Would You Recognize a Terrorist in Your Neighborhood?

Would You Recognize a Terrorist in Your Neighborhood?

(LibertySociety.com) – When you hear the word “terrorist,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Chances are it’s a member of an organization like ISIS or Al Qaeda. However, terrorism knows no ideological or geographical boundaries and can emerge just as easily from a quiet American neighborhood as a war-torn country thousands of miles away. To fully grasp the concept of terrorism, we must learn what motivates people to turn to extreme ideologies — even people in our local areas.

Domestic Terrorism

One of the most pertinent (and most tragic) examples of domestic terrorism in America today is the mass shooting event. Whether motivated by racial prejudice, anger at society, or just mental derangement, the fact that the shooters involved are often American citizens with no ties to organized terrorism can make them impossible to predict. These kinds of attacks happen more often in schools than in any other setting, making them even more devastating.

It seems the most effective way to tackle the issue of domestic terrorism is to get better at recognizing attackers before they harm anyone. There are certain behaviors authorities list as indicators of potential terrorist activity, including;

  • Carrying out surveillance of a public building or area
  • Testing the security features of a building
  • Stockpiling materials that could be used for terrorist activity, such as weapons
  • Making suspicious financial transactions

However, these activities do not always indicate someone is a terrorist. Conversely, many people who commit acts of terror exhibit none of these signs. While we might like to think we would be able to recognize such a person, the truth is it’s much more difficult than people realize.

Self-Defense and Protection

Since there’s no reliable way to pre-empt all terror attacks, we need to take sensible measures to ensure our own protection. For anyone who’s comfortable using a firearm, concealed carry is the best of these measures. As demonstrated during occasions when a good citizen with a gun prevented a terror attack, having a weapon can often mean the difference between life and death.

Domestic terrorism is a ravaging force in 21st-Century America. It’s difficult to come to terms with the idea that people living among us are capable of inducing such destruction and misery, but it’s a risk we should all keep in mind. Long-term efforts to educate people about terrorism and deradicalize those with extremist tendencies are the best way to tackle this threat. Until these efforts start to bear fruit, however, we all need to be conscious of our personal safety.

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