June 2011 FBI Security Briefing on Specific Terrorism Threats

On Thursday, June 23rd, the FBI held a security briefing at the Renaissance Washington, which focused on threats to the hospitality industry. While these briefings are not unusual, and post 9/11 bureaucrats often communicate excess threat information to cover their butts, this one held particular weight as an Assistant Director of the FBI and the head of the DC Counter-terrorism Squad were sent to warn off a particular threat.

The message delivered, at the briefing, expressed “serious” concern about active shooter threats at restaurants and hotels in the DC metro area. Attendees were encouraged to plan for these threats with tangible actions. Given the density of DC and the proliferation of hospitality venues, these warning should be headed by all venues and properties in the DC Metro area.

Specific concerns were mentioned about intelligence relating to potential attacks on July 4th or September 11th in Washington, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The suspected types of attacks may include shooters and/or vehicles driven into crowds where government employees may gather such as restaurants and events.

One of the best resources for breaking information is the Alert DC website from the DC Government. You may subscribe to rapid text alerts. The Department of Homeland Security has prepared some venue-specific resources, which may be referenced for specific actions:

Restaurants (and hospitality venues in general)

FBI’s “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities

All Urban Alarm commercial and multi-unit residential customers should pay particular attention that all access control, security, and video surveillance systems that are being actively used. Make every effort to control/limit access credentials and enforce property procedures around awareness and pedestrian/vehicle tailgating. Restaurants, hotels, and other public venues should brief staff to be particularly aware and to call 911 and/or use duress buttons if they observe anything suspicious.

Don’t hesitate to contact your Urban Alarm account contact to discuss any questions or concerns.