WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — With the Eagle Eyes anti-terrorism program personnel can, through a collective effort, aid in the prevention of terrorism through awareness, vigilant observation and reporting suspicious activities through the program’s communication channels.
To aid in the prevention of an attack, the program looks at six main activities which are likely to occur before an attack and can serve as trip wires to alert the vigilant observer that an attack may be imminent. Recognizing and reporting them could serve to stop that attack.
Those areas are surveillance, elicitation, tests of security, acquiring supplies, observing suspicious persons out-of-place, dry runs and deploying assets. These six markers, when observed and shared with authorities through the Eagles Eyes program, can provide the details needed to make the difference in preventing terrorism.
For the observer, recognizing the acquiring of supplies may mean extra vigilance coupled with critical thinking. The cost of not doing so, however, far outweighs any effort made.
As potential terrorists are acquiring supplies, those items could include purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, timers or detonators. Flight manuals and any other controlled items might be on their shopping list too. Other examples of supplies include uniforms or badges which could be used to disguise their identities or allow them to attract less scrutiny when carrying out the attack.
Terrorists used a murdered American soldier’s military identification card in 1985 to gain access to the then-Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany. Once on base, they detonated a car bomb near the base headquarters building, killing two and injuring 23 more, including Germans civilians working at the base.
Under the heading of acquiring explosives, some components might not be so easily recognizable and this is where critical thinking helps. In 1995, convicted Oklahoma City Murrah Federal building bomber, Timothy McVeigh, turned a rented cargo truck into a bomb packed with 5,000 pounds of explosives in the form of ammonium nitrate, used primarily in agriculture as a fertilizer, and also nitromethane, which is typically used as an industrial cleaning agent. As a result 168 people died, including 19 children in the building’s second floor day-care center.
A difference can be made to prevent such tragedies. Suspicious activities observed and then reported through the Eagle Eyes program are immediately shared with local law enforcement agencies, counter-terrorism personnel and military commanders for rapid assessment and investigation.
At Hill Air Force Base, personnel can report any and all suspicious activities by calling 801-777-3056.
This Eagle Eyes contact information can be stored in the address book of a cellphone for quick retrieval when needed.
Always be on the lookout for suspicious activities and report any through Eagle Eyes immediately.