TERRORISM & THE ROLE OF CRIME STOPPERS
Steve Walrath, President — Crime Stoppers International
The facts of today’s war on terrorism are as follows:
Terrorism has changed. What used to be a single group of disenfranchised individuals spearheading acts of violence from a specific geographical location, has infiltrated civilized society and now operate across every continent. Some are a mixed bag of people operating in clandestine cells while others are bands of uncivilized clans acting out their own brand of ideology.
Without trying to be over simplistic, the similar ideas between them are: death is better than life; and the more people who die in a strike and retreat attack, the better the chances of defeating those they consider their enemy.
They are driven by a fanaticism— an idea of what this fight is all about. Ideas are passed from person to person, generation to generation without a need of formal structure.
Without differentiating according to boundaries, nationalities or cultures, any individual who accepts this premise is free to act out their own brand of terror, wherever they may live; thus making the fight against terrorism a morbid game of “catch me if you can”, and shadow boxing. Intelligence-based information is at the forefront
of preventing today’s terrorism. As such, Crime Stoppers, the global leader in anonymous information gathering, should be at the forefront of this movement.
Intelligence-based information is already coming into Crime Stoppers tips lines everyday. As an organization whose mission is to fight crime, we must evolve and expand
our thoughts and philosophy beyond getting information to solve a specific crime, to soliciting information that may prevent a crime from occurring, including acts being plotted by terrorists.
Crime Stoppers and its law enforcement partners need to establish protocols for each nation/region as to how this information, once received, is distributed and then tracked by local Crime Stoppers programs for possible reward and/or some conclusion — successful or unsuccessful, as a result of this tip.
Coordinated intelligence, based on the Crime Stopper model of anonymity and more than one person knows about any crime or crime to be committed, working in partnership with law enforcement and the community at large, is not only our best defense, but will be the proactive solution to a safe society for this and future generations.