Tag Archives: PSD

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?

Security and Safety at The World Cup

South Africa Times Reports:  South African intelligence services have been accused of being slow to react to warnings of terror threats to the 2010 World Cup

The US Congress counter-terror caucus was briefed on threats to the tournament.  Ronald Sandee, director of the NEFA Foundation, warned the US Congress that:

  • Pakistani and Somali militants are running terror training camps in northern Mozambique;
  • Trainees from these camps may have crossed into South Africa to join or form cells planning World Cup attacks;
  • Surveillance and strike teams planning attacks are well established in South Africa. Terror groups involved include al-Qaeda and their Somalian allies, al-Shahaab
  • Simultaneous and random attacks are being planned during the World Cup

On Wednesday, the National Joint Operational Centre was activated at an undisclosed military base in Pretoria. It is co-coordinating the deployment of all South African security and intelligence structures to ensure a safe World Cup, including 24-hour protection of teams and officials.

According to two insiders, a watch-list of 40 terror suspects has been drawn up.  Police have neither confirmed nor denied the arrest or watch-list.

For the full story:  Click HERE.

It’s tough finding the balance between safety & security along with access & convenience at a world sporting event such as the World Cup.  Lot’s of moving parts, lots of players.   ~ES

Celebrity Bodyguard Training (July 7-11)

Icon Services Corporation presents our highly regarded five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection. If you are new to the bodyguard industry or a current operator looking to refresh and polish your skills, this course will offer excellent instruction into the professional side of Close Protection work. Taught by industry veteran Elijah Shaw, who in addition to his corporate clients, has traveled the world as the personal bodyguard of international public figures such as musical giant Usher, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and rap megastar 50 Cent, the course will offer real world problems, scenarios, and solutions from instructors that are currently active in the industry.

“Your training is an invaluable tool to your industry. I was very impressed how close to realistic training you all provide. Having been taught by the best, I can honestly state that I learned quite a bit in your class. There is always room for improving ones skill set, and your training definitely added to mine.”

Special Agent Robert E. Jones / US Secret Service

 

to learn more visit www.Industry-Icon.com/CPC

The Circuit Magazine Preview Page

The Circuit is a Magazine co-produced by the British Bodyguard Association (BBA) and the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) who’s goal is to spotlight the role of Executive Protection & related fields to our community and the outside world.  A full-color glossy with high production values, the publication is truly international, with contributors and readers from New Zealand to New Hampshire.   In addition to being the Managing US Editor, I currently write an ongoing column entitled, “Keeping Your Edge”, which gives my opinions on a variety of topics that affect our industry.  Take a look at some of the past columns from me as well as other valued contributors.

Currently in the library:

Keeping Your Edge

by Elijah Shaw (yours truly)

The Role of Firearms in Executive Protection

by Justin Johnson

To check out the Books & Magazine Page, click HERE.

Security Contractors Become the Source of Warzone News

PSD Team in Iraq

Hans Van Beuge of SAVIOR Services showed me an interesting article about how more and more civilian security contractors (or PSD’s) operating in War-zones are becoming the course of unfiltered news occurring on the front lines.  Unhampered by government or military restrictions, some of these contractors have taken to writing Blogs to document their experiences and share them with the broader world.  To read the full story, click HERE.

Connecting Me to You

Met a great guy several weeks back named Andy Santamaria that owns an interesting business called CMTY which stands for Connecting Me To You.  Andy interviews individuals from different professions and let’s the world know about them through Cyberspace.  He didn’t reinvent the wheel, but he did make the interview process fresh and engaging.  To catch my interview with Andy, click HERE.

Private Security Increases in Iraq, Afghanistan

Defense Department officials now say that more than 18,000 armed security contractors are working in Iraq or Afghanistan under Pentagon auspices, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service that was obtained by NPR. They have also started hiring security for an event that the contractors will be at. The bulk of the gun-toting contractors — some 13,232 as of June 30 — are in Iraq, where they guard U.S. bases, defend convoys and serve as personal bodyguards for high-level officials. The remaining 5,165 armed civilians perform similar functions in Afghanistan.

Click HERE

Related:  My interview with Portfolio Magazine on the World of Private Security

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjV1tEr0B7Q[/youtube]

Industry Spotlight: EP Agent Hans van Beuge

Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business holds a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry.  Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers & the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride.   No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes, sometimes fun.

Below is an excerpt of my interview with veteran Executive Protection Agent, Hans van Beuge Principal Partner of SAVIOR.

Hans

Agent Name: Hans van Beuge
Company Name
: SAVIOR
Website:
www.saviorservices.com
Home city / Country: Australia
Contact info: (email/phone number) hans@saviorservices.com int + 61 418 553 363

How long have you been in the Protection Industry
?

My career began in 1970 as an 18year old. This was well before any licensing or training accreditation was necessary. I was recruited to work for a company that provided security for Rock venues and Festivals and quickly progressed to tour/personal security for various bands and artists.

Can you give our readers a little bit of your background?

I started doing security work to support myself as an aspiring athlete. I was a Shot Putter in the Australian Athletic Team.  I was 6’6” and 240lb at 18 and about 265lb by the time I was 20.  Back then most of the guys protecting entertainers were martial artists or former boxers or wrestlers.  Muscle and physicality were seen as the only prerequisite at the time, however that’s definitely how I got my break into the industry.

Knowing how difficult it is to build a strong, long term base in EP work, what specific skills/traits make you marketable to potential clients?

I think it’s really necessary to determine which areas of Protection you are best suited for.  In this profession you can work in the Government, Military, PSD, Corporate (from CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies to small business owners), or for Wealthy Individuals, Entertainers (encompassing actors, rock bands, individual singers, rappers, models etc) and professional athletes. Although the principles of protection remain the same, the perspectives vary enormously depending in which field you work. Very few guys can transition successfully between all areas.

With the killing of John Lennon in 1980, the Hinckley/Reagan/Foster incident in early ’81 and a host of other high profile attacks on celelebrities around then , I came to the conclusion that the greatest hazard to entertainers was going to be coming from those mentally disordered individuals who for whatever demented reason seek connection with the famous.

I started to study psychology and read and researched as much material as available to understand the mind set of the types of offenders who pose a risk to my clients. I did as many courses as possible and started to interface with clinical psychiatrists and psychologists to workshop ideas and share my on the ground experiences with their more often textbook experience.

Behavioral prediction became a greater and greater aspect of the services I provided and eventually I started to market myself as a “Violence Consultant” rather than a “Bodyguard” to reflect this shift in focus. I also found it a rather untapped area for offering advice as it was in an area that Law Enforcement had no expertise in and the Mental Health authorities had little interest in.

I know that you have some pretty extensive experience dealing with the paparazzi as it relates to celebrity clients.  What do you think are some effective ways to deal with aggressive photographers?

Well, no security or safety program designed for a client is complete unless you have a plan to counter or minimize the invasive/aggressive/illegal intrusions of the tabloid media.  My advice:  Understand what each particular client’s attitude is towards the paparazzi.   Some are nonchalant about them; others want their privacy protected at all costs and most have a love/hate relationship. No matter what their opinion of the paparazzi, I’ve never yet met a client who didn’t want to be advised of the presence/position of paparazzi before a photo was taken.

To someone coming up after you in the industry, what advice would you give?

To strive for professionalism in their work.  We see so many people in this industry who lack any vestige of professional demeanor or behavior. Conduct yourself in a professional manner, be well presented and attired, be dignified and be knowledgeable about as many areas of security as possible. Your Clients are going to look to you for answers to all kinds of security issues.  Remember that we are in a service industry. Treat your client as the boss, you are there to support them, they are not there to enhance your career.

(continued)

For the full interview of my Q&A with Hans van Beuge, check the back issues of The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards, by clicking HERE.

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder?

The Nation.com is reporting in an article written by Jermey Scahill

“A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

These allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, filed late at night on August 3 in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct. Susan Burke, a private attorney working in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate civil cases filed in the Washington, DC, area. They were recently consolidated before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia for pretrial motions. Burke filed the August 3 motion in response to Blackwater’s motion to dismiss the case. Blackwater asserts that Prince and the company are innocent of any wrongdoing and that they were professionally performing their duties on behalf of their employer, the US State Department.”

For the full story click HERE.

Powerful and potentially damaging allegations.  It will be intersting to see how this plays out.  (Thank you Kerry for bring the story to my attention.)