Terrorism in recent times
We have all seen and heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Manchester and Barcelona. These attacks happened in recent years, from 2015 until 2017. Some places like Paris and London suffer from multiple attacks across the span of months. Just over the New Year period, we have seen in the news, the video of a Singaporean ISIS terrorist executing 3 men. This is not just a simple recruitment video, but a very startling and shocking video. If the message that, ‘Terrorism is not just for the Middle East and the European countries, but Terrorism has its reach here in Asia’, is not brought across clear enough before, then I think this video brings home that message loud and clear. Terrorism is here and it is here to stay. While we may not have experienced a terrorist incident yet, it is only a matter of time before it happens. We might as well accept that and move on to think and take actions on how we can keep it at bay.
What we can do as citizens and as residents of Singapore
Not all of us are trained like the Special Forces. We don’t need to have specialised training or extremely brave to prevent terrorism. We can be living our everyday lives and help keep terrorism at bay.
Planning a terrorist act is not a day’s work or even a week’s work. Every successful or unsuccessful terrorist act is exactly like a military operation and more. In order for the operation to be successful, a lot of information, planning, logistics and perfect execution are involved. So what we can do as citizens and residents in helping to keep terrorism at bay can be broadly categorised into 2 categories:
- Detect and Prevent
What we can do to ‘Detect and Prevent’
- Report any person or persons who claims that they are terrorists or words to that effect, including express beliefs that support or idolise terrorists and their causes.
- Report any person who is behaving ‘out of the norm’ at public places where there are crowds. g. At a tourist attraction, instead of enjoying the sights and sounds, the ‘tourist’ is looking intently at the security cameras, the security personnel, etc…
- Report any items that are left unattended at public places. These items can be bags or suitcases or containers that may potentially contain a bomb.
Reporting can be done discreetly via the app SGSecure or via i-witness in the Police@SG App. Pictures of the person(s) or items would greatly assist the law enforcement officers.
What we can do to ‘Respond’
- In the event of a firearms or weapons attack,
- Run – Run and evacuate to a safe place when it is safe to do so
- Hide – Hide and stay out of sight. Switch mobile phones to silent mode. Place as many obstacles between yourself and the attackers as possible.
- Tell – Inform the Police of your location, the location of the attackers and provide as much information as possible to the Police when it is safe to do so
- In the event of a bombing or a vehicle ramming,
- Tell – Inform the Police of your location, the location of bomb attack/vehicle ramming and provide as much information as possible to the Police when it is safe to do so
- Assist – Assist in the first aid efforts when it is safe to do so. This would require simple first aid skills to help stop bleeding.
Keeping terrorism at bay is not just the efforts of the Singapore Police Force. It is the effort of the community that will keep terrorism at bay. If the community, the citizens and residents, work together with the Singapore Police Force, as a whole, we are a much harder target and this will help to deter terrorist incidents from happening in our home.
Ethan Foo Chwan Chieh, Manager