanding these routines will help you spot anything out of place. Be aware of what is going on around you. Whether traveling, at work or at home, be on the lookout for suspicious activities.
- Learn to spot suspicious mail, packages, or abandoned parcels.
- Review your access policies.You are the first and last line of defense for your building and your people. An effective access policy can save lives and be a deterrent. Check out what you should be thinking about at http://jcrcny.org/security/sampleaccesspolicy.pdf. Read the NYPD publication, Engineering Security, to learn how you can harden your target.
Recent attacks reflect the disturbing phenomenon of “homegrown terrorism”. Many of these individuals considered an attack on Jewish institutional targets before deciding on other targets. This fact underscores the necessity of constant vigilance by Jewish institutions and individuals.
JCRC President Janice Weinman Shorenstein, President-elect Alan Jaffe, Executive Vice President Michael Miller and JCRC Commission on Jewish Security Chair Sally Goodgold continue to express their deep appreciation to both the NYPD and the FBI for their ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers and the Jewish community. They are, indeed, sensitive and critical partners.
For further information call Dov Horwitz at (212) 983-4800, ext. 129 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.