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Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

The attack on New Year’s Eve in Istanbul was yet another example of how having 1000s of armed police in uniform and under cover through out a Metropolitan area will have no effect on the outcome.

The chances of intercepting an attack in its final phase are mostly based on luck rather than methods.

Much remains to be answered but it these are clear so far , one attacker , armed with assault rifle which from the footage was an AK 47 . Standard magazine size taken into account and initial forensic indicating 120 shots fired shows he changed magazines a number of times .

Witness statements indicate he shot from the hip and directly into people who had taken cover by laying on the ground , he maintained his attack for 7 minutes and then changed his outer clothing in the kitchen and walked off during the chaos after the attack.
Cold , calculated , experienced and motivated is the summery of this attacker one that no security service wants on its turf, but not a suicide attacker he had planned to walk out and he did.

He has been identified by finger prints as being Lakhe Mashrapov from the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. he had been in the country since November with is family.
It’s highly unlikely that this was a random attack, the cell he has been associated with have already been linked to the airport bombing few month earlier.

But these are details that suit an investigator , our concern must be focused on the similar attacks and the likely hood of them happening where we are . We must also assess if basic measures we are being offered will suffice to stop an attack . Armed police are mostly for reassuring the public as any attacker is unlikely to want to have a shoot out with police , they are looking for soft targets and maximum impact ,the least protected the target better and that ,means 99.9% of public spaces .
So far in United kingdom we must accept the security services have done their job and hope that they continue to do so. There has had to be a lot of retuning and learning as the traditional enemies of the state in UK played with different rules compering to the new likely suspects.

Taking into account that Turkey’s geo position at this moment in history could not be more difficult added to this is its own entangled involvement in many fronts with the participants of the civil war in Syria.
It has also seen a complete purge of some of its security apparatus due to the recent bloody coup and its aftermath .
There are many hands in play in Turkey , the state of play is confusing and the players maintain their own positions at any cost.

There has been many recent attacks in Turkey with casualties running into hundreds, with many different motives from dissatisfied Kurds to various militant groups and some even accuse the state in being behind some attacks.
The only plausible defence is good intelligence and the ability to act in timely and desired manner but given the complexities in Turkey that may be a pie in the sky and beyond reach of the man in charge .

image of lorry in Berlin attack

Berlin attack

Multiple failures by security and the legal system in Germany and Italy lay behind the Berlin attack might be the first conclusion after the event .

The general belief is that widest and the most encompassing circle of defence is the intelligence service of a country when dealing with terrorist attacks of any nature. As such it is the most important and the first line of defence and failure and oversights at this point will inevitability mean the attack will go ahead unless luck intervenes.

The issues raised after the attack in terms of on the ground changes will have only marginal effects. Measures such as traffic management systems, barriers, permanent re-routing away from attractions and other large scale people hubs can only be considered as last line of defence systems, armed police and military standby units are much the same.

If we examine the movement of the Tunisian Anis Amri and his repeated interactions with the security services in Germany and Italy we can see how bureaucracy and security can make very poor bedfellows.

Of course, there are many other factors such as resources, prioritisation of threats, political climate at the time. One must also consider the huge influx of refugees and the inevitable strains it caused in the systems governing Germany.

Much was made of the movement of the man involved after the event i.e his travels across Europe and his final demise in Italy where he had previously served a three-year sentence and told to leave the country.

Some interesting information has also emerged on the events leading to the attack,  such as the hijacking and killing of the driver of the Polish truck.

But these are of little significance comparing to the attacker being on Germany’s top list of individuals to watch, he was under surveillance for up to six month, his arrests, the failure of his asylum application, failed deportation, his multiple false IDs /nationalities and releases back into society after legal deadlocks.

If one aspect of being part of a wide European umbrella is enhanced security one must see this man’s presence, his constant criminality and his clear slow path into self-radicalisation without any decisive intervention from the authorities as a failure.

Pondering the tactical changes on the ground only deals with some issues but the larger issues will loom large regardless, among them are:

Finding a balance between security and human rights and the impact of any measure on society and quality of life as whole.

The wider European collaboration and coordination for security services.

But the Gorilla in the room is wider foreign policy decisions that has led directly to civil wars, regime changes, mass movements of people, armed radical movements  supported by governments in opposition to their normal treaty statues with each other is to name but  a few.

First circle of security may just be the right political decisions.

 

man on the bridge by  Edward Munch

Worst case scenario

Worst case Scenario thinking in security.

Risk management involves mitigating against real and current threats, here the word “real” plays a crucial part in this conversation.

The effect of news media on our perception of threats cannot be underestimated so its best to remember a few things about the news media. firstly, the news media is competitive environment whereby  profit demands being first and overwhelming in coverage. It also must develop a narrative that captivates the audience. the prime narrative in this equation is fear, another is sensationalism. The combination of these and the growth of the social media and its ability to further amplify the worse aspect of the news media coverage of certain event brings us to a point of collective “worse case thinking” .

In the case of normal man and woman in society this only leads to increase anxiety and paranoia which  harms the individual’s quality of life. In society, the effect are hysteria, xenophobia and willingness to forgo long established civil liberties, all adding to negative trends in society and potential abuse of power.

The impact that concerns us as security specialist is exemplified by Dick Cheney who was the vice president in G.W.|Bush’s administration. Whereby he advocated that a %1 potential of AL Qaeda arming themselves with a nuclear weapon was to be treated as a %100 certainty to create adequate response. while at first look based on our instance reaction we may be inclined to agree,on  a professional  we must logically realise to change a very low probability to an absolute certainty is purely a great flight of imagination and mostly emotional .This is not based on correct mitigation of a threat and management of risk. The immediate effect is simply focusing attention on the remotest of possibilities and devoting undue amount of attention and resources, at the cost of dealing with more current and real threats.

In society this leads to overt measures , increase in intrusive security protocols some of which is alarming to the public & does not deter attacks but merely changes their nature .

The impact on the state of mind of security personnel, specialist , planners and interactions with their normal environments and the basic of their jobs is far more detrimental than can be measured.

Simply that fear itself, one of the very thing we are to guard the rest of the society against and create a sense of security and normally which are some of prime reasons we are employed , fear takes control  of  us and inevitably leads to over sights , over reaction and failures  .

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SQR national meeting

SQR team leader’s national meeting.

National meeting of SQR's team leaders

SQR group’s national meeting

SQR group’s national meeting in London conducted at the HQ of the group.

The meeting addressed by Shai Slagter the co founder of the SQR to highlight the importance of individual staff members and their team leaders in the growth of the company. In addition company structure and ambitions were also explained and the team were invited to participated in forward movement of the SQR.

The day long meeting included Q&E session, leadership enhancement sessions. The day concluded by dinner and refreshments at a top London restaurant.

SQR’s rapid growth across United Kingdom and its international services is built upon its core attributes enshrined in its very name , Security  Quality  Reliability .

Close Protection USA

Close protection USA

Close Protection in USA a reality check

Let’s take a look at some facts and figures so that we can identify the real Threats and Risk and not the falsely perceived namely Terrorism which accounts for 31 deaths on average in USA with the 9/11 taken into account.Close protection in USA is about more about professional approach to the fundamentals and basics than the glory hugging action hero gestures and posturing .

Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, and 26,819 people were injured (those figures exclude suicide]) Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted. Source:  Gun Violence Archive

The US death toll between 1968 and 2011 surpasses all wars ever fought by the country. There were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq. Source: Politifact.

There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and injuring 1,870. A mass shooting is describing a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant. Source: Mass Shooting Tracker

There are thought to be about 300 million guns in the US, owned by about a third of the population so that is 106.6 million people with guns.

There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870. These events take place in cinemas, shopping malls and all public.

source the Mass Shooting Tracker.

There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.)

There are approximately 1.4 million active gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United States.

Source 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment FBI

343 well-armed anti-government militias numbering over 100.000 members, many have been involved in armed stand offs with federal and local forces.

Added to that there are 800,000 armed police with a stablished reputation of using their weapons aggressively.

The main threat in USA is guns and crime and occasionally the law enforcements. The figures make it clear that this is no Walt Disney landscape and you need to develop a good local knowledge for example of crime hotspots, type of crimes, active gangs, and their area of operation and methodology.

It is essential to take into account active, current threats rather than the news driven high profile threats that frankly are statically should be very low on the scale of priorities.

Essential tools for close protection operative in USA is an accurate threat and risk assessment, thorough planning, well-practised situational & spatial awareness and hopefully a gun!

Rio and its famous statue

Close Protection at Brazil’s Olympic

Close protection at  Brazil Olympic

With the summer games fast  approaching many high net worth individuals and their security personnel will decamp to Brazil.

Brazil poses its own unique security threats for security professionals who will arrive with their clients.

Let us not forget that tweeted message from a Islamic  member which gained wide spread news converge recently , “Brazil, you are our next target”  nevertheless if we put things in to proportion Latin  America is not assessed to be a hot bed of Islamic extremism and most of its armed opposition are motivated by political views far removed from the Islamic  extremists  they mostly name far left Marxist Leninist ideas as their motivation.

The biggest threat to visitors are the frightening crime figures for example it had one of the highest murder rates in the world .

Wide areas of  the major cities are under the influence if not control of heavily armed gangs who have not hesitated to engage the state and its various enforcement agencies  in all out armed conflicts on the street  to protect their interest .

As in the rest of Latin America kidnapping in all its variety of types are a very valid threat across the country  often very violent with the Express type being very common where the victims are taken to ATM machines immediately to withdraw cash to secure their release .

Violent car jacking at traffic lights or at residence are a daily occurrence as are  mugging specially if strangers are  in the wrong place at the wrong time .

Guns are in easy supply and most criminals are armed and use them freely  the police will use fire arms also   without hesitation and in public crowded areas.

Brazil is also a major drug hub and heavy user of class A drugs which brings about all the predictable dynamics in to the ix for security planner .

The other threat  that lurks under currents is  violent protests many of which were witnessed leading up to the world cup , the Brazilians can and will take to the streets to air their views to the authorities  and sometimes very forcefully .

Uniquely this Olympic also poses major medical  concerns  with various  mosquito born diseases such Zika virus .

The authorities  have been very active of recent to confront the gangs and street criminals in preparations for the games  but given the fact the game offer very rich pickings for all criminal the threats have to be viewed as very much real .

 

In short the security planner has to have a through understanding of high risk urban threats and environments and be prepared accordingly.

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Bloomberg , SQR group and European security

SQR groups Avi Navama  was interviewed today to by Bloomberg Business .This was in the  aftermath  of Brussels bombing. SQR’s inherent experience based on its long history in military , civilian and national security sectors gives it the authority to make observation on such critical matters and issues.

The interview (click  link)

avi 2

SQR group is one of the leading global security organisation with specialisation in anti terrorism, national infrastructure protection and close protection.

 

juggler on tight rope

Close Protection with blindfolds on

Close Protection with blindfolds on

So often the individuals involved in the industry overlook the implications of the wider world events on all aspects of their profession .They seem to live in a self-created bubble that mostly comforts them in the belief that keeping up with physical aspects of the art form is sufficient to deliver them and their clients into a safe zone of their own making!.

The latest guns and body armour or paramilitary accessories seems to dominate conversation and the mental aspect seem to be one of endurance coping with pressure and alertness, all no doubt of great importance.

Never the less the best guns and armour and military attire and speaking in abbreviations will not protect anyone if you have blindfolds on!

Blindfolds addressed here are the lack of interest and in depth knowledge of fast changing world events with bewildering range of consequence on the field. This has many root causes but a close Protection Operative cannot get by with excuses in effect if you can’t tell the difference between various factions be they religious, ethnic or political and at times understanding that they combine and form a front that has defeated large military forces who have played ignorant of them.

In short if you don’t know your Shia from Sunni or have never heard of Wahhabi or Salafism and have never attempted to understand the clan mind set inherent in many Arab countries or think Iranians are Arabs and are in any way confused about difference between Judaism and Zionism or Palestinian issue don’t go to Middle east and if you still think of Turkey as depicted in your holiday brochure and think streets of Europe are not effected by any of the above hang up your hat and stay in.

Indeed if you have no idea why the Ukrainians and Russians are aiming guns at each other stay out of there too for good measure if you don’t understand and care to study the social back ground of your area of operation do yourself and your clients and team mates  a favour and stay home  as the crucial and fundamental part of the work that of  “ threat and risk assessment “ has everything to do with understanding the key triggers in the environments you are going to work and if you don’t get that no amount of military attire ,gung-ho attitude and jargon on the radio is going to protect you .

Poorang

 

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SQR security enters three years of operations

SQR security solutions  is proud to announce its third year of active operations across a wide range of security sectors in multiple territories .

SQR’s client list is  a testament to its drive and dedication and adherence to company’s  core values of reliability and quality.

SQR provides security solutions for clients to protect themselves , communities , their assets and interests.

SQR security’s international scope of operations and the world class experience of its management , operatives  and staff are some of the key aspects that sets apart.

 We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and our staff 

isel flag

Call it by its name! ISIS,ISEL,Dayesh ?

Call it by its name!

The ongoing issue of what to call ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), ISEL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)or Dayesh (Arabic name “in the plural form ‘Dayesh’  means bigots who impose their views on others.”  )

Dayesh is the name used in the region to describe this organisation , it was also adopted by US military, French government and Australians. The British and many international news media however seem to be reluctant to use this and insist on using the various version that include Islamic and state as adjectives!

However we are beginning to see in UK first signs from the governmental level in the way the organisation is referred to.

This change of approach is the first sign of multi-level approach to counter the organisation who are very media aware and effective in manipulating press and social media.

For this approach to work the international media and social media organisations need to play their parts.

More importantly the governments need to be clear where the traditional source of support and finance have been for this organisation and bring to bear pressures and more importantly make hard choices as to who to formulate new alliances with in the region the USA seem to have made some choice on this level by their tentative conversation with the Iranians who were one of the first in the region to confront this organisation and its brothers in arm.

The public campaign that must be waged has to start with naming the source of the ideology that has been the driving force behind this terrorist organisation which are the  Wahhabi and Salafi sects of Islam which are the dominant and state sponsored in Saudi Arabia and some of the small states in the Persian gulf region .

Poorang