PA GUIDANCE ON TERRORISM COUNTERACTION
In view of the continuing media interest in the subject of terrorism, the public affairs guidance contained in this message is provided to assist PAOs in responding to media queries and in developing local contingency plans.
TERRORISM IN GENERAL
U.S. POLICY. All terrorist acts are criminal. The U.S. Government will make no concessions to terrorists. Ransom will not be paid and nations fostering terrorism will be identified and isolated.
RESPONSIBILITY. Department of State is the lead agency for response to international terrorist incidents that involve U.S. military personnel and facilities outside the U.S. The administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for terrorist incidents that affect the safety of DoD personnel or property aboard an aircraft in flight. When terrorist incidents occur at military installations within CONUS or its possessions (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and trust territories), the FBI will be the lead agency. If the FBI declines to exercise its authority, military authorities may take appropriate action within the limits of their responsibility to resolve the incident.
NOTIFICATION. All terrorist incidents should be reported immediately through channels, to OASD/PA. No public release of information regarding a terrorist incident should be made without OASD/PA approval except for cases involving public safety.
Combating terrorism can be divided into two major areas: counter-terrorism (offensive measures) and anti-terrorism (defense measures).
- Counter-terrorism. The following statement may be used in response to queries regarding counter-terrorist forces:
- "The U.S. Government has trained forces and equipment from all four services to cope with terrorist incidents. We have also said that command and control elements for these forces exist and have been exercised. These elements report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as do other command and control elements for military operations. We do not comment on any details concerning the circumstances under which these forces may be deployed, their identity, or tactics."
- Requests for interviews or filming of counter-terrorism training will not, repeat will not, be approved.
- Requests for photos of counter-terrorist forces personnel or their training will not be approved.
- Because of the clear association/confusion surrounding the relationship between special operations counter-terrorism forces, all requests for interviewing or filming special operations forces and or training will be approved by OASD/PA.
- Questions beyond the scope of the above guidance should be referred to OASD/PA..
- Anti-terrorism. The following guidance is applicable to media request for information pertaining to anti-terrorism.
- DoD officials, senior leaders, commands and knowledgeable individuals may discuss the subject of anti-terrorism as it pertains to those areas/installations for which they are responsible.(Anti-terrorism measures and procedures should be discussed in a general manner without going into a checklist of specific details.)
- Media requests to film anti-terrorist training will be approved on by OASD/PA.
- Photos of anti-terrorist training should be forwarded through channels for approval.
In response to queries regarding a possible or real terrorist threat at a particular base/installation/activity the PAO may acknowledge, if appropriate, that increased security measures have been/will be taken without going into specific details of all the measures taken. PAOs may, when appropriate, acknowledge the obvious.
For example, increased security measures such as increased guards at the gate or additional patrols, if they are obvious to the public may, in some cases, be acknowledged. PAOs should, however, exercise care and prudent judgment in any discussion of these or other security measures, which have been/will be implemented.
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