This Memorial Day, reflect and remember — but also be vigilant

By DLA Security and Emergency Services

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Given the recent suicide bombing in Manchester, United Kingdom, Defense Logistics Agency employees are urged to be vigilant in large public gatherings. Look out for any person whose behavior, demeanor or belongings seem unusual, and report them to law enforcement.

Memorial Day celebrations are attractive targets for terrorist attacks, as are businesses that draw crowds with promotions and discounts. Large gatherings also pose distractions that can lead attendees to lose focus on those around them.

In addition, events in city streets, parks and open fields are usually set up to make it easy for attendees to enter and leave. This makes such events easy targets for terrorists to attack with vehicles, firearms or bladed weapons.

Although there are no reports of specific, credible threats to installations or personnel for Memorial Day weekend, it has long been a goal of terrorist groups to attack the Department of Defense again. The greatest threat is from lone domestic terrorist recruits encouraged by social media to attack independently. At Fort Hood, Texas; San Bernardino, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Orlando, Florida, such homegrown recruits have attacked with no warning.

Attacks on this particular holiday would give terrorists the opportunity to attack military personnel, civilians and law enforcement. An attack could provide worldwide media notoriety and desecrate this American patriotic holiday.

Terrorist groups’ publications and social media messages have called for attacks on crowds, celebrations, shopping centers, clubs, bars, places of worship and airports. They urge followers to ram pedestrians with vehicles and then shoot or stab the survivors. Followers are told to not wait for orders and to fund their own attacks, using their own vehicles and equipment. Such attacks have increased over the last two years.

This weekend, honor the memories of those who gave their lives protecting our freedom while keeping watch for those who would take it away. Report suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcement personnel.

Remember: If you see something, say something.