Terrorism topic brings big crowd to Hot Potato

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Former counterterrorism expert says doing nothing against terrorism is “unacceptable.”

By Henry M. Martinez Jr.

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

Dan Sanchez, social sciences and humanities adjunct, drew more than 50 students Tuesday to the Hot Potato lecture.

Before beginning his lecture, Sanchez said he was a counterterrorism expert 30 years ago and the practices he learned would be different than what is happening now, but the essentials are the same.

Sanchez worked from 1979-1983 with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s counterterrorism Southern European Task Force.

Sanchez said they would gather information using things like wire taps and infrared.

More unconventional ways came from simple things like talking to a bartender.

Sanchez did exactly that when seeking information.

He was able to get that information from a bartender where the person he sought was rumored to hang around.

The bartender knew who Sanchez was looking for, enabling him to make the arrest because Sanchez believes terrorists should be treated as criminals.

Business freshman Nathan Malvido thought it was “pretty cool what [Sanchez] does.”

Malvido said “cameras and torture” were related to things he had seen in movies.

“Terrorism is crime, politics, warfare, communication and religion,” Sanchez said, calling these “five useful perspectives.”

Sanchez ended saying “to do nothing is unacceptable.”

The Hot Potato is every Tuesday and, at the end of the lecture, students are treated to a free hot potato.

Malvido called it a “good lecture” and said he would return for another session.

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