Terrorism

First Female Suicide Bomber

It may seem that suicide bombers are an artifact of our modern age, a product of a world that has become more violent over the last century.  While there is plenty of room to dispute whether violence is on the rise or descending, you may not be aware of the story of the first suicide…

Read More

Age of Fear?

[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. —Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513 Last week’s post concerned the ‘definition’ of terrorism.  While usually politically motivated, terrorism as a phenomenon has itself become politicized.  Terrorists and their supporters are of course…

Read More

Security Attitudes in Israel

In Israel, security policy and procedures are well integrated into the fabric of its society.  This manifests in a couple ways: There is a full acceptance of the fact of threat.  This little country has been involved in cyclical wars for decades and its inhabitants are fully aware that it is a high value target…

Read More

Simple – not Simplistic – Emergency Response Procedures

Simplistic ideas and procedures by their nature do not withstand reality tests.  This is the case for many emergency lock-down procedures where unfortunately the essence of the SOP is to pacify its intended audience and not necessarily to save their lives.  In a situation of imminent threat, one’s instinctive response is often the correct response. …

Read More

Equifarce

Of course the IRS needs to confirm that a given taxpayer is who they say they are.  It’s step number one for all transactions.  To that end, on the IRS website an individual answers questions about their personal and credit history like “On which of the following streets have you lived?” or “What is your…

Read More

Identity Crisis Down Under

The issue of identity and allegiance is key to the kind of bad behavior we often write about.  Security personnel need to know how to verify the identity of the suspicious person they are dealing with; are they indeed who they say they are?  A lone wolf terrorist who goes off the deep end may…

Read More

Fear of Terrorism

Since as recently as January 2015, there have been dozens of terrorist attacks in Europe: in Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, Turkey, the U.K., Sweden, Spain and most recently Finland.  Hundreds of people have been killed. With the recent stabbing rampage in Finland, the Finnish government was not quick to characterize the attack that took place…

Read More

Prone to Violence

On May 10th of this year, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department issued an eight-page bulletin entitled “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat with Lethal Violence”.  The analysis pointed to the high number of violent incidents over the last decade involving neo-Nazis, white extremists and the KKK.  Anyone who pays attention to domestic terrorist…

Read More

Iran’s Push for Power

Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has tried to establish itself as a dominant power in the Middle East. The goal to dominate during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s cost both sides of the conflict millions of lives and billions of dollars. While the Iran-Iraq war was essentially over the Shaat al-Arab (the…

Read More

Perception and Travel Risk

I recently went to Paris and before my departure, more than one friend warned me to be careful while in Europe.  When I arrived in Paris, my French friends expressed concern over the shootings at schools in the U.S.  It seems that danger is to a degree a matter of perspective.  Our perspective is most…

Read More