Assessing the Threat Level: Has It Increased
Transitioning from one leader to another may leave us vulnerable. It is a possibility and you must be aware of this, while not definitive, there could be gaps, gaps of which a lone wolf or an organized group could take advantage.
The leader of the United States is not analyzing intelligence data 24/7, is not on the ground gathering Intel from people close to the threats, and is not monitoring cyber threats and intercepting communications for threats.
Information gathering and analysis goes on regardless of who is in the Oval Office, but the command structure is changing, and those that make decisions based on the information gathered will change. Will split second decisions still be made while the people at the top shuffle their desks around? Yes and no.
The new decision makers may not be up to speed, or as qualified, or for any number of reasons information may be delayed or not acted upon quickly enough to avert a crisis. Decisions may lag and this is what makes us vulnerable. Our enemies know this, so to answer the question in the title, yes the threat level has increased.
Being aware or what most refer to as situational awareness allows you to better identify increased areas of danger and violence, in other words, areas that may pose the greatest threat to your existence. A crowded restaurant with glass windows facing the street is one example because it puts you in harm’s way if there is a drive by shooting or even if police engage a suspect and gunfire is exchanged.
We have heard about the threats against the United States during this Thanksgiving weekend. No one knows in the intelligence or law enforcement agencies when and where an attack may occur. The chatter is according to the experts, are about attacks ramming civilians with a vehicle as they shop or gather for celebrations in public areas similar to the attack using a truck in Nice. This information allows you make assumptions, and one assumption would be that certain public places are more susceptible to an attack than are others.
It may not be by vehicle but terrorist organizations are actively encouraging lone wolf attacks during the holiday season here in the United States. It could be anywhere, by virtually any means.
Pretending it can’t happen is not helpful and thinking it only can happen in a large city is making a dangerous assumption. No, you can’t hunker in your bunker all day every day, but you do have to pay attention to your surrounds. It’s not likely you could ever stop an attack, so the only thing you can do is react and that is the key to survival. How you act after the first shots are fired or as soon as you realize an attack is occurring is what may save your life.
Exit plans, where do I find cover, can I conceal myself in a safe location are all questions that you need the answers to before you settle in for a nice meal in a restaurant, or as you are watching a movie in a crowded theater.
Venues outdoors require the same diligence and mapping of the area in your mind so you know in which direction to move.