With the recent terrorist attack in Boston, people have been brutality reminded about the very real threat of terrorism. Unfortunately, terror hits when least expected. Hence, Fort Bragg reiterates the importance of anti-terrorism with their iWatch program and reporting anything that may be suspicious to the 90-REACT hotline.
90-REACT is a phone number anyone, military or civilian, can call to report suspicious activity to a centralized center that will put out the needed information to local law enforcement within minutes.
“The sooner you can get correct information to law enforcement channels, the faster they can react to it, investigate it, and do what they need to do. But in order for them to do that, the information has to get to them in a timely matter and you’ve got to get the right information to them,” explained Donald Mollett, Installation anti-terrorism officer. “A lot of times people call into the 911 center and explain that they saw someone taking pictures and they looked suspicious but they don’t give a description of the car, what they were wearing, their race, hair color, or height. Without that additional information, law enforcement can’t really do anything with it. By using the 90-REACT, that information will go to a centralized location and they ask those questions and the second they click that send button, all that information goes to local law enforcements — military, civilian and FBI.”
According to Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, when a call is made to 90-REACT, the information is placed in an electronic form and sent via email to every Federal Law Enforcement agency on and off Fort Bragg. This places the report to the agency that has jurisdiction of the action within minutes, instead of hours and even days as past situations have revealed.
People coming through the gates of Fort Bragg may have been given a 90-REACT card that makes reporting suspicious activities or persons even easier with 10 indicators clearly written on the front and back of the cards.
“What I always tell people, you can have all the fancy technology in the world, but the best thing to protect people, or to stop a terrorist event, is a human being in the right place at the right time with a question — because that’s something that can’t be predicted,” said Mollett. “By being that person and asking that question, believe it or not, has stopped many terrorist events in the past.
“You’ve got to look for the indicators. With all the cutbacks, the only thing we have left that doesn’t cost us anything, are the people. And if we get people at the right place, seeing things and calling it in, than we can possibly get in front of a terrorist attack. You’ll never be able to stop a terrorist act 100 percent, every time, but you can make it so difficult that it’ll make it hard for them to ever succeed, but it takes the people to do that. No system is going to capture everybody,” he said.
Examples of information people should take note of is a good description of the person, make and model of their vehicle if they have one, what they were taking pictures of, and any identifying marks or identifications such as uniforms or badges. To the members of the military, this may seem unnecessary to be reminded of due to their training, but in a lot of cases, even they haven’t been able to report the needed information to assist in any investigations.
The safety of Fort Bragg and the surrounding communities is everyone’s responsibility.
“The main thing to remember is to not be afraid to report or expect someone else to do it for you,” explained Calvin McKenzie, DPTMS. “You are on the frontlines, you support law enforcement by giving crucial information to them. Law enforcers can’t be in every place at every time, but by (the public) being out there seeing and report it, influences the outcome and that’s why we need to be vigilant.”
For more information on anti-terrorism training, classes, or handouts, call DPTMS at 396-4125.
10 indicators of suspicious activity or persons
Advocating violence or the use of force to achieve political, religious or ideological goals.
Advocating support of terrorist organizations or objectives.
Providing support for terrorist suspect(s) or terrorist organization(s).
Association with or connection to terrorist(s)
Repeatedly expresses hatred of American society, culture, government or the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
Repeatedly visits websites that promote violence against the U.S., U.S. forces or that promote terrorism.
Expressing a need to engage in violence in support of terrorism or getting others to do the same.
Buying bomb making materials or obtaining information on how to make explosives.
Encouraging others to violate laws, disobey orders/regulations or disrupt military activities.
Family ties to terrorist(s) or terrorist supporters.
To report possible terrorism, suspicious activities or security issues, dial 90-REACT (907-3228).