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Homeland security chapter 6

3 Pillar of Preparedness

The pillars in the three pillars of preparedness are as follows: The top pillar is preparedness; the second pillar is prevention, detection, and response; The third pillar is human, physical, and cyber under all the second pillar categories. Preparation is the overriding shield of security. Preparedness is the condition of which we like our National Homeland Security program. If we as a country have strong and productive preventive, detection, and response capability in place across the continuum of industry, government, and the public, we will be prepared. Prevention, detection, and response are the three different types of preparedness, each with several subcomponents, ranging from closed-circuit television to virus controls and guards. Preventative activities will usually consist of the installation of locks and access codes, the installation of CCTV, the maintenance of no parking and restricted area signs, the installation of boundary walls, and the use of roving and posted surveillance—efforts to protect and deter. Detection consists of human, technical, or cyber capability to identify and alert that there are risks to our facility or that others might be preparing to target us.

The detection aspect involves human, technological, animal, marine life, and insects. No amount of technology will override the human aspect to further investigate, leverage intuition, and use reasoning skills to further investigate an event.

Security Failures that Gave the Oklahoma City Bomber the Opening to Blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

Like the inability to avert 9/11, this is a case where the federal government initially failed to identify or respond to critical warning signals and later claimed that there were no warning signs at all. Just the dogged determination of a handful of private detectives, historians, writers, and attorneys has revealed more unpleasant facts about the bombing and who may have committed it. We know now from court reports and public archives that at least two undercover agents gathered intelligence about Timothy McVeigh and a gang of like-minded white nationalists in the early spring of 1995, one of whom sent detailed information to her government managers about the plot to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. It spreads credulity by saying that McVeigh had driven a fully fledge explosive more than 300 miles from Kansas to Oklahoma City—something that analysts believe would have borne a high risk of premature detonation. McVeigh had ties to the bank robberies, and he had been unemployed and broke since 1992, and yet he spent months shortly before the bombing frantically around the country, sleeping in motels and making a few large transactions. He paid in cash for everything. Being connected to bank robberies and paying cash for large purchases should have raised more of a concern. We did notify the FBI and Janet Reno six months before the Oklahoma bombing that we had strong information that there was going to be a serious domestic terrorism strike” (Gumbel Et. Al, 2020). The intelligence gaps and systemic cover-ups we saw in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and the Iraq war are part of a historical pattern.

Another security issue that helped McVeigh in the bombing is the fact that no protective standards were in force at the time of the bombing of non-military federal facilities making it easy for McVeigh to be undetected. McVeigh and his partner were both U.S. Army veterans and were aligned with the radical right-wing and extremist Patriot movement. The attack happened to be on Patriot’s day. With previous knowledge of him planning an attack and his involvement with the Patriot movement, there should have been more surveillance on McVeigh. Overall, this was a major security failure and has paved a way for multiple security improvements especially in federal buildings.


Truthdig and Andrew Gumbel, Truthdig, & Gumbel, A. (2020, December 2). The Unsolved Mystery of the Oklahoma City Bombing.


Boyd, A. (2017, August 8). OKC tragedy led to first federal building security standards. Federal Times.

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