Boston April 15, 2013 14:49 pm:
Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev load two bombs into two separate backpacks; they each carry one and calmly walk into downtown Boston.
The brothers, self radicalized, motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, strategically position the backpacks among the thousands who were in attendance to watch the Boston Marathon. At 14:49 the brothers, near-on simultaneously detonate the bombs, 21 seconds apart and 210 yards apart, killing 3 and wounding a further 264. After an intense manhunt and subsequent capture of one brother and the death of the other, authorities learned of a second plot involving the two, where they were planning to drive to New York City’s Time Square and detonate a further batch of explosives.
Australia December 14, 2014 10:00 am:
While patrons of a quiet café’ enjoy their morning coffee, gunmen and self proclaimed Muslim cleric, Man Haron Monis enter and take 17 people hostage and force them up against the windows or onto the ground. He demands to speak with the Prime Minister and local news agencies. Monis has been arrested almost a year earlier on charges (which he pleaded guilty to) of writing letters to Australian service members accusing them of being“ Hitler’s Soldiers”. The siege lasts almost a full day until Australian Special Forces tactically enter the café. The result of the raid, the gunmen and Monis are killed and 2 hostages dead.
France January 7, 2015 2:30 pm:
At the publication offices of Charlie Hebdo staffers meet for a production meeting to discuss the production of their latest issue. Outside, two brothers load assault rifles and calmly walk into the building and up to the room where the meeting is held. The brothers, who are upset and fueled with anger by the newspaper’s satire drawings depicting the profit Muhammad in a bad light, enter the office and open fire killing 11, and wounding a further 11. When leaving the building they encounter a police officer, chase him, and execute him on the street in cold blood.
Tunisia March 19, 2015 :
The cities Iconic and most visited museum is being enjoyed by many tourists. Three Tunisian Jihad extremists enter the museum and open fire. With no apparent motive other than to cause death and destruction, they kill 23 tourists. The tourists are from countries such as France, Poland, Italy and Columbia targeting all ethnicities. 20 people were arrested in relation to the attack, 10 of whom the authorities say were “ directly Involved”. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Tunisian nationals have joined extremist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS in recent years.
Yemen March 20, 2015:
In the city of Sanas, Yemen during the afternoon call to prayer, Shite Muslims gather at their mosque to pray. A suicide bomber walks in and detonates a bomb worn under his clothing. This was the third in a string of bombings targeting local mosques in the country in the space of only a few days which kill 142 and injure 351 people who just wanted to pray. The Islamic state (ISIS) claims responsibility in all three cases. Yemen, while a fledgling democracy has unfortunately been a breeding ground for extremists and with its close proximity to Libya, Iraq, and Syria it’s being used as a springboard for extremists to launch attacks. Currently Yemen is starting to collapse under sectorial fighting and the further incursion of radical groups.
Let me state that in no way do I consider myself an expert on terrorism, nor do I aspire to being one, this is simply an expression of opinions and thoughts on a topic that we as protectors should pay close attention to.
Firstly, all the attacks I referred to took place in Democratic countries with the exception of Yemen. These countries all have a “normal” government structure and a level of expectation for societal inner workings. As democracies they have freedom of speech, religion, human rights and freedom of movement and travel. Secondly, the attacks that I highlighted appear to target no one group of people. Religion played little part except for the attackers own individual ideological beliefs. In the Yemen attacks a more perverse statement was the intention. However, in my opinion it was a soft target with a pre-conceived result(s). Lastly, and what I think is a pervasive thread occurring in them all is that none of the attacks were committed in war torn countries.
Even Yemen, on the brink of civil war once more, yet at the time of the attacks the country it was relatively stable.
I think the most profound take away from all of these attacks is that they can happen ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. Many of us have clients that travel regularly to some of the exact locations of recent terror attacks. What steps have you taken to understand (as best as you can) the situational position that a particular country or region is in, to be able to protect the client effectively? There are 250,000 churches in the U.S. according to ARIS (American religious Identification survey) and with ISIS’s war on Christianity, are our churches vulnerable on any given Sunday, possibly where our clients worship? There are 1,209 mosques in the U.S. the biggest being in Dearborn Michigan, and it is a Shiite mosque, which is the same sect that was attacked in Yemen. There are 31 full time football stadiums in the U.S. that hold up to 80,000 people at a time and 30 fulltime baseball stadiums that hold between 35-50,000 people, if someone wanted to make a statement, would that be a prime target?
Some of us will have clients that perform concerts for tens of thousands of people, offering maximum destruction and death toll for a would-be terrorist. It’s not enough to expect security coverage from event staff or local law enforcement, it’s up to us because they don’t get paid to protect our client solely, this is our job. Our clients all have certain opinions, certain beliefs, they make certain statements publicly and that’s all it takes, people are being killed for their opinions and if you have a client in the public eye, some extremists will try and put you in the public eye for all the wrong reasons.
As recent as March 22, 2015 100 service members from various branches of our armed forces had their names, addresses, and pictures posted to an ISIS hit list that they gained through ISIS hackers. The enemy is equipped, organized and dangerous. The reality is we are not immune to attack but I/we owe it to our clients to be well versed on terrorism, and international conflicts, which could have domestic consequences.
I am not a fear monger but in my opinion, we are charged with anticipating the thoughts and actions of our adversaries, we do this professionally every day, what’s the difference between a local adversary and a terrorist or extremist? Ignore what’s going on overseas, and ignore terrorism and we face losing at home.
By: Mark Roche EPS
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