Weapons of Mass Destruction (Con.7)

We all have a crucial role in our safety and security.

This program will show you how you—a security professional—can be instrumental in preventing terrorist activity aimed at taking away our cherished freedoms and way of life.

Questions to Think About

1. What are some likely locations in California that could be targets of terrorist activity?

  1. Sites where many people gather, e.g. sports stadiums or entertainment centers – Because the purpose of terrorist activity is to cause maximum damage to great numbers of people.
  2. Symbolic places such as Disneyland or the Golden Gate Bridge – Because the purpose of terrorist activity is to cause maximum damage to great numbers of people
  3. Places that are important for California’s economy, such as the water and food supply, financial institutions, the ports, etc. – Because such actions would disrupt our daily lives greatly
  4. Government buildings – Because of their symbolic nature

2. How would you define terrorism?

Two official definitions:

  1. U.S. Department of Justice: A violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any segment to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
  2. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

3. What comes to mind when you hear the expression “Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

Most people think of “bombs” or they will refer to 9/11. Other possible methods of causing mass destruction include chemical and biological or nuclear attacks.

The purpose of terrorism is to terrify—to frighten—civilians by unprovoked attacks against a group or a nation. One of the most commonly used terrorist tactics is murdering large numbers of people.

The white supremacist Buford O. Furrow was sentenced to life without parole for his shooting of five people, including three children, at a Jewish Community Center and for shooting and killing a Filipino-American postal worker. Furrow had previously been chased away from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles by private security professionals, where he could have inflicted even more damage.

In 1999, a terrorist by the name of Ahmed Ressam attempted to cross the border between the United States and Canada. Ressam was carrying explosive materials in his car that were later determined to be used to blow up the Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. Fortunately, US customs agents became suspicious of Ressam’s hesitant answers to their questions and took him into custody. Ressam was sentenced to 130 years in prison.