Counterterrorist expert warns America to keep its guard up

Los Angeles, CA, April 23, 2003 — “If someone looks suspicious in your neighborhood or at work you should not assume necessarily that they belong there,” said Counterterrorism Expert Elsa Lee, CEO and Founder of Advantage SCI, which provides security consulting, training, and e-learning to protect people and corporate assets from sabotage, espionage, cyber attacks, and terrorism.

Earlier Tuesday (April 22) a mail distribution facility in Tacoma, WA was evacuated after a white powder found in two envelopes tested positive for biotoxin, but later authorities said that more sensitive follow-up tests came back “negative” for the potentially deadly poisons.

Meanwhile, investigators also were analyzing a suspicious powder found in a cargo area at Southwest Florida International Airport.

“[The April 22] events on the East and West coasts re-enforce the need for all Americans to be trained on response. People need to keep their guard up and be aware of the other threats that are still out there such as cyber attacks and disgruntled employees,” explained Lee.

Lee said the events are changing by the minute, “so you should increase your awareness and if you see anything suspicious know exactly where you’re going to report it.” Additionally, she said people should have an emergency disaster plan at work, in their car and at home, and to report anything unusual without doing it in a way they’re going to burden our police stations or emergency rooms.

“When we had the anthrax scare we had 60,000 calls into emergency rooms,” explained Lee. “Citizens will be the first to respond, because they will be the first to see something. They should prepare themselves and know in advance where to call and under what circumstances they should be reporting events.”

Before and after the 9-11 tragedy, Lee helped clients in the security, government, law enforcement, insurance, financial, and apparel industries to achieve both, organizational leadership and security excellence. She has 22 years of public and private sector experience in anti-terrorism operations, counterespionage investigations, threat and vulnerability assessments, and information systems security in the United States, Asia, Central America, and Europe. Elsa is a member of the FBI Los Angeles Infraguard.

“Now more than ever people should listen or watch the news at least once or twice a day, be more aware of your surroundings, because we need to be prepared for anything that happens,” said Lee.