Terrorism Threats

What Does Heightened Security Mean?

Heightened security is not meant to create fear or panic. It is a reminder to adopt a mindset to report suspicious activity to authorities. We should go about our business while paying particular attention to our surroundings.

What Can an Average Person Do to Prevent Terrorism?

Many think it is only the government’s job to protect Americans from terrorism but government officials as well as security experts, such as Gavin deBecker, agree that the government can protect us only when regular citizens pass on information. According to deBecker, “Before [any] courageous FBI raids and the arrests and the news conference, there is a regular American citizen who sees something suspicious, listens to his intuition and has the character to risk being wrong or appearing foolish when making a call to authorities.” deBecker reminds us that, “Conspiratorial planning and preparation [for terrorist attacks] does not occur in view of FBI agents, but in the view of regular citizens. For every one enforcement officer on the front line, there can be 100 citizens providing information if they understand enough about how a conspiracy works to know what to report.”

Adopted from High Alert by Jennifer Barrett, _Newsweek _Web Exclusive

What is Suspicious?

Let your intuition guide you. Report situations that don’t seem right for the circumstances. It could be people in Halls or areas who do not appear to be conducting legitimate business. It might be more obvious such as unauthorized people in restricted, sensitive or private areas. Or it could be an abandoned package or other items in an unusual location or in a high traffic area. Gavin deBecker offers this view on the matter: “Imagine three men rent the apartment upstairs and are always looking through binoculars at the nearby federal building. It could be nothing, but you feel suspicious. This is the point at which many observers assume they need to see more evidence in support of their suspicion. But here’s the reality: that may be all you get—just a line of dialogue, not the whole play. The nature of conspiracy is that the elements of planning and logistics happen out of view of each other. You see one element. Nobody shows up at the electronics store and asks for the bomb department, but you might encounter someone who asks for several bomb components in a row—a timer, mercury switch, wire, battery and so on. Your suspicion has to be enough, because if you wait to put what you’ve seen together with some decisive fact, such as the man buying explosives across town on the same day, you’ll miss the opportunity intuition is telling you about.”

From High Alert by Jennifer Barrett, _Newsweek _Web Exclusive

What Other Advice Do You Have?

Continue normal activities, like attending class and going to work. Remember to be watchful for suspicious activities (dial 9-1-1 or (574) 631-5555). Enjoy individual freedom. Participate freely in travel, work and recreational activities, yet expect there may be some delays or inconvenience as a result of heightened security. Keep track of what’s going on in the world and local events. Keep in touch with your family and friends to ensure their safety and emotional welfare.

Information about emergencies or significant changes in campus safety will be available to the University community using one or more of the following means: E-mail messages to students, faculty and staff, voice-mail announcements, printed alert notices posted at building entrances, local radio and TV stations, the University web site (www.nd.edu), faxes sent to campus offices and announcements made by rectors and building managers.

Where Can I Get More Information?

It’s nearly impossible to provide complete information about all the potential scenarios of a natural or man-made disaster. Yet, there are many helpful sources of information that you may wish to consider. The sites noted below offer information on preparedness for a variety of emergencies—what you can do and what federal and state authorities can do if something bad happens.

Visit these sites for more information