Office of Homeland Security
Special Dates Prompt Heightened Awareness for Citizens
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2009) – Friday, Sept. 11, prompts more than just a terrible memory, according to Tom Preston, Kentucky’s executive director of Homeland Security.
He offers a bit of history.
“Most people have forgotten New York’s first World Trade Center bombing, which occurred in 1993,” Preston said. “Eight years later al Qaeda operatives not only destroyed the Center’s twin towers, but also attacked the Pentagon and downed United Airlines flight 93 over Pennsylvania -- all on the same day.”
“Now, we face a similar time frame, for tomorrow marks another eight-year period from the second great tragedy.”
“It’s a time for heightened awareness,” he warns. “Sophisticated terrorists such as al-Qaeda and its co-conspirators have particular interests in special dates.”
In 1993 al Qaeda-trained Ramzi Yousef led a small team who bombed the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Next came 09-11-01. “One seldom knows when such fanatics will again do the anniversary math,” Preston said.
Citizen vigilance and alertness always are best-interest security qualities, he emphasized. “This is why we have instituted the Eyes & Ears on KY program.”
Eyes & Ears solicits citizen participation in reporting untrustworthy activities or suspicious items to a confidential phone line at the Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center in Frankfort. That number is 1-866-393-6659.
A professional analyst receives the call and immediately takes appropriate action depending on the nature of the information provided.
“Our mission is a safe and secure Kentucky. Support from responsible citizens is crucial. Another event such as in 1993 or 2001 can occur anywhere in the U.S. As part of the national counterterrorism grid, we must not be a soft target,” Preston stressed.