UPDATE: 04.19.2013 SUSPECT MANHUNT UNDERWAY. FOR THOSE IN THE AFFECTED AREA IN MA: STAY INDOORS AND DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR TO STRANGERS.
This morning, after a chaotic evening saw his partner in crime (and apparently his older brother) killed and as a city locked down to find him, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev emerged as the name of the man in the ongoing manhunt in Boston Friday. According to information culled from multiple unconfirmed reports, Tsarnaev is a 19-year-old “from the Russian Region near Chechnya” who has been living, for the past year, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (The Atlantic Wire)
For more information, please visit the official FBI website.
First and foremost, we’d like to express our sympathy for all of the victims of yesterday’s Boston Marathon terror bombing. This writing is only one day post-incident and already the rumors and misinformation are out at full pace and gaining speed. If you have a blog, tv or radio show or contribute to any news media, let’s be careful about what we put out there. This week, and for many weeks to come, we’re going to hear many theories, suppositions, patently false “information” bytes and the occasional truth regarding this horrific, deplorable and cowardly act. Let’s wait out the investigations and use our common sense to come to conclusions, based on fact. Then we demand action. Not double/triple-speak; rather, fair but firm action. Most importantly, let’s not live in fear. If we do, the terrorists win. If we carry on, they lose.
That said, as reasonable people, we know that there is nothing we can do once an attack has occurred to prevent the event but there are several procedures we should have in place before a terror threat becomes a reality.
Some of the following tips can help you remain safe in case of a terrorist attack in your city: (in conjunction with DHS suggestions):
- Keep up with the news and remain alert regarding any signs of terrorist activity in your area. Ensure that family and friends are alerted and also remain vigilant.
- Maintain a list of helpline and emergency numbers with you at all times. You never know when you will need these numbers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is adequately charged at such times. Communication can mean the difference between life and death.
- Remain on high alert when at public places like a railway station, an airport, busy streets, town squares… Be aware of your surroundings and report any items that appear to be abandoned to the police immediately.
- If you are in an area where there is a lot of gunfire and bomb blasts, make sure you do not head out in the open and reveal yourself. If you start running being unmindful of the dangerous situation that you are exposing yourself to, you are highly likely to get hit by an aimed or stray bullet. Make sure you find an area that is hidden from public view. It is best to crouch down at ground level to keep yourself safe. You should avoid being too loud or noisy as the terrorists may be targeting civilians.
- You should keep note of the people that you interact with on a daily basis and even strangers. Terrorists are basically people amongst us who think that they have been wronged in some way. They lash out by attacking the machinery of the state. You can recognize potential attacks by being aware of drastically changing behaviors of people around you. If someone starts to take notes of the ways to enter a building or develops other peculiar habits, it is best to inform your local intelligence agencies about the same.
- All schools, buildings and offices must have an evacuation plan in place for use in such events. Drills should be conducted for practice from time to time.
Again, our thoughts are with our fellow citizens in Boston and all those affected by yesterday’s terror attack. May we bring them the swift justice deserved and allow their healing to begin.
(We’ll return to our regular format in a later article this week.)
As always, stay safe.
- A brief history of terrorist attacks in Boston (foreignpolicy.com)
- Pentagon chief calls Boston attack ‘act of terror’ (sfgate.com)
- The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On – Bruce Schneier – The Atlantic (theatlantic.com)
- ‘If you are scared, they win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose.’ (washingtonpost.com)
- Pentagon chief calls Boston attack ‘act of terror’ (thenewstribune.com)
- Boston bombing: Links drawn between bombing suspect and Chechen Islamic terror (independent.co.uk)
- Everything we know about the Boston bombing suspects: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (on the loose) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (dead) (qz.com)
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