In this world where the threat of terror has undeviatingly grown, the need for extreme vigilance among the citizenry has become predominant.
While the government has stepped up counter-terrorism actions, committed more resources to strengthen the defence forces and even embraced international partnerships to subdue the threat, this has not been enough.
It will take the input of each and every citizen to win this war, and as a result, situational awareness is critical.
The following are some of the critical signs that members of the public should look out for in a bid to prevent a possible terror attack.
1. Suspicious objects and items
Members of the society should be cautious when they come across things left unattended in public areas.
Of particular interest should be items with electric wires penetrating out, those with excessive usage of securing materials and those with stains or discolouration or emit an unusual odour.
2. Persons with suspicious behaviour
As you go about your daily business, you should raise the alarm if you encounter individuals with suspicious characteristics that suggest an ulterior motive.
They incorporate those wearing massive or oversized attire that may conceal hidden objects, placing an object or package in a crowded area and departing quickly, attempting to disguise their personality or loitering for an extended period at one location.
It is also a subject of concern when a person takes photos or videotapes of security features or asks specific questions concerning the security of a place or an individual without a sensible explanation.
3. Suspicious vehicles
In the contemporary world, cars are a common feature during terror attacks.
Vehicles circling an area frequently or on different occasions, a vehicle abandoned abruptly by the driver, overly weighted vehicles with sunken tires and suspensions and vehicles with foreign objects attached all present cause for alarm.
The same applies to commercial or heavy vehicles being operated erratically, at unusual times or in unusual locations, particularly near crowded areas.
4. Signs of radicalisation
As confirmed by the deadly involvement of Salim Gichunge and Violet Kemunto in the recent DusitD2 attack, radicalised natives present real yet an unseen danger in terrorism.
It is thus imperative that you be on the lookout for neighbours, colleagues and others around you who express the belief that violence is justified or openly idolise, show support or sympathise with terrorists and their causes.
People trying to influence others to support terrorism or participate in a terrorist activity as well as those displaying insignia or symbols in support of terrorist groups should also be immediately reported.
5. Keep off suspicious objects
When a suspicious metal box was left lying at the Odeon Cinema after the Saturday, January 28, explosion, curious onlookers milled around it oblivious of the danger they were exposing themselves to.
This is common in Kenya.
The box could as well have been a booby trap, and such acknowledgement exposes many to the danger of an attack.
It equally disturbs the crime scene, hampers emergency rescue efforts and police operations since movement becomes challenging.
Members of the general public are advised to move as far away as possible from such areas and report the incident.
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