The Uganda Police have issued safety guidelines to the public on terror threats including the do’s and don’ts for one to avoid being a victim of a terrorist attack.
The guidelines come amid a new wave of terror attacks in the capital Kampala which saw at least three people dead and scores injured. Basically, grounded in vigilance, the guidelines range from home/office safety, individual, to community vigilance.
According to police, terrorism manifests in form of bombings, assassinations, kidnaps, hostage taking, hijack, arson, poisoning, armed attacks etc.
SECURITY GUIDELINES TO THE PUBLIC
At home/office or in public spaces;
1. Do not allow packages from strangers.
2. Do not allow cleaners and service providers to enter and work in your workplace or residence without supervision.
3. Empty garbage bins/dustbins at regular intervals and put away all equipment not in use.
4. In any closed places, find out where exit and staircases are located and think ahead about how to evacuate from a building or a congested area.
5. Be alert and aware of your surrounding environment. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior.
6. Don’t allow visitors to your home/office to have free access to all areas.
7. Keep all residential and public spaces neat as much as possible to be able to spot out of place objects which may be a bomb or any other dangerous object.
8. Always inspect your house/ workplace for signs of illegal entry, storage or suspicious objects.
9. Ensure proper lighting in offices/homes and public spaces.
10. Emphasize identification of persons in homes and any public space.
11. Conduct background checks on house helpers and employees.
For business community;
12. Business community especially fuel dealers, mobile money agents should be on the lookout for unusual transactions.
13. If traveling by public means, ensure that everybody onboard is checked, take interest in unattended luggage, take cognizant of unusual behavior of fellow passengers or anything unusual. Emphasize identification of persons and luggage.
14. 10. Do not leave luggage unattended.
15. Take interest in safety of your neighborhood and in knowing our neighbors well including what they do.
16. Local councils should register all residents and visitors.
17. Hold regular village meetings to discuss security of the community.
18. In case of anything suspicious, inform the immediate local authority or call police using Toll-free lines; 112, 999, 0800999699, 080012229.
General characteristics of Suicide Bomb attackers;
(i) They appear nervous and may seem pre-occupied or have a blank stare.
(ii) Focused intent and vigilance. such an acute focus may result in no response or other verbal contact.
(iii) An awkward attempt to blend in. Behavior will be odd or overtly out of place.
(iv) avoidance behavior towards authority. If security is present, a suicide bomber will try to be inconspicuous.
(v) May be praying fervently to him or herself. this gives the appearance of talking and whispering to someone. Keep in mind that people talk to themselves thus this behavior, in and itself, has little meaning.
(vi) Their behavior may be consistent with someone with no future like giving away things of value, buying one-way ticket, or being unconcerned about receiving change after a purchase.
(vii) profuse sweating that is out of synch with the weather conditions.
(viii) walking deliberately towards a specific target or object; often pushing away the crowd or armed barriers. This may show a high focus or intent especially when the target in in sight.
(ix) Lack of mobility of the lower torso may cause upper body stiffness.
(x) To disguise appearance, a beard may be recently shaved or the hair cut short. There is a noticeable difference in the skin color of the recently shaved area.
(xi) To smell better when going to paradise, the bomber may use herbal or floral scented water.