|St. Louis Chapter 26 would like to express a special Thank You
Bill Francis - FBI Supervisory Special Agent
Terry Bremer - Chapter 26 Vice President
along with all the great folks at Guarantee Electrical Co., for hosting our meeting and providing the dinner.
Thanks to all those members who showed their support by attending. We look forward to seeing you again at next month's meeting. To all our guests, we hope you found this event interesting. This is just one of the many benefits of belonging to our organization. We will enjoy seeing you at the next meeting. We hope that you all join the Association for Facilities Engineering.
President-AFE St. Louis (Chapter 26)
February's special meeting gave our members and their guest a chance to get their questions and concerns about terrorism addressed in person by the FBI. Special Agent Francis proved to be a powerful speaker customizing his presentation on the fly, based on an open discussion dialog with our attendees.
We all started off networking and eating our dinner provided by Guarantee Electrical Co. There were around 40 of us, and we all had to share just two sandwiches. Well, the sandwiches were about 5 to 6 foot long! (And they keep growing each time I tell the story :>) Terry introduced our guest speaker... the rest is classified. Well ok, I can share a little of the information with the general public ...
Our speaker was Supervisory Special Agent Bill Francis who currently supervises the Foreign Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Programs in St. Louis. He has been actively involved in working or supervising counterintelligence and counterterrorism cases for the past 29 years. (Mr. Francis was hired by J. Edgar Hoover himself !)
Special Agent Francis started off the open forum with some interesting facts and clearing up some of the common misconceptions.
Special Agent Francis went on to explain the FBI's role in counterterrorism, and to disprove some common misconceptions. Mr. Francis also educated us on terrorism, the definition, classifications, what measure we should take to counter it, and general advice. First though, he made us all hypothetical agents, and asked us what measures would we take to root out terrorism. After that fun game (and laughing), he began to educate us.
On the board in front of us was some writing that appeared to be a formula. (Special Agent Francis said "I know how you engineers love formulas") Can you guess what the formula below stands for?
If you guessed "CT" = Counter Terrorism, your right! What about the 3 "P"s? People, People, People? No. P1= Prevention, P2 = Prosecution, and P3 = Preparedness
Special Agent Francis started out with the FBI definition for terrorism.
"... the unlawful use of force and 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."
Terrorism is divided into two groups, Domestic and International. Acts of Domestic terrorism are almost double that of International terrorism. Domestic terrorism being the greatest threat, is broken down into sub-classes. They are Left-Wing, Right-wing, and Special Interest. A classification made up of both Domestic and International is "Loosely Affiliated Extremist".
Prevention: In 1982 President Ronald Reagan designated the FBI as the lead agency responsible for countering terrorism in the United States. Special Agent Francis gave us valuable specific tips on terrorism prevention. It would not serve the greater good to post those details here for the general public, but any members who missed this valuable meeting can contact another member to get the specifics. ( I apologize for the necessary "cloak N dagger":>)
In general, individuals must go through a process of "Hardening the target". This is making your facility a harder target for the terrorist, than other related facilities. In other words, and generally speaking, insuring your security is better than the next guy's. Special Agent Francis points out terrorist go for the easiest targets. Even at the Olympics, the terrorist acts took place out in the parking lot.
Editorial: In the social evolution of
business competition, the heightened alert to potential terrorism may be
changing the scope of the word "competition". The questions asked now
may not only be: are we better than our competitors, but are our assets
Prosecution: This is a very important part of protecting us from terrorism. By terrorist realizing they cannot get away with the acts or the intent, many are deterred from their plans of terrorism. The FBI has a very high success rate for assisting other law enforcement agencies with the necessary intelligence and gathering of evidence to get a conviction. The high prosecution success rate is surely a determining factor why most foreign terrorist acts against US interest occur outside the United States.
The heightened awareness of US citizens brought about by the unfortunate terrorist acts in NY and Washington only increase our prosecution success rate. Before 9/11 the FBI had to go out and dig for leads, now citizens are bringing the information to them. Also, St. Louis has a joint task force with full time key individuals from 12 law enforcement agencies that are catching valuable intelligence that may have slipped through the cracks in the past.
Editorial: Just as members of AFE are reaping the benefits from the power of networking, the law enforcement agencies are capitalizing on the power of networking even more these days.
Preparedness: A necessary step in the world we live in today, it has been recognized at the highest level by the creation of "The Office of Homeland Security". While we "harden our targets" as Special Agent Francis would say, we have to prepare for the worst to lesson the impact. While most terrorist acts in the past have been carried out by using bombs, we must also prepare for other forms of terrorist acts that might be carried out against us.
Thanks to Special Agent Francis, we have a lot better idea of what those treats might be, and which are most likely. Of course it would not be wise to publish a list here.:>) The best advice is to seek professional consultation, and start planning today. Cameras and backups are also a great place to start. Cameras work in all three of the counter terrorism measures. Camera security makes for a hard target, more likely successful prosecution, and reference for future preparation. Backup your videos and your computers.
To learn more about Counter Terrorism please check the links below.
Your local FBI field office can provide the information you need. Click FBI St. Louis to find contact information and start planning today.
As time passes, the reality of terrorist threats brought on by the 9/11 event, will begin to fade. Keep the fire burning by clicking EMERGENCY ACTION RESPONSE, and get the information you need to cost justify increased security to your facility owners.
Click Level of Power Planning Needed to learn what is needed for organizations to continue functioning during a crisis. Before you start to plan, be sure and read our article on Planning for temporary power.
Thanks again to Special Agent Francis for being our guest speaker and sharing such valuable information with us. Thanks to those who attended, hope to see more of you in our engineering ranks at our next meeting.
Please see our scrapbook for more pictures.
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