Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
The war between Russia and Ukraine reminded the whole world how large the circle of consequences and influence is and goes beyond the borders of the countries and regions involved in the war. Two countries are in a state of direct fighting that affects the routine of life in large parts of the world and forces heads of states such as the United States, China, and Europe to intervene by choosing sides and making decisions, including taking unusual actions such as imposing sanctions, transferring weapons and receiving refugees.
War puts many protected leaders at the forefront and in a new situation that can make them a target for assassination by elements who disagree with the decisions they have made and in the case of Russia and Ukraine, the president of the attacked country suddenly becomes a target for assassination by the attacking state. The local and global political change directly affects all the close protection units that secure the heads of state involved in the war. There is no doubt that the conduct of the war affects the agenda of a head of state, president, or prime minister, who is required to be focused on the conduct of the war, the strategy he or she chooses, and the consequences, so it is likely that most of the activities he or she would have done regularly are replaced with a long stay at a permanent facility and/or at a facility that is a hiding place.
War produces new potential assassins, individuals or an organization or state, who will act to assassinate a secure head of state out of a motive that stems from and is related to war. In terms of possible threats against a secure head of state, war expands the circle of potential assassins because it adds officials who work in the professional staff of the secured head of state and stay within his or her immediate vicinity for a long time and are even defined in terms of security as preferred (those who should not be screened).
Can a period of war cause such a functionary to decide to try and assassinate the secure head of state while taking advantage of being preferred? Does this complex question also apply to a close protection specialist working in a close protection unit and belonging to the security team of the secured head of state?
In 2016, a Turkish policeman from the close protection unit of the local police in Ankara set out on a mission to secure the Russian ambassador to Turkey and following Russia’s policy in Syria decided to assassinate the ambassador during the inauguration of an art gallery.
The assassination was recorded on cameras:
There have been times in history when assassination attempts by a functionary working in his or her immediate area were considered common – during World War II it was reported that Adolf Hitler survived dozens of assassination attempts some of which were almost successful, yet the crossing of lines by a close protection specialist in 2016 is defined as a constitutive event in the world of close protection and there is no doubt that close protection units to re-examine their work assumptions related to the internal threat and the threat from home and especially in sensitive periods like wartime.
And now history repeats itself and in the Russian-Ukrainian war, the latter report that since the beginning of the war, President Zelensky has fully survived no less than 12 assassination attempts that were likely carried out in various ways by elements related to Russia. I hope that in the not too distant future details will be revealed about the attempts to assassinate Zelensky and the world media reports on a phenomenon that people who are close to the Russian president, such as ministers and oligarchs, are resigning and daring to speak out against the president’s decisions before the war.
These two cases of Hitler in World War II and of Zelensky in the war with Russia in 2022, reinforce the assumption that during the war the threat to heads of the state increases significantly and requires close protection units to take unique actions and changes to successfully provide a professional and effective response against it.
Based on media reports, the realization of the threat against a secure head of state, such as Ukrainian President Zelensky, is carried out by special units and/or skilled mercenaries sent and hired by the Russian attacking state that aims to capture and even harm the president thus challenging the Ukrainian close protection unit that needs to know how to respond and deal with special forces and skilled fighters.
Today, every close protection unit must be ready for war and must therefore perform the following actions:
1. Add to the working assumptions that in sensitive periods, such as a time of war, a functionary from the immediate vicinity of the secure head of state can become a potential assassin.
2. Be involved with the relevant governmental agencies in all matters of preparation and maintenance of emergency facilities – adapting the facilities to the security of the head of state during his or her stay in the facility in terms of infrastructure, technological means, creating security rings, security posts, etc.
3. Immediate reduction of the staff working and staying in the immediate vicinity of the secure head of state and operating compartmentalization in everything related to the schedules, movements, and location of the head of state.
4. Adjust and change the circle of persons who are screened with an emphasis on canceling the list of preferred persons and checking all the officials who must be in the vicinity of the secure head of state.
5. Make the close protection specialists infantry in every way, in appearance and the ability to carry and use long firearms – a unit like the Israeli close protection unit has an advantage in this matter because the professional training it provides to security guards includes combat capabilities in military characteristics.
6. Have the ability to secure the head of state in wartime activities, which also include constant movement and urgent and immediate location changes, and a professional deception plan.
7. Technological means including encrypted portable communications devices that are appropriate for arduous work and can be operated without any other factors.
8. Know how to cooperate with military units that with their help, an external combative security circle can be formed.
Remember that security must be maintained even in wartime conditions!
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
Every day of remembrance for those who perished in an extreme event, such as those who perished in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, and every contemporary event such as the cyber-attack on Hillel Yaffe Hospital, should remind every organization’s manager how dangerous a routine is and reinvigorate with him their duty to engage in risk management including supervision and control over their level of readiness and that of everyone under them. And yet, anyone with their head in place and their feet on the ground knows that no event can be predicted and that even an organization prepared for extreme events can encounter a “black swan.”
What is an extreme event?
It is an unusual event whose chances of occurrence are estimated to be very low, but once it has occurred, its impact on the organization/system is far-reaching – a small chance of occurrence and a large impact. This is not another event. The consequences of an extreme event are usually in a negative context and are defined as a “disruptive” event – undermining the existing order. The trigger for an extreme event can be external (political, economic, natural forces) and can be internal (employee). In the light of the attacker’s viewpoint, the organization must be prepared for the wrath of the business opponent, the wrath of nature, the wrath of the political opponent, and the wrath of the opponent from within.
What is a “black swan”?
An event that is happening for the first time, on a global level, highlights the uncertainty and our inability as humans, to assess in advance the likelihood of its occurrence and the extent of its impact. The attack on the Twin Towers was defined as a “black swan” even though the FBI’s report had early information on some of the threats that did not become a real threat.
While it is not possible to guarantee a solution to every risk, it is possible to prepare an organization better for changing situations and extreme emergencies.
An extreme event occurs for certain reasons and therefore strict adherence to a permanent risk management process will increase the chance of predicting and reducing the damage.
A professional field that every manager must engage in to examine in depth all the risks relevant to the organization as part of a long-term managerial concept and to enable the organization to meet goals and objectives without interruption. Managers can decide to carry out the risk management by themselves or entrust the task to a professional official inside or outside the organization. Risk management produces a snapshot based on factual data, past events, and an assessment whose outcome determines the likelihood of the risk being realized and the extent of its damage to the organization.
What is defined as a routine event and what is defined as an extreme event / “black swan”?
In 2001, no one seemed to know or could not believe that a terrorist organization would use civilian planes in ramming attacks as with the Twin Towers in the New York United States, so at the time it was a “black swan” – since it can no longer be defined as such, so now it must be discussed as a risk that could occur again.
In 2021, a cyber-attack, as it occurred at Hillel Yaffe Hospital this week, is defined and is already considered a routine event that can take place in any organization that works with and depends on computer systems. Factually and without knowing how the hackers managed to break into the hospital’s computer systems, it is clear that in the defensive rings used there was an identifiable weakness through which the hackers attacked – in providing explanations, it could not be argued that this was an extreme incident or a “black swan”.
In 2021, an injury to a public official as occurred yesterday, Friday 15 October, against a British MP during his participation in an event at the church, is not considered an extreme event and certainly not a “black swan” and is therefore defined as a routine event taken into account as part of the state’s risk management. They will re-analyze the risk to determine whether the extent of the damage to the country requires a change in the close protection policy.
Is the use of drones against ships in 2021 considered an extreme event / “black swan”?
The answer lies in World War II where the Japanese sent pilots who exploded on enemy ships (kamikazes) – in the eyes of the attacker, this is not a surprise and therefore this risk must be discussed in the risk management process.
Why should organizational managers be concerned in protect themselves from risks?
Every organization manager must carry out a professional and orderly risk management process with the help of which he or she will make decisions for implementation – based on cooperation with security organizations, examination of past events in Israel and around the world, and more. As part of the process, the manager will determine the organization’s protective objectives, and goals such as critical infrastructure, assets, information, etc., the violation of which will interrupt the continuity of the organization’s functioning and/or threaten its continued existence.
This is done through the following:
Establishment of control and monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of decisions – drawing lessons and implementing them as part of the organizational culture.
Establishment of a professional mechanism that will regularly examine whether there are recognizable indicators that indicate that an extreme event is approaching.
Appointment of managers who are known for not being able to immediately agree to any decision or action and are brave enough to express an opinion that is contrary to the majority opinion and certainly to the opinion of the organization’s manager.
Activating a factor is defined as an “external eye” for the organization that will perform objective control, including activating a professional “red team” that will examine the organization’s readiness for all relevant risks.
The role of the security manager in the risk management process:
The security manager in the organization is a partner in formulating the security concept, which also includes a risk management process, and is responsible for implementing the security plan. A smart manager will integrate the organization’s UAV into the full risk management process in the organization and use his or her professional knowledge, experience, and ability – which requires the security manager to take care of meeting the professional expectations from him or her in the field of risk management.
Factually, most of the events that can pose a risk to an organization can be predicted and effective actions can be taken to prevent them or minimize the damage that results from them. Risk management requires consistency and perseverance over time in constructing scenarios. The organization must appoint an entity that will challenge patterns and assumptions and work to define circumstances that will cause significant systemic failure.
Remember, managing an organization requires performing a professional risk management process!!!
They are only eight reservists, with a rich background in security, with one goal in mind: to train the IDF’s bases in Israel to defend against attempts to infiltrate them • Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Miky Weinberg, the team commander and one of its founders: “Our goal is to train the soldiers, from the gate guard to the base commander for an extreme event. ”
The operators raided at dawn, quietly approaching the military base quietly, silently, they quickly set up a ladder and within a moment they were inside. Now almost nothing can stop them from harming soldiers, gathering critical intelligence, or stealing sophisticated weapons. Luckily, this time it was the Red Team’s operators, a special unit whose entire purpose is to examine whether it is possible to infiltrate an IDF military base. Next time, the infiltrators may be enemy forces.
A few weeks ago, the Red Team operators carried out a large-scale exercise at an IDF base in the north. Although this is an exercise that is carried out throughout the State of Israel, the context cannot be ignored – in a future conflict, Hezbollah plans to occupy settlements so that taking over a military base can be a great achievement for it. In addition, attempts have been made in the past to infiltrate bases in the past in this region.
The Red Team is unique and special in the IDF. There are only about eight reservists, veterans of special forces, and combat units with a background in security. including those who held senior positions in the Close Protection Unit and the Operations Unit in the Israel Security Agency. The goal is one – to teach and train the various bases in Israel to protect themselves in the best way possible. In recent years, the team has been responsible for the security of the soldiers and a variety of bases in the IDF, which are dispersed throughout the State of Israel.
To infiltrate the bases, the Red Team uses methods of forgery, fraudulent manipulation, physical intrusion, and tactical combat – all in full coordination with the bases’ commanders. This is especially critical these days, against the background of the burglary of a Bedouin car thief into a base in southern Israel at the beginning of the year, along with attempts to steal ammunition from many bases. The IDF understands the problem and therefore sets up the base defense system, to dramatically improve the bases through infrastructure and advanced means, protection of bunkers and weapons, extensive investment in technologies, and hundreds of audits of the bases.
The idea to set up the company was fleshed out about a decade ago by three people including Lt. Col. (Res.) Miky Weinberg, who serves as the company commander. The three veteran security and professionals realized that they could, as reservists, contribute to the IDF in the field of base defense, as they do in civilian life. Weinberg served for about 20 years as a close protection specialist for several prime ministers (Shamir, Rabin, Peres, and Netanyahu) and currently, he owns a private security company. As a result, he has vast experience in this field.
“In the past, we would come, do an exercise, leave lessons learned and move on,” Weinberg explains.
‘’In the past two years, we work under the IDF’s operational department, which allows us to provide a package of products to the base. We know how to take a base, identify the gaps and build a real plan that can be spread over half a year. We examine the entire field of combat, from the attacker’s viewpoint, accompanying the base from the base commander, through the defense officer to the last of the soldiers. At the end also comes the assault exercise, which is the icing on the cake. Our goal is to improve every base we visit.
“Our ability is a boutique ability. We do not audit a base, but come to it and bring it to a much better place. We do not come to audit but to improve, to build a response for each unit. The understanding in the IDF is that an event could happen again, in some way or another, and our goal is to train the soldiers – from the gate guard to the base commander – for an extreme event”.
“It’s not showmanship’’
The head of the security division in the operations division explains that the ability provided by the Red Team is critical and that its goal is to complete the range of operations the IDF has carried out at bases in recent years. “We are conducting a very significant campaign to improve the security of the IDF bases, and the team is providing the units with tools in preparation for the defense of the base,” he says.
“They come to the unit, accompany it for weeks and prepare it for an exercise to raise the level of security. Afterward, they perform the exercise which involves the use of various means – including dummy weapons, smoke grenades, and more – to show soldiers how such a scenario would be carried out. Sometimes we use editorial effects to reflect the nature of the exercise, in the video we provide them. They must understand the threat. It is not a matter of showmanship but of giving them the tools in the most authentic way possible.
“The team reaches all units in the IDF, including classified units. All IDF entities are trained by us, with of course more strategic and meaningful bases receiving visits more frequently. I have been in the security field since 2005, and I do not remember an investment like there has been in recent times in securing bases. We are in a much safer place than we were.
“We are constantly on the pulse, to make sure there is no need to align one line or another. Our job is to be vigilant all the time, with the hand on the pulse, and to see that we do not fall asleep on guard – literally. We understand the threats, deal with them and examine them. “All the time. Our job is to make sure that people are prepared for such an incident”.
“A man of closing circles”
One of the operators in the unit is Sergeant Major Yair Oanunu, who serves as a team mentor in addition to his expertise in the field of the opposing forces’ mindset and as a security consultant. He came to the security world through tragic circumstances. As an ultra-Orthodox youth who grew up in Jerusalem during the years of the second intifada, he experienced firsthand two serious suicide bombings that led him to the understanding that he must prevent such incidents.
At the end of his military service, he began working as a security guard on buses in Jerusalem, during a particularly threatening period in which they were a target for suicide bombers. After that, he worked in the world of security engineering, at Ben Gurion Airport’s covert security array, close protection, and so on.
“The idea of the Red Team is to bring the attacker’s viewpoint and how to defend against it. I educate the base’s personnel on how to act against an attacker. I am a person of closing circles, perhaps because of past traumas, and I want to make the necessary corrections. We discovered that the IDF has points that need to be improved in the field of base defense, and now we have the opportunity to correct them. That is our job”.
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane addressed Orthodox Jews at the Marriott hotel in New York in an attempt to persuade them to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel. After the speech, shortly after 9:00 PM, as the crowd gathered around Kahane, the assassin El Sayyid Nosair, dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, emerged and shot one bullet into Kahane’s neck, killing him. During his escape from the courtroom, El Sayyid Nosair was wounded by a police officer. El Sayyid Nosair survived the injury, survived the charges for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and was eventually charged with possession of a weapon and shooting at civilians and a police officer.
Was El Sayyid Nosair born a murderer?
El Sayyid Nosair was born in Port Said, Egypt, where he became an engineer and worked in this field. In 1981 he emigrated to the United States, and in 1989 became an American citizen, married, and had three children (one of them is Zak Ebrahim). Nosair lived in New Jersey and worked various jobs in New Jersey and New York. Among other things, Nosair was employed by New York City to repair air conditioners in the city’s criminal court. It seems that El Sayyid Nosair managed to fit well into the wheel of life in the United States and together with his family created a good and comfortable routine.
Ebrahim remembers his father as a loving father with an excellent sense of humor, who did not quarrel with his wife and was only interested in raising his children to be good people. In his adulthood, Ebrahim was asked what had changed in his father and when did this happen? This was his response: “When I was 6, something started to happen to my father. He became depressed, stayed at home a lot, and would read the Koran quietly. My father started going to the mosque regularly. One of the preachers in the mosque especially captured my father’s heart: Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (one of the founders and thinkers of the ideology of Sunni international Islamic terrorism in the twentieth century, and a senior member of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.) My father met Abdullah Azzam at the mosque and returned enthusiastically.He and his friends from the mosque went out to the camps to practice survival skills and hand-to-hand combat. They also practiced shooting. He also started taking me to the mosque to listen to the inciting sermons of the “blind sheikh” – Omar Abdul-Rahman, the spiritual father of many terror organizations and close to bin Laden. The religious preaching of the blind sheikh did not exactly focus on honoring parents or the importance of prayer. My father took me with him to hear the blind sheikh many times. I did not understand enough Arabic to grasp more than a few words, but the cruelty that emerged from his person made me shiver. My father got closer to the blind sheikh and became his driver and bodyguard. The breaking point came when my father told my mother that he no longer wanted to support jihad from afar. He aspires to go to Afghanistan and take up arms. My mother was horrified. In the end, my father did not go. In 1989, someone tried to eliminate Azzam with an explosive device. The charge did not explode. In November of that year, Azzam was traveling with his two sons in a jeep on his way to Friday prayers when the killer remotely detonated an explosive device planted on the way. All three were killed. My mother described the news of Azzam’s death as the moment she lost my father once and for all.As a fundamentalist who believed that he was a living instrument for expressing the wrath of Allah, my father was looking for potential targets, and such were not lacking. Soon, my father discovered what his real call was: to murder Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Ebrahim’s description explains in an extraordinary way how a person born into a normative home becomes an extremist and a murderer in adulthood:
El Sayyid Nosair’s decision to leave his nation-state, Egypt, and emigrate to the United States to create a better life for himself, undoubtedly became the first reason he became extremist mainly because of the many differences between Egypt and the United States – Nosair expressed disgust with American culture.
There is a great chance that a person who lives in a place that does not match the education, culture, and religion he received at his parents’ home and in his nation-state, will look for a place that will remind him of this – this place is the mosque that El Sayyid Nosair started going to. In addition, he will look for another person, a leader, who will be able to follow him, who will show him the light, who will give him new hope – extremist religious preachers, like the blind sheikh and Azzam, are these same leaders, leaders who work and know-how to locate in the mosque “weak” people who are looking for themselves, who are looking for the right way for them in order to make them “disciplined” soldiers who will work for them – El Sayyid Nosair is from exactly the right group of people.
Why did El Sayyid Nosair choose to harm an Israeli personality?
The slogan of the preacher in the mosque, Azzam, was in the context of Afghanistan: “Jihad and the rifle alone – no negotiations, no documents, and no dialogues.”
The blind sheikh, on the other hand, came to America to form loyalists to global jihad, who not only demanded Afghanistan but sought to put an end, by all necessary means, to Israeli control of Palestine, funded and supported by the United States – Israel is the enemy of Islam.
The new leaders of El Sayyid Nosair have marked for him and for the rest of the believers the enemies to be fought, including Israel. In order to become an active and efficient soldier who would increase his value in the eyes of the leaders, El Sayyid decided to take action and try and harm Ariel Sharon but soon abandoned his plan probably because he realized he was a secure personality. In search of another goal, El Sayyid found Rabbi Meir Kahane.
How does a political personality become a target for the opponent?
Any person who chooses a political path and, in this context, makes himself an extremist due to his opinions and/or actions, increases the chance that he will accumulate enemies inside and outside the house. There is no doubt that the late Rabbi Meir Kahane fit the definition of an extremist politician in his views and actions over the years until the day of his assassination.
“A Jewish state means Jewish thinking and connections, means Jewish culture and a Jewish spirit in the Jewish public. But above all, it means Jewish sovereignty and Jewish control over its vocation. This can only be implemented within a permanent Jewish majority and its Arab minority. Robbers who robbed them of their land. The Arabs do not feel a binding connection or emotion towards a state
“A Jewish state means Jewish thinking and connections, means Jewish culture and a Jewish spirit in the Jewish public. But above all, it means Jewish sovereignty and Jewish control over its vocation. This can only be implemented within a permanent Jewish majority and its Arab minority. By the Arabs are sure that the Jews are robbers who robbed them of their land. The Arabs do not feel a binding connection or emotion towards a state whose soul is Jewish. And the Arabs are multiplying, in quantity and quality. They will demand a greater share of power; they will demand “autonomy” for different parts of the country. Soon they will threaten the existence of the Jewish majority with the Arab birthrate. The result: a bloody clash. If indeed we want to prevent such a development, there is only one way open before us: immediate transfer of the Arabs from the land of Israel to their lands. Since for Israel’s Arabs and Jews, there is only one solution. Separation. The Jews in their land, and the Arabs in their lands. Separation. Only separation.
There is no doubt that there was a conflict between the views of Rabbi Meir Kahane and the views of El Sayyid Nosair.
What was El Sayyid Nosair ‘s mindset?
As stated, El Sayyid Nosair chose Rabbi Meir Kahane as the appropriate target for the realization of his new mission as a global jihad fighter. In a letter he sent from prison in which he confessed to the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, El Sayyid described: “In 1989 I began following Meir Kahane during his visits to the New York area. I attended two of his lectures in two synagogues, one in Long Island and one in Brooklyn. With Rabbi Kahane alone, in private, at least twice. I also spoke to him in public during the Q&A after the lecture. On November 5, 1990, I attended another of his lectures at a Manhattan hotel. At the end of the lecture, I shot Kahane and fled the hotel.”
Why did El Sayyid Nosair choose to assassinate Rabbi Meir Kahane during an event?
El Sayyid Nosair’s choice proves that the opponent chooses to carry out the assassination itself precisely during a public and political activity of the personality and instead of with an audience to increase the added value of his action by witnesses and photography and publicity in the various media. It is clear that during the surveillance he carried out, El Sayyid Nosair could have located Rabbi Kahane in a quieter and more convenient place to carry out the assassination, a place that would also have allowed him to shoot and disappear from the area. The assassin’s opponent is willing to risk his life or a long prison sentence just to show his religious leaders and other believers his action for jihad.
Would any person who finds himself in a negative and extreme environment choose to go that route?
Ebrahim, the son of El Sayyid Nosair, could have been exactly where his father found himself and yet chose a different path, the opposite and good one. In addition, he and his family chose to completely break away from the father of the family and even changed their name. Ebrahim spends part of his time delivering a lecture describing his past with his father and family.
In the act of assassination, El Sayyid Nosair revealed the way he turned from a normative person into an extremist assassin and his way of thinking and acting that included gathering intelligence and tracking the target, being able to assimilate in the target’s environment, being able to portray a different character and in the end to choose with the final act, shooting at close range in order to succeed in achieving the goal with high percentages – the murder of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Can a personality, like the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, prevent and thwart an assassination attempt on him even though he is not a secure personality?
A personality with opinions and actions that are considered extreme must know that he or she is setting up rivals inside and outside the home. An unsecured personality who travels abroad can and should invest in security for him or herself, this can be security performed by professional personal security guards or unprofessional security but is visible by an assistant or the staff accompanying the personality – an assistant who has been trained to perform unarmed security operations In an environment close to the personality, emphasizing visibility that produces outward deterrence, can cause the opponent to choose not to carry out the assassination act.
Remember, “security needs to be maintained” in every way.
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
In the security profession, unlike many other professions, the pyramid of responsibility is reversed so that its apex touches the ground and the base is at the top. The meaning of such a pyramid is that most of the responsibility for carrying out the task lies with the lowest ranking people in the hierarchy of positions – the security guards, the police officers, and the soldiers. Does the process of recruiting, training, and managing the work routine really succeed in instilling in the various security personnel awareness of the magnitude of the responsibility that is placed on them? Are the security personnel themselves really aware and understand the magnitude of the responsibility placed on them? The answer to these two important questions is NO! A great number of managers don’t act or don’t do enough to succeed in their main task, and along with them, many security personnel fails to realize the responsibility that comes with the profession. A large number of incidents that have occurred in the past prove that the opponent acted precisely at the moment when the security personnel were not alert to what was going on around them and were not focused and dedicated to the task assigned to them. The fact that in the security profession the pyramid is reversed, produces another fundamental difference compared to other professions and it relates to the fact that the task of preserving human lives makes everything between all security personnel equal, whether they work at a governmental or civilian agency and whether they secure a VIP or a shopping mall or area with people. Unfortunately, not a day goes by without a photo or video of security personnel (security guards, police officers, soldiers) who, despite being in an operational and active position, take a “break” to have a conversation with a co-worker or to look at what’s new on their cell phones or just to lower their heads for a light rest.
Any security system that incorporates the field of viewing things from the potential adversary’s perspective is sure to be more successful than others in raising awareness of the importance of the mission among the security personnel who work in it. Security guards who understand who their adversaries are and what their ways of thinking and acting are will better understand that an assault event can occur at any given moment during the shift, without warning and without prior preparation and in addition, know and recognize that in recent years security personnel has been attacked more than civilians by various adversaries, which raises the importance of the concept of the protection of our forces. Although recruiting for security positions is often considered relatively easy, not everyone is suitable to work in this special and difficult profession if only for the main reason of responsibility imposed on the security personnel and that is the task of preserving human lives. Factually, a lot of security people who are already working and performing the various missions in the field, do not really understand that their failure can cause the security object under their responsibility to be harmed, or G-d forbid, killed and they do not really internalize that an injury can be lifelong and no dead person can be brought back to life.
As someone who deals with viewing situations from the adversaries’ viewpoint on a regular basis, and as someone who researches, learns, and teaches about the ways of potential adversaries, I believe that the best way to assimilate the issue to raise awareness of responsibility among security personnel is to learn and investigate events that have occurred and documented.
One photo taken just before the assassination attempt on US President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, illustrates well the fact that security personnel cannot fail to carry out his mission at the highest level as long as they are at their posts and they are required to face any opponent who may suddenly act. Also important is that they are required to act contrary to one’s will and natural senses found in every human being:
President Ronald Reagan ends an event at the Hilton Hotel in Washington and goes out with his entourage and security team to a vehicle that is waiting ahead of time at the designated departure point. The security array allows journalists and citizens to stand near the seam (the open area between the hotel and the president’s car) and at the same time places police and security guards in positions to prevent and thwart any attempt to harm the president. At the time the photo is being documented, the president’s security team and the police officers assisting him did not know that inside the group of journalists standing to the president’s left a few meters away was John Hinckley, a mentally ill citizen influenced by a character from the movie ‘Taxi Driver’, who arrived to try to kill the president with the aid of a gun in his possession. Just before John Hinckley decides to fire at the president, it can be seen that the police officers placed in front of him are looking at the president instead of looking in his direction, the direction from which the assassinating adversary can come. Those same cops failed in their operational behavior at exactly the critical stage in the security of the president, just as they were required to be at the highest level of readiness, concentration, focus, and alertness. The picture exceptionally shows the phenomenon where security personnel fails to overcome the body’s natural desire, in the above case, curiosity and a strong desire to see the president up close instead of standing and looking at the area where threats can come from. There are many things that can distract security personnel from their mission – a personality or a famous person, looking at a special and beautiful car, fiddling with the cell phone, looking at the game instead of the crowd, and more, anything interesting that makes the mind give a command to look. In my opinion, it can be stated that in with their non-operational behavior, the police allowed John Hinckley to pull out his pistol and manage to fire 6 bullets at the president and hit and wound him with one of them. There is no doubt that if the police had resisted the severe temptation and constantly looked in the direction of the group of journalists while the president was walking to the car, they would have been able to identify John Hinckley’s action earlier that would have prevented him from firing at the president.
Documentation of the assassination attempt:
Anyone who chooses to work as a security person, security guard, police officer, and soldier, must know and understand that they have chosen one of the most difficult professions to implement, a profession that combines great responsibility for human life and physical and mental difficulty while being at one’s post and performing any task anytime, anywhere. Every security manager should know that even though the exercise of responsibility at the edge is on the employee performing the task, they must constantly work to raise awareness of the employee’s responsibility to try and overcome all the natural but destructive behavioral phenomena when it comes to dealing with the adversary.
Remember, security must be maintained with full awareness of the responsibility for human life!
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
Minister David Zvi Pinkas was the first public elected official who had an assassination attempt on his life since the establishment of the State of Israel. David Zvi Pinkas was an Israeli politician, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, and the third Minister of Transportation on behalf of the Mizrahi Party of the State of Israel from October 8, 1951, until his death from a heart attack on August 14, 1952. On Saturday night, June 20, 1952, a bomb was placed on the porch of David Zvi Pinkas, who lived at 6 Ramchal Street in Tel Aviv. The bomb did not explode, so the next day the assassins placed another bomb, this time near the door of his house.
The reason for the assassination – controversy over the issue of religious coercion:
Already during the Yishuv period, the tension between religion and secularism that characterized the Jewish pioneering efforts was the subject of heated debates that had the potential to be explosive, literally. The first prime minister of the State of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, was completely secular, but in the same breath, he was the same Ben-Gurion who wrote the “status quo letter” in 1947, which he sent as chairman of the Jewish Agency to Agudat Israel with lines for the status quo in religious matters for the forming country. Already with the formation of the first government, Ben-Gurion decided that his Mapai party would form a coalition with the United Religious Front and not with the left-wing Mapam Party or the Revisionist Herut party. The attitude towards religion and state issues that had been formed since the dawn of the state was that they had to be resolved through “politics of arrangements”, thus avoiding a sharp and resounding unilateral majority decision and arrangement by way of dialogue and agreement.
The first governments known to the state did not last long, and in some cases fell for reasons directly or indirectly related to religion. For example, the second government ended in February 1951, about four months after its establishment, following Ben-Gurion’s resignation due to disagreements with the religious parties over the provision of religious education for the children of the immigrants.
As mentioned, David Zvi Pinkas served as Minister of Transportation in the third government headed by Ben-Gurion, a government that was required to deal with days of austerity, rationing, and scarcity. As part of the directive to reduce fuel use, Pinkas ordered that vehicles would be stopped for two days a week, with one of those days being Saturday. The installation provoked a public scandal and was perceived as religious coercion under the guise of economic constraint.
The assassins were Haaretz writer and journalist Amos Keinan and Shaltiel Ben Yair, who was a sabotage expert in his military service, both of them belonged to the pre-state militia Lehi. Both of them thought something needed to be done and to personally protest the minister’s actions.
The course of action chosen for the assassination was an explosive device:
Placing a bomb in official institutions as a means of shocking decision-makers and the public in the face of a controversial issue was not an unusual act in those days. Those who were in the underground militias who felt that the new state was breaking a promise, sometimes decided that they were acting by the old means they knew. The arsenal of explosives they and their comrades have been caching since the War of Independence has been retrieved. The members of the underground did not break free so quickly from the atmosphere of terror in which they lived for years. They refused to digest that they were no longer fighting the British, but their own people from their nation. Placing a bomb on the Czechoslovakian embassy and at the sensational weekly journal “HaOlam HaZeh”; an explosion at the Soviet embassy as well as explosives seized from yeshiva students who intended to use it to harm the Ministry of Education, in protest of the crystallization of a state education law perceived as threatening religious education – all of these are just examples of publicized reports of underground members, convictions for serious offenses. But concealing a bomb in a person’s private home was a far-reaching step.
The bomb was received by Amos Keinan from Yaakov Heruti, whom he knew from high school. After the assassination attempt, he published the following details: “Keinan came to me and asked for explosives. For what purpose? I asked. For a display of protest. I did not doubt that Amos was telling the truth. This was also impossible for us. We made an appointment and I brought him the explosive sticks. Amos had two left hands, but Shaltiel Ben Yair was a professional, and the rest is known. The bomb was detonated in Pinkas’s house. From that day on, I did not speak to Amos in good or bad times for 30 years. I rejected any attempt to associate with him”.
As stated, Minister David Zvi Pinkas lived in an apartment in a building at 6 Ramchal Street in Tel Aviv:
On Saturday night, June 20, 1952, the assassins placed a bomb on Pinkas’s porch. The bomb did not explode and was discovered by Pinkas’s son who called the police. Police set up ambushes near Pinkas’s home and the next day another bomb was placed, this time near his door. It exploded, causing environmental damage, but no one was hurt. The sequence of events in the same was published by the police:
At 01:30, a police guard sensed two people entering the stairwell of a house at 6 Ramchal Street in Tel Aviv. After 20 seconds the two persons went out and tried to move away from the place. After arousing the suspicion of the police officers, the officers ordered them to stand still, the two did not obey and continued to walk away. The officers pulled out their weapons and told the two persons to stand still and if they won’t, they will open fire. The two were arrested and handed over to the police station at 8 Yehuda Halevi Street. At that moment, an explosion was heard in the stairwell of the house that the two had left. The two policemen immediately went up to the stairwell and found the door of Pinkas’s apartment in the same building that it was broken into. The apartment is on the second floor on the left. The police sapper who arrived at the scene immediately discovered that the bomb that destroyed the door of the apartment was homemade.
The handling of the assassins:
During their detention, Keinan and Shaltiel maintained their right to remain silent, went on hunger strike in protest of their detention conditions, and did not admit to being involved in the incident. “I did not carry, I did not throw, I did not throw and I did not drop the bomb on the home of the Minister of Transportation Pinkas,” Keinan said in court. Only after the death of Pinkas did Keinan and Ben-Yair stand trial. They claimed to have arrived in the area innocently, after receiving an anonymous phone call. A civil judge who had no criminal experience was exceptionally appointed to their trial. The judge ruled that there was no doubt that the defendants were telling the truth, and acquitted them. An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court justices sharply criticized the judge, wondering why Keinan met in the middle of the night with a former commissioned officer who specializes in explosives. Despite this, they too strangely acquitted the defendants. Keinan later revealed to his associates that he indeed did carry out the assassination.
David Zvi Pinkas:
About two months after the assassination, Pinkas died of a sudden heart attack, he was only 57 years old. At the time of his death, a Tanach, the Pesachim Tractate, and work documents were found next to him. His family members linked his death to the attempt on his life and the contemptuous manner in which that was handled.
After Pinkas’s death, the third government did not last long: at the end of September 1952, Agudat Israel and Poalei Agudat Israel left the government due to the opposition of their members to the recruiting of women to the IDF. Three months later Ben Gurion also quit, again because of disagreements regarding religious education, and the government ended.
Video from the State Archives – Reporting on Pinkas’s Death (in the first part of the video):
In 1952, the prime minister and ministers in Israel were not secured. The security unit set up in 1958 has not yet been set up and therefore elected officials were exposed to one hundred percent harm except in cases where the police decided to act to secure them. Factually, in the assassination attempt on Pinkas’s life, the police placed an ambush around his home after the first explosive charge was placed on the porch and did not explode. I could not find an answer to the question of why the policemen who were in the ambush did not identify the assassins upon entering the building and did not prevent the placement of the second explosive device next to the door of the house. In recent years, ministers in Israel who are not secured by the Israel Security Agency, have been secured based on activity analysis and a situation assessment to determine the required level of security, except for placing security guards in homes that are defined as permanent facilities. There is no doubt that a security guard stationed at the minister’s house should locate any person who is not known and probably any suspicious object/charge placed in the threat area.
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
On December 20, 1973, a team from the Basque separatist group ETA succeeded in assassinating the Spanish prime minister Luis Carrero Blanco. The course of action chosen by the separatists was a powerful explosive device planted under the road, this was defined then and in my opinion, will be defined as such today as groundbreaking and daring in the capabilities of an organized adversary.
Luis Carrero Blanco was considered a loyalist of the then President of Spain, Francisco Franco, who over the years appointed him to senior positions and even awarded him the rank of Admiral in 1966. In the years 1967-1973 Luis Carrero served as Vice President and was marked as the natural successor of Francisco Franco as President of Spain. In 1973 the post of Vice President was abolished and consequently, Luis Carrero was appointed President Franco’s prime minister. Luis Carrero was known for his extreme right-wing and monarchist views and so the Basques saw him as an heir who would continue Franco’s actions against the Basques and their independence.
Just before Luis Carrero took the presidency, the Basque separatists decided that the best way to prevent this was to assassinate the prime minister and the intended president. A group of Basque nationalists belonging to the ETA took on the task and as a first step decided to call the operation Operación Ogro (English: Operation Ogre). During the intelligence-gathering phase, they discovered that the prime minister frequently attends prayers at the five-story church of San Francisco de Borja and realized that this was a typical activity from which the assassination could be planned around. Aerial photograph showing the location of the church:
After deciding to assassinate the Prime Minister during his visit to the church, the assassins came up with possible courses of action to succeed in the important and critical task for them. The assassins thought about the close-range firing, medium-range firing, long-range sniping, explosive devices at the stopping point, and more, and finally concluded that due to the prime minister’s security level, the chances of success in these ways will below. To succeed in the mission, the assassins were required to think outside the box and so they did – the chosen course of action was to bury a powerful explosive device under the road on the necessary axis on which the prime minister travels when arriving and leaving the church.
The plan of action as carried out by the assassins:
The assassins located a rented basement apartment in a building located in the block of the church and in line with its facade. The assassins rented the apartment after telling the landlord that they were sculpture students and they indeed brought sculptures to the apartment to actualize the cover story. Over the course of five months, the assassins dug a tunnel under the necessary axis from the basement apartment to the front of the church while they managed to perfectly hide their actions from the landlord, neighbors, and their surroundings. After the excavation of the tunnel was completed, the assassins began to bring into the apartment and from there into the tunnel a powerful explosive device weighing 80 kilos that were stolen from a police checkpoint.
A video describing the actions of the assassination squad:
Day of the assassination on December 20, 1973:
The assassins armed the explosive device and verified that it was ready to activate. Three members of the group disguised themselves as electricians performing work on the street of the church so that none of the citizens and security guards of the prime minister suspected them. The three “electricians” were positioned so that they could clearly see the prime minister’s vehicle coming on the necessary axis to the church. At 09:36, the assassination squad’s observer identified the prime minister’s Dodge 3700 GT vehicle traveling towards the church and approaching a point on the road where it was above the location of the explosive device. With precise timing, the observer signals to his teammate to activate the powerful charge and he obeys the order immediately and a second later a loud explosion is heard in the street and the neighborhood. As a result of the explosion, Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco’s vehicle flew through the air to a height of 20 meters, over the five floors of the church, and plunged into the churchyard.
Presentation of the moment of the explosion from a film released in 1979:
Surprisingly, Luis Carrero Blanco survived the blast, was rushed to a hospital for medical treatment, and died at 10:15 p.m. His bodyguard and driver died shortly after. The “electrician” assassins shouted at passers-by that there was a gas explosion and immediately fled the scene. The ETA took responsibility on January 22, 1974.
An authentic video documenting the arrival of the rescue forces at the scene of the incident:
Event scene photos:
How can one deal with such an action of the opponent?
Every close protection array should try and reduce as many as possible activities that repeat themselves frequently and subsequently every frequent facility and activity that the principal visits or does should be identified.
At each arrival or departure from a permanent facility or a repeated activity, it is necessary to establish a professional and effective intelligence circle that can detect changes in the threat environment such as the rental of an apartment to new students. Following the identification of a change by the intelligence, a physical examination of the new tenants will be carried out.
Upon arrival or departure from a permanent facility or printer activity, the security system must perform professional actions to detect anomalies in the threat sector and check anyone who is defined as new and unfamiliar in the sector such as electricians working on the street and also the array should break routines and deceive when it comes to the principal’s arrival and departure routes.
Remember that “security must be maintained” while ensuring that all required actions are performed.
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
In the 1970s, the State of Israel experienced dozens of terrorist attacks by Palestinian organizations against innocent civilians. Some are considered damaging and daring attacks:
May 22, 1970 – 3 bazooka missiles are fired at the Avivim children’s bus.
May 8, 1972 – A hijacking of a Sabena Airlines plane from Brussels to Tel Aviv.
May 30, 1972 – The massacre at Ben Gurion Airport is carried out by three terrorists from the extremist communist organization the Japanese Red Army.
April 11, 1974 – A terrorist attack in Kiryat Shmona is carried out by 3 terrorists.
May 15, 1974 – The Maalot massacre was carried out by 3 terrorists.
March 6, 1975 – The attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv.
March 11, 1978 – The Coastal Road attack is carried out by terrorists who came from the sea in rubber boats.
April 22, 1979 – A terrorist attack in Nahariya by a terrorist cell under the command of Samir Kuntar.
One of the last attacks of this decade took place outside the borders of Israel when on November 13, 1979, a Palestinian terrorist cell attempted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Lisbon, the late Mr. Ephraim Eldar, who began his role as Israel’s first ambassador to Portugal two years earlier.
Since then, the Israeli embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, has been located on the fourth floor of the same high-rise building where the assassination attempt on the late Ephraim Eldar took place.
Picture of the building where the Israeli embassy is located:
On the day of the assassination attempt (November 13, 1979), the security at the embassy included the Israeli security director and a local policeman. The ambassador’s security was carried out by the locals, this included an operational driver and close protection specialist. At around 09:30 the ambassador’s car arrived in front of the building and stopped parallel to the main entrance. The persons in the vehicle sat in accordance with the principles of close protection when in vehicles when the driver is in his seat, the close protection specialist next to him in the front seat, and the ambassador in the back seat behind the close protection specialist. The embassy’s security director was on the fourth floor and the local policeman was stationed near the stop. Immediately after the vehicle was stopped, the close protection specialist got out of the vehicle while holding the ambassador’s briefcase. The driver made sure to stay in place in the vehicle while staying in the drive gear and his foot on the brakes. Everything was ready for the ambassador to leave the vehicle. As soon as the ambassador opens the door and starts exiting the vehicle, a terrorist emerges towards the vehicle, starts firing multiple times with an automatic rifle, and then decides to go around the vehicle in order to apparently be able to attack the driver and the local policeman. As a result of the shooting, the local close protection specialist was killed and Ambassador Ephraim Eldar was wounded in the leg. Making the right decision, the ambassador manages to get back into the vehicle. At the same time, a second terrorist emerges and throws a grenade at the local policeman who was standing at the seam, apparently between the front door and the location of the ambassador’s vehicle. The policeman was injured in the grenade explosion and extricated himself into the building. The driver of the local car acts with an amazing instinct, which suits everything the embassy’s security director briefed him, presses the accelerator, and starts driving fast forward while running over the first terrorist who did not manage to get around the vehicle from the front. The two terrorists flee the scene and disappear and the driver evacuates the ambassador to the nearest police station. From there was transferred to the nearest hospital for further medical treatment.
According to eyewitnesses, the two terrorists waited for the ambassador’s vehicle to arrive near the embassy building in a white sedan, and when it arrived, they got out of it and moved in its direction. The terrorists who carried out the operation have not been apprehended to date.
Picture of the location of the embassy building and the nearby junction:
Pictures showing the location of the stopping point:
Coverage of the event in the local media:
Insights and lessons learned from the event:
In close protection, the stage of leaving or arriving at the seam at a permanent facility is defined as highly sensitive because the adversary has the ability to know the location of the embassy facility and find out if there is a pause when the ambassador arrives in the morning and plan his actions accordingly.
I assume the terrorists carried out operations to gather information on the level of security at the embassy and especially on the level of security of the ambassador at the time of his arrival in the morning. There is no doubt that the terrorists saw and recognized the fact that when the ambassador arrived at the embassy there was one policeman waiting at the stop and together with the ambassador there was a close protection specialist – the terrorists’ decision to deliberately assassinate at the entrance to the embassy, despite the presence of the security forces, is not coincidental. It seems that the security forces failed to create sufficient deterrence and the terrorists aspired to display a high level of ability, daring, determination, and added value and prestige. Those terrorists were able to locate a pattern of action by the ambassador in which he was secured solely by the attached close protection specialist and yet they chose to carry out the assassination in front of the Israeli embassy.
The local policeman and close protection specialist will forgive me for saying that the two terrorists would probably not have acted against them if they did not think they could defeat them and kill the ambassador.
The one who disrupted the plan for the terrorists was actually the driver who acted calmly and professionally, even though he was also injured during the first shooting. The local ambassador’s driver has proven in his actions that the role of the driver is a very important profession in a close protection array to the point of rescuing the principal from injury or death – a driver must remain in the vehicle until the principal arrives at his office in the building while keeping the vehicle in gear, just as the local driver did. The embassy staff did well in teaching the local driver what to do when arriving and stopping at the seam and how to act in an emergency.
A talented and skilled close protection array should know how to perform preliminary actions for the arrival of the principal, with an emphasis on actions to detect anomalies in the threatened sector and especially in the critical 15 minutes before the arrival.
There is no doubt that with the right scanning operations in order to detect anomalies in the area near the embassy building, the two terrorists could be identified sitting and waiting in the white sedan vehicle. In order to be able to see when the ambassador arrives at the embassy, the two terrorists stay at least 15 minutes or more near the embassy building while maintaining eye contact on the stopping point, so if the terrorists can see the stopping point, the close protection specialist can also see them.
One of the actions the close protection specialist must do after getting out of the vehicle and just before allowing the ambassador to leave is a quick visual scan from the location and out to try and locate anomalous persons, according to the description of the assassination sequence, the first terrorist must have been moving towards the vehicle before the ambassador opened it, so the terrorist could therefore be seen by the close protection specialist next to him and react.
In addition, it is important to note that the close protection specialist must leave both hands free and must not hold anything with them that could interfere and even prevent him from acting when necessary.
In the context of the location of the ambassador at the time of the ambassador’s arrival – in general, the Israeli security directors and close protection specialists are at a higher professional level than the local security force and are therefore expected to be involved in the ambassador’s security operations, especially in sensitive stages.
It should be noted that in June 1982, Abu Nidal’s men attempted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Britain, the late Shlomo Argov, who was seriously wounded and remained disabled for the rest of his life. As a result, Israel entered ֹOperation Peace for Galilee (later known as the First Lebanon War).
In 2019, the Israeli Ambassador in Lisbon, Mr. Rafi Gamzu, revealed that since the incident in which the local ambassador’s close protection specialist was killed, no memorial service has been held by the embassy and the local police, so as a result, he initiated a memorial service that was conducted at the national headquarters of the Portuguese police, with the participation of the police’s leadership, ministers, the Israeli embassy’s personnel and the close protection specialist’s family.
A picture from the exciting ceremony:
Remember, security must be done according to defined principles by a professional force!
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
The best unit in the world with the most wanted protectors in the world, this is how the latest news report on the ISA’s close protection unit opened. The ISA and the unit’s management did not cooperate with the idea behind it, and veterans of that unit wrote on social media how much they did not like the main statement of the news report, that this is the best unit in the world, and how that statement is dangerous. Probably, many of the civilians who watched the news report may not understand why the unit and its veterans are not happy with the definition that is perceived as flattering since naturally and logically, who does not want to be the best in the world?
As a veteran of that unit, I will try to explain the reason for the unit’s and its veterans’ dissatisfaction with a definition that should be flattering and prestigious.
The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
The failure to prevent the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995, became from that day an open wound for the unit and its people for generations with no future expiration date. In 2018, photographer Ziv Koren accompanied the unit for a year during its routine work and training. As usual, even after reading Ziv Koren’s article, I took the time to read dozens of comments from citizens who saw fit to write their personal opinion on the unit. One of the comments made me stop mainly because it reminded me that there are failures that go on with you for life and because even though 25 years have passed since the incident, there are civilians, like the civilian who wrote the response who manages to explain in a few words what is kept in the unit and its people in memory that leaves the wound open and does not allow it to heal.
The language of the response: “What a load of bellowing and posturing, during the moment of truth!!! They failed in protecting!!!
A response from an ordinary citizen that explains well why a unit in general and a close protection specialist, in particular, cannot be defined or perceive themselves as the best in the world. Unlike sports, for example, whereas an athlete or sports team, one faces their adversary when he or she is seen and/or his or her moves are seen all the time, close protection specialists will act and maneuver knowing that most of the time they will not be able to see the adversary in front of their eyes at all. When athletes win and can look their adversaries in the eye, see how they react, know if they are scared, feel if they are deterred and if they are hurt, the close protection specialist on the other hand works in a kind of ignorance and deals most of the time with a “virtual” adversary. Close protection specialists do not have the privilege of knowing whether the actions they performed in all their rounds of dealing with adversaries are effective and really affect them, and usually, the first physical encounter between them will occur only when the adversary decides to perform the attacking action. This is the moment of truth that the citizen wrote about, one quick moment that puts the unit and its close protection specialists to the most difficult personal and professional test that will ultimately determine whether their mission ended in success or failure.
A unit and the personal close protection specialists who have experienced the price and pain of failure will do anything to never fail again and will never think they are the best in the world and will not seek to award themselves honors and awards for their work.
When you think you’re the best in the world, you will fail!!!
Since I served in the unit about four years before the prime minister’s assassination, I can confidently say that my friends and I thought we worked in the best close protection unit in the world and we were the best personal close protection specialists in the world, we thought we would defeat any adversary who tried to deal with us. We were sure there could not be a situation where we failed. This is the message that came down from above and managed to become a belief that this is true. We thought there was room for comparison between us and other units in the world. I think until the moment of failure, a lot of people would have thought that a unit set up in 1958 and that for 37 years no personality under its protection was scratched, could get the title of the best unit in the world but after that, they realized it was a deceptive illusion. We, the personal close protection specialists, also in the ISA’s Close Protection Unit, after failing the biggest failure we could have dreamed of, we realized that the profession we chose could not be the best in the world and that the only honors in this field are shown only in the moment of truth. In retrospect, for the first time, we learned a hard and cruel lesson through which we understood the side effects of thinking that one is the best in the world and that this leads to only one result, failure!!! From November 4, 1995, every unit commander, every manager, and every close protection specialist present and past, lives and breathes the aforementioned lesson and in life will not think or say that he or she is the best personal close protection specialist in the world and this does not stand in contradiction to the fact that there should be a unit esprit de corps.
Esprit de corps
An operational unit will not survive without esprit de corps among those who serve in it and therefore every commander has to incorporate content related to this subject. In the close protection unit, many command and administrative changes have been made to move from a sense of “I am the best in the world” that destroys a strong, healthy, and constructive sense of esprit de corps. Every close protection specialist admitted to the unit learns about the failure already in his or first training session and will start working only after realizing one hundred percent what is the difference between being the best in the world and a professional and skilled close protection specialist, and throughout his or her service will continue to absorb this during routine work and training. This is true for every employee in the unit. The esprit de corps is based on the quality of the personnel, the structure of the unit, the attitude of the agency’s leadership to the unit, the cooperation with other units in the agency, the employee employment track, the level of investment in training and coaching, the level of investment in personal and general equipment, the level of attention to each employee and more. Employees of the ISA’s Close Protection Unit will proudly say that thanks to everything that is invested in them, they feel professional and skilled.
Professional and skilled close protection specialists
For 25 years, the goal of all of the unit’s commanders has been to invest everything possible to prepare the close protection specialists for the day when they will have to deal with an adversary who manages to reach the principal and carry out an attack. This is a difficult and challenging goal that to achieve it is necessary to work 24/7, 365 days a year, with focused thinking about the potential adversaries and their professional abilities. Since the failure, a 180-degree change has been made in the unit structure following which all prevention professions have been separated to allow dedicated units to allow the close protection specialist in the last defensive ring to focus and concentrate almost exclusively on thwarting through physical combat against adversaries should all the other preceding defensive rings fail. In recent years, it is permissible to define the close protection specialists in the unit as ones who are professional and skilled at a high level and this is based on everything that is invested in the level of training, routine accompaniment, the level of protection around them and the level of personal technological means that they are equipped with. Will that be enough to determine that the close protection specialist will always defeat the adversary? Is that enough to know for sure that the unit cannot experience failure again? of course not.
The ISA’s Close Protection Unit, Unit 730, does not want and should not be the best unit in the world. Years will pass since the failure of November 4, 1995.
As an operational unit, all that interests the unit’s commanders and the people who serve in it is to succeed in distancing the adversaries from the principals under their responsibility and not fail on the day they will have to face the adversaries, no matter how many years have passed since the failure of November 4, 1995.
Remember, security must be maintained in peace and security!
Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
An event in which demonstrators break into a parliamentary building will always be defined as extreme and crossing a red line on the part of the citizens and despite this is not new and has occurred several times in the past in different democratic and less democratic countries. An event of this kind that takes place in the United States and especially in the Capitol building in the nation’s capital makes all the other events that have taken place before it in other countries look negligible and less interesting.
In my personal opinion, anyone with a managerial and/or security role in Israel/worldwide who is also responsible for responding to the forced entry of demonstrators into the facility must turn the documentation of the forced entry into the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, into a professional lesson that will allow him or her to become better at their jobs and to function better.
The level and quality of event documentation as carried out in real-time by citizens and professional photographers in recent years allow all relevant professionals to learn about the characteristics of the event and sit down and investigate what happened and come out with an important list of topics to examine and lessons learned for [future] application.
My opinion is that regarding this event important lessons can be identified with certainty at a relatively early stage, this opinion is mainly based on the photographed documentation and less on orderly testimonies and investigations that are likely to come later on.
The videos and photos that are already published in all the various media and networks turn the event in question into an online tutorial on securing government facilities in situations where masses decide to break into it and provide another opportunity to examine some of the working guidelines associated with dealing with these kinds of situations.
Two days after the event, the list of topics to learn from including the importance of intelligence when anticipating such extreme events and preparing for them, mass behavior is driven by a negative common denominator, the level of relevance of the existing security system in the facility as an initial response to the event, the level of effectiveness of protection against forced entries, the level of readiness of the security array in the facility for the evacuation of those staying there in the case of such extreme events, the correctness of the guidelines for the use of weapons against a mob that broke into the facility, and so on.
If the break-in at the Capitol during the important debate that was taking place in it (to confirm Biden’s election as President of the United States) managed to surprise the leadership on both political sides, as well as the commander of the security forces and the security managers at the facility then this surprise is completely contradictory to how the event developed primarily before the movement and later rushing of the mob towards the facility:
The incumbent president left not the slightest doubt about his dissatisfaction with the election results.
During his four years in office, the incumbent president has managed to present to his people and the world his personality traits that, to say the least, can be defined as blatantly unconventional for better or worse.
During the first election in which he won and became President of the United States and especially during the last election in which he lost, Donald Trump showed extreme leadership and extreme influence on the electorate with a campaign that included statements and slogans that created blind faith follow-up and a common denominator for millions of citizens. Shared can become a group that can work together.
Even before the break-in of the Capitol building, the incumbent president managed to get his voters out of their comfort zone to show support for his personal and political views including until a state of confrontation with the security forces was reached.
Concurrent with the plenary debate on Biden’s election as president, the incumbent president decided to hold a mass rally a short distance from the Capitol building during which he was not afraid to inflame the crowd with extremist statements and slogans against the election campaign and in his view that it was a clear election theft.
As stated, all of the above information was known and known and therefore I think that the conduct of the incumbent president and the masses who support him did not come as a surprise to all the relevant officials nor did it cause them to be unprepared for forced entries into the Capitol, also the unconventional President Donald Trump will probably not go to great lengths and certainly will not take action to undermine democracy and prevent Republicans (as opposed to extremist groups on the Democrat side) will not become violent, is the real reason for the slow response.
The event as it occurred on January 1, 2021, once again proved that assessments are separate from reality and that there should always be an alternative plan that can be implemented quickly and efficiently.
If I were currently in a position responsible for securing a government facility and/or a position that is supposed to preserve democracy in the country (in Israel, for example, the security director of the Knesset/Prime Minister’s Office/Close Protection Unit/etc.) I would take some time to watch the filmed documentation from the event in question and learn from the following topics that stood out in it to examine my working guidelines and the perception of the operation according to which the forces in the security array work:
At the national level:
A thorough examination of whether a situation can arise in a democratic state where a prime minister or president can in his or her behavior and actions undermine democracy and its values, what is the point at which those who are defined as “guardians of democracy” must intervene and who is responsible for activating special forces in the country and when. It is clear that the “guardians of democracy” must be apolitical in order to be able to truly produce a valuable mechanism and a high chance of success against the “theft” of democracy and takeover of the state.
If the state determines that the prime minister or incumbent president has the decision when to use the special forces then it will not be a surprise in the situation created in the event in question that the incumbent president, with unconventional personality traits, is dissatisfied with the election results, activates the masses in his favor and perhaps delays the activation of special units so that these units would not interfere with the crowd performing the entire mission it was sent to do.
A video from the rally in which the incumbent president appears to be speaking to the crowd and perhaps inspires them to act:
Intelligence as a strong foundation in the decision-making process:
Examining the process of gathering intelligence, processing it, and turning it into information influences situational assessments that end in decisions that are being made to be carried out. It seems that regarding the event in question there was intelligence about the rally held by the incumbent president and what is happening there and it was likely that the rally would turn into a violent demonstration that could also reach the Capitol building and yet it can be estimated that the facility’s security would not be reinforced in advance with special forces trained to deal with forced entry from a wild mob. Although the law states that in Washington D.C. the incumbent president decides when to activate the National Guard, there are still other ways and forces that will make the security array more ready.
The preparedness and capability of the security system routinely deployed in dealing with forced entry from a mob:
Examining the working assumption relating to the behavior of a crowd with a negative common denominator to understand whether the crowd behavior as documented in the event is appropriate to the characteristics of citizens in Israel or any other country in the world and if the forces that comprise the security array are appropriate and can handle the mob and prevent it from breaking into the building.
The documentation from the incident in question indicates that the security system that is routinely at the Capitol does not have the training and ability to deal with angry mobs trying to force their way in. It can be seen that police officers/security guards stand in front of the crowd without the ability and the appropriate tools to stop the mob and with the understanding that if they do not allow them to move forward then their lives would be in danger. In my opinion, the police/security guards seen in the videos acted responsibly, logically, and correctly when they decided not to try and confront the mob, allowing it to enter the facility and refrained from using force or weapons and performing actions that would aggravate the situation more than it is:
The effectiveness of the fencing means used by the facility and its security system against crowds:
In some of the videos and photos, one can clearly see that a standard mobile iron fence does not manage to delay or prevent the mob from moving forward and worse even at some point becomes an obstacle that poses a danger to the civilians and the police/security guards.
The filmed documentation leaves no doubt as to the effectiveness of the mobile fences in an event of this type:
Level of protection of the facility:
Examination of the durability and efficiency level of protection of the windows and doors in the facility against a mob attempting forced entry into the building.
Forced entry by the crowd using batons, plastic shields, and hammers on the windows and doors is the real test for the protection and much better than the resistance testing done in a laboratory or experimental conditions:
The readiness of the facility’s structure against forced entry by mobs:
The event in question gives us a rare glimpse into what a civilian participating in a violent demonstration is willing to do and how far he or she is willing to do to enter the facility. Some of the protesters climbing on the high wall proves that at the planning stage one cannot be satisfied with the fact that the wall is high and the wall needs to be made so that persons without ladders cannot scale it, otherwise you may think that when you funneled the crowd for it to enter only through the openings is effective when in practice you created with your own hands a way to bypass an axis of entry. In one of the videos one can see that part of the wall includes prominent concrete strips that were used by the demonstrators to grab and place their feet:
If you believe that a scenario of an angry mob trying to force its way into the facility for which you are responsible is relevant, you need to define the possible lines where the mob can advance, mark the openings in them and determine what level of response you are interested in doing to prevent a forced entry. The incident in question where the crowd is seen breaking or trying to break several doors in the wall line and inside the building makes us examine our definitions on the subject and the level and effectiveness of the existing doors in the facility in resisting forced entries. Factually, the doors in the wall line of the Capitol building and at the entrance to the plenary hall, for example, did not withstand the attacks on it and the power of the mob. When you see security guards in the plenum use furniture to prevent the doors from breaking in, then it is clear that they are not designed as a response to forced entries:
Evacuation of those staying at the facility:
Every security and safety plan in the facility must include a section relating to the evacuation of those staying there during exceptional situations and emergencies, including what needs to happen for the decision to evacuate to be made, when, how, and where to evacuate to with a clear understanding that human life precedes all. It seems that at the event in question the decision to evacuate the occupants of the facility did not match the axis of the progress of the crowd and its actions. In a situation where it took at least an hour between the movement of the crowd from the rally to the Capitol building to the illogical decision to break into the building, leading to encounters with elected officials and employees at the facility to the point of having to protect elected officials left in the plenum including drawing pistols and firing live ammunition on the protesters.
A professional evacuation plan and its implementation at the appropriate time would have prevented the unnecessary situation created in the event in question where elected officials are seen seeking shelter between the rows of chairs and would not have put the security guards in unnecessary dilemmas.
The civilians’ respect for special forces:
The event in question clearly shows the respect that citizens in certain countries (I think this is also true for Israel) have for special forces. Although the approval given for the special forces to be activated came relatively late, when the crowd understood and even saw the special forces’ arrival at the facility and their placement in front of the building and entering it, there was a shift in the mob’s behavior that allowed the event to end. I think one can notice the excitement that gripped the employees at the facility and the protesters when the special forces arrived and went inside. It seems like everyone was just waiting for their arrival:
One of the most important, necessary, and best ways to eventually become a more professional and effective security system is to view documentation of events that occurred, including those that occurred in other countries. What happened on January 6th, 2021 is a groundbreaking event that is likely to enter American history and soon it will be taught in universities in the context of democracy and also in security education in the context of securing a facility against a mob trying to force its way inside a building.
Remember, security needs to be maintained in full operational readiness for any scenario.
When examining an event of this kind that took place in the most progressive democracy in the whole world and see the inclusive and slow response of the decision-makers and security forces, when you know it is one of the best security forces that are out there, then one thinks that what happened was a planned production run by one director and several assistants.
In the United States, precisely on the left side of the political map, there are extremist organizations such as Antifa that are not afraid to carry out aggressive actions against governmental institutions and businesses, causing billions of dollars in damage. In contrast, in general, the right-wing refrained from behaving violently and therefore there may have been those who together decided to allow right-wing citizens to let off steam but under some control and in accordance with predetermined limits. How else can one explain all the phenomena that took place and were seen during the protesters’ forced entry into the Capitol? The number of wounded and killed by the demonstrators and by the security forces is very small compared to the number of protesters who moved in and did things inside the Capitol building. Many police officers and security guards from the facility’s security array seemed to not oppose the movement of the crowd towards the building and even opened barriers for them that were placed on the traffic lane and at the entrance to the building.
The demonstrators who entered the Capitol pretty much-maintained restraint and did not appear to be carrying out a beatdown inside the building and what is inside it. The behavior of the protesters gave the impression that their whole purpose was to be photographed inside the building to prove that they did what they did.
The very slow decision-making of the leadership is too extreme when taking into consideration the characteristics of the event and seems to have been done in a predetermined manner.
I do not doubt that over time many different opinions will be published about what happened on January 6th, 2021 and time will tell what happened in this groundbreaking event.