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Domestic Terrorism do you have this down in your Company ERP program!

When we think about TERRORISM we see items on the news in places like Istanbul or other places, with tragic and fatal events etched in the back ground. Remember it does not have to be about religion or race or color it is about and can be just one person that is going to destroy your day!

So in plan, you know that EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN at work what does it say about those options and support? Have you the business or corporation filled in the barriers? Barriers and Opportunities to Employee Preparedness and Human Continuity Threat Awareness, Threat Perception and Threat Assessment Corporate Security as an Emerging Voice in Preparedness Organizational Structure, Functional Areas, and Corporate Culture Disaster Paradigms Communication: Preparedness, Response and Recovery.  Do today’s employers have a legal duty to prepare for terrorist activity? If so, which laws apply and how much preparation is required? If there is no duty, is it legally prudent for an employer to make no plans to prevent or respond to acts of terrorism; or is it foolhardy for an employer to do too much preventive and responsive planning?

Any uncertainty of employers as to their legal obligations concerning terrorist activity is understandable. On the one hand, employers have seen that the frequency of fatal international and domestic terrorist acts within the United States has been quite low from a historical perspective. Further, there appears to be a widespread, tacit assumption that terrorism is a phenomenon associated with large cities, particularly on the coasts, and that the likelihood of terrorist activity in the hinterlands is highly improbable and remote.

Under OHS laws it requires that employers provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. To qualify as a recognized hazard for which an employer bears responsibility, the condition or hazard at issue must meet three requirements. First, it must be reasonably foreseeable that the hazard is likely to affect employees in the workplace, since an employer is not responsible for hazards which cannot be foreseen. Second, the condition must be a “recognized hazard” on the basis of recognition by the industry, the employer or simple common sense. Third, the hazard must cause, or be likely to cause, death or serious injury.

Regardless of our country or location FEDERAL agencies have master plans to counter large scale events and the local police agencies are training daily, but that is AFTER the event starts, AFTER the 911 call goes out, AFTER you hear the shoots ring out or explosive happen, but what do you do in the mean time, not everyone is in a city or near IMMEDIATE resources and how do your staff plan and prepare for back up? Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within North America  (or its territories) without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. Emphasis on Local Response All incidents are handled at the lowest possible organizational and jurisdictional level. Police, fi re, public health and medical, emergency management, and other personnel are responsible for incident management at the local level.

And yes these really are factors; Threat Awareness, Threat Perception and Threat Assessment Geography Brand Points of Failure Human Continuity as Business Continuity Critical Event Preparedness Corporate-Community Cooperation and the Public-Private Interface Training Cost Fear of Increasing Anxiety

And preparedness is a continuous process involving efforts to identify threats, determine vulnerabilities, and identify required resources.

In Canada, Section 83.01 of the Criminal Code defines terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “[w]ith regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”

And yes this does happen in CANADA, someone “radicalized to violence” by the ideology of misogyny, someone acting out the worst patriarchal lessons with which all young men are indoctrinated. While “radicalization to violence” is a term used by Canada’s state security agencies as they desperately try to pin terrorism peace bonds on young Muslims, it does not apply to the single greatest threat to the national security of over half of the country’s population: male violence against women.

And yes  even at great distances, terrorism can impact the health and well-being of your workforce. “People exposed to terrorism, whether in close proximity to or far from the affected site, are at increased risk for a range of health-related responses,”

The numbers are staggering: every six days a woman is murdered in Canada, while hundreds of women’s shelters are so full that they must turn away those fleeing intimate terrorism violence.

Your corporate security office  emerged as the most critical corporate voice in identifying preparedness vulnerabilities to leadership, transmitting the message of security awareness and practices (behavior) to corporate employees, and promoting a culture of anticipation of future disasters. As one of our interviewees said, “Good security is good business.” Security is at the core of human continuity preparedness only when corporations recognize the value and need to foster a “community of safety” rather than merely protect buildings. When security is not focused on individual employee behaviors, day-to-day and in response and recovery from a disaster in response and recovery from a disaster or terrorist event, human continuity preparedness—and therefore citizen preparedness—is less effective.

Preparedness, at the “macro” level, and for the individual employee, is motivated by threat awareness, threat assessment, and threat perception.

Defining events—a corporation’s historical experience with crises and understanding of past responses—shape the identification of potential future threats and efforts to prepare for these events.

Other factors influencing threat identification include geographical location (particularly the location of corporate headquarters) and degree to which the corporate “brand” is perceived as a potential terrorist target. Points of failure (e.g. as critical nodes for material supply, vulnerable geographic locations, or relatively unsecured or unprotected corporate functions or processes) are organizing principles upon which corporations based concerns about future business disruption and hence, preparedness efforts.

Regardless if it is Canada or another part of the free world, government is ensuring the safety and security of its citizens is a key priority for this Government. This objective cannot be met by the federal government alone. Partnership is key to ensuring this security. Only through working with our international allies, and through effective cooperation with all levels of government and civil society, can we achieve these goals. And yes we all  firmly believe that it is therefore in our shared interest to understand the terrorist threat—and to understand the Strategy for confronting it.  Homegrown terrorism or domestic terrorism is commonly associated with violent acts committed by citizens or permanent residents of a state against their own people or property within that state without foreign influence in an effort to instill fear on a population or government as a tactic designed to advance political, religious, or ideological objectives.

In general, protection of physical plants and corporate business functions rather than personnel forms the basis of response plans. Such planning was consistent with an emphasis on traditional business continuity plans and traditional models of points of failure. The degree to which human continuity was prioritized or measures to protect this had been initiated was variable across corporations.

Corporate leaders noted that communicating to employees a recognition of their value to the corporation—of instilling in employees the idea that they “mattered”—was important to preservation of function in times of crises. Specific programs, as well as physical and monetary resources are necessary to communicate this message. Communication systems within corporations (e.g. corporate websites or intranet) that may currently serve as a mechanism for accountability of personnel after disaster may also be used to amplify the message of concern to many, but not all, employees.

Efficient information flow within corporations, between corporations, and between corporations and local and federal government agencies regarding threat analysis, preparedness, and terrorism response facilitate integrated community response. On a national level it appears efforts to create these integrated systems of communication have been limited to date. Notable exceptions are present.

The Strategy operates through four mutually reinforcing elements: Prevent, Detect, Deny and Respond. Your company should activity be directed towards one or more of these elements. Homegrown terrorists have an advantage in that they face fewer logistical problems, such as entering the target nation, as well as familiarity with society and customs, and greater ease in identifying targets.

Prevent 

  • Activities in this area focus on the motivations of individuals who engage in, or have the potential to engage in, terrorist activity at home and abroad. The emphasis will be on addressing the factors that may motivate individuals to engage in terrorist activities.

Detect 

  • This element focuses on identifying terrorists, terrorist organizations and their supporters, their capabilities and the nature of their plans. This is done through investigation, intelligence operations and analysis, which can also lead to criminal prosecutions. Strong intelligence capabilities and a solid understanding of the changing threat environment is key. This involves extensive collaboration and information sharing with domestic and international partners.

Deny 

  • Intelligence and law enforcement actions can deny terrorists the means and opportunities to pursue terrorist activities. This involves mitigating vulnerabilities and aggressively intervening in terrorist planning, including prosecuting individuals involved in terrorist related criminal activities.

Respond 

  • Terrorist attacks can and do occur. Developing Company capacities to respond proportionately, rapidly and in an organized manner to terrorist activities and to mitigate their effects is another aspect of the Strategy. This element also speaks to the importance of ensuring a rapid return to ordinary life and reducing the impact and severity of terrorist activity.

In Canada ( not that we have the best of the best definition)

In Canada, the definition of terrorist activity includes an act or omission undertaken, inside or outside Canada, for a political, religious or ideological purpose that is intended to intimidate the public with respect to its security, including its economic security, or to compel a person, government or organization (whether inside or outside Canada) from doing or refraining from doing any act, and that intentionally causes one of a number of specified forms of serious harm.

Terrorism continues to pose a significant threat to Canada, Canadians and Canadian interests abroad. The global terrorist threat—from groups and individuals—is becoming more diverse and more complex and domestic, issue-based extremism.

Threat awareness, assessment, and perception drive the allocation of security resources and assignment of priorities. Corporations, faced with finite resources for response planning and security efforts allocate resources based on past experience and in so doing may not apportion protective measures and related safety/security awareness training evenly across all personnel. This can create discontent and rift s in corporate function across divisions/departments/locations. Corporations assess their individual risk specifically for a terrorist attack variably and allocate according to these assessments.

Corporate “culture” and corporate values influence both the content of disaster preparedness plans and the effectiveness with which plans and training were communicated throughout a corporation. For example, if safety is a widely recognized corporate value, then preparedness training may be effectively embedded in corporate safety training. The extent to which employees are “invested” in the corporate values influences the degree to which they respond to messages delivered in this context. When employees have experienced corporate values and culture as guiding principles during “defining events” this experience influences the effectiveness of preparedness initiatives framed within corporate culture and values.

Points of Failure: Corporations tended to organize their threat assessment and preparedness planning around the concept of potential points of failure — critical points of business supply, function or vulnerability to disruption. For example, critical transportation nodes, outsourced functions, remote and international sites with questionable security protection were all cited as vulnerabilities in their risk environment. Businesses differed on the number and types of points of failure they identified. Preparedness from this vantage can be only as good as an organization’s imagination as to what the actual potential points of failure might be. Little attention was given to additional human/employee preparedness at these points of failure although they were agreed upon vulnerabilities to traditional business continuity.

Human Continuity as Business Continuity: The traditional view of business continuity has been focused on the infrastructure of an enterprise, i.e., its facilities and hardware. Some but not all of our interviewees described an expansion of the concept of business continuity to incorporate the organization’s social capital— its human continuity. Corporate communications, security, human resources, occupational health services, and leadership attitudes were seen as vital in protecting and sustaining the human continuity of a corporation.

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