Preventing Terrorism in Colorado, Knowledge is Power
Colorado may not seem like a prime target for terrorists, but, the fact is, terrorism can strike any time any place, and there is a belief in Colorado that knowledge is power when it comes to preventing terrorism.
The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab in Denver aims to prevent terrorism by educating the public, getting them engaged, and making them feel empowered.
The lab, referred to as the CELL, is a one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibit that demonstrates what terrorism looks like and how a private citizen can have a role in preventing it. Their website describes the exhibit as being "dynamic."
In addition to the interactive displays, the CELL features special speakers on a regular basis, and they offer a Community Awareness Program. In the two-hour class, participants are trained to spot certain behaviors and situations that could provide a threat.
The CELL also wants to make clear the difference between an act of terrorism and an act of terror. Mass school shootings, for example, most generally would be considered an act of terror, not terrorism, which is defined as the "premeditated use of violence...for political, religious, or ideaological gain....to create an atmosphere of fear, chaos, and intimidation. "
Living in Colorado we would all like to think we are exempt from the threat of terrorism, whether it be home-grown or from abroad. But, reality demonstrates that there no such thing as a safe zone when it comes to terrorism.
It's not something we like to think about. The fact is, we would rather just ignore the threat and the possibility of some sort of attack and hope that it goes away or never happens. But, sticking your head in the sand has never worked for anyone but an ostrich, and even then, the bird is actually at work trying to protect its future family - not cowering and doing nothing.
The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab believes the more the average citizen knows about terrorism, the more successful we can be at preventing it.
If you ever want to visit the CELL, it is located across from the Denver Art Museum at 99 West 12th Avenue. Admission is $8 and the recommended minimum age is 14.