Symposium Evaluates Terrorism as a Possibility in the Border Region


EL PASO — Tick tick tick tick boom! A sound synonymous with explosives and time bombs but that is changing. Advances in technology have made explosives ever so small and even powerful than before. This presents a real danger to the security of the United States.

For the first time, a symposium to address these issues will be held at the University of Texas at El Paso. “The Technical Terrorist: Understanding & Countering the Threat” will take place at the Thomas Rivera Conference Center on October 29th and 30th.

terrorism dictionary definitionFactors such as size, concealment, and remote detonation make new and improved weapons extremely dangerous in the hands of terrorists. In the 1980’s the threat to the free market was communism and almost 30 years later the threat of terrorism has taken over.

With the recent terrorist attacks of  9-11-2009, Oklahoma City, the Madrid bombings, and the USS Cole still fresh in our memory, and the many suicide bombings that have taken place in the Middle East on a daily basis, knowing how to protect ourselves is essential in today’s world.

As a border city with thousands of persons passing through our port of entries, El Paso is at risk for a terrorist attack, but citizens of the borderland express different views on the possibility of terrorism here.

University of Texas at El Paso student and manager of the UTEP basketball team, David Contreras said, “I feel pretty safe. The only thing I feel somewhat threatened by is the drug war taking place right across the border spilling over, but even then, if you are not involved with drug trade you have no reason to fear.”

Gabriel Contreras, David’s brother said, “ Other than Fort Bliss, I don’t see El Paso as being a high value target for a terrorist attack. A larger city with a greater economic stake would be a more likely target. Personally, I am more worried about the violence in Mexico spilling over than a terrorist attack.”  The symposium planned at UTEP its great, he said. “Keeping ourselves informed of such developments is our duty as American citizens.”

The symposium is scheduled to discuss the many faces of terrorism, different technology used for terrorist acts, and how Americans can protect themselves.

The first topic of discussion of the conference, Applying Lessons Learned from the Global Arena to the El Paso Border, will involve discussion and lectures about past terrorism events, how they pertain to the borderland and how residents here can prepare themselves.

The second topic, Modern Day Electronic Warfare Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, will discuss new technologies used by modern day terrorists and how Americans can inform themselves on these new developments.

The third topic will cover the many profiles of a technical terrorist within the borderland region. No one specific group can claim a monopoly of terrorism. Terrorism is not bound by race, creed, nationality, or religion. Terrorism has many disguises.

The fourth topic, Technology in Countering the Technical Terrorist, IED’s and EW Systems, will discuss how residents can fight back against the threat of terrorism here in the borderland.

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