U.S. Army Japan officials began distributing a pamphlet and informational wallet card this week aimed at preventing a terrorist act within the local community.

The brochure, titled “Combating Terrorism: Important Things You Should Know and Do,” is being handed out at the gates to all U.S. Army Japan installations, including Camp Zama and Hardy Barracks. It contains tips for spotting potential terrorist operatives and other warning signs designed to bolster vigilance.

“Awareness is the key to preventing acts of terrorism,” Staff Sgt. Richard Rau, the noncommissioned officer in charge of operations at the Camp Zama Provost Marshal’s Office, said in a written statement. “In understanding this, we draw the conclusion that we know our home, work and recreational environments better than any outsider trying to make the determination as to what belongs and what does not.

“Each and every community member is a sensor. If you see something that is out of place or witness an act which could be interpreted as terrorist activity and you do nothing, you are simply aiding the terrorist(s) in the completion of their goal.”

Sgt. 1st Class N. Maxfield, a U.S. Army Japan spokesman, said the campaign was not created in response to any new specific threats against the base or its operating locations. “It’s basically a routine public-service announcement,” he added.

According to Rau, information has been compiled from resources such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, CIA, Counterterrorism Security Group, National Security Council, Homeland Security Agency and U.S. military officials.

The pamphlet addresses clear definitions of terrorism, surveillance detection, questions about sensitive areas, mail and how it could facilitate attacks and the practice of “dry runs” and steps that can be taken to prevent them. Law-enforcement contacts are included in the packet for people who observe suspicious activities and need a quick reference point.

Rau points to FBI data that suggest more than 50 percent of terrorist attacks were perpetrated after a successful “dry run,” a rehearsal of sorts typically carried out in open, public areas.

“More often than the dry runs, surveillance was conducted in an equally visible or obvious way in which the terrorists were seen conducting the spy-style method for gathering their intelligence prior to the execution of their plans,” Rau wrote.

“It is very apparent what doesn’t belong. It is equally imperative that we, as soldiers, civilians and family members, do everything we can to keep the vigilance in our small, close-knit community. We can little afford an opportunity where an act of terrorism wounded any one of us.”

Army officials said they did not know whether other U.S. military bases around the Pacific were taking part in the anti-terrorism campaign.

Additional copies of the pamphlet will be offered to Army units for training and awareness sessions, according to Rau.

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