It irks me when I hear security specialists giving overly simplistic advice like ‘be more aware of your surroundings,’ when it comes to guarding against vehicle attacks on pedestrians. In this article, I share 12 practical methods for mitigating this increasing terrorist threat.
According to Paine, if twenty persons, all strangers to each other, found themselves in a previously uninhabited country, each individual’s will was his natural right. He had the freedom and liberty to do as he pleased, even invading the sovereignty of his neighbors. It would then occur to each sovereign individual that if he united with his neighbor for mutual protection he would increase his personal security. But to do that he would have to sacrifice certain degrees of his natural rights. The compromising of individual rights resulted in rights of “compact” or as our legislative laws were defined as “civil rights”.
One memorable occasion was the visit by President George W. Bush to Manila, the Philippines, in October 2003, when he on his way to Thailand, where he was to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. This visit served as a great example of how much of an asset you can be for the protective elements if you know and apply protective operations principles.
As is common with us all, we love our gear and we can’t get enough. A common discussion in our Facebook group, The Protective Security Group, is travel gear and equipment.
While not meant to be a comprehensive or ‘cookie-cutter’ list, below I share a typical packing of my ‘go-bag’ which I hope you all find useful; at least as a good baseline to add/subtract from for your travel needs.
It often comes as a surprise just how much is available, and the nefarious uses it can be put to. OSINT can be applied towards defensive purposes, but we will be looking only at malicious purposes. One of the biggest challenges of OSINT is not merely recognising it as a threat, but encouraging the behavioural change needed to protect against it widely enough. It is not enough simply for a principal to stop posting Instagram pictures of their travels in order to hide them – their colleagues, friends, family, and employees also need to be aware of the need to take care with information which could be misused.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry. Here’s what’s appeared on the radar since the last issue.
From an operational perspective, CPs need to go back to fundamentals and apply the golden rules of protection planning and risk assessments to medical scenarios. For instance, from a strategy perspective, many HNW bought ventilators only to later discover that they would never be delivered due to shortage. So, it’s important to think how do we improve our planning and strategy from the outset to account for the unexpected? Scenarios and risks should be assessed as always in a well thought out threat matrix.
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An estimated 5.9 million CCTV cameras were in operation throughout the UK in 2016, making the British public one of the most surveilled in the world. Only Beijing has more CCTV cameras than London, where the average person will be recorded on camera 300 times in one day.
Risk and Retaliation at the World Cup and Beyond. On 3/26/2018, the United States joined 20 nations including the UK, Canada, and Italy in what is said to be the largest coordinated expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.
Over 100 Russian diplomats were told to leave their foreign postings in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in the UK. Russia promised to retaliate against this “provocative gesture”.
The first step in countering snipers is for everyone to be aware of the threat. This is where a threat assessment needs to be compiled and the realist threats need to be identified, if potential snipers are a threat then procedures need to be put in place.
In general, operational planning for a sniper threat should always be considered to some extent. Not only should counter sniper procedures be planned for but they need to be practiced, your people need to be trained at least in the basic reactions to fire and the use of cover, preferably before they are exposed to the sniper threat.
As recently as January of this year a man was jailed for a string of threating abuses against Mark Prisk, the MP for Hertford and Stortford. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the story around this attack is that Prisk was so fearful that he failed to attending a hustings. He is not the only MP who has had to change his course of action due to threats. In February last year Diane Abbott, who was suffering cyber-attacks claimed she was fearful of walking the streets of her own constituency.
How many times had I asked myself the question ‘what the bloody hell am I doing here?’ God only knows. I will admit though, these days I don’t need to ask that question as much and in the same context as I used to. Going from operations to administration and then onto training over a 12 year period means that I have somewhat of a luxury ride now. Monday to Friday hours, holidays with the kids and only occasional weekend interruptions when courses are on or we are undertaking professional development with our trainers / clients etc. My venture into the world of close personal protection has been an eventful one; nothing spectacular or heroic, but a learning curve nonetheless
For long-term assignments, it is very important to build up a rapport with your client / VIP and anyone else associated with the operation. Effective and good communications will not only assist you with having an easier and less stressful assignment but also keeps you up-to-date on the client’s day to day activities
When it comes to surviving sudden violence whether as the result of an active shooter or other civilian mass casualty incident, I always tell people it is more important to not get shot than it is to shoot, shooting is extra credit.
We are not immune to attack and we owe it to our clients to be well versed on terrorism, and international conflicts, which could have domestic consequences. Ignore what’s going on overseas, and ignore terrorism and we face losing at home.
Defining a Complex Advance All advances can be considered “complex” if you, and you should, consider all factors like the “profile” of your protecee, any credible, implied or possible threats, number of movements, personnel logistics, etc. As George Orwell said in his 1945 novel, Animal Farm, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more […]
If ISIS is the new Public Enemy Number 1 then Al Qaeda would likely be 1A, but they don’t hold a monopoly on terror. Whether the act is a beheading, lynching or being drunk behind a pickup truck, the results are equally as brutal, senseless and catastrophic to the victim’s families or targeted groups. […]
A non-lethal method of entry device that is being used by some of the world’s elite forces to punch the first entry point into a building is the ‘Wall-Breaker’. Terrorists will not expect a response team’s point of entry to be straight through a solid wall, the floor or ceiling.
The British security services are fuming, and rightly so. The minutes, hours and days immediately following a terrorist incident are crucial for apprehending members of the terrorist network before they flee the country and for thwarting attacks which may be imminent. Leaking and publishing details of an investigation during this narrow window undermines those efforts and jeopardizes public safety.