Holiday shopping frenzy an opportunity for terrorists, NJ security officials warn
Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday is a fond memory and we’re clicking through Cyber Monday, which means the holiday season is in full swing.
For many, this is the most wonderful time of the year. But it’s also become a time of concern for Homeland Security officials in New Jersey and across the country.
“Right now there’s nothing on our radar that’s out of the norm. We continue to monitor. However, that being said, with the holiday season comes the opportunity to disrupt that holiday season,” said Mike Geraghty, director of cybersecurity for the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
“We’re on alert, not only to protect against any terrorist activity, but also to help protect consumers as they navigate their way through the holiday shopping season.”
Geraghty pointed out terror groups and individuals have in the past, and may again in the future try to time a possible attack with a significant day or event in the United States. For that reason, officials say it’s important for everyone in New Jersey to maintain vigilance during the holidays.
“We know that there is that opportunity out there for any criminal group or terror group to take advantage of the frenzy that goes on this time of year.”
He stressed if you notice anything odd, strange or something that seems like it could possibly be a threat, you should report it to law enforcement as soon as possible.
“A threat is any circumstance or event with the potential to adversely impact an organization or an individual, so it can be anything.”
He said maintaining a degree of awareness is especially important at this time of year when many people let their guard down.
“During the holiday season people don’t pay attention to things like they do, they are just distracted by other things going on,” said Geraghty.
“It is important that if they see something that’s out of the norm or suspicious, don’t hesitate to contact your local police department or the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security.”