Terrorism is the use of force or the threat of force to further a political message or goal. The threat of terrorism has gown in the United States, beginning in the 1990’s. Incidents such as the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings were the first major acts of terrorism on U.S. soil in recent years. These attacks prompted some policy changes among emergency management and law enforcement agencies, but the threat of terrorism was not driven home to the general public until the September 11, 2001 aircraft attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. September 11, 2001 instantly became an important national symbol in what has become the “war on terrorism”. But in terms of emergency response, terrorism is not much different from other sorts of calamities. People are killed and injured, property is destroyed and infrastructure is put out of commission.
To someone trapped in a collapsed building it doesn’t matter whether that building fell down because of an earthquake, structure failure or bomb. The only thing that matters to a victim is that he is trapped and needs to be rescued. The only real difference is that if the cause of the collapse is a bomb, the police and rescue crews need to work together to carry out their work.
New Hampshire is at no special risk for terrorist attacks. The Granite State has no particular ties to parts of the world where terrorism is a frequent occurrence, so an attack by international terrorists is very unlikely. But home grown acts of violence, such as the Carl Drega shootings in Colebrook in 1997 and the Concord Public Library bombings in 1998 were both terrorist acts.
Nevertheless, terrorist acts remain rare occurrences. People are much more at risk of death of injury on the highway. The Newington Police and Fire & Rescue Departments encourage all Town residents to take reasonable emergency precautions.
Teach your family and friends to be aware when opening the mail. Signs of suspicious mail include the following:
- It is unexpected or from someone you don’t know. This may possibly be from overseas
- It is addressed to someone no longer at your address
- It is handwritten, has no return address, or bears a return address that you cannot confirm or legitimate
- It originates from a known suspicious location
- It is lopsided or lumpy in appearance
- It has wires or other unusual contents protruding or can be felt through the envelope or wrapping
- It is sealed with an excessive amount of tape
- It has excessive postage
- It is excessively heavy or has oil or powdery residue on it
What Should you do with a suspicious piece of mail?
- Do not handle a letter or package that you suspect is contaminated
- Stay away from the package and don’t shake it, bump it, or sniff it
- Wash you hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling
- Notify local law enforcement authorities immediately
For more information and preparedness suggestions, visit The Department of Homeland Securities website: