about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror
Q: Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?
A: I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe
and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner
here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it
could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.
What advice do you have for individuals that have the misfortune of
finding themselves in the middle of a terror attack?.
A: Since mass transportation is the next attack, when you travel to work have with you, a bottle of water, a small towel, and a flashlight.
What happened in London is exactly a point to look at. Those people
who were close to the bombs died, then others were injured or died
from inhaling the toxic fumes or getting trampled. The reason you
take a bottle of water and a towel is that if you wet the towel and
put it over your face, you can protect yourself against the fumes and
get yourself out of there.
Don't be bashful. If your gut feeling tells you when you walk on to a
bus there is something unusual or suspicious, get out and walk away.
You may do it 10 times for no reason, but there will be one time that
saves your life. Let your sixth sense direct you.
Try to break your routine. If you travel during rush hour everyday,
try to get up a little earlier and drive to work or take the train
when it's still not full. Don't find yourself every day in the midst
of rush hour. Terrorists are not going to waste a bomb on a half
Q: What portion of the American infrastructure do you believe is at the
greatest risk for a terror attack?
A: We have put all of our emphasis, right or wrong, on the aviation
area. What has happened, in the last two to three years, based on
information we have, the terrorists have realized that they cannot
hijack a plane in America soon because the passengers are going to
fight back. So they realize what they have been very successful with
over the last 50 years in Madrid, London, Iraq, Israel: demoralizing
the public when they go to work and when they come back from work.
What they're going to do is hit six, seven, or eight cities
simultaneously to show sophistication and really hit the public. This
time, which is the message of the day, it will not only be big
cities. They're going to try to hit rural America. They want to send
a message to rural America: `You're not protected. If you figured out
that if you just move out of New York and move to Montana or to
Pittsburgh, you're not immune. We're going get you wherever we can
and it's easier there than in New York.'
Q: What more do you think the government can do to protect the public?
A: Number one, and this is the beef I've had with Homeland Security
for the last four years, is educating the public on how to deal with
those types of events. There's no education. We're raising the color
code alert and that means nothing to anyone. Whether it's green,
yellow, pink, no one ever educated the public how to identify
suspicious items or people. In Israel, so many of them [terrorists]
have been apprehended just because people have phoned in. We don't
have that training on campuses, schools, or kindergarten.
In Israel, it's very popular right now [amongst terrorists] to put
one device to explode and time another one for five minutes later
when it's all calm, people are getting up, and the rescue teams have
responded. You need to know all those things and think about those
things. The government must pursue that. Law enforcement will never
have enough people on the street to detect things. We don't have that
kind of manpower. That's why the government must enlist the public.
Juval Aviv is a former Israeli Counterterrorism Intelligence
Officer and President and CEO of Interfor, Inc. Mr. Aviv has also
served as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress on issues of
terrorism and security and is the author of "Staying Safe : The
Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your