assassination

Assassination in full view

At first glance the shooting of the Russian ambassador in Turkey raises more questions than it answers.

The overall security of a foreign mission and its staff is the responsibility of the host country.

The countries who have embassies also provide security for their missions and their staff in coordination with the host country.

The generalities stop there, there are clear differences for security consideration given to American and Russian missions than let’s say Mongolia and Chile diplomatic missions the first two are world powers with global policies that affect the lives of many inhabitants in many countries directly they also project military power in support of those policies. The others two do not.

Given the Russian involvement on behalf of Assad  indirect opposition to Turkey’s own active policies in support of the rebels and the event last year of Russian sanctions following Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet one can see that there would have been an up-scaling of the security measures for the Russian ambassador.

However, from the current evidence the absent of any security detail around the ambassador other than the assassin who is said to have been off duty and belonged to the riot police unit is clear.

The officer suitably dressed and armed had positioned himself directly behind the victim who was at the podium in a spot that would have been only be taken by close protection officer, was one even present? it has been suggested that the assassin was part of the security detail a claim denied by Turkish authorities.

The assassin proceeded to fire 9 rapid shots into the ambassador with no response from any security personnel, and continued to shout slogans and quote verses from Al Nasura front anthem (Al-Qaeda associate in Syria who have recently changed their name on advice to avoid being targeted by Russians!)

He was allegedly shot dead later by Turkish security forces.

The clear absence of security personnel. An armed uninvited person gaining entry to an invitation only event. No immediate response. The absence of even the most basic of threat and risk assessment beforehand and any apparent mitigation.

It may be that such an event can only be conducted by  the boldest of assassins or be allowed to happen by the grandest of security failures but at the very least by tacit collaboration of others in the ranks of the host nations security services.