The Phoenix Police HQ building, located on 7th avenue and Washington street in downtown Phoenix, Arizona if fronted with a series of huge concrete planters positioned in such a way as to prevent people from driving or smashing their vehicles into the main entrance.
The problem is that this defensive barrier of concrete planters has an obvious vulnerability in that – in one area in particular it has a gap or space big enough to drive a vehicle through, and if someone wanted to could literally park a vehicle less that 15-20 feet from the front door.
In looking at this vulnerability its easy to see how this could be a problem if someone wanted to attack the police station with a car bomb.
I should say that such incidents of people targeting police stations with car bombs are not that unusual around the world today. For example if you Google “car bomb, police station” you find dozens of incidents where terrorists have done just that (see article: A car bomb is detonated near police station in Tripoli injuring at least one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g9ZcA7l0cE).
In fact just the other day a car bomb exploded outside a police station in Benghazi, Libya (source: Car bomb rocks Benghazi police station http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/04/14915101-car-bomb-rocks-benghazi-police-station?lite) and before that a car bomb blew up in front of a police station in Cairo, Egypt (source: Bomb explodes at Cairo Police Stationhttp://www.voanews.com/content/reu-bomb-explodes-at-cairon-police-station/1745218.html).
I have heard it said that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” – the same is true, I think of perimeter defenses as well.
Unsure if the police were even aware of this situation I did ask a police officer about the purpose of the concrete planters outside the police HQ building. Unfortunately I was immediately profiled and put under suspicion for “solicitation.”
Solicitation, in this case had nothing to do with prostitution, but means that I was asking questions about delicate matters pertaining to the security or vulnerabilities at sensitive sites, like water treatment plants, military installations or nuclear plants…Basically anywhere that could be considered a potential “terrorist target.” It’s what they teach people as being one of the 8 signs of terrorism (see video: 8 signs of terrorism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac3jsBWo1po).
I was asked questions like “why do you want to know for” and “what business is it of your?”
Lucky for me the officer was more interested that day in being rude and obnoxious than trying to find out exactly what I was getting at here – or I could have very easily found myself in a police interrogation room for hours on end talking with a group of detectives assigned to the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Task Force.
I remember walking away that morning, not only feeling frustrated by the officer’s attitude and indifference to my concern but also feeling personally insulted in the process as well. My friends tell me I’m lucky I didn’t go to jail.
In the meantime the situation remains unaddressed going on well over a year now.
Making matters worse there is really no way to relay this information or concern to the authorities “anonymously” – without it being interpreted as some kind of terrorist threat.
See related article: Terror Attacks on Law Enforcement Worldwidehttp://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1113&issue_id=22007
See PDF file: Targeting Blue: Why we should study terrorist attacks against policehttp://www.ipes.info/WPS/WPS_No_45.pdf