Category Archives: Terrorism

SEALS Rescue US Aid Worker in Somalia

 

Score another ones for the good guys!

A U.S. special operations team of Navy SEALs  rescued two aid workers in Somalia Tuesday night, including a U.S. woman who had been held hostage for three months by Somalian kidnappers and suffered from a life-threatening medical condition.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, of Bedford, Va.,  and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, of Denmark, were abducted Oct. 25 by a band of Somalis while on their way to the airport in Galcayo,  located in central Somalia. Both were working for the Danish Refugee Council’s Danish Demining Group, and had just finished a training course for Somalis when they were abducted.

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said he had authorized a rescue mission Monday.

Full story, click HERE

The New ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course Graduates

 

Congratulating the new graduates of the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Training Course.  Long hours, challenging assignments a few surprises, and the ever present  mantra “drill, drill, drill”.

Thanks for giving 100%! Your efforts showed!

 

Next course:  April 30 – May 9th, 2012  Special Financing & Scholarship Opportunities Available.  For more information click HERE.

Partners of US Security Firm Arrested For Alleged Gaddafi Rescue Connection

 

A Canadian who led a fact-finding mission to Libya last summer has been arrested in Mexico, and two partners of the U.S. private security contractor who supplied her plane are also in custody.  The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa confirmed the arrest of Cynthia Vanier and said consular officials at the Canadian embassy in Mexico City were gathering information from local authorities.  Also arrested were two partners of Gregory Gillispie, an ex-Marine who heads Veritas Worldwide Security, a San Diego-based company that offers, among other services, “clandestine operations,” “armed combat” and provision of weapons.

Mr. Gillispie said in an interview his partners were supposed to meet Ms. Vanier and her financier in Mexico City so she could hand over the roughly US$40,000 she owed for a small private jet Veritas had provided for her Libyan trip in July.

“Probably I guess about 10 days to two weeks ago she called and said that the person that has the authority to write the cheques, in other words the person that would pay her, is going to be in Mexico City, if we could come down there, we’ll get paid,” he said.

“So two of my other partners went down there to meet Cindy and this financier, is what you’d call him. And now I’m being told that my two partners have been incarcerated,” he said. “I don’t understand what this is all about.”

He said he found out about the arrests on Sunday but isn’t sure when they occurred. He said the detained men are his business partners in an aviation brokerage company. He doesn’t know why they are being held. “They’re basically victims of circumstance.”

Ms. Vanier runs Vanier Consulting Ltd., incorporated in 2009 in Mount Forest, Ont. The company website describes her as a negotiator, mediator, fact-finder and consultant who works mostly with First Nations.  During the anti-Gaddafi revolution in Libya, she got a contract from an undisclosed financier to travel to Tripoli on a fact-finding expedition and began assembling a team. Mr. Gillispie said his company was contracted to supply a private plane for the trip.

Mexican prosecutors did not respond by deadline to questions about why the three were held, however sources suspect it may be because Security for the trip was provided by Gary Peters, CEO of Can/Aust Security and Investigations International in Cambridge, Ont. A former Australian soldier, Mr. Peters has gone on public recording declaring to be a  member of the Gaddafi family’s security team.  Mr. Peters returned to Canada on the jet but said he went back to Libya in August and helped Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi escape Tripoli to Niger in a convoy. He said he was caught in an ambush after crossing back into Libya and was shot in the shoulder.

For the full story, click HERE and HERE.

Reference: Home | SixTech Systems.

 

ICON CEO Elijah Shaw Talks Executives & International Travel Security

The Star Tribune Business Section ask ICON Services Corporation CEO, Elijah Shaw about his views on Executive Protection and International Security.

Take in to account a security training course Perth for excellence in this matter.

Q What risks do corporate executives and the rich face?

A Domestically, they face the same challenges everyone faces but they are in a higher-income bracket and have the resources to help mitigate those risks. Just going to Times Square in New York City to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop includes the potential of terrorism or even a stick-up robbery. We offer suggestions on how to mitigate that risk. Whether it’s a high net-worth individual or a corporate executive, they are a commodity that needs to be protected. We try to illustrate the potential risks.

Q What about their families?

A In this information age and with the rise of social media, your movements can be tracked. Executives are told not to have a Facebook page but that seldom gets passed along to the family. So you have your 16-year-old daughter telling her friends on Facebook that the family is poolside in Cabo and on its way to Disney World and that information is out there. We have to think like bad guys. The motive could be kidnapping. You don’t want to smother a client with too much information. But you want to illustrate what can happen.

Find the full article in the Business Section of the Star Tribune by clicking HERE.

What’s So Different About The ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course?

 

In short, everything and nothing.  Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti recently said to me upon reviewing first hand the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course , “Why don’t you just call it the “Executive Protection Course”, as all of the fundamentals are here”.  Mr. Scotti, had  a great point, and my response was that I wanted to make sure those that attended knew that in addition to those fundamentals they were also getting something at the class that had a clear distinction from what they could find anywhere else.   –An emphasis on working with Celebrities and the challenges and rewards that come with that segment of the marketplace from people that still do the work on a daily basis.  As we like to describe it; additional tools for the toolbox.

Along those lines, when we made the decision to introduce an Advanced 10 day course, I wanted to again have a distinction in the market.  This time it came in the form of not just teaching how to do everything the “right way” but also how to act (and react) when things go wrong.  the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course puts an emphasis on operating in a hostile environment with a client and covers a multitude of disciplines including Risk Assessments, Threat Planning, Surveillance Detection, Counteraction Drills and medical life saving techniques, with several curve balls thrown in.   Having recently wrapped a course to positive reviews, I think we are again practicing our philosophy of giving great value and respect to the time and resources expended by the attending student.  Now looking forward to Tony stopping by the next one and letting me know what he thinks.

 

Learn more about ICON’s Advance Executive Protection Course by clicking HERE.

A Timeline on the Special Forces Defeat of Bin Laden

The US Navy Seals executed an operation that resulted in the led to the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.  Here’s what we know so far:

* Four years ago: Officials uncovered a courier’s identity who they believe may have strong ties to Osama.

* Two years ago: Investigators identified areas of Pakistan where the courier and his brother lived.

*  August 2010: The residence of the courier and his brother was found in Abbottabad, 30 to 35 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

* September 2010: The CIA worked with President Barack Obama “on a set of assessments that led it to believe that in fact it was possible” bin Laden may be at the compound in Abbottabad.

* February 2011: U.S. officials concluded there was a “sound intelligence basis” for pursuing bin Laden at that location.

* March and April 2011. President Barack Obama held a series of National Security Council meetings “to develop courses of action to bring justice to Osama bin Laden.” There were at least five NSC meetings — March 14, March 29, April 12, April 19, and April 28.

* April 29, 2011. President Obama gave the final order to pursue the operation.

* May 2, 2011. After months of decision-making and planning, a U.S. military team conducted a small helicopter raid on the compound. The officials did not provide a breakdown of team members, but a senior U.S. defense official said U.S. Navy SEALs were involved in the operation.

The senior administration officials provided these details of the raid:

* The team was in the compound for 40 minutes. It did not encounter any local authorities during the raid.

* Bin Laden resisted the assault force and died in a firefight. Along with bin Laden, three adult males were killed.

* Two were believed to be the couriers and one was a son of bin Laden.

* A woman used as a human shield by a male combatant died and two women were injured.

* A helicopter was lost because of mechanical failure.

* Intelligence on bin Laden was not shared with Pakistan and other countries.

* After the raid, U.S. officials briefed Pakistani and other world leaders.

* Bin Laden has been buried at sea and his body was handled in the Islamic tradition.  (via CNN)

 

Judge Dismisses Shooting Case Against Blackwater

A federal judge dismissed charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in a controversial shooting in a busy Baghdad square two years ago in a ruling that sharply criticized the tactics of Justice Department prosecutors handling the case.

The judge, Ricardo M. Urbina of the District’s federal court, found that prosecutors and agents had improperly used statements that the guards provided to the State Department in the hours and days after the shooting. The statements had been given with the understanding that they would not be used against the guards in court, the judge found, and federal prosecutors should not have used them to help guide their investigation. Urbina said other Justice Department lawyers had warned the prosecutors to tread carefully around the incriminating statements.

The five Blackwater guards — a sixth has pleaded guilty — were indicted in December 2008 on manslaughter and weapons charges accusing them of killing and injuring unarmed civilians.

Federal prosecutors have said the guards killed 14 Iraqis and wounded 20 in an unprovoked blaze of bullets and grenade explosions. The guards’ attorneys have said their clients fired in self-defense after being shot at by insurgents.

The incident, which badly strained U.S.-Iraqi relations, was the most serious one involving private security contractors in recent years, and it raised questions about using such guards in war zones. It so badly stigmatized Blackwater that the company renamed itself Xe Services.

For the full story click HERE.

Israel: The Solution to America’s Airport Security Problems?

Stumbled across an interesting article from The Star.com (via TF) on the differences between airport security in North America vs. how they screen in Israel.

While North America’s airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel’s, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience…

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel’s largest hub, Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

“The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport,” said Sela.

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

“Two benign questions. The questions aren’t important. The way people act when they answer them is,” Sela said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of “distress” — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

“The word ‘profiling’ is a political invention by people who don’t want to do security,” he said. “To us, it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, young or old. It’s just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I’m doing this?”

Once you’ve parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion’s half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

“This is to see that you don’t have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious,” said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

“The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds,” said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area…

For the full story click HERE.

Auditors Question TSA Over (mis)use of Funds

The Washington Post Reports – The Transportation Security Administration spent about $30 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to “sniff” them out for explosives residue. Those machines ended up in warehouses, removed from airports, abandoned as impractical.

The massive push to fix airport security in the United States after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led to a gold rush in technology contracts and services like https://www.industrialauctionhub.com/ for an industry that mushroomed almost overnight. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors.

In addition to beefing up the fleets of X-ray machines and traditional security systems at airports nationwide, about $8 billion also paid for ambitious new technologies. The agency has spent about $800 million on devices to screen bags and passenger items, including shoes, bottled liquids, casts and prostheses. For next year, it wants more than $1.3 billion for airport screening technologies.

But lawmakers, auditors and national security experts question whether the government is too quick to embrace technology as a solution for basic security problems and whether the TSA has been too eager to write checks for unproven products.

“We always want the best, the latest and greatest technology against terrorists, but that’s not necessarily the smartest way to spend your money and your efforts,” said Kip Hawley, who served as the head of the TSA from 2005 until last year. “We see a technology that looks promising, and the temptation is to run to deploy it before we fully understand how it integrates with the multiple layers we already have in place like using a watch list, training officers at every checkpoint to look for suspicious behavior and using some pat-downs.”

Click HERE for full story.

FAA Loses 100,000 Planes???

The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.

The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government’s knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files.

About 119,000 of the aircraft on the U.S. registry have “questionable registration” because of missing forms, invalid addresses, unreported sales or other paperwork problems, according to the FAA. In many cases, the FAA cannot say who owns a plane or even whether it is still flying or has been junked.

Full stop.  I think this one is worth repeating:  “the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government’s knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights”… This of course is just my opinion, but I think the emphasis should be less on if I have a soda in my bag going thru the airport scanner and more about the exact location and ownership of OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PLANES!?!


For the full amazing story click HERE.