Terrorist with suicide backpack Last October 2019, the U.K. Home Secretary set up a Public Inquiry to investigate the deaths of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack. Twenty two concert goers were killed and hundreds wounded and hundreds more severely traumatized by the Islamic terrorist attack that day.  Inquiry hearings began in September…

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My daughter’s class is studying 9/11, so at the dinner table it was naturally the prime subject for discussion. I asked what the teacher had said about 9/11 and my daughter told us that they learned that it was a tragic “bittersweet” event. I thought I had misheard. Bittersweet?? Because it brought the country together,…

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Over the course of only a few weeks, there have been at least 50 vehicle ramming attacks in the U.S.   This method of using a vehicle be it a car, truck or tractor to inflict death and injury on pedestrians is not new. There have been dozens of vehicle attacks across the globe, from Berlin…

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Surveillance is a critical tool for any adversary.  Yet, so often in security it is discounted.  Anyone from a pickpocket trailing their next victim, to a high level assassination team following their target, depends on surveillance as part of their operational planning and attack execution. Let’s look at it from an adversarial angle, from the…

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A new ‘Red Unit’ is being created by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to specifically help in its fight against terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.  Terrorists and insurgents differ in many ways from traditional military.  They operate in densely populated areas and engage in asymmetrical warfare.  Terrorists target civilians; for them, the regular rules…

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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…

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                    [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…

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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…

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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. …

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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…

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