Close Protection and war zones

Many close protection operative are tempted by the cash incentives and the drama and excitement of the war zones. Certainly there has been a shift  in market place with the governments withdrawing forces and visible presence from such areas due to public reactions to casualties and costs.

The legitimisation of the armed private security contractors in recent times has given birth to a completely new industry. It wasn’t long ago that such activities was conducted secretly and was generally regarded as illegitimate, now governments in particular  that of USA have an open policy to use armed private contractors for various tasks.

The private security contractor does not benefit from public support or sympathy, they also lack  in most cases  the benefits the regular soldier relies upon , such as legal framework when on deployment overseas,  governmental level of support in logistic , medical and intelligence and not to mention being part of an a recognise and established national  armed forces.

In short the private security contractor is exposed to more risk and threat and  with very few tools to mitigate them strategically or tactically.

With the influx of service men from many countries into the armed contractor industry who are willing to work for less fees the financial rewards have certainly taken a down turn.

Though the article is entitled close protection and war zones make no mistake when in deployment overseas into war zones you are no longer a bodyguard in its civilian context which by its very title expresses a positive and protective motive and you are easily distinguishable, but for all intent and purpose you are an armed private contractor.

Armed security contractors perform many tasks many of which are outside the remit of a bodyguard and you will be indistinguishable from the  local variety of guns for hire .You will potentially be  escorting individuals associated with questionable motives, histories and despised by many for good reasons and if all of that means nothing as long as you get paid then the moral ground is no longer the field you walk on and as such you are fair game for judgement by people who will view you with hostility and will target you with the same vigour as they will the individuals you are assigned to and remember you will have very little to fall back on in the way of support.

So if you are ex-military and just miss the action and nothing else matters then go forth, but if you are a civilian close protection operative stay put and work within a civilian arena.

Poorang

views are that of my own

 

 

 

 

 

SQR group is proud to announce the opening of

SQR east of england

SQR will bring its unique security solution to East of England

UK, London, January 29, 2015– SQR opens in East of England

“SQR is privileged to open its east of England branch so that it may fully participate in the life of local community SQR is already a local employer of many East of England residents”  SQR co –founder Shai Slagter

SQR East of England is situated at SQR East of England Lakes Industrial Park, Lower Chapel Hill, Braintree CM7 3RU Essex.Tel: +44(0)20 36972590, Fax: +44(0)20 3318 3936

SQR unique approach in blending human and technological solutions in security will bring new standards of service and security to East of England

 

Security, Quality and Reliability are the foundations of the company and they are what distinguishes ‘SQR group’ from other companies in the UK market in particular, and the Global market as a whole.

‘SQR group’ places supreme importance in the recruiting and training of the most highly qualified personnel, creating a unique team to be trusted both personally and professionally.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Poorang at +44(0)2037145293 or email at poorang@sqrgroup.com.

Close protection how not to!

Close protection has certain ground rule, these are the basic of the art of body guarding and are incorporated in and understood by close protection teams everywhere.

We also take it for granted and assume that the highly placed government officials such as the prime minster who due to sensitivity of their position require 24hr security will benefit from the very best close protection that can be provided.

One would assume that the members of these team are regularly trained and constantly subjected to tests and performance monitoring, one would assume that they are the elites.

These assumptions have been sorely tested a short while ago on the day that the Prime Minster surrounded by his close protection team stepped out of a building from a meeting.

On that occasion a young man ran through the advance guards! Completely unnoticed, he then continued to run toward the Prime Minster who had actually noticed him before even the closest member of the bodyguard team and had raised his elbow in defence.

PM2

What followed only underscored the close protection team’s failure, the young man actually ran into and touched the Prime Minster physically had his intentions been malicious and deadly the Prime Minster would be dead!

This would have been an outrageous outcome considering our natural assumption that he is protected by the best the country can offer in close protection.

As the incident unfolded things got worse! While the bodyguards finally decided to tackle the man they did so collectively! The Prime Minster was left to make his way to his with no protection.

all in  PM

The incident highlighted so many failures in the close protection team both individually and collectively  that  it’s footage is bound to become a prime teaching tools for close protection courses everywhere  in order to show  how not to bodyguard anyone.  At SQR centre of excellence we teach  future close protection operatives vigilance, dynamic threat and risk assessment, standard operating procedures, foot formations, individual roles and responsibilities , operational planning, emergency response, physical intervention and many other subjects any one of which would have prevented the event to occur the way it did .

Poorang

 

Internet the battle ground

The internet has long been viewed as a convenient media for communication and propaganda for organised crime, terrorism.

There has been many chapters in this story with one side or the other claiming advantage by using new techniques in encryption, techniques to avoid detection or to monitor traffic.

The Snowdon revelation gave everyone a glimpse to the monumental scale of monitoring and data collections by governments this has also altered organised crime and terrorist alike as to review their communication’s security.

The governments have long viewed the private internet companies as a weak link, it appears that in America there has long existed a secret arrangement with internet companies this has sometimes meant that backdoors were left open so governments could gain access without having to request or enforce legal notices.
In UK the home secretary about to introduce new measures inserted in the new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill.
One issue being addressed is the IP internet protocol addresses that every devise is assigned on the internet. The firms are being formally asked to maintain a log of IP addresses and who has used them so that through IP matching and tracing police and security services can deal more effectively with problems of identifying suspects on the internet.
The Counter-terrorism and Security Bill will also include the ability of refusing entry to nationals returning from front line activity in support of banned organisations.
It remains to be seen if the bill will be passed wholly or if it will be modified or buried as the so called snooper charter was previously due to coalition disagreement.

Poorang

East of England CO- Operative Society commissions SQR group to provide a variety of security services

 

The commissioning of SQR is based on recognition of its ability to deliver security solutions of the highest standard across many sector of security industry. SQR group’s management and systems meet the highest national and international standards

 

SQR raises the standard of provision of security for institutions by providing SQR trained staff for the industry.

Security, Quality and Reliability are the foundations of the company and they are what distinguishes

‘SQR group’ from other companies in the UK market in particular, and the Global market as a whole.

 

‘SQR group’ places supreme importance in the recruiting and training of the most highly qualified

Personnel, creating a unique team to be trusted both personally and professionally.

The air campaign is fast expanding beyond Iraq to various targets in Syria .The target list into Syria compromises of a wish list by number of western governments who due to internal security considerations give different priority to different militant groups.

The introduction of yet another militant group e.g the so called Khorasan network in the mix is yet another example of the multiple fragmented groups that operate under various umbrella groups.

The participation of the certain Arab countries in the bombing is a PR exercise to appease the USA & deflect the growing security relationship between America and their main regional rival Iran.

This will however cause internal issues at home for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have been given material and moral support to the militant jihadi movements such ISIS.

Turkey has stayed away from the limelight in recent developments as it continues to underscore its policies of stablishing itself as the Sunni Muslim world leader and to deflect the Jihadi attention by supporting their activities in Iraq and Syria.

The question of so called boots on the ground is hotly debated across media outlets on both side of the Atlantic this however is an academic questions as boots have been on the ground for some time in the shape of Special Forces and advisors.

The offshoot of the bombing of the operational capital of ISIS in Syria the City of Raqqa and other militant targets amounts to military assistance to the Syrian regime in its fight in the civil war, though this is not a declared policy it must be part of the calculations within the military HQs responsible for the operation, this may even have been part of the political barraging chips in negotiations with Syria and Iran.

Events will unfold both on our screens and behind closed doors but given the regional complexities all involved will find their security objectives achievable only by reassessing long held strategic alliances.

Ultimately the real judgment as to the success and failure of the campaign against ISIS is whether it will succeed to expand and indeed survive and be prevented in carrying out an attack against the west as it clearly intends to .

 

 

 

 

 

Execution
The recent execution of another innocent man by ISIS is more than just a display of brutality for its own sake and the pronounced demand from USA to cease its air campaign.

This act is as old as the warfare itself it is one of the oldest weapons to use against your enemy its the weapon of fear . Its aim is to underscore its strength with sheer brutality and to ignite within the recipient of the message one of the key emotional triggers that all humans share” Fear”.

Among its audience are all sections of our society our political leaders, our selves and maliciously the very fabric of our multicultural societies in the west.

Its aim is not to deter an attack but the opposite It is designed to enrage and engage us violently.

It at once makes us aware of our differences and makes us frighten of each other.

There are no easy way out of this scenario it demands of USA and its western allies to challenge their long held friendships with Saudi Arabia, Qatar among others. Can the west turn a blind eye as it did during its war with the Taliban and allow its Arab allies to fund and support its enemies on the ground in order to maintain social cohesion in their own country.
The recent meetings with Arab leaders by John Kerry will do very little to inhibit their support in real terms .

The Nato member Turkey is by no means innocent in this matter and its sees its involvement in Syria and Iraq as a part of strategic positioning to become a regional power broker. (it has been a major supporter of militias and armed opposition of all shades in particular the fundamentalist groups )

Iran’s role as regional power and the first to send in supplies and specialist and ground attack air crafts to fight ISIS and collaborate with USA albeit secretly must give a hint as to where future meaningful engagement should lie .

The politicians in the west need to learn to look fear in the face and make difficult decision . That there are no alternatives to boots on the ground and that a revision of its alliances in the region is inevitable as in the case of Assad, if ISIS is to be defeated then Assad needs to be treated as an ally in this campaign for it is in Syria that this war will be lost or won not in Iraq.

Libya’s new strong man
General Khalifa Haftar will become a familiar name in the headlines regarding Libya.
His colourfully history as coup maker and one time military chief with Gaddafi who he later helped depose and his increasingly forceful involvements with Libyan politics since then defines him as a maverick who knows how to survive.
There are some facets of the general that will guarantee him support from some corners and fanatical opposition from others. He belong to the dwindling rank of Arab secularist with a track record of opposing militant religious groups. Paradoxically he is Arab nationalist who was released as a prisoner of war from Chad due to a CIA inspired agreement he subsequently moved to America and became a citizen. They are allegation of being trained by the CIA and being close associate of that organisation.
It is understood that many officer and men from the old Libyan forces disillusioned with the rise of Islamic militancy and Jihadi control of many militia have joined the General’s rank of supporters. American response to the murder of their ambassador John Christopher Stevens in 2012 in the hand of Islamic militia in Bengasi after an attack on their consulate has taken many forms including support for General Khalifa Haftar and enlisting the help of their regional ally Egypt .The recent attack on the airport in the Libyan capital by unknown military aircrafts is laid at his door and his friends in Egyptian military .
Though Sudan is also a suspect due to its support of some of the militant Islamic militia.
There are brewing issues between western allies with Europeans favouring working with the recognised central government though it is a government largely in name only and the Americans who would favour an Egyptian style solution even though some critical factors are missing for that to take shape.
The inescapable fact is that Libya is a dysfunctional state not far from Europe. It has become a hot bed of militant Jihad with vast stores of modern arms and natural resources that will further fuel militants activity within the region and further a field. Libya is by far the greatest security threat to Europe in the African region .

We are at the beginning a campaign that will pitch the security services against a large citizen minority that sympathise with the Jihadi and militant Islamic movement overseas and who peculiarly are able to enjoy the freedoms offered by their places of birth to assist movements who are at odds with those very freedoms.

There  are many questions raised as to the cause of growing radicalisations. No doubt the over reactions and ill-judged persecution of the Muslim community in reactions to terrorist attack in New York, Spain and London had a part in this matter. One must also factor in the reluctance of the first two waves of immigrants from places such Pakistan to integrate to the main society. The politicisation of Islamic sentiments and nurturing of its radical elements by the very agencies who are now tasked to oppose during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan have added fuel to a volatile geopolitical environment since the Iraqi invasion .

The relaxed and almost naive attitude that allowed certain sects within Islam to come to dominate the tone and delivery of Islamic teaching in mosques across the country must be seen as the main contributor to this issue. These elements benefitted from substantial financial backing and logistical support from countries such as Saudi Arabia and smaller Gulf states.

The Metropolitan Police have asked the public for information to help them identify persons travelling overseas to join organisations such ISIS. During this appeal they have revealed that all security agencies have witnessed the doubling of number of people travelling overseas either to join or take cash to groups such as ISIS and others involved with armed conflicts in middle east .

This public appeal is based on the fact that many people encountered by the security forces have no previous history and therefore are invisible to the systems in place but may be known to private citizens.

It has yet to be seen whether the Islamic community will respond positively to this appeal but one thing is clear the appeal itself underscores a key weakness in the battle against this dire problem that of lack insight, positive interaction with the community and trust.

The unconfirmed reports that ISIS or IS (Islamic state) as they like to be called now days has issued its own passport  begs another question, who in the international community will recognise them and will accept this documents?

The tempo and nature of response to ISIS is rapidly changing, the Americans weary of being the only responders to the crises have successfully urged various security partners to become involved.

First among them has been  the UK who initially responded with caution and even stated their reluctance to commit militarily but have now seen their prime minster making  very strong statements which will be the prelude to combat units being deployed, these initially will be special forces personnel who will be tasked with reconnaissance, intelligence and most immediately with target acquisition for the combat aircrafts, a task made important by the nature of ISIS tactics.

Even though ISIS has captured a large amount of heavy weaponry during its initial advances and has in its ranks trained soldiers and officers from Syrian  and Iraqi armies who can operate the systems it has not put the heavier weaponry into regular use and It remains largely a light mobile force that has exploited the vast undefended spaces it has move into. Sunni Muslim sympathies in the area has also assisted their advances.

More modern weaponry is being delivered to Kurdish fighters who are already beginning to feel the benefit of air support by USA. This has resulted in ISIS issuing direct threats to UK and USA and the UK prime minster advising of new measures against their supporters in UK and beyond.

The newly appointed Iraqi prime minister has been given a breathing space to make amends for the previous administration’s mistakes and a chance to mobilise the army to start making a concentrated effort to capture lost territory.

ISIS has initially benefited from the convictions of its followers and the vigour this generated in combat but is beginning to experience stiffer resistance from the Kurds who are now defending their own territories. The brutality that ISIS has inflicted on other minorities and the members of the majority Shia will undoubtedly stiffen resistance to them in future fights on the ground. There are growing signs of Tribes men turning their guns on the ISIS, their involvement proved critical in fights against Jihadi insurgency in the past.

The Spector of ISIS and the Nusra Front(Al Qaeda proxy in Syria) fighting each other in Syria as they settle the power struggle to lead the global Jihadi movement and secret collaboration between the USA and IRAN certainly makes this an interesting area for security analysts the world over.

It remains to be seen if behind the door pressures applied to the alleged sponsors of the ISIS will bear any effects or will further cool the relationship between the west and the countries accused of funding and nurturing them such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

It is certainly a matter of time that a major terror incident with the stamp of approval of ISIS in the west takes place, this will be the response to the west’s military actions against them and the next step in replacing Al Qaeda as standard bearer in Jihadi movement. The beheading of American journalist James Foley today (August 19th 2014) must be seen as a prelude of things to come.