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If You Eat Something, Say Something: DHS Sounds The Alarm
Tech Dirt ^ | 12 Nov 2012 | Tim Cushing

Posted on 11/16/2012 8:55:22 AM PST by Theoria

It's interesting (or maybe just kind of sad) that various government agencies see possible terrorists everywhere but rarely, if ever, catch one. Despite the large number of personnel being thrown at the problem (along with lots of money), actual terrorists seem to be in limited supply.

But these agencies haven't let their lack of success temper their vision of a nation under constant imminent attack. Public Intelligence recently posted a Powerpoint presentation from the NYC fire department (FDNY) discussing the unique safety issues mobile food trucks present. Along with some actual concerns (many food trucks use propane and/or gasoline-powered generators to cook; some *gasp* aren't properly licensed food vendors), the presenter decided to toss in some DHS speculation on yet another way terrorists might be killing us in the near future.

That's right. Instead of serving up a quick hot meal, these food trucks will be serving up death, and lots of it! Under the heading "Terrorist Implications," the FDNY lists the exact reasons we should be concerned, most of which begin with the word "high."

While any terrorist organization worth its twisted ideology would do well to nail down as much of this list as possible, so would any vendor who wished to stay in business. The question is: how do you differentiate between the two? One answer might be to sort through the data collected by all the food truck terrorism incidents up to this point. (American's fusion centers would like to remind you that zero incidents only means we're due, rather than indicating a terrorist-free trend.)

But there's more! The next slide continues to lay out the "Terrorism Implications," this time reminding first responders that food trucks have large quantities of deadly liquids (propane, gasoline) and are "easily concealed" (which I assume refers to the potential explosives, rather than the truck itself... but you can never be TOO sure). Also, food bombers will usually be in the proximity of "crowds" (gasp!) and "sidewalks" (wha...?).
Dammit, now the terrorists have gone too far! It's one thing to blow up our crowds. It's quite another to ruthlessly attack our infrastructure, the very thing that keeps our precious crowds from milling about on the lawn and/or street!

But (dear lord) there's even more! According to the DHS, food carts make "excellent surveillance platforms" because of all the "high" stuff they can park next to for long periods of time. (Has anyone considered knocking on the door and having a quick look around, especially during business hours?) And I'm pretty sure they're not allowed to just park wherever they want for indefinite periods of time, at least not in New York City. There are 8 million laws in the Naked City, none of which are accommodating to the small businessman/woman "stealing" customers away from established restaurants paying exorbitant amounts per square foot every month.

But beyond that, why go through the expense of constructing a food truck when you can just rent a U-Haul, fill it full of explosives and ram it into the nearest high-rise/government building? Unless the DHS figures these terrorists are in it for the long haul, suckering people in with weeks or months of delicious ethnic food before parking across the nearest heavily-trafficked sidewalk and blowing everything up in an explosion of propane and proprietary blends of herbs and spices. Also, does it not occur to them that if you want to keep your terrorist activities hidden, it's probably not the smartest thing to set yourself up as a vehicle that people line up to look inside?

The DHS' unfocused "terrorvision" continues to see a threat in every situation and the department seems to be busying itself crafting a response to every conceivable "threat." The problem with this "method" is that it turns any slight variation of "everyday activity" into something suspicious. The number of "terrorist implications" grows exponentially while the number of solutions remains the same. This Powerpoint is another example of good, old-fashioned fear mongering, utilizing public servants to spread the message.

At no point does this presentation offer anything resembling preemptive action or deterrents. All it does is paint a picture of food trucks as potential threats before concluding with, of all things, common sense safety tips aimed at dealing with food truck fires. The final slide paints the picture in the clearest terms, letting the viewer know exactly whose agenda is being pushed:
Prepared by Lt. Timothy Carroll
FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness
The priorities are all screwed up. Terrorism is the first concern. Everything else is secondary. Considering this is an FDNY presentation, you'd think that "Disaster Preparedness" would be the priority. After all, they are the first response. But instead that honor goes to the vague menace of terrorism, a constant battle with no winners and, for the most part, no combatants. Every day without a terrorist act is a "win" that perpetuates the "need" for more counter-terrorist "efforts."

All that being said, the easiest way to tell that this "Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness" is all bluster and FUD is to take a look at its logo. Yep: MF EAGLE.

TOPICS: Government; Society
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; dhs; editorial; foodtruck; newyork; nyc; policestate; terrorism; wot
Note, I edited title to fit header.

Full title : 'If You Eat Something, Say Something: DHS Sounds The Alarm On The 'Terrorist Implications' Of Food Trucks'

1 posted on 11/16/2012 8:55:30 AM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria

Bloomberg knows, those 16 ounce sodas and salt will kill us, it must be a plot!
/ sarc.

What idiocy.

2 posted on 11/16/2012 9:02:29 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: Theoria

I am so ready to abolish the TSA.

How about we only screen suspicious people on international arrivals? Would that be so hard?

3 posted on 11/16/2012 9:21:30 AM PST by GeronL (
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To: Darksheare

Many years ago, (more than 20) my friends and I, while playing our weekly game of Risk started talking about if we were terrorists, how would we maximize damage to our intended targets. This was before food trucks became all the rage.

One of my friends suggested that posioning the water for dirty water hot dogs would be the way to go. Most carts are run by Arabs, and thousands of people eat at them every day. If you had a biological agent, think of all the people getting on Mass transit on a Friday afternoon.

On the other hand, someone suggested dropping a bio agent in a Gaza open air market the afternoon of their sabbath. Then when the ensuing panic hits Gaza, Israel prevents anyone from entering the country until the problem is resolved.

We figured if we could think of this, others would also. Never ate a dirty water dog in NYC after that.

4 posted on 11/16/2012 9:30:30 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (George W. Bush is the Emmanuel Goldsten of the modern era.)
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To: Theoria

Thought for the day. The Department of Homeland Security with its creepy Nazi sounding name, has about the same number of personnel as the USMC, and twice their budget. But unlike the USMC, they are aimed squarely at us.

5 posted on 11/16/2012 9:40:29 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Theoria

This is a pretty ignorant article and the FDNY is right.

The guys running these trucks are overwhelmingly Muslim Middle Easterners, and we know there are both such guys who get ‘radicalized’, usually within their mosques, over time, as well as sleeper cells just waiting for the proper time to act.

They are right there in the busiest intersections in the middle of Manhattan with big tanks of fuel in use daily. It would be very easy to outfit such a truck with extra fuel and not have it be detected until too late.

6 posted on 11/16/2012 9:41:35 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Agreed. I would much rather these guys think creatively and realize what potential vectors are open to attack than to ignore possibilities just because no one has used them before.

7 posted on 11/16/2012 9:45:43 AM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Never ate hotdogs from vendors in the city either.

8 posted on 11/16/2012 9:52:22 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: 9YearLurker

We have lost huge amouts of freedom in the last 10 years. We are under unprecedented surveillance. It literally exceeds what the Stasi ever succeeded in gathering. They capture almost everything you do electronically.
They passed NDAA saying that the military has the right to arrest an American, in America, and hold them without any legal recourse as long as they want if they think they “aid terror”. (such as writing something pro constitution)
TSA is now in the testing and planning stage of using VIPR team checkpoints randomly on the highways.

All of this is done in the name of “terrorism”. The hallmark of every totalitarian is convincing the population that enemies lurk in every direction. This justifies their measures to watch and control the people. Looking for enemies.

Preventing the next 9/11 you say? Then ill ask you if that is a concern, why in the middle of protecting us from terror, we have opened the floodgates for moslems from Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, all over Africa, etc?
The closest terrorists we have are the Mexican cartels. So why are we plying them with thousands of assault rifles and throwing the borders wide open? In the decade where we have been looking for terror in every food cart, we let 15 million 3rd worlders cross the southern border.
Thats quite a disconnect there.

Not to mention we are giving billions of dollars and weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood. They are only the largest ideological home base to terror on earth.

Yes, it is time to start ridiculing the constant search for terrorists. The answer to terror is not to tighten the screws on Americans, it’s to B-52 the snot out of anybody remotely involved with an attack on us (including the Saudis) Let them be terrorized and police themselves.

And as this “wheres the terrorist” mentality continues, how long will it take them to decide, “only terrorists need assault rifles”?

9 posted on 11/16/2012 9:59:24 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino

I hear you on lots of freedom issues, but I tell you these trucks aren’t the place to take a stand.

Most of the guys operating them aren’t Americans anyway.

I’m fine with permitting the trucks as long as there’s security checks on them and, as this document suggests, the right authorities are considering the possibilities with them. Probably turn up some useful terrorism links just researching the background on these guys.

And you’re confounding federal policies with the City of NY looking out for itself.

10 posted on 11/16/2012 10:03:45 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Theoria

How about that baker terrorist group of 5,000 unionists at Hostess that destroyed a company employing 18,500 Americans?

11 posted on 11/16/2012 10:50:55 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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