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Friday, August 9, 2013

Austin, Texas Terror Alert Coincides with Homeland Security Drill

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Law enforcement ‘on alert’ for ‘unconfirmed’ and ‘random’ potential terrorist attacks in Austin, while failing to warn the public of the threat.

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton

While U.S. embassies around the globe have been shut down and travelers cautioned over a vague terror threat officials claim resembles pre-9/11 activity, law enforcement and counter-terrorism authorities in Austin, Texas did not issue a warning of terror threats to residents, despite a city-specific threat sent only to law enforcement.

A Homeland Security warning about ‘Possible Terrorist Threat to Venues in Austin, TX in August,’was sent out July 19, 2013 warning of “unconfirmed” possible “random terrorist attacks” that – while supposedly “random” – specify several targets, noting supposed “plans to plant back-pack style bombs on 6th street on either 8 or 9 August.”

In addition to 6th Street, a downtown location busy with nightlife, the threat advisory claimed there were also plans to “attack a school and a theological seminary in the downtown Austin area and complete the attack with operations at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.” The “unconfirmed” warning of “random” attacks further noted a backup date, August 29th, if the 8th and 9th weren’t considered “a viable option.”

It is hard to imagine that such specific and detailed information could be part of a credible, yet somehow “unconfirmed” and “random” terrorism threat; instead, it reads like the prompt for a large-scale terrorism drill, including preparation response cues, like the many “Operation Urban Shield” drills that have been conducted by Homeland Security, including one which occurred on April 15 during the Boston Marathon where Boston and Homeland Security’s finest were on scene during the bombing.

Here’s the leaked threat assessment:


While the public has not been warned of an impending terror threat, the Texas Department of Public Safety did issue a press release on August 7 with information about drills it would be conducting in Austin during that same time period: “Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies to Conduct Homeland Security Exercise in Austin.”

“The public should not be alarmed if they observe unordinary law enforcement or first responder activity over the next few weeks in the Austin area,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw, who also serves as the Texas Homeland Security Director.

Law enforcement were also instructed to “Watch for persons observing, photographing, or videotaping” and “undue curiosity,” adding a layer of suspicion towards any journalists or citizens who might be covering the drill / “random” terror threat in order to hold drill participants accountable should anything go wrong.

Aaron and Melissa created, where this first appeared, as an outlet to examine the news, place it in a broader context, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, grasp the underlying factors, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free...

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