President Barack Obama has directed his administration to prepare to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, the White House said on Thursday September10, 2015 (Edwards, 2015).
National security is of course a major concern when considering Syria refugees and others from neighboring countries. The areas in question are rife with anti-American sentiment and with people that seek to do us and other western countries harm. The screening process as the refugees arrive can take up to 18 months according to the report.
There is no guarantee any screening process would be effective however. U.S. Intelligence Agencies simply do not have the human and signal intelligence assets on the ground in many of the areas from which the refugees are arriving.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing, and how many will there be, no one knows. No doubt many of not most of the refugees are families looking to escape war and persecution, but it doesn’t take many bent on destruction to create a catastrophe. We would likely see small attacks against soft targets, malls, schools and other institutions that do not traditionally have any measurable security in place.
The United States and the President are under pressure from various humanitarian groups and from members of the President’s own party to do more to help. However, we as a country need to consider the security nightmare this would cause.
What Can You Do To Stay Safe
The short answer is not much. It not as this is a piece of machinery that needs new brakes or hydraulic lines to make it safe, there is no clear solution, no fix that can be pinpointed.
The only thing you can do is to reduce your risk, and unfortunately this means you will have to change some of your habits. You will have to adapt to the new normal. You would have to avoid certain public holiday events, large crowds, and prominent symbolic events, because they can become targets, but as recent events have shown, anyone, anywhere can become a target.
It would be difficult, if not impossible to predict when a person might go on a rampage and shoot up a recruitment center or military base. However, once the dust settles people come out of the woodwork to proclaim that they thought that person was odd or that he or she dropped a comment or had made threats against this country or particular people, and the list of attention seekers goes on and on as people seek the limelight.
Any social media sites that a person that commits an act had used are gone over with a fine toothed comb, and there are clues there many times, if not outright proclamations stating that person planned on something. Who is responsible for keeping track?
In some sense we all are, but if we responded to every comment, every word written or shouted in anger we would be speed dialing 911 24/7. It is nearly impossible, and that is why it is difficult to predict anything. As stated earlier all you can do is to reduce your risk by avoidance.
People use the Internet to vent frustrations, to say things without reprisal and this can be a good thing, but there is a darker side as well, and then there is our constitutional right to free speech.
You have to be alert, and you simply cannot let yourself be trapped anywhere. Exits and places that provide cover must be noted wherever you go. Defending yourself from an active shooter in a public place, is far different than defending yourself in your own home, so going out well armed may not provide much protection if any at all in a crowded area, especially if terrorists use explosive devices.
You have to consider different routes, and plan when to go shopping and when to take trips out of town.
We all have to assume that there will be terrorist mingling with the refugees, and without a doubt some will arrive here. Once here they will melt into the shadows to plot their acts.
Edwards, J. (2015, September). Retrieved 2015, from https://news.yahoo.com/obama-wants-u-prepare-10-000-syrian-refugees-172337928.html