Sunday, March 22, 2015

ISIS publishes a US Military Kill List and Your Countermeasures

Picture of ISIS

     A number of news sources have published an article in which it is claimed that ISIS has published a desired "Kill list" of  US military employees.  ISIS claims to have hacked military servers in order to obtain records with addresses and family information.  ISIS hopes  to send individuals to "decapitate them in their own homes"  Let this be a "heads up" to you all.

                 Most military people have known for some time that it was a matter of time before Islamic extremists began to send agents after them and after their families.  Many of them have been arming and training wives, sisters, mothers, and improving the fire power they had at home.   This is also when internet operational security becomes essential.     Everyone,military and not,  stop listing your upcoming vacation and itineraries online.   Don't tell us that your son plays soccer at the Bent Fork Park on Saturdays !    The name of your daughter's ballet school, or even the fact that she takes ballet is a vulnerability.

                  Even if your name is not on the ISIS listing and you have never served in the US military, this news should be concerning to you.    What if John H. Smith the special ops soldier who lives in Glendale happens to match your name ?   The families, the relatives, the namesakes and every American is also therefore potentially under attack.

                  What can we do ?   What we always could have done.   Improve your own situational awareness.   Notice the cars and people in your neighborhoods, and teach your family to do the same.   I know exactly who travels my area and who is gone by 8:30 am, and who is home all day.  When something is different, call someone.   Call their neighbor, or call your law enforcement.    Forget paranoia, it doesn't help in decision making.  Instead, learn to be mindfully alert.      Secondly, teach plain and simple concepts of situational awareness to your children.   I believe that 90% of people are good, and that 10% would do a child or a vulnerable person harm, but that we never know who the 10% is.   Of course, a lot of law enforcement would disagree with me on those percentages, but it doesn't matter.  Your children need to know that evil, both domestic and foreign,exists on the Earth and that they need to use their own observational skills and report to you and to others when something is different or to simply note it if it's just typical.  We are not sitting ducks. Even a child is powerful, and along with potentially frightening news, we need to convey the positives of our situation to them as well.

                  Next, understand that we all have a responsibility to protect our families.  If you are legally and physically capable, you need to arm yourself and train to remove a threat who enters your home.   Buying a weapon and storing it without training makes your family more vulnerable than you are now, and so you must take the extra step by arranging to train and use your weapon properly.  Its use must become a task you could do competently in a frightening or confusing situation. You must identify the person in your home properly.  It would be tragic to shoot a friend or family member inappropriately.  The mental work of weapon use and what you might do "if",  must be done.  For those of us who have focused for many years on saving lives rather than potentially damaging people or ending lives, this can be a tall order.  Most nurses would rather talk someone to death than shoot them.  Sometimes those of us in the "helping professions" are also arrogant enough to think that we could talk anyone out of almost anything.   The weapons training and mental preparation just has to be there.  You must train to reach a point in which someone who wishes you or a family member dead can be vanquished, because we are permitted to act in self defense.

                 Improve the security of your home.   Get doors reinforced.  Improve curtains and blinds.   People should not be able to see where everyone is in your home from the street at dusk.   Upgrade your deadbolts.  If your keys are out in the community with friends and neighbors, then change your locks.  If you need a locksmith, then take a class at Lowe's and learn how to change your locks.  I did.  I can change all the exterior locks here in an hour, and I have.   I have also changed deadbolt locks for friends, although my sons are clearly faster at it.

                    I also think that it is time, rather than the Obama administration taking guns away from people, to make handguns as defensive weapons more possible for those without mental health or legal constraints in Washington DC, New York and New Jersey.   With attacks looming from ISIS, we need to have trained citizens available, not just hamstrung.

                  In a free society we can never make the world completely safe.  However, there is a lot we can do in order to continue to live a life in the face of Muslim extremist terrorists or for that matter, domestic terrorists, as well.  We can certainly make the task as difficult as possible for them.