Close protection- the attack on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with disinfectant

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

Russia’s opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was attacked during an election visit to a city in Siberia by a man who approached him from the front and sprayed dangerous green disinfectant on his face. The incident, filmed by another citizen and immediately posted on broadcast networks and social networks, once again proves how difficult it is for personal security guards to deal with existing threats and especially with any course of action that is not clearly perceived and/or does not injure anyone in an unambiguous way as does a combat situation.

Alexei Navalny after the attack:

A video documenting the attack:

As mentioned, in the list of threats against VIPs there are threats that are very clear to close protection specialists such as an unequivocal attack and therefore the transition into a combat incident will be quick and lead to a focused, quick and determined response to try and prevent injury to the protectee or minimize the harm that has already been done. This is a very difficult task for close protection specialists, especially when the adversary managed to get close to the VIP and surprises by making the first move with the attacking action he or she chose to execute.

If in clear cases of assault it can be estimated that professional close protection specialists were not confused or mistaken in identification and response, then in threats like the assault against Alexei Navalny it would be difficult to depart from such a premise. Attacks on VIPs that are carried out by throwing an object or spilling liquid or squirting material, make it difficult for security guards to identify, understand the threat, and later also to choose the right response. In the video, we see that the attacker manages to reach a very close distance from the front with the tool that contains the green disinfectant, without Alexei’s front guard recognizing it before the attack itself and therefore the attacker realizes his malicious intent and manages to spray the disinfectant at Alexey’s face, who is the protectee. The close protection specialists’ lack of understanding of what happened and what attacked the protectee is clearly seen when the front bodyguard reacts willingly to chase after the attacker and immediately afterward seems remorseful and returns to Alexei to understand what it is all about. This confusion among the security guards reinforces the fact about threats that are not as clear cut as a combat incident. Alexei’s close protection team did not see weapons, did not hear the noise of gunfire, and did not hear screams of injury and therefore they reacted with utter confusion.

For close protection specialists to be able to deal with threats of this kind as well, there must be a methodology that defines how security is performed by one or more close protection specialists and is expressed in the professional training that must be conveyed.

When there is a pair of two close protection specialists with the protectee, there is a division of roles for one bodyguard in the position that is close to the protectee in the back and a second bodyguard in the position where generally goes forward before the protectee does. The bodyguard in the front must know how to identify any person coming to the personality from the front sector and must know how to focus on looking into the hands of each such person to try and identify if they have anything that could pose a real danger to the protectee. This professional ability of the security guards is related to the preventive actions – actions that are taken in order to be able to identify in advance the possibility of an attack and reach the potential attacker before reaching the implementation of the chosen attacking action.

To the delight of Alexei Navalny in that in retrospect the attacker probably only wanted to create provocation and did not really want to physically harm him. In contrast, his protection team could not breathe a sigh of relief because they failed in the security task for which they were hired. Close protection specialists who allow the opponent to attack first, start the event with a disadvantage and in some cases even if they react quickly and resolutely will not be able to prevent the injury to the personality and therefore the importance of the correct work of close protection specialists in the prevention phase.

If the opponent managed to surprise and attack first, then the two bodyguards must act in accordance with the division of roles in an emergency situation, with the emphasis on stopping and neutralizing the real threat by attacking and/or removing the protectee from the danger zone. Immediately afterward, the bodyguard that is close to the protectee should check if the protectee has been damaged in order to ascertain if any medical treatment is needed.

I have no idea what is the level of training and professionalism of Alexei Navalny’s bodyguards, but it is clear that the bodyguard was unable to understand what happened and what he should do from the moment the attack began. A professional bodyguard first has to look back to make sure the bodyguard who is close to the protectee was functioning and the personality in a situation where there was no need to join the evacuation and only then he had to act quickly to try and get to the attacker.

Close protection is considered a profession for all that entails, and therefore it requires professional training by a body licensed to perform the above type of training.

Not every security guard can work in close protection and therefore anyone who sends a security guard without special training for this task endangers the protected VIP, the bodyguards themselves, and even himself.

Alexei Navalny could breathe a sigh of relief and could have used his transformation into a green man to advance his candidacy for the presidency in Russia only thanks to the attacker and certainly not thanks to his security guards.

Remember that security should be maintained only on the basis of dedicated and professional training.

A security guard’s heroism against terrorists who attacked a goods checkpoint in Israel

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

On September 20, 2001, at the Karni checkpoint, Assaf one of the security guards at the checkpoint, about a year and nine months after completing his certification as a security guard, was armed with a pistol and three magazines, one inside the pistol and two in the pouch.

In the evening, two masked terrorists armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles attacked one of the screening cells adjacent to the separation wall between the checkpoint and the Gaza Strip – this is the cell where the security guard and the security screener was standing.

In March 2011, following numerous terrorist attacks and the widespread firing of rockets and mortar shells in the area of ​​the Karni checkpoint (where goods were checked), Israel decided to close the checkpoint and move its operations to another checkpoint.

Through the border terminal at the Karni checkpoint, goods passed from the Gaza Strip to Israel and from Israel to the Gaza through hundreds of trucks a day. The agricultural and industrial products produced in the Gaza Strip is exported through the Karni checkpoint to Israel, the West Bank and the world. The place was also used for the passage of humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip. The terrorist organizations have made the Karni checkpoint and the industrial area next to it a favorite terrorist target.

Alongside the passage of goods, Karni Checkpoint has been used over the years to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip and to smuggle terrorists and explosive belts from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

The Karni checkpoint’s location:

Assaf the security guard worked the morning shift between the hours of 0800-1600 together with another security guard and security screeners. The year 2001 was defined as a record year in the number of terrorist attacks against Israel, including on September 20, which also included a missile strike on the Karni checkpoint. The side of the Karni checkpoint under Israeli responsibility includes 2 warehouses that serve as a checkpoint for people, trucks, and goods. The security guards and security screeners in the security system at the checkpoint, act with great professionalism while being aware and well aware of the possible dangers that can occur at any moment in the facility.

Aerial photograph of the checkpoint depicting its location in the sector:

Assaf the security guard is located in the northern warehouse and as usual is in a state of readiness and full alertness. Assaf the security guard remembers the training he went through about a month ago in which a number of possible assault scenarios at the checkpoint were practiced. The training helped him to be alert and focused on his tasks.

Aerial photo of the warehouses:

Testimony of Assaf the security guard:

“I remember I was at a high level of operational readiness. I even remember that some of the time I was with my hand on the gun. Suddenly, without any prior warning, I heard a sound of gunfire from the west, from the direction of the Palestinian side. I looked in the direction and saw one terrorist with a Kalashnikov rifle. a sock hat on his head and a brown shirt about 45 meters away from me. The terrorists took advantage of the opening of the checkpoint gate to surprise. I immediately realized that this was a terrorist attack, a combat incident, similar to what we practiced in the last training session. I pulled out the pistol and quickly fired the first bullet at the first terrorist. I recognized that the terrorist was firing from the waist.

I felt I took a bullet in the leg.

After the first bullet, I fired I had a pistol malfunction. I quickly cleared the malfunction. I recognized another terrorist and realized I was fighting against 2 armed terrorists. I fired at two opponents. I found myself in a shootout. Five more bullets hit me in different places. I focus on firing at the terrorists but understanding that they continue to fire at me. “I did not feel pain, I did not feel that my body was collapsing because of the injuries I took, I fought as I was taught, I fought as they prepared me to fight, I wanted to win, my body went into a state of fighting, a state of survival.”

Event chart:

“I recognized that the two terrorists were beginning to flee back towards the Gaza Strip. I continued firing at them as they fled. I ran towards the gate closing post. I closed the gate. The gate closed. I started carrying out operations to evacuate soldiers and the security screener who worked the shift. I passed a report to the other security guard who worked with me on shift. I completed performing the actions I was taught as a security guard. At this point, I realized I was hit by six bullets. Six bullets hit my body during the shootout and that did not stop me from responding to continuous fighting until the terrorists decided to flee for their lives. At the end of the operations, I called my wife ”

The assault incident at the Karni checkpoint and the rare testimony of Assaf the security guard, allow us security personnel to learn from a security guard who found himself in a real incident during a shift. In Assaf’s case, the security guard was not in another incident where a security force responds by firing and defeating the opponent, this is an incident where a security guard responds and functions ineffective combat even though he is fully wounded by no less than six rifle bullets, and does not stop until the attack ends and does not allow his body to betray him until he evacuated the persons he is responsible for securing.

Assaf the security guard looked the terrorists in the eye and made the right decisions that reminded him of the training he went through to be prepared for just such a real moment.

All those responsible for training security guards are well aware and understand that it is very difficult to train and teach a security guard to make decisions at such pressure in a split second and yet hope that every security guard will be able to respond in a real event as expected of him. Hearing the cocking of the weapon performed by one of the terrorists reminded Assaf the security guard to hear the beeping noise of the shooting instructor at the range, a noise that signals to any security guard that he must start firing at the target. This memory helped Assaf the security guard to react instinctively, without delay, and to be able to fire first at the terrorists. Assaf the security guard’s combat response is not self-evident and more than that the actions he took after realizing that the two terrorists had fled the scene.

In making his decisions throughout the incident, Assaf the security guard rescued all the security guards who were under his responsibility on duty and trusted him to know how to respond well and especially in an assault incident against them. There is no doubt that Assaf the security guard’s response to the assault incident stemmed from a logical combination of all the training and coaching that he went through, his personal ability, the briefings he underwent at the beginning of each shift, and the connection to the periodic sensitive situation.

Six rifle bullets that hit the body can easily make anyone stop performing an action, fall, and even think of retreating. As mentioned, during 10 seconds of fighting, of a bloody shootout, Assaf not only did not stop these but fought with inspiring determination. A security guard who has not experienced a real incident and has not been hit by real bullets will have a hard time understanding what a bullet does to the body and therefore the value of Assaf’s testimony the security guard increases and will be relevant to generations of security guards.

In addition, I think Assaf the security guard’s reaction stemmed from his personal ability to understand the magnitude of the responsibility placed on him as a security guard in such a sensitive facility that included additional people. Apparently the thought that there are people under your responsibility who trust you makes you in the moment of truth a fearless warrior, a warrior who can not afford to be weak, a warrior who in real-time does not see the risk, does not think he can be wounded and killed, a warrior who will not stop until he realizes his mission.

There is no doubt that Assaf the security guard showed in his actions at the event both composure and determination that they are worthy of appreciation and learning, his functioning can easily be considered a few degrees above, perceived as beyond human capabilities as something beyond, something great.

In his function, the state security guard thwarted the attack on the Karni checkpoint, thus preventing a serious attack with more casualties.

The governmental security guard Assaf showed in his actions the ability to function, command, and even a type of leadership under fire simultaneously from two adversaries, as well as initiative, fighting spirit, and courage.

For me, Assaf is a hero.

Remember that security must be maintained with full operational readiness!

Close protection – the principal’s trust in the close protection specialists

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

Trust is a central part of human life wherever it is and as such is found in almost every point of time and every act. In most cases, everyone is allowed to decide and choose whether to trust someone or something. There are certain and unique cases where trust comes naturally and as a built-in part of life and intrinsically within the profession and therefore does not need to be defined and cannot be decided and chosen.

The close protection profession is one of the specific and unique cases that includes a built-in trust, the trust of the principal in the close protection specialist, a binding trust as a condition for success in the task.

To explain why the profession of close protection is included in these cases, one must recall the dictionary definition of “trust” and the accompanying interpretations.

 

Trust:

The confidence of the believer in the object of his faith – he gave confidence, he trusted, he did not suspect.

Belief in someone, confidence in him – “I have full confidence in you”.

He remained faithful – he was faithful, he did not betray.

Above him in trust – above the trust given in him.

 

When you think about it, you can easily compare the trust that the principal gives to the close protection team to the trust that a child gives in his parents because they both do not have the opportunity to decide and choose, they accept the trust as part of the package. Just as a child does not choose his or her parents so too a state personality does not choose his or her close protection specialists. Just as a child trusts his or her parents to protect him or her no matter what, the personality trusts his or her close protection team.

 

Like many other professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, and doctors, the value of trust is first in the professional code of ethics and also the fact that a state personality does not choose his or her close protection team makes all the difference between them and makes trust the basis of security structure, its central and strongest foundation.
It must never be challenged or cracked.

One can easily think that the close protection specialist is in one group with all the other people and functionaries around the personality but this would be a mistake because the personality chooses everyone except the close protection team who are sent to protect him or her, the close protection specialist is the only one who sees and hears the principal throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just as an architect designs a foundation of a building and incorporates a necessary and large amount of iron and concrete so that the building can hold for many years everything built over it, so a personal security unit invests a lot of effort to instill the trust (loyalty) in its employees in general and close protection team members in particular. Over the years this has not been undermined and cracked neither by those who serve in it now nor by those who have served in it in the past.

The code of ethics is defined as the identity card of an organization, unit, and profession when in the profession of close protection the first value in the code of ethics will be “trust” – creating trust on the part of the principal and maintaining loyalty on the part of the close protection specialist.

In close protection, trust is the most important asset, difficult to create but easy to destroy, and an essential component of the unit and the tasks that it does.

In the close security profession, there are two key positions, the principal and the close protection specialist. In governmental close protection operations, the principal is elected by the public and as such is required by law to receive security and protect him or her 24/7, and the close protection specialist is selected to serve in the unit through a long, professional and sifting recruitment process.

A person who is accepted to serve as a close protection specialist in the close protection unit of the Israel Security Agency (SHABAK), undergoes a long period of professional training that combines all the content that is conveyed in the code of ethics of the organization, unit, and profession so that from his first day of work he values ​​the trust the personality gives him or her and he or she understands the importance as a prerequisite for success in the task that has been imposed on him or her.

 

During their years of work in the unit, close protection specialists and commanders secure several prime ministers and a large number of ministers and are exposed for many hours in each working day to almost everything the personality does in his or her private time and in his or her professional time.

The governmental close protection team of the Israel Security Agency has an important part in the task of preserving democracy and is therefore defined as apolitical and as such secures every prime minister and the ministers elected in democratic elections regardless of their position on the political map. Since its inception, the unit has been responsible for educating and teaching all of its current employees, including the close protection specialists, two main components of the value of trust with the principals:

 

Political opinion: Do not talk about politics at all and keep their political opinion to themselves and thus make a clear and unequivocal separation between the political opinions and the principals that the unit secures.

Exposure to the principals: Do not share with anyone in any way what he has seen and/or heard related to the principal during the performance of the task in which the close protection specialist is in his or her immediate vicinity.

Close protection specialists and leaders who have completed their service in the unit and go on a regular civilian career are exempt from obligation No. 1 and therefore like any citizen in a democratic state they are entitled to express their political opinion in any way permitted by law and are not exempt from obligation number 2 until their final living day.

There is no doubt that commitment number 2 becomes a very difficult task in the life of someone who has served in the governmental close protection team because it is contrary to the nature of the person who needs and wants to share with those close to him or her, especially what he or she is going through. It is a responsibility to maintain the value of trust throughout life at such a level that can not reveal any detail about an incumbent or former personality in any way, not in a pantomime, not in a wink, not in a hint and certainly not in a clear statement.

The organization and the unit trust all the close protection specialists and former commanders who will succeed in this difficult and important task if only because they know that intentionally stumbling or one’s mistake can easily ruin the rest of the years of maintaining the trust of the close protection specialists.

The issue of trust is conveyed in the inauguration briefing to each Prime Minister and each elected minister and who is automatically secured by the governmental close protection unit. The principals are assured that the close protection team recruits the most suitable people for the job and send them close protection specialists who know and understand well the value of trust that is given to them as a condition for their ability to function and operate freely, anytime, anywhere and in any situation.

In close protection, the task cannot be performed at the required level without the existence of the trust. A principal who does not trust a close protection specialist that is sent on a security mission will not cooperate, make it difficult for the close protection specialist, the principal will hide important data for the planning and execution of security and in more extreme cases the principal will even slip out of the close protection specialist’s eyes to do his or her job even with him or her knowing that doing puts him or herself in danger.

Every close protection specialist and team leader in the present and especially in the past must know and remember that they chose to work in a governmental unit whose success depends on the trust given to it by the persons secured by it and therefore they should continue with the mindset that one is still working in and for the unit until their final days, and any violation of this will be considered as crossing a red line that at best will “only” crack the base and at worst will simply destroy it completely!

Remember “that security must be maintained” while always adhering to the value of trust !!!

Close protection- attempted assassination of Mexico City’s police chief

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

Friday, June 26, 2020, at the upscale Chapultepec neighborhood in Mexico City where many wealthy government officials live and foreign embassies are located, woke up to a new morning. It is 06:30, a time when the day begins with the departure of residents to work, outside workers arrive at their place of work, and vehicle traffic is seen on the quiet streets.

Omar Garcia Harfuch, Mexico City’s police chief (police minister), lives in the neighborhood and is preparing to leave for a new workday, which like every other day since taking office, also includes a war against drug cartels. The police chief’s bodyguards are ready to leave.

The Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, which controls the area from Cancun to the capital Mexico City, has decided to try and assassinate the chief of police, thus resuming the assassination attempts on senior police chiefs, the last of which took place in 2008.

According to reports released after the incident, it was alleged that the government had intelligence based on a quote from the phone taps of the drug cartel and stated that they were planning to assassinate a number of senior government officials including the police chief.

The drug cartels in Mexico are a cruel and powerful opponent that does everything in order to keep out of their way any personality that dares to interfere with their profitable activities. In the day-to-day and never-ending war against the drug cartels, all local and relevant government bodies, including the police, are led by commanders who are determined to try and win it. In reality in Mexico in general and in Mexico City in particular, every commander and every police officer becomes a target of the drug cartels for recruitment to provide assistance or alternatively a target for threats and even assassination.

The Jalisco New Generation drug cartel decided that the police chief was interfering with its activities so it was time to assassinate him. The assassination plan was formulated and based on a common mode of action among drug cartels – carrying out an ambush for a police chief while on the move in his armored vehicle and launching a powerful attack with several operators who would use rifles and grenades, thus being to be able to penetrate the armor of the police chief’s vehicle.

Video showing the armored Chevy Suburban:

http://Armored Chevrolet Suburban 3500 HD Surveillance

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-JCmGvajxK4

Documentation of another ambush carried out by the drug cartel:

To carry out the assassination, the drug cartel hired the services of a Colombian mercenary killer who specializes in security analysis, intelligence gathering and attacking convoys. Three weeks before the day of execution, about 30 assassins were assigned to the mission, each of whom received one intersection from which the police chief’s security guards could choose to leave on the morning of the assassination.

For the purpose of carrying out the ambush, commercial vehicles were rented disguised as construction company vehicles of a company that worked on a regular basis in the neighborhood, these vehicles have a rear opening that allows a relatively large number of assassins to be transported in a hidden manner.

Image of a company vehicle:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as the drug cartel is concerned, this is a complex operation that requires a high level of command and a precise level of execution that is based on and depends on the unambiguous identification of a police chief’s vehicle and the route chosen from the moment he leaves home in the prestigious Chapultepec neighborhood.

To reach the information, the drug cartel is required to use all its capabilities and means at its disposal otherwise there is no chance that it will be able to give the order to the correct squad out of the four squads when to execute the roadblock on the travel path. The drug cartel’s action plan indicates that there are several options for a mounted exit from the police chief’s home and there is no path defined as a necessary path.

To my understanding, following the media reports, the police chief lives on or near Explanada street, from which it is indeed possible to choose a number of exit routes.

The neighborhood with street names (Explanada street is in the center):

 

 

 

 

 

 

As mentioned, at 6:35 am, the police chief’s security team is ready to leave the house. The armored Chevrolet Suburban is ready for travel. The security guards chose to exit on Explanada Street to the west. It can be understood from the incident that at this time the security forces had close protection operatives and a team to secure the house or to reinforce the exit.

The police chief leaves his house and gets into the armored vehicle, which is one of a convoy of armored vehicles and begins his trip west on Explanada street. Just before the vehicle arrives at the intersection of Explanada and Monte Blanco streets, a white commercial vehicle emerges in front and on the right that manages to block the continuation of the drive forward and from behind a number of armed assassins opened fire at the police chief’s armored vehicle. According to one of the reconstructions of the incident, it was alleged that a second vehicle blocked the possibility of continuing on the forward travel route and a third vehicle blocked the convoy from behind so that it was difficult for the driver to take actions to escape and escape the fatal ambush. According to testimony, the shooting lasted several minutes (over 3 minutes) as some of the police chief’s bodyguards exited the vehicles and responded to the fighting, and within a relatively short time, the police forces who joined in the fight also escalated until some assassins were rescued from the scene and some surrendered and were captured. From the shooting, the police chief was injured by three bullets, two of his security guards were killed and an innocent civilian who was riding in the vehicle was also killed.

Location of the assassination:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The security cameras deployed in the neighborhood were able to document the moments of execution of the blockade and the shooting:

 

Documentation of gunshots by civilians who were in the area:

 

Preliminary record of the assassin’s vehicles on their way to the ambush point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPrDl1bBrys

 

A reportage that presents a simulation of assassination moments:

http://Reconstrucción del ataque a Omar García Harfuch

Picture of the truck with the weapons found on it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of the armored vehicle that absorbed the shooting:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexico City Police Chief Omar Garcia Harfuch survived the assassination attempt and will likely continue to fight the drug cartel while he and his subordinates take into account that a rival has the resources, means, and capabilities that do not shame a professional state organization.

Event Analysis:

The adversary:

Marks the target for assassination.

Performs an intelligence-gathering phase with the main goal of searching for habits (repetitive activities) in the daily routine of the police chief – the location of the house, the home environment including possible travel routes, the level of security, security operations, the location of the office, etc.

Based on the intelligence gathered, he will decide on the location of the assassination and the chosen course of action – the drug cartel decided to try to assassinate the police chief in his residential neighborhood and when he is driven with the armored vehicle in his possession, which obliges the assassins to be equipped with weapons capable of penetrating the vehicle’s level of protection. The location of the assassination may have been chosen by the drug cartel to convey to the police chief and other persons a message that they could harm them anywhere, anytime, and in any way.

The course of action chosen in this assassination reveals the high capability of the drug cartel which includes professional field analysis, recruiting many assassins, ambushing several points simultaneously, a high level of command and control, using environmental assimilation and camouflage, using many different weapons and finally scheduling assistance in real-time.

The assassins sent by the drug cartel to carry out the mission are disciplined soldiers (by choice or not) who are ready to be captured and even die for the organization and its leaders.

In the manner of action chosen in this assassination, it is clear that every squad had to be located within the neighborhood, relatively close to the intersection where the blockade was made shortly before the actual execution otherwise there was no chance that they would be able to schedule the blockade with such accurate timing.

Close protection:

A professional and skilled security array must take precautionary actions before the principal leaves, including a patrol to locate unusual persons and vehicles in pre-marked locations as options for opponents to organize in preparation for assassinations – if the drug cartel squads did wait to do the blockade at a relatively short distance from the intersections, the security guards had to locate them ahead of time.

According to reports, the drug cartel threatened the police chief about a month before the day of the assassination – information of this kind requires the security system to carry out unique actions as a dedicated response to the threat.

Armored vehicle – this proves that an armored vehicle is a strong and important security ring in the field of personal security that saves lives.

The driver must be a professional driver trained in routine and operational driving. In past assassination attempts, the driver of the personality vehicle rescued and saved the principal with his actions. The Suburban vehicle is strong enough to be successful and hit a vehicle of its size in its front or rear. A driver is required to be able to operate in an emergency.

Vary routines and deceptions – Integrating breaking routines and deception into security operations can make a difference in favor of the security system vis-à-vis the opponent. The security array must take action to prevent creating habits when leaving and returning to the principal’s residence at the beginning and end of each day, using all possible routes with managerial oversight, as well as using several vehicles when leaving or returning.

With regard to the situation in Mexico City, I think that a security system must take into account that there are persons in or around it that convey information to an opponent and therefore must regularly carry out prevention and identification activities.

Remember that security must be maintained while ensuring that all steps are performed professionally and accurately during each workday !!!

Be a security manager with the qualities of an Olympic athlete

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

During lectures I pass on to security managers, conclusions and insights emerged that led me to pursue a more focused way of being able to define what features and capabilities a security manager need in order to succeed. What is needed to cause the security system under his or her responsibility to deal with the adversaries in the optimal manner in order to avoid security failures?

When I was exposed last year to an article that included this picture of Israeli Olympic athlete Linoy Ashram, I attached it to presentations instead of the list of insights and conclusions I presented to managers and commanders in order to better illustrate what features and capabilities a security manager should have in order to make security a success.

As mentioned, the lectures have made me more confident that there will be a clear match between the challenges of an Olympic athlete’s qualities and abilities and the capabilities that a security director should have (the description of Linoy Ashram on what it takes to be an Olympic athlete is in red):

Dealing with the adversary: “In sports, the distance between glory and failure is very thin and fragile.”

Be constantly thinking about which adversary you are dealing with, realizing that the adversary will not let you know about what surprises he or she has in store for you when you meet next time. Therefore, you should try and evaluate what actions you need to take that will make you win and make your adversary lose. The manager must teach his or her security guards that every day, that every shift is another competition against the adversary that must be won. In the security profession, dealing with an adversary is harder because you know he or she has come to the competition and is there but you don’t really see him or her.

You must win: “I’ve been training for eleven years from morning until at night”

A manager must do everything in order for him or her and his or her security system to win all the time. This is a difficult and unlimited task. In the face of the adversary, the security system must be in first place in every competition and cannot afford to be in second or third place because in these places there will be a price that is manifest in lives being lost. To be constantly in the first place requires daily effort and must be at maximum ability. Therefore, a manager who fails to plan in his or her daily activities effective actions to bring the security guards to maximum ability takes the risk of the adversary winning and the manager losing. In addition, there is a duty to train the security guards every day to create the feeling that dealing with the adversary is at every shift. A security director should not be content with just the training provided by the guiding authority and therefore he or she must perform additional and different training sessions and many, many exercises.

Awareness of strengths and weaknesses “: I don’t look like most of my rivals in gymnastics worldwide and so to succeed I realized that I must not only look different but also be different”

A security manager should be aware of his or her own weaknesses and those of the security system under his or her responsibility and from that point, he or she must act to be strong against the adversary. This can be any security action you see as an adversary and surprisingly, one that will give you and your security system a high score and leave you in the first place. Again, in order to succeed and produce exceptional strengths and to make them the source of power in the face of the adversary, hard work and time are required. You must not be a manager who takes the weaknesses and strengths for granted, you have to be a manager who deals with them all the time.

Being a high-speed competing machine: having an indomitable spirit, being focused, living the tournament lifestyle, the team around me describes me

It is possible and necessary to turn the security guards into high-speed fighting machines, goal-oriented and competitive against the adversary. It requires the manager to believe in him/herself and to believe in his or her security team. It requires the manager’s iron determination and strength to pass on to the security guards as those who are actually dealing with the adversary. It is said that a manager is alone with the demands that are asked of him/her and his/her responsibilities, so it requires him/her to be goal-oriented while ignoring background interruptions, constantly moving forward and learning from failures.

The element of surprise: “Since I surprise the judges with my appearance, I decided to leverage the matter and surprise them on the mat. Most of the gymnasts show the exact same exercise during the competition; I do not. My finishing exercise always looks different from the ones I presented earlier; this does not allow judges to predetermine my score beforehand.

Insecurity, the element of surprise is expressed in breaking routines and deception. A manager who wants to defeat the adversary must have his or her own security system break routines and carry out deception actions that only then can the adversary be forced to be alert and make it difficult for him or her to make a move, leading to a state he or she will have to give up.

Homework and learning from mistakes: “Part of what allows me to change the exercises is the time I spend watching my exercises and my rivals. I see all the opponents before the competition”

A manager must spend a lot of time looking at his or her security guards during when security operations are carried out, this is in order to be able to identify gaps that need improvement. In addition, the manager must devote time to watching attacks that occurred in Israel and around the world and learn from them the characteristics of the adversary’s behavior and ways of acting. This is done while thinking how such adversaries could attack the object of security under the manager’s responsibility. Of course, learning should also include the actions of the various security arrays that have found themselves face to face with the adversary in order to try to upgrade the security actions in your array as a manager.

Support: “I, the girl who worked alone to get better is already doing it today with the support of professionals”

A manager should make sure there is support for his or her security array in order to give security guards the feeling that they are not alone in the campaign, that there are those who care about them professionally and personally. A manager has to convey to his security guards the feeling that he is with them and not against them that one meter has height requirements from them and on the other hand, give them what they need so that they can meet them.

Features and successes: “My picture have all the qualities and ability I need on my way to victory”

To understand what Linoy means, I put the picture again next to the features and capabilities:

Belief in one’s path, professional pride, presentability, always looking perfect, every day is planned again, coordination, accuracy, concentration, focus on purpose, aspiration only for victory, upgrading and surprise in what one does, improving operations. Although this is a very difficult task, every single security manager needs to embrace the qualities and capabilities that exist in Linoy Ashram as an Olympic athlete.

 

Remember, security needs to be maintained primarily through the role of the security manager!

2014 – A radicalized Canadian citizen embarks on a shooting spree at the Parliament’s compound in Ottawa, Canada.

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Canadian citizen Michael Zehaf-Bibeau decided to embark on a shooting spree at the Parliament complex in Ottawa.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is a delinquent and a hard-working blue-collar worker. He converted to Islam, visited the Middle East, and suffered from a steadily deteriorating state of mind. He was born in 1982, in 2011, he came to Libya, and upon his return to Canada began to visit mosques.

In recent years, Zehaf-Bibeau has spent several short prison terms in his life for robbery, possession of weapons, making threats and drug offenses. His passport was revoked after Canadian intelligence classified him as “a constant high-risk passenger.”

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s background is another opportunity to see how a person goes through a years-long process that turns him from a citizen into a terrorist. In addition, one can understand from the existing information that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was known to the authorities at such a level that various actions were taken against him that did not occur, these failed to stop him on going on a shooting spree that ended in the killing a soldier, an additional person, and others being injured.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau flew from Montreal to Ottawa on October 2. If his passport was denied and he was classified to be a high-risk person, how could he not be located and detained for questioning by Canadian security forces?

It is important to note that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s shooting spree took place two days after a vehicular ramming attack in Quebec that killed one soldier, as a result, the alert level in Canada was raised from low to medium.

Another question arises: If the level of alertness has risen, how has Michael Zehaf-Bibeau managed to carry out his killing spree in a complex as sensitive as the Ottawa Parliament complex? How could he have managed a relatively long kill route that started at the Memorial monument, then running towards the Parliament building as he managed to take control of a vehicle with which he partially traveled with, entered the Parliament building without anyone stopping him, getting inside the Parliament building while shooting and holding out for about an hour until neutralized by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers and RCMP Constable Curtis Barrett? When the threat level was raised from low to medium, what actions were taken?

 

Here is a news report regarding Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s background:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zlAs9UyVfI&t=13s

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau planned the attack and even recorded himself before it happened:

This is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s shooting and killing spree:

At 9:52 am, after recording himself and getting off his vehicle, he surprised and fired with a shotgun he possessed at soldiers guarding the National War Memorial on the outskirts of Parliament. One soldier was killed and two others were injured.

Picture of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau getting out of his car:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About eight minutes later, at 10:00 am, he continued running towards the Parliament building, on the way he hijacked a car with which he drove towards Parliament. In a video taken from a nearby car, a man fitting the description of the terrorist appears to be driving the car after the license plate has been removed. He entered the Parliament building while firing, he became entrenched until around 10:45 he was shot and killed by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers and RCMP Constable Curtis Barrett. The whole incident took about an hour.

A news report of the event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDoGduu8Rzk

 

The area schematic and the route of the attack:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the data collected from security cameras deployed in the area and from testimonies from civilians and security personnel, it is possible to understand and explain the path Michael Zehaf-Bibeau chose and to explain the decisions he made from the viewpoint of the attacker:

There is no doubt that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau has planned the route in advance and did not improvise while on the move.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau chose to come from the backside of the memorial to surprise the soldiers in the front, the first shooting’s result was a dead soldier and two wounded, indicates that the soldiers were surprised and did not respond with a counterattack.

Picture of the monument’s front and the soldiers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The timeline indicates that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was at the memorial for about eight minutes (photographed) – if two soldiers remained wounded he did not appear to have verified their death by shooting them and, in addition, he chose to stay relatively long in the same place before deciding to continue advancing towards Parliament. He may have saved bullets for the continuation of the killing campaign and / or waited to see if there was a response from security forces following his first shooting.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau standing at the front of the monument:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The route from the monument to the Parliament building is not relatively long – Michael Zehaf-Bibeau started to run, after a short distance he recognized a person in a vehicle and decided to take it from him and continue to drive to the front of the Parliament building, Zehaf-Bibeau arrives at the front, stops the vehicle, gets out and runs towards the entrance to the Parliament building, he enters and advances to the area of the library – according to the photographic documentation, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did not shoot civilians during his advance to the Parliament building, including neither the car driver nor the civilians who had identified him from close range who ran away – apparently, he decided not to harm civilians and kept the bullets to harm only security forces.

The fact is that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau managed to get into the Parliament building without any of the security personnel or the employees being able to stop him. At that point, security guards fired at him when some failed to hit him. A security guard testified that he had hit Zehaf-Bibeau but had not injured him, this did not keep him from moving forward.

In the end, fighting took place inside the Parliament building between Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and the security guards, who according to the testimony he fires about thirty bullets and absorbs many bullets, including one in the head that neutralizes and kills him – it should be noted that although they hit him with many deadly bullets. when they arrived, they decided to handcuff him.

Filmed documentation of a part of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s path:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1H98uSBIfw

Reconstruction of the attack:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJIEHA88poc

 

Notice the behavior of the civilians in an event that they perceive as dangerous – at first one can see the citizens standing near the main road in the area of ​​the pedestrian entrance to the Parliament building, they hear the shooting from the direction of the monument and look towards it until the moment a vehicle that stops next to them and the gunman gets out from it. At this moment, the civilians run away and move away quickly. Factually, none of the civilians chose to take action against the terrorist to try and stop him. You can see that in the area of ​​the vehicle’s stopping point in the terrorist’s path towards the entrance to the Parliament building there is no security guard or police officer.
This is security at the entrance to the Parliament building.

The question arises: How is it possible for an armed person to reach a vehicle to the front of the building and even get on foot with no problem and without encountering any effective obstruction and / or resistance even though the level of alertness has risen to a moderate level? How is it possible that they did not raise the level of security of the parliamentary complex and did not increase further positions against the possibility of another attack that could occur?

The documentation of the fighting in the Parliament building:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cev1D4c1tqU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkfTMbQIpOM

The documentation shows that the Parliament building complex had relatively large security forces. The initial firing was also carried out at Michael Zehaf-Bibeau that failed to neutralize him and allowed him to continue to advance in the central corridor. The deployment of the security guards, guards and police officers inside the building, especially in the central corridor, the way some of them held and walked with their handguns and the fact that many did not draw their pistol even though there was combat in their vicinity indicates that they are unskilled and / or ready to deal with an incident of such characteristics.

In addition, this picture shows how the members of Parliament close the front door to a hall where they were at with furniture, one can learn that even the level of emergency preparedness inside the building is not high:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion:

Despite raising the level of alert following a ramming attack two days ago, it is clear that Ottawa security forces did not translate the alert level into actual operations to elevate the security levels in the Parliament building complex which is probably designated as a particularly sensitive area. is at The highest level of difficulty in dealing with a single perpetrator who chooses when and how to carry out an attack and although Michael Zehaf-Bibeau meets this definition, given that he was known to intelligence in Canada and marked as a dangerous person, he should have been located and his flight from Montreal to Ottawa should have been stopped.

It can be stated that the lack of response from the security forces already at the time Michael Zehaf-Bibeau remained in the monument for about eight minutes, allowed Zehaf-Bibeau to realize that he could continue to implement his plan which included advancing and entering the Parliament building itself. The photograph shows that civilians in the area heard gunshot sounds from the direction of the monument and even responded with great caution. Could it be that civilians realized that a shooting incident was taking place and the various security forces stationed at the compound were not? I think the answer to this is negative and I am sure some security forces did hear the shooting but did not respond to it as required. If the time he remained in the monument was insufficient for the security forces to prepare for a response, then it was clear that as he progressed toward the Parliament building that some security force was expected to reach him and engage him until he was neutralized. Obviously, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did not intend to harm civilians and to show that no civilian was shot by him despite him having had several opportunities to do so. It seems to me that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did not believe how easily he was able to get into the Parliament building and he did not think he could get that far without being hurt, arrested, or killed.

If, until that day, the Ottawa Parliament complex had a security plan in place, it is undoubtedly not adapted to the level of the alert set and the relevant threats.

A security force that is expected and relied on to secure the Parliament compound should be able to reach a single terrorist shortly after the attack begins and surely prevent it from reaching the front of the building and entering it.

Remember that security must be maintained in accordance with a professional security program that is carried out with skilled personnel!

The coronavirus – A threat that comes once a century and precisely in my shift

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

If you would have told me two months ago that I should include among the possible threats in a security portfolio a deadly virus I would say that it makes no sense and I would provide a professional explanation, but life due to its nature is full of surprises and these surprises are the ones that repeatedly prove to us that anything can happen. To a degree, it is likely that even if I were seriously considering whether to incorporate a deadly virus that could cause a cessation of activity into the pertinent threats to the secured object, then the reasonable implementation of this threat happening would be once in a decade, a hundred or two years, this would make me think that there is no chance that such a scenario can actually materialize in my shift.

I would ask, where did this threat come from? I do not remember learning about this in the security management course, in the security concept and/or guidelines or heard of anything similar in my life, then how was I supposed to take such a deadly threat into account? How should I have guessed that such a threat would be realized and attacked after 100 years? Someone reminded me that in 1918 the world was dealing with a similar epidemic. And again, even if I was reminded, probably the last thing I would do in my crazy work routine is to bring the virus threat to the top of the list of potential threats if any.

A security manager derives the security-related threats that are responsible from the attributed threats, these include tangible attack threats that can be seen, heard and felt, and can therefore, be tackled via a number of security measures and results can be achieved immediately.

We as security administrators and personnel have become accustomed to a flesh-and-blood opponent who is physically attacking (shooting, sabotage, violence, ramming attacks, etc.) or remotely (cyber), we did not consider taking a deadly virus threat into consideration that simultaneously paralyzes the organization, company, business or facility where we work.

The coronavirus has caught most of us unprepared for its arrival and its devastating, very devastating consequences.

A virus that, on the one hand, requires us to respond quickly, resolutely and sharply, and on the other, gives us the time to do some personal and professional thinking on some key issues:

The security manager’s role:

In the event of a unique and unpredictable emergency event that lasts for a long time, the importance or unimportance of the security manager is exposed to the avenue of managers and employees in the workplace. A security manager who found him or herself surprised and unprepared until the moment when it was clear that the coronavirus had reached Israel as well, now the manager needs to examine oneself boldly and responsibly. It is clear that, like the executives, the security manager could have been surprised at first by the appearance of the virus in China, but they must not have been surprised that the virus was also active in other countries, including Israel, so he had to initiate a situation assessment with his or her managers or be a full partner to those who initiated the situation assessment that was made in order to prepare and organize for the arrival of the threat and its effects. This is one of the situations where the security manager can really understand whether or not he or she is important to the management, and if not, why is this so. I think that the coronavirus situation clearly emphasizes the importance of the role of the security manager, and in the same breath, believes that the security manager, and only the security manager, can design and create that importance.

Any security manager must take his or her job seriously and professionally for a long duration while meeting 100% of all the definitions and requirements associated with his or her job. Security managers who did not prepare themselves to do their jobs seriously before the coronavirus came, they found themselves with their pants down and a sense of uncertainty, lack of confidence, inability to function effectively and worst of all they don’t look good to the management and employees.

Although this is a clearly unexpected threat which one can’t really prepare for it, at the point in time when the attack began, the security manager is required to use all his or her personal abilities and professional experience to succeed and provide solutions quickly and efficiently, with the full cooperation with the management and employees and the proper operation of the security array that is at his or her disposal. A security manager that failed to create these conditions that are both suitable for routine and emergency situations would not be able to create something like that when the emergency had already started as it is making a fatal impact.

Those who say that it is the wisdom of hindsight are correct, and yet it will not be possible to argue about the fact that a well-prepared security manager with a well-trained and fluidly working array will function much better even in a scenario that was just conceptual a moment ago.

I am sure that on the one hand, no security manager will want a rival in the form of a deadly virus to attack precisely on his or her watch and on the other, the fact that it did happen on his or her watch, gives him or her the opportunity (probably a once in a lifetime opportunity) to understand how an attack can undermine the functional sequence of the secured object and even to eliminate it completely.

I think that the security manager that experienced and / or currently is dealing with the coronavirus attack will not be the same security manager as he or she was before the attack:

If you didn’t take your job seriously – you were wrong!

If you told yourself “it won’t happen to me” – you were wrong!

If you did not build the security system under your responsibility in accordance with the instructions – you were wrong!

If you didn’t make sure all your security products were professional – you were wrong!

If you found yourself led and not leading – you were wrong!

If you didn’t understand what to do – you were wrong!

If you were unable to provide the management with the answers and solutions on time – you were wrong!

But if despite the tremendous difficulty of getting employees to take unpaid leave, layoffs, the pressure on the management, slowing down and even stopping the activity, you felt ready, you felt safe and you succeeded in adapting yourself and the security array to the new situation – you succeeded!

Risk survey:

Anyone familiar with the risk survey knows that it is the first and most powerful element in building a security concept and a security system and therefore it must not be waived under any circumstances. The coronavirus puts the risk survey on the table for us to relearn and better understand its importance in our professional lives. The risk survey helps us to analyze and understand the threats that are relevant to the secured object and the extent of the damage each threat can do, all with the help of the following table that determines the level of risk which is an international common language:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coronavirus threat emphasizes why not just anyone knows how to write a risk assessment, and why it is important that professionals whose routine profession is writing assessments are the one who does the task. In analyzing the risk level of each threat, if we do it without deep thinking and professional analysis, it is likely that when we look at a contagious virus threat we will tell ourselves based on history that such a threat should be fulfilled once in decades and therefore it is likely that the risk is realized, we will mark 1 (negligible) but if the threat materializes the damage is marked as 5 (catastrophic), meaning that this can cause things to come to a complete halt. By multiplying the likelihood of realization of the risk (1) by the severity of the damage (5), we accept that the numerical significance is only a low risk that does not require special organization or preparation.

Anyone who is not capable of writing a risk survey will stop here and ignore a contagious virus threat, while a professional will analyze the numerical result with articles published on the topic (“After the SARS in 2002 everyone knew it was only a matter of time before a new epidemic develops in China”), operational and business logic requires us to understand that a low numerical risk must be treated differently in a different way. Now let’s translate this situation into contemporary reality: I believe I will not be mistaken if I state that most executives and security manager did not even think of a contagious virus threat and concentrated on the common list of reports that included cyber and criminal assaults that also included cyberattacks, and whoever thought about the virus, probably placed it at the end of the list of priorities for handling and organizing against it, today we all realize that its severity is catastrophic, leading up to a cessation of activity that totally outweighs all other threats and requires a full response that will probably affect the financial conduct over the years, the increase and readiness for the time of attack. On the day after, you advise your management to buy masks, thermometers, and disinfectant gloves for emergencies, although there is a greater chance that you’ll not have to use them during the shift?

Certainly, the coronavirus requires us all to better understand that there are unique threats that need dedicated and unique analysis and re-run a risk survey or refresh the existing one so that management can better manage the risks.

Emergency preparedness:

The coronavirus is also doing a great job on this issue and it may even conquer the parade of threats that redefine the concept of emergency preparedness. The coronavirus illuminates our attention to the fact that the security manager must be an integral part of the management of the secured object when it comes to the level of emergency preparedness and the level of involvement in any subject and / or decision that impacts on it.

Security managers who found the coronavirus happening on their watch, found themselves dealing with several issues simultaneously in a short amount of time and under pressure, such as being acquainted with the local authority’s guidelines and implementing them in the field, dismissal of workers / having them take unpaid leave, closure of entrances, checking entering persons for morbidity, purchasing products, entering teams for disinfecting areas, reducing or increasing the security array, engaging with the security company that is itself engaged in survival and more, and so on. If the manager has not prepared an emergency plan in time that includes him or herself, the system at his or her disposal that is under his or her responsibility, the employees and the management (and the manager did not check that his or her plan is correct and realizable), the manager will probably be in embarrassing situations and the response will be based on improvisation and dependence on others. History shows that those who have prepared themselves better for emergencies are more likely to survive than those who have not prepared themselves, relying on improvisations and much luck.

I believe today there is no security manager that does not understand that they must not function without an emergency plan that takes into account all relevant threats set by the governing agency or approved by management.

Remember, security must happen when during unexpected extreme situations!

Personal Security – Risk Management – Home Enemy

Often, security personnel says that 100% security cannot be performed due to budget constraints, paralyzing disruption of security activity, excessive public interference, and unreasonableness in screening all people who are in the vicinity of the protectee.

This means that anyone involved in security must be familiar with risk management and act on a daily basis in order to be able to fulfill their responsibilities without having a heart attack from knowing that there are modes of attack that have a partial or no response at all to them.

In simple terms, this means that although security is optimized according to the protectee and his or her importance, the existing budget and resources, there will always be a real and pertinent threat that will be in the protectee’s vicinity that can occur at almost any given moment of the day. All that remains is to hope and desire that the shift will go on with no unusual and irrational surprises.

Indeed, the threats that I aim for are usually incorporated into working assumptions that form the basis for defining the security concept, these remain as long as the situation does not change and/or an event occurs that will demolish them, forcing the decision-makers to set new work assumptions, continuing to make changes and updates to the security concept and method.

On the part of security managers, this is a major complex and very difficult issue because they have to set the working assumptions, believe in them in order to succeed and function, but also to know and understand that these assumptions do not remain forever and therefore they must be able to examine it again and again and not be enamored with them until the moment an event occurs..

The Shamgar Commission stated that the Israel Security Agency’s working assumption, which was valid until November 4, 1995, was that “a Jew will not murder a prime minister in Israel” was one of the main reasons why the concept of security did not change in time and therefore no good and effective professional response was given to an opponent such as Yigal Amir. When the moment of truth came, Amir succeeded in realizing his malicious plan.

As part of the human logic and operational limitations of security, there is another assumption that the likelihood that a person directly related to an organization, company, or business will choose to harm the place or the people he or she belongs to is very low and is considered to be the most accidental and unusual. This is why security personnel is not shadowing employees 24/7.

In close protection, unlike the other security disciplines, relying on the wrong assumption can result in a fatal irreparable injury to a VIP and therefore the weight of responsibility is much heavier. In close protection, there are threats that range from being difficult to impossible to deal with and it can be determined that it would not even make sense to think of them as a real threat in the high probability because then we will be in a state of chaos.

Will a family member and especially an immediate relative of the protectee, or an employee in the office or home of the protectee choose to hurt him or her? Is such a threat possible? Unfortunately for close protection professionals, the answer is yes, it is possible and it can happen at any given moment.

On January 1, 2001, Prince Dipendra murdered his family, the royal family in Nepal:

Photos of the prince from childhood to adulthood:

The investigative committee investigating the incident found that Prince Dipendra shot nine of his family members, including his parents – the king and queen, and then committed suicide because of their opposition to his relationship with his girlfriend.

Photos of the murdered:

On June 1, 2001, according to the Nepalese calendar, it was the third Friday that took place that month. In keeping with the tradition of the Nepali royal family, the royal family met on this day for a joint meeting at the Narayanhity royal palace, the residence of the Nepali royalty. Twenty-four members of the royal family were invited to the meeting. During that meeting, the massacre of the royal family took place.

Starting from 1930 hours Dipendra was the host of the meeting, in the billiards room where he was playing billiards alone. According to the guests’ reports, during his stay in the room, Dipendra drank whiskey and smoked a cigar containing a mixture of hashish as he always did. When Dipendra’s brother, Prince Niranjan and other family members noticed that Dipendra was starting to rock and had difficulty standing, they led him to his bedroom.

Dipendra’s telephone call details revealed that while he was in the bedroom, he made several phone calls to Devyani Rana. Rana testified before the committee, confirmed the calls and added that Dipendra’s voice sounded a little weak at the time of the call and so she called Dipendra’s assistant and asked him to go to Dipendra’s room and make sure everything was fine with him. The assistant confirmed this and claimed that he and another assistant went into Dipendra’s bedroom and found him lying on the floor of the room while trying to take off his shirt. The assistant claimed they helped Dipendra undress and after they finished, Dipendra entered the bathroom where they heard vomiting sounds. After leaving the bathroom, Dipendra turned to his aides and asked them to leave the room.

At 2030 hours, guests gathered in the palace in the pool room. At 2039, Dipendra called Devyani one last time and said to her: “I’m going to bed. Goodnight, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

After this call, Dipendra wore an army uniform and left the bedroom armed with an MP5 submachine gun, an M16 assault rifle, and a Glock pistol. Dipendra reached the pool room and fired one shot from the submachine gun toward the ceiling. Then Dipendra shot and wounded his father, King Birendra, who was sitting at the pool table at the time, giving a speech to the guests. Dipendra left the room but returned shortly thereafter and began firing again, this time with the assault rifle. Dipendra fired at Birendra once more and then pointed his weapon at his sister, Princess Shruti, and shot her and the other guests in the room. After he finished shooting, Dipendra left the pool room. Outside the room, he noticed his brother, Prince Niranjan accompanied by his mother, Queen Aishwarya, and Dipendra shot them both. Shortly afterward, Dipendra pointed the Glock pistol at his body and shot himself in an attempt to commit suicide.

A picture from the scene of the massacre:

Servants and security guards in the palace set off the alarm after hearing the gunshots and after arriving in the pool room, they began evacuation and rescue operations. All injured were evacuated to the hospital by 2130 hours. The deaths of Queen Aishwarya, Princess Shruti, and Prince Niranjan were determined upon arrival at the hospital. King Birendra died in the hospital after doctors failed to save him. Prince Dipendra was taken to hospital while in a coma, from which he did not wake up and he died on June 4, three days later. Besides, five other people, all members of the Nepali royal family, were killed in the massacre and five other family members were injured.

At scene 47 M-16 cartridge cases, two Glock pistol cartridge cases, 29 MP5 submachine gun cartridge cases were found. The whole massacre lasted about 15 minutes.

The King’s and his family’s security system operated in accordance with the well-known and widely accepted concept that close protection specialists are not placed in home security positions when the personality resides only with family members and permanent employees based on the assumption that the chances of a first-time relative or permanent employee hurting a protectee is very low. Thus, it would not make sense to place a close protection specialist next to the protectee, that would be perceived by the family members that they are considered a threat to the protectee.

As mentioned, this is a professional decision that is part of risk management in general and close protection in particular. On the one hand, one knows that there can be a threat from this direction and on the other one knows that there is not too much to do with it and sincerely hope that such an event does not happen at all and certainly not on your watch.

The main difficulty of this kind of threat lies in the faint chance of knowing what is going on in the mind of a family member or employee close to a protectee at any given moment, although in some cases there may be early suspicious indicators that such a person may become a potential threat requiring a thoughtful and sophisticated response to successfully prepare against this.

The incident in Nepal shows that such incidents also stem from a particular cause that can be a motivation for a killing from within the household, a reason that supposedly belongs to family relations, but the result of which can affect a country.

Past events, such as the incident in Nepal, show that at the end of the day, every family member and every employee is no different from any ordinary person who carries with him feelings and thoughts that build up inside that can coalesce into a decision to commit an unusual and extreme act like the murder of family members.

I am the first to argue that we must learn from past events that have occurred in Israel and around the world in order to test our working assumptions, but in this case, a working premise must be placed on the table that needs to be lived with and especially to find the right and effective ways to succeed and deal with the threat that comes from it logically and optimally.

 

Remember, security must be maintained even when it is difficult and challenging!

Event Analysis – Attempt to attack Jews and other foreigners in Germany

Summary of event details as published in the media:

Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old German extreme right-winger, was traveling in a rented vehicle in front of a synagogue in Halle on Humboldtstraße on October 9 at noon. He aired his actions live on the streaming Twitch platform, explaining his actions, in German and English. During his remarks, he denied the Holocaust, expressed anti-Semitic attitudes to Jews and foreigners and expressed himself against feminism. Later in the documentation, it can be seen that he had additional rifles, ammunition, explosives and Molotov cocktails in the vehicle. Police searches of the vehicle found four pounds of explosives.

The event began at around 1:15 pm on Yom Kippur 2019 when between 70 and 80 members of the Jewish community prayed in the synagogue. The gunman fired several shots at the synagogue door, and he even used an explosive device, but he failed to enter the synagogue. He tried to enter the synagogue through three entrances; All three were closed. He failed to shoot a submachine gun at a passerby in the street next to the synagogue, and also at the tire of the bystander’s vehicle. As another bystander approached, he tried to shoot at him as well, but the weapon he used had a stoppage that because of this the bystander was able to evade. According to other reports, the gunman threw a grenade at the nearby Jewish cemetery in Halle.

Due to his failure to enter the synagogue, he drove his car to Schillerstraße, stopping at the kebab restaurant on Ludwig-Wucherer-Straße. First, he tried to throw explosives at the fast-food restaurant, but the material got stuck in the restaurant door and exploded in the street. Then he shot at the diners in the restaurant, until the arrival of the security forces. He later fled toward the exit from the city; On his way, he stopped in the garage and demanded those present with threats and shootings a new vehicle. The suspect in the attack was arrested by the police near a construction site on Federal Highway 91 after causing an accident.

The attempt at the attack is no less than a formative event of all Jewish communities throughout the world, an event that, on the one hand, shows the reality of racism against Jews that repeatedly produces individual perpetrators and on the other, proves that awareness of threats and proper professional preparation provide a life-saving response.

The fact that the German terrorist failed to enter the synagogue is an unequivocal result that combines emergency preparedness, threat identification and correct response from the synagogue’s rabbi, security guard, and worshipers and is not at all related to luck or chance.

The perpetrator

Recent terrorist attacks against Jewish communities around the world have set an alarming reality in which racism against Jews raises its head in the form of individual perpetrators who are motivated by strong hatred, which is mainly circulated online through racist articles and violent computer games that contain overt or hidden messages against strangers.

Stephan Balliet fits the profile of a single perpetrator that has formed an extreme opinion against foreigners in his country and has apparently decided on his own to massacre with the aim of killing as many Jews as possible by weapons and explosives and to produce a media wave for his actions that will cause more and more copycat attacks.

In the picture is Stephan Balliet, whose likeness shows the characteristics of the contemporary perpetrators, the hatred is seen in their faces, who are ready to die in order to kill foreigners and especially Jews in cold blood, who imitate other perpetrators, who learn how to obtain and / or manufacture weapons, who dress and behave like murderous characters from computer games and who expect to have a murderous revolution in their country in particular and in the world in particular.

In today’s reality, our world is full of these kinds of perpetrators who just go out one day to do the fatal sometimes unannounced action and sometimes write a Facebook post describing their intentions and post it shortly before they carry out the attack.

Stephan’s picture dressed as a fighting character from a computer game:

The readiness and ability to cope with a single perpetrator

In recent years, security forces all over the world have been using numerous resources to create an intellectual circle that tries to detect in advance individual attacks like Stephan Balliet. Certainly, the intelligence effort manages to identify some of these attacks in time, but there is no chance that they will do so at a success rate of a 100 percent, which means there will always be a single attacker that will not be identified in time and thus they carry out their plans.

Coping with these kinds of perpetrators starts with awareness of the problem and the real threat, continuing to carry out network preventive actions and ending in the ability to thwart attacks. The thwarting phase is the most difficult because it occurs after the perpetrator has already started his malicious and fatal action. Precisely because the security forces start responding when the perpetrator is already operating, they are required to have a level of readiness and the highest professional level possible. Once the perpetrator is identified, whether, by citizens or security personnel, the response should be swift, determined and accurate. Any delay in responding gives the perpetrator extra time to put more and more innocent civilians at risk.

In Israel, unlike most European cities, many civilians are aware of the danger of the attacks when some are even armed with a personal firearm, security personnel (police and soldiers) stay at home and during their free time with weapons and many areas are manned by police and soldiers, which increases the likelihood of identification of the attack as well as the response happens a short time after the beginning of the attack, preventing the worsening of the situation.

According to reports in the German media, Stephan Balliet was caught an hour and a half from the time he began the attempt to enter the synagogue in Halle. This is undoubtedly a time period that makes no sense and is inconsistent with what is expected from skilled security forces. Allowing a cruel perpetrator to move about an hour and a half undisturbed with many weapons and explosives indicates that local security forces are not prepared to deal with such emergencies.

Video about the attack posted in the local media:

Inspirationally and encouragingly, the Jewish community led by the rabbi of the synagogue who stayed for Yom Kippur prayers were aware and prepared and therefore responded in a way that saved their lives. The readiness of the community is manifested in the armoring of the synagogue, the identification of the threat and the prompt and effective response. Documentation of the attacker’s attempts to break through the main entrance door to the synagogue complex and other secondary doors prove what I have written in previous event analyses, that the main entry area and especially the front door is the first and main obstacle that can impede the attacker and even prevent him from entering, thus giving the citizens time to evacuate, fortify or prepare for a counter-attack.

Documentation of Stephan Balliet attempting to break through the main entrance to the synagogue:

Picture of the door after the shooting:

The synagogue rabbi said at the end of the event that during the Yom Kippur prayer there were about 70 worshipers when the security guard suddenly recognized the threat from the outside and thus started the response, locking the front door and the secondary doors, evacuating everyone in the synagogue on the first floor and leaving a reaction force in case the perpetrator breaks through one of the doors and steps inside. As previously mentioned, the synagogue’s doors were not broken into or opened, causing the victim to get frustrated and start looking for unsuspecting victims in the street.

The awareness, preparedness, identification and response of the synagogue rabbi, the security guard and the worshipers what saved their lives. I have no doubt that they attended lectures and underwent training that has prepared them for these kinds of emergencies.

Sometimes the best defense is the attack

During his search for other foreign victims, Stephan Balliet documented how he entered a Turkish restaurant and shot at persons at the scene:

The video shows the different choices of response by the citizens in the restaurant from the moment they realize that an attacker with a weapon has been entered into it in order to murder them in cold blood. Some of the citizens chose to escape to the back room and may have stepped out of the restaurant and some chose to hide behind the drink machine. The civilians hide while a perpetrator fails to manipulate the weapons in his hand and shoot at them. During this time given to them, the civilians remain in a shelter in the hope that the perpetrator will not be able to shoot them and even begin to cry and beg for mercy for their lives. I do not judge the civilians and yet think that in such a situation it is better to go on the attack because the defense is simply ineffective because it leaves you 100 percent exposed to the real and imminent threat.

This difficult situation illustrates the importance of taking action to raise awareness among citizens of this kind of growing danger and the need to acquire skills in contact to improve self-confidence and the ability to respond in emergencies. Krav maga training improves the ability to react against the natural instinct of escape and hiding.

Individual attackers have become part of the most and more realities in the world, so it is imperative for everyone, security forces and civilians to work to raise awareness of the threat, to protect sensitive facilities, to improve identification and to acquire skills and tools for a fast, determined and effective response.

Dear citizens of the world, remember that you also need to maintain security!

Security on world tourism sites (Article writer: Miky Weinberg, security expert, owner of Tarantula Technologies)

Last February, we spent several days strolling through the amazing city of Rome, which is full of historical sites that attract thousands of tourists every day. Thousands of tourists begin to reach the entrance area of ​​each site sometime before it opens, creating a large and regular concentration of visitors until the site closes. The tourist sites are different in size and attractiveness in the eyes of the tourists and therefore the number of visitors varies accordingly. This also depends on the relevant season. Not all tourist sites create large crowds of people, but there are sites where there is a particularly large crowd all the time, one of which is the Coliseum.

We also went to visit the Coliseum site and to enter it, we had to go through a screening process which included standing in the line up to the entrance ticket checkpoint and waiting in line up to get one’s person and luggage screened. As someone who is constantly thinking and thinking about security, I looked at the security array at the site to answer the question of how effective it is in the face of possible threats.

Although Europe has undergone a process of understanding in recent years that it is necessary to secure tourist areas in general and popular sites in particular, it can be seen that the approach and method of security employed in some cases are incorrect, thus not providing a quality response against the adversary’s possible modes of attack. An adversary who wants to carry out a spectacular attack will look for a place with a relatively large concentration of persons that allows him or her to cause as many dead and injured casualties as easily as possible, as well as preferring a well-known and popular tourism site that will increase the volume and added value of the attack.

To explain why even though there is a security array in place at the site, the tourists who come to it are in real danger, I will refer to the Coliseum’s website while showing pictures for illustration:

The Coliseum site is located in the center of the city and close to other tourist sites that attract thousands of tourists every day. Thousands of tourists arrive at the Coliseum site almost year-round, from the time of opening until the entrance is closed. During this time, there is a relatively large audience outside the entrance waiting patiently for the line to progress and enter the site to visit it.

Picture of the Coliseum site before the audience arrives:

Pictures with the outside concentration of persons who are waiting to enter – on the west side of the site:

Part of the external concentration of persons in the photo from above:

This audience concentration is located outside the starting point of the existing screening process on the site and does not appear to have security guards and / or police officers around.

Later, in the screening lane, there is another concentration of persons waiting to be screened on a with a metal detector gate and a screening machine:

In the existing situation, the adversary has no reason to look for the audience concentration within the site and therefore does not have to deal with the circle of security guards stationed in the screening lanes which include a metal detector gate and a screening machine. The present method makes the concentration of persons stationary, exposed and easy to hit.

 

Analysis from the attacker’s perspective:

As previously mentioned, the attacking adversary seeks a convenient audience concentration to create a mass casualty event. The concentration of persons at the Coliseum site meets the needs of the attacking adversary, especially that persons who are concentrated outside the area with the screening lanes. It seems that attackers do not have to go through security to reach the external concentration of persons, so there is no reason why attackers should want to try and reach the light concentration of persons that is within the site.

The attacker has no problem seeing, learning and understanding that a security system exists only at the screening posts located within the site area, at the entrance to the site. It should be noted that to reach the internal concentration of visitors, the adversary only has to go through an usher who checks whether the visitor has a ticket and does not search persons and their luggage.
At the Coliseum, as well as on many other tourist sites, one can see that there are 2 crowds that the adversary can choose from. Most attackers will choose the outside concentration of persons as the target for an attack.

What more does a suicide bomber or a terrorist armed with an automatic rifle need than a large concentration of persons that are exposed without peripheral protection?

 

I think that any agency that responsible for a tourist site that attracts thousands of tourists that create large concentrations of persons has a duty to operate a professional security system that is equipped with security rings that are defined according to a concept and operating method that is written on the basis of an analysis of the area as well as the characteristics of the site (from an attacker’s viewpoint). This is needed to prepare an effective and appropriate response against a potential adversary and fulfill the responsibility for the safety of all people who came to visit the site.

In Israel, several individual entities operate a security system that acts against the adversary using a method of detecting suspicious behavior and checks only those who are classified as anomalous when all the persons go into the facility/site without stopping. I am a big believer in the method for several reasons:

  1. This requires the facility’s security plan makers and writers to perform an analysis from the attacker’s viewpoint.
  2. It requires the security guard to think about the adversaries and be active during the shift.
  3. This eliminates the situation where a security guard becomes passive only because of the wait that a technological measure, such as a metal detector gate, should tell him or her to further screen a person
  4. It passes the potential opponent through an entryway that has several security rings to detect anomalies – the adversaries feel that they are being looked for
  5. The security guards approach more people for questioning
  6. The security guards’ professional level and confidence rise sharply.

 

This is how security at a tourism site such as the Coliseum should be like:

  1. The demarcation boundaries of the site must be defined, which includes all the areas where the presence of an attacker can pose a danger to visitors.
  2. At the site’s perimeter, the audience should be allowed to stay only in areas that are part of the entry and exit route, and the other areas are defined as closed to visitors and bystanders in order one mandatory entry route.
  3. A number of security layers must be created for detecting suspicious behavioral anomalies, the first layer is placed at the start of the lane and in any segment that can be used by the adversary to organize before entering the site, the second layer is located in an area where there is a concentration of persons, the third layer is placed at the ticket inspection post, The fourth is placed at the last lane of entry into the site itself and the fifth lane is placed within the site’s area.
  4. Physical layers must be supported with security cameras operated and viewed in an operational and professional dispatch center capable of detecting abnormalities based on suspicious behavior as seen through the cameras.
  5. The third and fourth layers need to include a metal detector gate and a screening machine to check any person classified as an anomaly.
  6. Throughout the entrance route and inside the site’s interior, a warning sign has been posted indicating that the site is secured physically and with an advanced and professional camera system.

If all these principles are met, the potential attacker who decides to arrive to gather intelligence  or carry out the attack will be required to follow a predefined path where he / she will see active security guards, causing him / her discomfort even to the level of fear and pressure that will result in involuntary actions that will be interpreted by the security system as suspicious anomalous behavior, thus classifying the potential attacker as an anomaly that requires immediate questioning and physical search of his or her person and items.

The above security method will cause the visitors to flow into the site almost unstoppably, thereby completely or almost eliminating an external concentration of persons and forcing the adversary to seek an audience concentration within the site,  but the adversary can’t avoid passing through the screening and defensive layers, so he or she has to deal with them.

 

The area of responsibility:

The area for the staging of visitors to enter:

The entry route and location of the security layer:

 

Remember, security must be maintained while creating defensive security rings that will cause your adversaries to make mistakes!