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London bus on fire

SQR personnel doing what SQR does best

Security has primary concern which is preservation of life and creating a balance between competing dynamic forces that are at work in society in favour of safety .

On Sunday 13th of Aug two of SQR security staff assigned to JW3 a high profile Jewish community hub were alerted to a potentially serious incident. A double-Raymonddecker London bus with passengers on board had caught fire .

SQR’s Emilio Garcia and Marius Asteika both responded immediately with Marius assisting the passengers to evacuate the bus  and Emilio in fighting the fire to stop its escalation and the dangers it posed to the passing cars and pedestrians all this amid bellowing smoke and explosions in the engine compartment .They both proceeded to maintain a cordon to prevent bystanders approaching the blazing flame.

Emilio and Marius are trained close protection operatives trained at SQR’s centre of excellence .

During this incident they acted within SQR protocol during life threatening incidences  remove from danger e.g evacuate in this instance , protect ,  deescalate when ever possible  maintain control and safety .

Their actions have been praised by Raymond Simonson  the leader of the JW3

“Their only thoughts were for the safety of the passengers caught on the burning bus, which is typical of all the SQR security staff at JW3,” he said.

“I wasn’t at all surprised – we constantly receive praise and positive feedback from members of the public for our wonderful security team.”

sqr staff involved in fire rescue

the national and international press were also quick to see the merits and professionalism of the SQR staff and have given a wide coverage of their actions in their out lets .

The renowned London daily had this to say

A security guard who said today that he thought the double-decker was going to explode.

Emilio Garcia, 36, was on duty at a nearby building when he heard a loud bang outside Finchley Road and Frognal Overground station on Sunday.

He ran towards the noise and saw flames and smoke billowing from the No 117 bus. He helped several passengers off before grabbing a fire extinguisher from the driver.

The national paper The mirror also covered the incident along with Jewish chronicle and Times of Israel

https://www.thejc.com/news/videos/jw3-security-guards-hailed-as-heroes-for-tackling-bus-blaze-1.442903

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/london-bus-bursts-flames-mans-10984234#ICID=sharebar_whatsapp

http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/jw3-security-guards-heralded-utter-mensches-for-tackling-bus-blaze/

 

 

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 .

Scottish Flag is displayed in reference to the opening of the SQR group's opening of its offices in that region

SQR Scotland opens on the fourth anniversary of SQR

SQR group is proud to announce the opening of

 SQR Scotland

SQR will bring its unique security solution to Scotland

UK, London, October 11, 2016– SQR opens its Scotland Office

 

This follows in the footstep of SQR’s offices in London,East of England, Manchester, Newcastle/Gates head

“SQR is privileged to open its Scottish branch. SQR aims to build upon this firm foundation and make a solid contribution to the security in Scotland”

“SQR’s unique approach in blending human and technological solutions in security will bring new standards of service and security to Scotland”

“This announcement coincides with SQR group’s fourth birthday which adds to it meaning for SQR as whole”

SQR’s  co –founder Shai Slagter

Security, Quality and Reliability are the foundations of the company and are the qualities that 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 highly qualified and dedicated personnel, and in creation of bespoke solution for individual clients and organizations.

 

active shooter in train station

Active shooter safety advise

active shooter in train station

ACTIVE SHOOTER

Unfortunately there are hundreds of examples of these type of attacks across the globe, while some of the attacks are inspired by political violence, many of the incidents can only be termed civilians on civilians, and they accrue randomly almost anywhere in urban environments, streets, cinemas, concert halls shopping centres and offices they also generally fall outside of preventable or detectable norms.

Everyone must learn a simple set of rules to increase their safety and chance of survival.

 

Movement

 

Run, Hide, Fight

  1. Run

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind (take note of exits when entering a public space)
  • Distance, put as much distance between the shooter and yourself .perpetuates are mostly shooting on the move and don’t have regular training distance equals safety
  • Angle, run at angle this means the shooter has to sweep his weapon to adjust this makes it less likely for him to be accurate.
  • Do not stop to move the injured, it draws attention to you both. Additionally you will present a larger slower moving target.
  • If you are wounded and unable to move stay silent and do not move (play dead) this has saved countless wounded.
    • Leave your belongings behind (hesitations cost lives)
    • Do not run directly at armed police show your hands preferably above your head, shooters are most likely to be dressed in casual everyday cloth just like you, so identify yourself to police if you come into contact.

 

Cover and Concealment

2.Hide

  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.

Cover should provide you with additional protection e.g. solid objects, solid walls

Concealment hides you but will not necessarily offer protection e.g. advertising   boards and kiosks

Find a combination of both

  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors

 

Nowhere to run or hide

  1. Fight

  • Last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the assailant.
  • Act with physical and mental aggression
Holocaust centre

The National holocaust centre

The National holocaust center

The National holocaust centre has commissioned SQR group with the national important task of securing its centre in Nottingham shire. SQR group will approach this sombre and important task with dedication, professionalism and the sensitivity it demands so that the lessons of the past can be safe guarded for future generations.

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statue of Ann Frank at the center

http://www.nationalholocaustcentre.net/

 

lone wolf

Lone Wolf

This is a name given to the type of attack that causes the security professionals with the greatest challenge.

It’s a paradoxical name as wolves generally act in packs. The lone wolf will have only  loose connection to identifiable organisations or persons who pose security threats, he might have been influenced by ideas, individuals or self-generated delusions.

The lone wolf follows no particular pattern in particular though it has been suggested after some study that many suffer from mental and social disorders.

They come from the general population and do not belong to a particular social and racial group.

The lone wolf does not belong to a command structure, he decides and he plans and he carries out the act.

Their motives can be staggeringly varied political, religious, seeking fame or playing out a fantastical delusion based on all of the conceivable motives.

Lone wolf can be a white supremacist, Jihadi or just an angry young man!

This as can be understood very  difficult to detect and responded to in a timely manner in fact luck can be the biggest factor in detecting such individuals, that leaves responding which can only be based on speed , efficiency and dedicated units in the right place and the right time ,here is the element of luck again!

The terrorist groups have not be slow in utilising the lone wolf and very carefully do not connect directly and concentrate on using social media to agitate ,call out for acts or radicalise and praise.

They have had a head start on use of psychological techniques in order to motivate individuals to commit extreme acts of violence on others and on themselves.

They have also manage to create a lone wolf mentality in small groups, where small group will act in complete independence and randomness with almost no tangible association or connection with an identifiable organisation, this is different from the small cell system of old where at least one person in the cell had a veiled connection to an organisation and targets and timing and logistics would be sourced or directed and a leader or a commander could be identified upon examination.

The mass trolling for data and intelligence across all communication networks social and other wise by governments and their agencies is an attempt basically  to get Lucky!

 

armed police

Met police anti-Terrorism unit

Anti-Terrorism unit

The Met police has responded to the changing threats from terrorism by creating military style unit which are reputed to be over hundred strong. This unit have been involved in wide scale anti-terrorism drills conducted in London on 30th of June 2015.

This unit’s creation has been inspired by the lessons in the latest attacks on major civilian targets around the world.

The units name is counter-terrorism specialist firearms officers (CTSFO).The units has been equipped with new weapons and has been training along the side the military to sharpen its skills and also learn a completely new set of methods .

If one examined the Mumbai attack or the Nairobi attack one can identify the task at hand, both were exemplified by being attacks in major cities that had random seeking of targets of opportunity in populated centres ending with hostage taking to prolong the newsfeed and maximise the impacts.

Countering these type of attacks requires rapid decisive response using deadly force to reduce causalities hence they have provisions to travel by fast boats and have been trained to use helicopters both for travel and rapid rope descent if need be.

To be effective against such attacks officers also need to be operating in and out of uniform in a wide dispersal arrangements as these kind of attacks have shown that it’s no longer high value targets in the traditional sense that need to be protected and reached rapidly but shopping centres, high streets, railways or any random points on the map.

This is because worldwide publicity can be gained regardless of value of the targets in any classic sense but by sheer brutality married to hunger of media and the general public with their access to social media to promoted it instantly.

The facts are that despite all the planning and training or intelligence activities the Lone Wolf attack are extremely difficult to counter.

Poorang

isis militant in the street

ISIS update

The capture of Ramadi which by all accounts took place mostly because of a non-tactical withdrawal! Which seems to be a favourite tactics of Iraqi field commanders.

In response the Shia Militias who have been mobilised to respond they have been   instrumental in halting and turning the tide of ISIS successes since last year. The Iranian defence minister also has flown to Baghdad , Iranians have been engaged against the ISIS from the beginning with men and equipment and its guaranteed that they will put additional resources into the upcoming battle to recapture Ramadi.

ISIS seems to be experiencing difficulties firstly with its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi rumoured to have been injured in an air strike and replaced by Abu Alaa al-Afri a senior official, though a recent tape recording released at least means he is a live.

Secondly the loss of control of Tikrit and %30 of the territories largely thanks to the effort of Shia militias with assistance from Iran in secret coordination with USA through Iraqi channels.

  • Does the west really want the complete defeat of ISIS?
  • Where would all the militants go?

Perpetual low level war in Syria and Iraq seems to be a solution to the second and answers the first question also.

  • ISIS claim responsibility for the TEXAS shooting.

This of course is in line with their focused PR activity which they have proven themselves to be very good at, and they are not the first group to claim responsibility for a very loosely connected event to increase their share of the market in terror.

The core strength of a group such as ISIS is ideological approach it uses to motivate its forces .Let’s face it eternal life and place in heaven not to mention 70 virgin and the rest must seem very attractive if you have already accepted the extreme religious narrative  and the simple answers it provides to very complex questions in life.

To weaken and challenge this ideology you must start at the same stating line as them simply put in places of warship, religiously funded and attended academic establishments ,public education system and in the media especially the digital sphere.

Guns and soldiers in the order of battle against such groups are the last line of defence. As by the time they are used we may have already lost so much ground that we would effectively be fighting on the last foot.

Many rumours are around about collusion of western intelligence services and their allies regarding funding and arming of such groups. The simplest and safest assumption given the nature of such service is that most of them are true as they work and operate in an interlinked maze of deceit and intrigue.

There are already good evidence that a Nato member Turkey has been a key supplier and transit route for supply of weapons and cash. Look deeper and many allies of West in the Middle East can also be implicated in this mess.

So far the only effects of ISIS in the other places beside in the Middle East has been additional security measure and a presented reason for all the intrusive surveillance that the public has become subjected to.

The possibilities of a genuine attack by ISIS   in Europe and further a filed is still high but so far beside threats and occasional beheadings and murder to underscore the projection of fear not much is evident .

By:poorang