Category Archives: Terrorism

Private Security Remains in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has abandoned plans to scrap private security firms in the country by mid-December, the interior ministry says.

Fifty-four private security firms have been dissolved in recent weeks in a drive to clamp down on the industry.

But interior ministry officials said most of the 52 mainly Afghan firms remaining would retain their licences.

Private security firms provide guards at everything from diplomatic missions, aid agencies and supply convoys.

…In August, President Karzai gave private security companies four months to end operations in Afghanistan following concerns that some contractors empowered warlords and power brokers operating outside government control.

But recently aides to the president have advised him that the move to disband the network completely was ill-advised, as the security forces could not fill the gap.

“Their future operations will continue in accordance with the law and regulations in place,” an interior minister told a news conference in Kabul.

He said some of the 52 firms still operating remained under criminal investigation and could face closure; a list of banned companies would be announced on 17 December.

Mr Farahi said that those which remained would have to follow tighter rules. They would have to wear uniforms and would not be allowed to stop vehicles or block roads for security reasons.

For the full story, click HERE.

See previous:  Ban for Afghan Private Security Contractors

SO first the crackdown, and then the reshuffle.  It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out both through official and back channels.  ~ES

“Caption This” Part VII

The reality is this photo depicts a German Shepard working with a British Soldier doing some very serious work. — Parachuting into Afghanistan on a covert mission to sniff out insurgents.    Seriously, read more about it HERE.

However putting that aside, you have to admit that this photo is begging for the “Caption This” treatment.


Previously:  Caption This part VI

Entire Police Force Quits in Mexico Following Attack

If you want a chilling example of how dangerous it is in Mexico as a result of the ongoing drug wars:

The entire police force in a small Mexican town abruptly resigned Tuesday after its new headquarters was viciously attacked by suspected drug cartel gunmen.

All 14 police officers in Los Ramones, a rural town in northern Mexico, left the force in fear after gunmen fired more than a thousand bullets and sent 6 grenades at their headquarters on Monday night.

Amazingly no one was injured in the brazen attack. Mayor Santos Salinas Garza told  news reporters that the officers resigned because of the incident. (no kidding)

The gunmen’s 20-minute shooting spree destroyed six police vehicles and left the white and orange police station pocked with bullet holes.  For the full story click HERE.

I’ve spoken before about the challenges of operating in Mexico HERE.  Be it business or pleasure, if your travels take you into that country please educate yourself to the grim realities that there is a security crisis occurring or astronomical proportions.

Americans Warned of Increased Threats with Travel to Europe

The U.S. warned Americans traveling in Europe to be vigilant following weeks of discussion within the Obama administration about threats of an attack by an al- Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group, officials said.

The advisory isn’t related to threats against the U.S. and is intended to raise awareness among Americans traveling or living in Europe , White House press secretary Robert Gibbssaid today.

The alert “is based on information about potential threats in Europe,” Gibbs said. “We certainly know that al-Qaeda and its affiliates seek to do us harm” and “we remain vigilant.”

Gibbs and State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the government isn’t advising Americans to cancel travel plans.

**And while they are not advising canceling travel plans, the use of personal security during international trips should be considered an option.  ~ES **

For the full story, click HERE.

Terrorism Dry Run?

Authorities in the Netherlands arrested two U.S. residents who arrived in Amsterdam on a flight from Chicago, after U.S. authorities raised concerns about items they considered suspicious in their luggage.

The two were passengers aboard United Airlines flight 908 on Sunday night and aroused suspicion because of items found in their checked luggage, the Homeland Security department said. “The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items. This matter continues to be under investigation,” the department said.

A law enforcement official said investigators haven’t determined whether the items in the luggage, which included cell phones apparently attached to bottles of liquid, were an attempt at a dry run for a possible plot, or if the items were packed in that manner inadvertently. The men traveled to Chicago on flights from Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn., then changed their flights, which prompted further scrutiny, the official said.

— Something was definitely up, and to me this sounds like a “dry run” to test the system.  Items found in one of the individuals checked luggage:

  • Cellphone taped to Peto-Bismol Bottle
  • Several watches taped togeter
  • 3 large knives
  • 3 Cellphones taped together

For the full (developing) story click HERE.

** UPDATE:  The men may not be charged as the items may have just been bundled GIFTS for relatives?

Afghan Government to Ban Private Security Contractors

Now this is interesting…

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree Tuesday disbanding all private security firms within four months.

The decree involves international and national private security companies and the security employees of those companies are able to join the Afghan national police with their weapons.

“In order to protect Afghan life and property, avoid corruption, security irregularities and the misuse of military weapons, ammunition and uniforms by the private security companies which have caused tragic incidents, and after the required assessment, I approve shutting down all private security companies within four months, including both domestic and foreign,” the decree said.

…The move spotlights the issue of the role and conduct of U.S. security contractors, who protect embassies and companies, perform training, and help convoys move through dangerous areas. Violent incidents involving such
contractors have enraged Afghans.  U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters on Monday that U.S. officials will study the decree, which was expected to be issued.

If US, Afghan relations weren’t icy before.   It’s no secret that private security contracting in war zones is now big business.  Can’t see these companies going quietly into the night.  Developing…

For the full story, click HERE.

Security Guard Threatens to Blow Up the NBA?

A  private security guard has just been charged with making false bomb threats against the NBA.  19 year old Jose Quesda, Jr. provided security for the NBA’s Secaucus office and allegedly made several calls from his cell phone over a 3 day period.

On a voice mail he was stated to have left the following: “ I put a bomb outside. Gonna kill all the NBA. I put a bomb outside in the bush. No way out. Gonna blow up at 9 o’clock in the morning. Good luck.” At which time the building was evacuated and the bomb squad called in.

Yeah, that was Smart.

For the full story, click HERE.

Bombing Kills 64 World Cup Fans

Two suicide bombers suspected of being affiliated with Al-Qaida initiated an attack in Uganda that left 64 people dead and over 50 more injured.  The attacked focused on fans gathered to watch the final game of the World Cup at a restaurant and a rugby club.

Uganda’s government spokesman said the first blast occurred at the Ethiopian Village restaurant at 10:55 p.m. Two more blasts happened at the rugby field 20 minutes later, he said.

One American has been killed and 14 others injured in the attack.

For the full tragic story, click HERE.

*The photo above was taken during my recent trip to South Africa where I accompanied a client attending the 2010 World Cup.  Mandela’s Square in Johannesburg is a popular place for spectators who are not going to the actual game, and  illustrates the massive crowds that terrorist consider soft targets.

Surveillance Detection Training Course


Surveillance Detection Course

July 28th – August 1st, 2010 (Minneapolis, MN)

Proactive Surveillance Detection for Executive Protection, Security Managers & Counter-Terror Professionals

Icon Services Corporation together with Multi Tier Solutions Ltd. are proud to present a unique 5-day course focusing on detecting stalkers, potential kidnappers and  pre-attack surveillance, thus stopping a hostile act in the planning stages.  This course greatly benefits those in the corporate and law enforcement sectors with special emphasis placed on detecting terrorist activities and crime across all environments.

As global pioneers in the field of defending against terror, Israel based Multi Tier Solutions, CEO Ivor Terret has teamed with security expert Elijah Shaw and Icon Services Corporation to deliver a realistic course tailored to counter threats faced by security and law enforcement organizations worldwide.

This is an advanced course for protection managers, security consultants and field personnel. You will also learn about all the new technological surveillance gadgets and top notch technology.  It will give your all the skills you need to excel in the tech industry for surveillance detection.

For more information or to attend click:  SURVEILLANCE DETECTION COURSE


Blackwater Receives Afghan Contract

Mr. Prince strikes again.  This guy, plays chess not checkers at the grandmaster level.

CNN Reports:

Blackwater (Xe) security company has been awarded a contract to provide protection to U.S. consulates and diplomats in the Afghan cities of Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, a U.S. State Department official confirmed on Saturday.

The Highlights:

The deal is a one-year contract with an option to extend up to 18 months. If the contract is fulfilled for that entire period, it would be more than $120 million.

The Big Question:

The State Department official, insisting on anonymity, said past history with Blackwater did not prevent U.S. Training Center from bidding on contracts and that in this case the company was the best qualified for the work in Afghanistan.

For the full story, click HERE.

Wait, wasn’t it just reported that the company was up for sale?

See related- Blackwater For Sale?