September is National Preparedness Month, and by now we should all have supplies ready for a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado or any other natural disaster that could happen. However, recent news events suggest the biggest threat on the horizon may not be natural at all.Instead, it will be much more sinister and perhaps deadly. The following is a synopsis of news and intelligence reports that suggest we need to prepare for something much worse than Mother Nature. After reading, leave a comment with your thoughts of what people need to do to prepare for the fallout from a terrorist attack.
According to news reports and a handful of independent intelligence sources, credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—IS in Iraq and Syria and al Qaeda AP in Yemen—have finalized plans for coordinated terrorist attacks around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. According to counterterrorism sources, the groups are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets either in the Middle East, Europe or here in the states.
According to Judicial Watch, high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Judicial Watch reported that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and are planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle-born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). Accordingly, it reported that Fort Bliss was named as a target and several sources have confirmed an increased security measures at the base.
Will the attack come on 9/11 or …?
More recently, new intelligence started contradicting earlier reports and suggesting the attacks on the U.S. homeland may take place in the weeks following 9/11. According to Islamist experts, ISIS and AQAP have decided to delay direct terrorist action in the United States. The general consensus was a calculation that an attack on America will have a greater shock impact some time after the first cycle of outrages from attacks abroad, toward the end of 2014 or early 2015. This would prolong the pain, but also makes it harder for U.S. Forces and law enforcement to remain alert for such a prolonged period of time.
Much of the latest assessment came after Saudi King Abdullah warned the West that Al Qaeda’s plans were imminent. “If neglected, I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America,” the king firmly and flatly stated.
The king issued his warning on the occasion of the U.S. Ambassador Joseph Westphal’s formal presentation of credentials. Normally, this might not seem significant, however there is a backstory. The Ambassador has been in place for about two years, so it is odd that the king is suddenly getting around to asking for his credentials. Instead, it is believed the request for credentials was an excuse to hand over the intelligence under formal-facing channels. The United States’ ties are not as strong with the Saudi’s as they were during the Bush administration or even in 2009 when President Obama allegedly bowed to the Saudi king. (Allegedly only because the White House vehemently denied what the rest of the world clearly seemed to observe.)
European leaders certainly seem to be taking the warnings seriously enough. The prime ministers of Britain and Australia, David Cameron and Tony Abbott, appear particularly concerned with the Saudi king’s warnings since Saudi intelligence shares the view that a great number of lives are at stake if Al Qaeda consummates its plans and Europe is slated to be the first to get hit.
U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism sources have shown agreement by disclosing that the data on the two Al Qaeda groups’ plans to mark the 9/11 anniversary with major attacks has been in the hands of Middle Eastern, European and U.S. security agencies since at least the second week of May 2014. However, President Obama’s recent admission as to the lack of a plan to deal with ISIS abroad casts doubt over the resources dedicated or in place to handle this particular threat of an attack here at home.
Prime Minister Cameron has taken preliminary steps to combat the danger to his country by asking parliament to urgently approve sweeping legislation to combat the “scourge of extremism.” These efforts would include the power to seize the passports of an estimated 500 British Muslims known to be frequent travelers to Turkey, Syria and Iraq and who are strongly suspected of identifying with Al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology.
Most counterterrorism experts fear that these measures if approved would come too late to pre-empt Al Qaeda’s 9/11 anniversary plot. Do you believe it is too late to ‘close the barn doors’ here at home and prevent an attack as well? Given the current state of our borders, is a seized passport sufficient to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S.?
Make a Plan
September is National Preparedness Month and while large coordinated attacks are of major concern, smaller lone wolf-style attacks are more likely to affect each of us in a way that we can adequately prepare to prevent or minimize. Here is a basic list of items everyone should already have, but what are your thoughts regarding an imminent terrorist attack sometime over the next three months? What would you add to the list in preparation against the imminent threat of a terrorist attack such as firearms, ammunition, gas masks, protective clothing, medications?
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Solar or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Emergency two-way communications
- Dust Mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
If successfully attempted or carried out, do you think an attack would be a small-scale local event like the Boston Marathon bombings or something larger such as an attack on the electrical grid or water supplies? What supplies or preparations do you think are necessary for an active shooter situation or mass casualty?
Add your suggestions and ideas and lists in the comment section and we will compile and publish them for the entire community.