09 July 2016

Domestic Terrorism: Tears for Those in Blue...

The sniper ambush on those sworn officers to protect us in Dallas, Texas USA on July 7, 2016, is yet another portrait of tragedy and sorrow in our Homeland.  Whether you are an American safe today in your home after another graveyard shift or at high risk on the front lines in the shadows of a foreign country, it does not matter.  This particular domestic event targeting our protectors, and so soon after Orlando, FL, should be a another wake up call to area code (202).

Operational Risk Management (ORM) professionals across the U.S. are unified once again, in our vigilance and our mission.  Domestic Terrorism in our world, will continue to be manifested as long as people can read, listen and be influenced by other people.  Here or abroad.  The methods used for this indoctrination, whether delivered in small groups sitting in a circle over a cup of coffee or tea, or increasingly over the Internet does not matter.  The process is the same.

The "Cues and Clues to Teach" have been detailed before in this blog.  Domestic Terrorism in the United States has been moving along a spectrum of incidents at a pace that seems to be accelerating.  Lone individuals or groups who plan, train and act in order to bring their own psychological justice to reality, is one of our greatest challenges:
The statutory definition of domestic terrorism in the United States has changed many times over the years; also, it can be argued that acts of domestic terrorism have been occurring since long before any legal definition was set forth.

Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: "(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."[2] 
The pace and the origins of domestic terrorism in the United States are vast and metastasizing.

In order to begin or enhance your journey into understanding the root causes of this growing threat in America you should start with Eric Hoffers book: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.  And once you are finished with it, turn to Erroll Southers Homegrown Violent Extremism.

Developing your awareness is the beginning of any journey to solving problems and developing more effective and comprehensive preventative solutions.  Building knowledge about how people can transform from a individual working in a war zone or sequestered from society, to the front pages of the Washington Post, is a worthy goal for any Operational Risk professional.  As a human resources professional at Company or Agency USA or the retail employee in the ammunition section of Dicks Sporting Goods, you also have a role to play.

Vigilant "Employees and Citizens" must be continuously trained to be aware of the warning signals that typically occur before a threat and violent act becomes operational.  Based on the O'Toole study, these are some of the 23 "Red Flags" that employers should be monitoring and keeping their Corporate Threat Assessment Teams on high alert for:
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Poor coping skills
  • Failed relationships
  • Signs of depression
  • Exaggerated sense of entitlement
  • Attitude of superiority
  • Inappropriate humor
  • Seeks to manipulate others
  • Lack of trust/paranoia
  • Access to weapons
  • Abuse of drugs and alcohol
What did you know?  When did you know it?  What have you done about it?  They will judge you on the threat assessments utilization of insider threat intelligence combined with the evidence of your overt training of employees in the workplace.  What grade would you give your organization today for these fundamentals?
Godspeed to all of those on their journey now, to better comprehend this event and to all the grieving family members across our Homeland...

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