Is Your Facility a Terrorist Target

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Learn If Your Facility Is & How to Become Less Vulnerable

It seems that almost every facility is a target these days for an attack, either foreign or domestic but whether a shopping center, a sports arena, or a restaurant, your facility probably has emergency plans in place to respond during incidents. For the purposes of this post, we are going to define terrorist as, a person who terrorizes or frightens others. Most public areas are soft targets for terrorism, but there are also hard targets and there is a stark difference between the two. Today we are going to identify the differences between soft and hard terrorist targets, and ways that you can diminish the likelihood of being a victim.

A soft target is a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack. Soft targets make up the majority of victims, whereas, hard targets are seen as something that is heavily defended by formal security protocol. Although soft targets are at a greater risk, both are still very susceptible to attack.  

targetSo what types of places are soft targets for terrorist activity? Soft targets are typically seen as malls, movie theaters, sports arenas, and hotels. These targets are particularly vulnerable to attacks because it is difficult to control access points and to verify the identity of guests and visitors. Because of the open and free-flow environment of these areas, terrorists could blend in with the surroundings and make an impact with very little notice.

In contrast, hard targets are defined as airports, government buildings, nuclear/chemical plants, etc., areas that are typically very well protected and have advanced safety and security technologies. Although these areas have safety intelligence and security forces, that doesn’t mean that they are completely invulnerable to terrorist attacks and threats.

So how can soft and hard target areas become less vulnerable to attack? First, these facilities must realize that they are vulnerable, after that, security measures must be taken to try and identify suspicious behavior and manage visitors. One of the most widely used security measures, is security guards and closely monitored video surveillance. The physical presence of a guard diminishes the likelihood of a terrorist attack because they might notice the suspicious behavior, while having closely monitored video surveillance, those guards can be dispatched to an area that is being monitored by someone else behind the scenes. While these two security measures work well alone, they provide more security and cohesiveness when used together.

It is alarming to think that local hangouts like malls and movie theaters can be the environment that terrorists are looking for, but it is true. We must be vigilant as citizens and business owners to our surroundings and make reports when we notice behavior that is out of the ordinary. By taking a few extra precautions, we can provide a high level of safety and security to soft and hard targets.

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