Workplace and Domestic Terrorism
September 6, 2017 - More and more, terrorist threats come from within rather than outside our businesses or our country. Homegrown domestic terrorists have planned and perpetrated acts of violence that we need to be able to defend against. Have you planned how to detect, survive and recover from a terrorist act? No? Well, now is the time. These articles can get you started on planning or updating your current plans.
Most acts of domestic terrorism have focused on the workplace, and this makes workplace preparedness a priority. Because most acts of terrorism in the U.S. have occurred where and when people work, and because corporations and the workplace are identified high-value targets of international terrorism, it is essential that interventions for preparedness, response and recovery occur in occupational settings.
The recent attacks in Paris along with the stream of terrorist atrocities taking place all over the world on an almost daily basis remind us just how much a danger the terrorist threat has become in recent years. The security services do a terrific job of reducing the number of attacks that take place but, as has so often been said: security services need to be lucky all the time, terrorists only need to be lucky once to inflict severe destruction on their target.
In all likelihood, a terrorist attack in the U.S. isn't going to bring the entire country to its knees. We live in a big country. Of course, it will be disastrous--and devastating to those involved. But it will also likely be regionalized and similar to the ones in Europe. Unfortunately, like the shopkeepers in Brussels or the businesses in and around Paris your company may be significantly impacted, particularly if you're in the vicinity. So what should you and I do if a terrorist attack occurs?
How can you find out if you're hiring a terrorist? You may not be able to, but, under the U.S. Treasury Department, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic sanctions against certain countries and certain individuals, such as drug traffickers and terrorists. To help enforce these sanctions, the OFAC publishes a frequently updated list called the "Specially Designated Nationals," or the SDN list, which includes names of individuals, companies and other entities that U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with. Compliance with these sanctions means all U.S. persons (which, by definition, includes employers) cannot engage in any dealings with these countries or individuals, including hiring individuals on the list. Therefore, although checking the list is not specifically required, hiring someone on the list is prohibited.
Nobody ever thinks that they will be the victim of an act of violence or terrorism in the workplace, even as these tragic events become more and more common in our society. As a result, little is done to prepare for or be aware of the potential warning signs that may offer evidence that something really bad is about to happen.
Business Executives for National Security have prepared this document specifically to focus primarily on terrorism and is intended to help corporations develop an awareness and understanding of potential risks, begin to address these issues, and develop a closer dialogue with government agencies responsible for combating terrorism in all its forms.
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