Holiday Season Eagle Eyes

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Jung
  • Headquarters Air Force Office of Special Investigations
Can you believe there are only 47 shopping days before Christmas?

Before you grab your wallet or purse and rush out the door to get those perfect gifts for family and friends, stop for a minute to think about the Air Force's Eagle Eyes Program.

The Eagle Eyes Program is an anti-terrorism initiative that enlists the eyes and ears of Air Force members and citizens in the war on terror. Eagle Eyes teaches people about the typical activities terrorists engage in to plan their attacks. Armed with this information, anyone can recognize elements of potential terror planning when they see it.

What does that have to do with the holidays?

Well, using some of the suspicious behaviors identified in the Eagle Eyes Program can help stop the Grinch from spoiling your holiday season. However, instead of terrorism, we're more concerned with crime and theft.

One suspicious behavior Eagle Eyes identifies is surveillance. This could be someone recording or monitoring your activities for a chance to rob you while you are busily engaged in shopping. While you are searching for your treasures, someone may be searching for a way to pickpocket you.

Surveillance may include the use of cameras, either still or video, or using binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices to observe you for an opportunity to break into your vehicle to steal your presents.

Another key aspect of Eagle Eyes is spotting suspicious persons out of place. These are people who don't seem to belong in the neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else. This category is hard to define, but the point is that people know what looks right and what doesn't look right in their neighborhoods, stores, malls etc., and if a person just doesn't seem like he or she belongs, there's probably a reason for that.

Why is that guy inside the mall still bundled up wearing his heavy coat and a ski mask?

Stay attuned to your surroundings. If you observe something suspicious, alert the local authorities.

Staying safe during the holiday shopping season takes a little effort but it is well worth the time to you and your family. You and your family are encouraged to learn about the Eagle Eyes Program and the categories of suspicious behavior at the AFOSI public Web site: