family-07Any member of the Department of Defense–not just senior leaders–can become a target for terrorists. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide general guidance to DOD members and their families on how to avoid acts of terrorism, as well as to provide basic instructions in the event DOD personnel become victims of a terrorist attack.

Precautions. Attitude toward security is most important. Although some of these precautions are applicable overseas, you can decrease your chances of becoming a terrorist target, as well as those of your family members, by taking the precautions listed in this appendix. Therefore, it is highly recommended you share this information with every member of your family. It is also suggested that you and your family review these precautions on a regular basis.

a. At All Times

(1) Encourage security awareness in your family and discuss what to do if there is a security threat.

(2) Be alert for surveillance attempts or suspicious persons or activities, and report them to the proper authorities. Trust your gut feelings.

(3) Vary personal routines whenever possible.

(4) Get into the habit of checking in to let your friends and family know where you are or when to expect you.

(5) Know how to use the local phone system. Always carry telephone change. Know the emergency numbers for local police, fire, ambulance, and hospital.

(6) Know the locations of civilian police, military police, government agencies, US Embassy, and other safe locations where you can find refuge or assistance.

(7) Avoid public disputes or confrontations. Report any trouble to the proper authorities.
Know certain key phrases in the native language such as “I need a policeman,” “Take me to a doctor,” “Where is the hospital?,” and “Where is the police station?”

(9) Set up simple signal systems to alert family members or associates that there is a danger. Do not share this information with anyone not involved in your signal system.

(10) Carry identification showing your blood type and any special medical conditions. Keep a minimum of a 1-week supply of essential medication on hand at all times.

(11) Keep a low profile. Shun publicity. Do not flash large sums of money.

(12) Do not unnecessarily divulge your home address, phone number, or family information.

(13) Watch for unexplained absences of local citizens as an early warning of possible terrorist actions.

(14) Keep your personal affairs in good order. Keep wills current, have powers of attorney drawn up, take measures to ensure family’s financial security, and develop a plan for family actions in the event you are taken hostage.

(15) Do not carry sensitive or potentially embarrassing items.

b. At Home

(1) Have a clear view of approaches to your home.

(2) Install strong doors and locks.

(3) Change locks when you move in or when a key is lost.

(4) Install windows that do not allow easy access.

(5) Never leave house or trunk keys with your ignition key while your car is being serviced.

(6) Have adequate lighting outside your house.

(7) Create the appearance that the house is occupied by using timers to control lights and radios while you are away.

(8) Install one-way viewing devices in doors.

(9) Install intrusion detection alarms and smoke and fire alarms.

(10) Do not hide keys or give them to very young children.

(11) Never leave young children at home alone.

(12) Never admit strangers to your home without proper identification.

(13) Use off street parking at your residence, if at all possible.

(14) Teach children how to call the police, and ensure that they know what to tell the police (name, address, etc.).

(15) Avoid living in residences that are located in isolated areas, on one-way streets, dead-end streets, or cul-de-sacs.

(16) Avoid residences that are on the ground floor, adjacent to vacant lots, or on steep hills.

(17) Carefully screen all potential domestic help.

(18) Do not place your name on exterior walls of residences.

(19) Do not answer the telephone with your name and rank.

(20) Personally destroy all envelopes and other items that reflect personal information.

(21) Close draperies during periods of darkness. Draperies should be opaque and made of heavy material.

(22) Avoid frequent exposure on balconies and in windows.

(23) Consider owning a dog to discourage intruders.

(24) Never accept unexpected package deliveries.

(25) Don’t let your trash become a source of information.

c. While Traveling

(1) Vary times and routes.

(2) Be alert for suspicious-looking vehicles.

(3) Check for suspicious activity or objects around your car before getting into or out of it. Do not touch your vehicle until you have thoroughly checked it (look inside it, walk around it, and look under it).

(4) Know your driver.

(5) Equip your car with an inside hood latch and a locking gas cap.

(6) Drive with windows closed and doors locked.

(7) Travel with a group of people–there is safety in numbers.

(8) Travel on busy routes; avoid isolated and dangerous areas.

(9) Park your car off the street in a secure area.

(10) Lock your car when it is unattended.

(11) Do not routinely use the same taxi or bus stop. NOTE: Buses are preferred over taxis.

(12) If you think you are being followed, move as quickly as possible to a safe place such as a police or fire station.

(13) If your car breaks down, raise the hood then get back inside the car and remain there with the doors locked and the windows up. If anyone offers to assist, ask the person to call the police.

(14) Do not pick up hitchhikers.

(15) Drive on well-lit streets.

(16) Prearrange a signal with your driver to indicate that it is safe to get into the vehicle. Share this information only with persons having a need to know.

(17) Have the driver open the door for you.

(18) If the driver is absent, do not get into the car.

(19) If possible, tell your driver your destination only after the car has started.

(20) Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full.

d. In Hotels

(1) Keep your room key on your person at all times.

(2) Be observant for suspicious persons loitering in the area.

(3) Do not give your room number to strangers.

(4) Keep your room and personal effects neat and orderly so you will recognize tampering or strange out-of-place objects.

(5) Know the location of emergency exits and fire extinguishers.

(6) Do not admit strangers to your room.

(7) Know how to locate hotel security guards.

e. Ground Transportation Security

(1) Use a plain car that is common in the area to minimize the rich American look.

(2) Do not be predictable in your daily travel behavior; vary your travel times, your routes, and your mode of transportation whenever possible.

(3) Check the area around the vehicle, the exterior of the vehicle, and then the interior of the vehicle before starting the engine.

(4) Travel with companions or in convoy whenever possible.

(5) Know the locations of safe havens (e.g., police and fire stations) along your travel routes.

(6) Install appropriate mirrors, locks, and other devices to secure your car against tampering.

(7) Safeguard car keys at all times.

(8) Screen chauffeurs or permanently assigned drivers. Develop a simple system for the driver to alert you to danger when you are picked up. Share this information only with persons having a need to know.

(9) Lock your car, especially at night, and check and lock your garage when you park there overnight.

(10) Park in well-lighted areas if you must park on the street.

(11) Always fasten seat belts, lock doors, and close windows when driving or riding in a car.

(12) Be alert for surveillance and be aware of possible danger when driving or riding in a car.

(13) Drive immediately to a “safe haven” when surveillance is suspected; do not drive home.

f. Air Travel Security

(1) Use military aircraft whenever possible.

(2) Avoid travel through high-risk areas; use foreign flag airlines and/or indirect routes to avoid such areas.

(3) Do not use rank or military addresses on tickets, travel documents, hotel reservations, or luggage.

(4) Select a window seat on aircraft because they offer more protection and are less accessible to hijackers than are aisle seats.

(5) Select a seat in the midsection of the aircraft because it is not one of the two usual areas of terrorist activity.

(6) Do not discuss your US Government affiliation with any other passengers.

(7) Consider using a tourist passport when traveling in high-risk areas; if you use a tourist passport, store your official passport, identification card, travel orders, and other official documents in your carry-on bags. Also, if you normally wear a military ring; e.g., Service or academy, consider leaving it at home or pack it in your checked baggage.

(8) Do not carry classified material unless it is mission-essential.

(9) Use plain civilian luggage; avoid using B-4 bags, duffel bags, and other military-looking bags. Remove all indications of your rank and any military patches, logos, and decals from your luggage and briefcase.

(10) Do not carry official papers in your briefcase.

(11) Travel in conservative civilian clothing. Do not wear military-oriented organizational shirts or caps or military-issue shoes or glasses. Also, avoid obvious American clothing such as cowboy boots and hats as well as American-logo T-shirts. Cover visible US-affiliated tattoos with a long-sleeved shirt.

(12) If possible, check your baggage with the airport’s curb service.

(13) Adjust your arrival at the airport to minimize waiting time, be alert for any suspicious activity in the waiting area, and proceed immediately to the departure gate.

3. Hostage Defense Measures

a. Survive with honor–this is the mission of any American hostage.

b. If your duties may expose you to being taken hostage, make sure your family’s affairs are in order to ensure their financial security. Make an up-to-date will and give appropriate powers of attorney to your spouse or to a trusted friend. Concern for the family is a major source of stress for persons in kidnap or hostage situations.

c. If you are taken hostage and decide not to resist, assure your captors of your intention to cooperate, especially during the abduction phase.

d. Regain your composure as quickly as possible after capture, face your fears, and try to master your emotions.

e. Take mental note of the direction, time in transit, noise, and other environmental factors that may help you identify your location.

f. Note the numbers, names, physical characteristics, accents, personal habits, and rank structure of your captors.

g. Anticipate isolation and terrorist efforts to confuse you.

h. Try to mentally prepare yourself for the situation ahead as much as possible. Stay mentally active.

i. Do not aggravate your abductors; instead, attempt to establish a positive relationship with them. Do not be fooled by a friendly approach–it may be used to get information from you.

j. Avoid political or ideological discussions with your captors; comply with their instructions, but maintain your dignity.

k. Do not discuss or divulge any classified information that you may possess.

l. Exercise daily.

m. Read anything you can find to keep your mind active.

n. Eat whatever food is offered to you to maintain your strength.

o. Establish a slow, methodical routine for every task.

p. When being interrogated, take a simple, tenable position and stick to it. Be polite and maintain your temper. Give short answers, talk freely about nonessential matters, but be guarded when the conversation turns to substantial matters.

q. If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, in writing or on tape, do only what you are told to do. Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.

r. Be proud of your heritage, government, and military affiliation, but be careful that your behavior does not antagonize your captors. Affirm your faith in basic democratic principles.

s.  In the event of a rescue attempt:

(1) Drop to the floor.

(2) Be quiet and do not attract your captors’ attention.

(3) Wait for instructions.

(4) Rescue forces will initially treat you as one of the terrorists until you are positively identified as friend or foe. This is for your security. Cooperate, even if you are initially handcuffed.

(5) Once released, avoid making comments to the news media until you have been debriefed by the proper US authorities.

Credit: US DoD


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