Terrorism is a contemptuous evil against life, justice, and charity as well as a cowardly assault against human rights, moral law, and the dignity of humankind.
On Feb. 21, al-Shabab, an East African affiliate to al-Qaeda, encouraged attacks—comparable to the September 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya—on “America or Jewish-owned” facilities.
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., one of the nation’s most prominent, was specifically mentioned.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s secretary was prompted to “warn the public to be vigilant,” emphasizing that “anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place we’ve got to take that seriously … public vigilance, public awareness, and public caution in situations like this is particularly important.”
Recent Terror Incidents, A Partial List
Feb. 14–15: A gunman opens fire at a Copenhagen café, killing a civilian and wounding three police officers. Later, a Jewish community member was killed outside the Great Synagogue.
Feb. 13: ISIS releases horrific video of Jordanian pilot being burned alive while caged.
Feb. 10: Parents of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker abducted by ISIS, confirm she is dead.
February: Although the exact date is unclear, 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians are beheaded by ISIS.
Jan. 8: Two heavily armed extremists enter the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 including 2 police officers.
Oct. 22, 2014: A radical extremist charges four NYPD officers with a hatchet, injuring two.
NYPD SHIELD held a conference at police headquarters on Feb. 17 attended by hundreds of law enforcement and private security professionals.
The purpose of NYPD SHIELD is countering terrorism through information sharing by building collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Nicholas J. Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stressed that a formidable threat to our homeland hovers, with brutal terrorists in more places than ever.
Rasmussen also emphasized that, although law enforcement monitors homegrown terrorists, preventing attacks is difficult and the possibility of replicating the recent Paris attack is a concern.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton stated that terrorism has morphed in many directions, with propaganda and social media used to inspire lone-wolf attacks such as the hatchet attack against NYPD officers.
Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, stated that threats to America’s homeland are categorized as follows:
• Complex simultaneous attacks that kill thousands
• Weapons of mass destruction
• Single attacks that kill hundreds
• Single attacks that kill dozens or less
• Unsophisticated lone-wolf incidents
Morell stated that lone-wolf attack possibilities against America have never been greater and we must do everything to keep our enemies on the defensive. He recommended studying Indonesia, a Muslim country that has done a remarkable job in minimizing extremism and radicalization.
The NYPD SHIELD program is an extraordinary collaboration dedicated to safeguarding New York. This unity of effort deserves participation by law enforcement and private security professionals not only here but nationwide.
Safeguarding New York
Complementing NYPD SHIELD, I have conducted numerous “Leadership Principles: Crisis Planning, Community Partnerships, Violence Prevention” keynotes to safeguard New York City.
The goal is to inspire ethical protectors, fully dedicated to reawakening the nation by safeguarding lives, property, and information.
Attendees included NYPD, FDNY, security directors, and property managers, as well as representatives from other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
Events focused on safeguarding facilities and infrastructure have included the following:
• Museums, hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Financial institutions and corporations, hosted by the New York Stock Exchange
• Hospitals, hosted by Rockefeller University
• Commercial and residential properties, hosted by the Union Club of New York
• Colleges and universities, hosted by both Columbia University and the New York Athletic Club
As with crisis management events nationwide—complemented by published works including this Epoch Times weekly column—these initiatives serve to provide the tools needed to safeguard society.
The practical tools include physical, personnel, and procedural security but have ethics, honor, and valor as foundational principles.
Finally, all members of our communities are needed to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement officials, as we are all in this together.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com