Anti-Terrorism Basic Protection Course

Terrorism is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. The horrific domestic terrorist attack of Oklahoma City in 1995 and the attacks of September 11 2001 have shown us that terrorism is threat to our national security.  The purpose of this training is to increase your awareness of terrorism and to improve your ability to apply personal protective measures both at home and abroad.


Where were you on September 11, 2001?


Reflect on the impact that the events of September 11th 2001 have had on you.

How has the events of September 11, 2001 and the rise of terrorism into the public consciousness affected you?

List at least three ways terrorism has impacted your life since September 11 2001.


The learning objectives for this course are the following:

1. Given learning material, the learner will be able correctly identify the seven phases of planning and execution of a terrorist attack with 100% accuracy.


2. Given learning material, the learner will be able to correctly identify the four anti-terrorism protection themes with 100% accuracy.


3. Given situation based scenarios, the learner will be able to correctly employ measures to lower vulnerability to terrorist attack with 100% accuracy.


Threat Environment

There are eight factors you should consider to understand the threat in your environment. 

Using these factors, you can be better prepared for the potential risks you face.

1.Are terrorist groups in the area?

2.Are they violent?

3.Do they attack Americans?

4.How active are they?

5.How sophisticated are they?

6.Are they predictable?

7.Will local citizens warn Americans?

What tactics and weapons are used?

International Travel

While overseas it is advisable to consider ways you might become a victim of a terrorist attack.  Several factors to keep in mind include:

Location:  Terrorists may target locations frequented by Americans or US military personnel such as certain hotels, apartment buildings, public transportation centers, and nightclubs.  Avoid possible target locations.

Association:   Terrorists may focus on American tourists, personnel associated with the US Government, and individuals who appear to be high-ranking or important. 

Try to blend in with the local population. 

Opportunity:  Terrorists look for "soft targets."  Maintain vigilance, practice good personal safety, and alert the proper authorities of suspicious behavior.

To attack you, terrorists generally must perceive you, your association, or your location as a target.  Do not be an easy target.


The Terrorist Planning Cycle

Terrorists prepare and conduct attacks through predictable steps.  Through vigilance, you may be able to recognize preparations for an attack before it is executed.  Be alert to unusual behavior that may indicate intelligence gathering, surveillance, collecting materials for attack, dry runs, and rehearsals. 


For example:

Taking photos or videos of potential targets

•  Writing notes or sketching details about a possible target

•  Showing abnormal attention to details of routine activities and security measures

•  Using false identification

•  Paying cash for items normally bought on credit

•  Purchasing large quantities of items that could be used as part of an attack (e.g., chemicals or cell phones)

If you see something unusual, report it immediately to security officials for further investigation.  Make a note of the individual's description and activities, the time of day, and equipment being used.


Broad Target Selection

•Terrorists collect information on numerous targets

•Evaluate target potential in terms of symbolic value, casualties, infrastructure criticality, or public attention


Intelligence Gathering

•Targets able to meet attack objectives are selected for additional surveillance

•Terrorists seek information on guard forces, physical layout, personnel routines, and standard operating procedures

Specific Target Selection

•Specific targets identified based on anticipated effects, publicity, consistency with objectives, and costs versus benefits

Pre-attack Surveillance and Planning

•Terrorists may conduct additional surveillance to confirm previous information and gain additional details

•Terrorists select attack method, obtain weapons and equipment, recruit specialized operatives, and design escape routes


•Terrorists rehearse the attack scenario to confirm planning assumptions, enhance tactics, and practice escape routes

•May also trigger an incident at the target site to test response actions

Actions on the Objective

•Terrorists execute attacks when conditions favor success with the lowest risk

•Factors include surprise, time and place, use of diversionary tactics, and ways to impede response measures

Escape and Evasion

•Escape routes are carefully planned and rehearsed

•Terrorists may exploit successful attacks by releasing pre-developed statements to the press

Check on Learning

In the initial planning stages terrorist usually collection information on only a specific target.

  • True
  • False

Terrorists seek information on

  • Guard forces
  • Physical layout
  • Personnel Routines
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • All of the above

Terrorists will spare no cost to execute an operation no matter the benefit.

  • True
  • False

What is not an Action on the Objective factor?

  • Surprise
  • Time
  • Diversionary tactics
  • Propaganda
  • Ways to impede response measures

Ant-Terrorism Themes


Anticipating threats, risks, and vulnerabilities is fundamental to antiterrorism and personal security.

Ways to do this include:

•Research criminal activity

•Understand the tactics and techniques

•Know types of targets and locations

Consider consulting these sources:

•Police crime reports

•Other internet and media resources

Using the following link, research the travel advisory report for the state of Sonora Mexico.

What is true about Sonora Mexico?

Sonora is a key region in the and trades and can be extremely dangerous for travelers.

Be Vigilant

Vigilance is required to continuously observe your surroundings and recognize suspicious activities.

Understand your environment's normal conditions.

Knowledge of the normal amplifies abnormal activities.

•Items that are out of place

•Attempted surveillance

•Circumstances that correspond to prior criminal activity in your area

Informed vigilance is fundamental to personal security.

Don't be a Target

Blend in with your surroundings.

•Do not wear clothing or carry items that attract criminal attention

•Remain low key

•Avoid high criminal locations

Reduce your vulnerability and exposure:

•Select places with security measures

•Be unpredictable

•Travel in a small group

•Use automobiles and residences with adequate security features

Report and Respond

Report suspicious activities to appropriate authorities.

•Report suspicious activity, do not try to deal with it yourself

•In threatening situations, take steps to reduce your exposure

•Follow the instructions of emergency personnel and first responders

Security is a team effort.

If you identify a possible surveillance attempt you should try to handle the situation yourself.

  • Type your statement here...

Which of the following is not an Antiterrorism theme?

  • Anticipate
  • Be Vigilant
  • Don't be a Target
  • Counter-surveillance
  • Report and respond


Air Travel

Keep a low profile by:

•Not wearing clothing with United States symbols or slogans

•Using standard civilian luggage.

•Placing significant documents in a sealed envelope

Selecting a window seat reduces your exposure in a skyjacking but also reduces your mobility.

Security at the Airport

While at the airport terminal, be vigilant for:

•Vehicles left unattended at the curbside check-in areas

•Individuals that appear nervous

•Any activity that is out of place in an airport environment

Report suspicious activity to airport authorities immediately.


When choosing to cooperate or actively resist in a skyjacking situation, try to understand the skyjackers' intent.  Things to consider include:

•Are pilots left in control of the aircraft?

•Have passengers or crew been physically abused?

•Are passengers singled out by nationality or religion?

Air Travel - Situation 1: At the airport, you notice an unattended civilian-looking SUV at the curb

  • Look in the windows to see if there is anything suspicious in the floorboards or seat
  • Alert the nearest airport employee or security officer
  • Go into the terminal and try to locate the driver

Air Travel - Situation 2: You have been asked by a stranger to check one of his extra bags

  • Politely say no and note the person's description and any other unusual behavior
  • Ask him to open his bag and show you the contents. If it looks OK, check it in under your name
  • Ask him what is in the bag. If it sounds OK, check it in your name

Air Travel - Situation 3: In the event of a skyjacking, you should immediately attempt to subdue the skyjackers

  • True
  • False

Ground Travel

Increasingly United States citizens have had to protect themselves against threats while traveling in vehicles.

Most attacks occurred overseas but domestic threats are real. For example:

•Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, left disguised IEDs in parking lots he knew were used by his intended victims

•The DC Sniper fired from the trunk of a car mostly on people who were with their vehicles at the time of attack

Rental Vehicles

Whether traveling abroad or in the continental United States, you should always inspect your rental vehicle. A vehicle inspection consists of the following:

•Visual exterior inspection:  Look for any evidence of tampering

•Visual interior inspection:  Look through the windows for anything unusual

•Complete interior inspection:  Look anywhere something may be hidden

If you believe your vehicle has been tampered with or you see something suspicious, report it to the proper authorities immediately.

Ground Travel Situation 1:

  • Inspect the box's exterior for oil stains, protruding wires and other signs the box may be an IED
  • Pick the box up and throw it in the nearest garbage can
  • Alert facility management of the possible threat

Which of the following is not a useful vehicle feature from a security perspective?

  • Power locks
  • Air bags
  • Power windows
  • Internal hood release lever

Hotel Security

Criminals may attempt room invasions to gain access to valuables using these tactics:

•Following individuals or families from the lobby to their room and then forcing their way in when the door is unlocked

•Disguising themselves as hotel staff and asking guests to open the door

•Attempts to force open hotel room doors without warning

Selecting your room

If you have the choice, consider the following room preferences:

•3rd to 5th floors –1st and 2nd floors are easily accessible from the outside, above the 5th floor is difficult to reach by emergency services  

•Not  adjacent to fire escapes or exits – criminals target these rooms because of ease of escape

•No balcony - criminals may use balconies to enter rooms and to go from one room to the next

Inspecting your hotel room

Consider these things:

•Functioning locks on all doors and windows

•Scratches or marks on the door frame

•Location of emergency exits and escape routes

•Solid doors to help resist break-ins

•Operational telephone

Be sure you know how to call the front desk and to dial out of the hotel for 911.

Also, when you leave your room, give it the appearance of being occupied.

Hotel Security Situation 1: You are on a business trip and you have rented a hotel    You know to ask for a room on the 3rd to 5th floors to reduce the chance of break-ins while remaining in reach of emergency services. What else should you ask for?

  • A room with a patio balcony
  • A room with metal bars on the windows
  • A room that is not directly beside an emergency exit

Hotel Security Situation 2:  You are in your hotel room and you hear a knock on the door. Through the peephole, you see a man in a hotel staff uniform with a tray. What do you do?

  • Ask him to leave the tray outside the door, listen for him to leave, and then open the door
  • Use the chain lock, put your foot behind the door, and then open the door slightly to get a better view of the person
  • Call the front desk to confirm the delivery

Hostage Survival

Hostage taking is much more prevalent abroad than within the United States. Hostages may be taken to obtain political concessions, ransom, or publicity.


Initial Response to a Hostage Incident

The initial moments of a hostage taking situation are the most chaotic.  The decision to resist or comply is a personal choice.  If taken hostage, focus on defusing the situation:

•Control your fear and maintain your dignity

•Follow instructions of your captors

•Avoid sudden movements that your captors may view as hostile

The initial moments and hours of a hostage situation can be the most dangerous.  Your decisions can increase your chance for survival.

Time in Captivity

Your demeanor toward your captors may influence the treatment you receive:

•Respond to your captors with respect

•Try not to display emotion or ego

•Do not lie or volunteer information


Be prepared for a long captivity:

•Keep active and maintain a daily routine

•Engage guards in conversation,

•Eat the food that is offered

•Find ways to exercise

•Get enough sleep

Hostage Resolution

In the event of a rescue attempt: 

•Immediately drop to the floor or dive behind a piece of furniture for cover

•After taking cover, do not make any sudden moves

•Do not attempt to assist rescue personnel

•Cooperate with rescue


Hostage Situation 1: Two armed men crash into your room and shout for you to get on the floor and be quiet

  • Do not resist and slowly crouch to the floor
  • Attempt to seize a weapon from one of the assailants if one is close to you
  • Dive for cover behind a solid piece of furniture

Reasons for acquiring hostages include publicity, use as a bargaining chip while executing other crimes, the forcing of political concessions, and ransom.

  • True
  • False

Practical Exercise

Practical Exercise Scenario

You and your co-workers work for the ACME manufacturing company which manufactures a communications product for the United States Department of Defense.  The Department of Defense is selling your product to our allies in the middle-east. You and your team have been tasked to travel to a U.S. government installation in Riyadh Saudi Arabia to give a presentation. You will be staying in Riyadh for three days and will return home. 

You will need to plan your travel considering the following:

  • Air travel

    • Selecting the route

    • Choosing a seat

    • Packing for the trip

    • Moving through the airport

    • Encountering danger

  • Hotel security

    • Choosing a hotel

    • Choosing a room

    • Actions when leaving the room

    • Actions when dining out

    • Actions when returning to the room

  • Ground travel

    • Renting a car

    • Inspecting the car

    • Getting Directions

    • Driving under surveillance

You are free to use any website you feel might be helpful to plan your trip. Here are a few references:

Provide your travel itinerary below and list the security measures you took in order to have a safe trip.