How to Save Your Life: Homicide Bombing

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 Det. Sgt. Peter Caram







FOX Fan Question: If I am in the middle of a bustling area of the city and notice something suspicious, is it better to tell a doorman/security guard, or call a number?

Peter Caram: I would not rely on anyone to call the authorities. If you make the observation, the authorities will want to question you about what you saw, therefore you should make the call to 911.
FOX Fan Question: Is a suicide bombing in the United States likely to look like the ones that occur in Israel, or something more deadly?

Peter Caram: All suicide bombings are deadly. A device detonating in a crowded area rigged with metal or nuts and bolts to enhance the radius of injury and death is not discretionary. The device would have the same effect in any crowded city.
FOX Fan Question: I have read that terrorists are now using plastic explosives that are impossible to detect. Are officials working on ways to deal with these new explosives?

Peter Caram: Yes to both answers. New technology in response to the terrorists attempting to disguise their explosives is constantly being sought and developed. Training of bomb-sniffing dogs on all newly developed explosives or masking agents is constant.
FOX Fan Question: Do suicide bombers work alone, or should I be looking for a group together?
Peter Caram: No, suicide bombers do not work alone. There is a support infrastructure in place from start to completion of the mission. Individual bombers complete the act alone, however you must be cognizant of the potential for another bomber or delayed action device in the area that could be set to detonate upon arrival of emergency personnel.

FOX Fan Question: In your estimation, are mass transit workers in the U.S. all on the same page with what to look out for? Do they all have access to the same information? I know New Yorkers are the best in the business, but that doesn't help me when I get on the T in Boston.

Peter Caram: Unfortunately there is no consistent standard of information flow in the public transportation system in our country. Each jurisdiction utilizes unique procedures and response mechanisms. There is a minimum standard in place for training however. The bottom line is for the individual to contribute to the safety package by exercising good judgment and being alert at all times.

Former Detective Sergeant Peter Caram was in charge of anti-terrorist intelligence at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is the author of "1993 World Trade Center Bombing: Foresight and Warning."