Terrorists among us: Protecting yourself when threats can literally come from anywhere

People all over the world have watched their television sets in horror as France has suffered through terrorist attack after terrorist attack over the past few years. Hundreds of French citizens have been killed or wounded in these attacks, which have included the use of firearms, explosives and even large vehicles.

France, of course, is not the only country that has been victimized by terrorism. Britain, Spain, Russia, Belgium and even China have all suffered various forms of terrorist attacks, most of them related to Islamic radicalism.

The United States has also been hit pretty heavily. In San Bernardino, California; Fort Hood, Texas; Boston; Garland, Texas; at Ohio State University;  Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Orlando, Fla., ISIS- and Islamist-inspired terrorists have hacked, shot and stabbed Americans to death since 2009, though then-President Barack Obama, on his way out the door, had the gall to tell U.S. military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., no attacks occurred on his watch. (RELATED: Liberalism Kills Again, This Time In California)

Anyway, that bogus claim aside, thinking Americans living in the real world know better. And what’s more, they understand that the threat of terrorism planned and executed – personally or through proxies – is not going away anytime soon.

In fact, hundreds of people in the U.S. have been charged with “jihadist terrorism” or related crimes, according to a study by New America, a think tank. And the FBI says it is investigating radical terrorism figures in all 50 states, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon, adding that attacks could literally come from anywhere, anytime:

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike “each and every single day.”

With such a large and growing threat to your safety, it’s not realistic to think that police officers can be everywhere at once, protecting each and every member of society. Police departments have never been able to do that; why anyone would think they could now in this heightened threat environment is absurd.

So as usual, the primary responsibility falls to you to protect yourself. Here are some ways you can increase your odds of being able to survive most terrorist attacks:

— Become more situationally aware: Most people simply glide through life without really paying much attention to anything but themselves and their smartphone. When you’re out in public, unless you’re talking to someone on the phone, put it away and keep your eyes and ears open. Scan your immediate area constantly, and keep an eye on where you’re going. If someone or several someones appear nervous, out of place or otherwise odd, you’ll have a much better chance of spotting their behavior if you’re paying more attention to your situation and surroundings.

— Arm yourself: In jurisdictions where you can legally do so, you should always be armed and have the training to use your weapon. If you can’t carry a gun with you but you can carry one in your car or truck, then do so. You don’t have to bring an arsenal with you and you don’t have to be a hero should an attack break out near you. But having a firearm of your own greatly improves your odds of survival. As they say, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. Check local concealed/open carry of firearms laws and laws governing the carrying of weapons in vehicles. If you can’t pack a gun but you can pack a pocketknife, hey, something is better than nothing.

— Say something: The whole DHS “See something, say something,” campaign launched during the Obama administration may have had political motives, but it’s actually a good practice. If you see a package sitting all by itself in a crowded area, odd-acting people, or anything menacing and out of place, a quick mention to a nearby officer, security officer or senior official in charge may be enough to thwart a pending attack. You’ll want to describe who or what you saw; where you saw it; when you saw it; and why you think it’s suspicious. (RELATED: Grid Down In San Fran, NYC And LA – What Happens When ALL Major Cities Lose Power?)

— Shelter in place: You may be in an office or work setting when an attack occurs, or perhaps sitting in a restaurant or other place of business. Armed or not, the first thing you should do is shelter in place. That is, find some out-of-the-way space to hide until the danger passes. Even if you’re armed, your first responsibility is protecting yourself. Plus, you may not know this but discharging a weapon in many jurisdictions – even those where you can exercise your right to be armed – is illegal or otherwise comes with legal ramifications. Know them before you ever decide to leave home with a gun.

— Do some research: Keep abreast of national and international events pertaining to terrorism and terrorist organizations. Oftentimes simply by monitoring open sources like news reports and published studies, you can pick up valuable information about where threats are believed to be the highest.

The fact that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are currently involved in terrorism investigations in all 50 states is a sobering reality, but it’s our reality. Pretending like the threat doesn’t exist is not a viable survival option.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.