Home » News » FBI Enlists Farmers Help In War On Agri-Terrorism

FBI Enlists Farmers Help In War On Agri-Terrorism

FBI Enlists Farmers Help In War On Agri-Terrorism
December 26, 2004 |

While Alabama farmers may not be in the trenches in Afghanistan or standing guard at America’s borders, they are on the front lines in the war against “agri-terrorism,” according to Rod Glover, a special deputy U.S. Marshal currently serving on the FBI’s North Alabama Joint Terrorism Task Force.Using photos, surveillance video and real-life examples of how agriculture has been targeted by terrorists, Glover enlisted the help of Alabama Farmers Federation members in preventing future attacks during the Federation’s Annual Meeting in Mobile.”You are the first line of defense when it comes to agri-terrorism,” Glover told the group.Glover said domestic groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) have targeted agriculture-related facilities in order to disrupt economic activity and to draw attention to their radical, animal rights and environmental agendas. Farms and farm supplies also have been used to produce dangerous drugs and bombs, and foreign terrorists made inquiries prior to 9-11 about using crop dusters presumably to release chemical and biological weapons.The agricultural community is a definite area of vulnerability in our state,” Glover said. “An attack against food production, processing or distribution would be devastating to our economy and our way of life. We must do everything in our power to protect it.”As members of one of the largest agricultural communities in the country, your assistance is needed in preventing terrorist acts,” he added. Glover said one of the easiest ways for farmers and landowners to help in the war on terror is to become familiar with activities often associated with terrorism. These include:SURVEILLANCE — Terrorists are known to observe a target before they take any action. Have you seen anyone recording or monitoring activities around any of your facilities? These would include anyone taking notes, using maps, cameras or binoculars. Also be aware of people who do not appear to belong in the area or who are acting suspiciously. INTELLIGENCE GATHERING — Along with surveillance, terrorists may also try to question you or your employees about your facility or your procedures. They may try to gain information concerning chemicals you use or where dangerous items are stored. This questioning could be in person, by telephone or email. They can gain significant information by simply asking questions. MATERIAL ACQUISITION — Be aware you could be approached as a source for explosives, high nitrogen content fertilizer, sprayers, dangerous chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Legitimate suppliers of these items have been instructed to contact the FBI if suspicious persons attempt to obtain these items without verifiable need, so the terrorist may go to the end user in an attempt to acquire these. PLANNING AND PREPARATION — A terrorist attack will most likely involve extensive planning and preparation. Materials may have to be stockpiled for their intended use. A rural area is the perfect location to prevent their activities from being observed. Have you observed the stockpiling of materials, sudden activity around previously abandoned houses or barns, or suspicious persons attempting to rent or obtain property?Federation members are urged to report any suspicious activity to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Birmingham FBI, (205) 326-6166 or Mobile FBI, (251) 438-3674.M

View Related Articles