Terrorist Threats: Holiday Security Concerns-Staying Safe Shopping & Traveling

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As we head into the holidays, right along with "turkey" and "traveling", "terrorism" seems to be on a lot of minds this year.  “There's a threat on the radar screen right now to malls in the United States that's been put out by Al Shabaab, which is the Al Qaeda franchise in Somalia in East Africa.  That's the group that conducted a very brutal terrorist attack with automatic machine guns killing many innocent people in the mall in Nairobi Kenya,” explains James Conway the CEO of Global Intel Strategies and former FBI agent.

So this holiday season should we be concerned about shopping?  “Right now DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and the FBI are saying there are no specific credible threats in the United States,” Conway adds and says he understands why Houstonians may be on edge after the awful attacks in Paris.  “Houston is the one city in the United States that has all ten target sets that are established by DHS and the FBI, energy, banking, finance,” to name a few.

Conway suggests to be cautious, not live in fear.   “We have to continue living the way we do, otherwise the terrorists win.  Always be thinking 'what am I going to do if something happens?' When you get on airplanes, go into restaurants, when they're in malls are you mindful of where the exits are, where the stairs are, where the elevators are?  How can I get out of a situation?  If we look at the theater shooting the people that didn't freeze as deer in the headlights but were able to move and get out and take cover managed to survive that attack,” Conway explains. 

He says having an escape plan can be the difference between life and death.  ”Be paying attention and maybe take your face out of that smart phone for a little while”.