Archive for January, 2012

After reviewing the 2014 Brazilian World Cup, here at CSECO we wanted to check in and see how London’s security efforts were moving along. The 2012 Olympics will be the first time the Olympics have been held in a destination with a high threat level. London is currently boasting a ‘severe’ threat level. This is the second highest on their 5 pronged threat level system – meaning they expect an attack to be highly likely. From the opening ceremony on July 27th to September 9th, the Olympic Games are expected to host 14,000 athletes, 10 million spectators, and bring in a worldwide audience of 4 billion viewers. Any event with this echelon of media coverage is expected to be a huge target for terrorists.London 2012 Olympic Games LOGO

According to the UK’s security service, MI5, they will need to create an interdiction between the Games and their four leading subjects:

  • Al Qaeda
    Despite two of their leaders being killed off, Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, MI5 still believes Al-Qaeda remains their biggest threat for the 2012 London Olympics.
  • A Single Actor or Terrorist
    The MI5 believes this to be the most likely attack to occur. They assume an attack of this nature will be similar to Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 innocent people in a bombing and shooting spree alone in Norway, last July, in a case of extreme race hate.
  • An Irish Republican Group
    The third category is an attack by a rebellious Irish republican group, hostile toward the Northern Ireland peace process.
  • An International Dispute Between Two Nations
    This category makes the MI5 weary, because detection is nearly impossible. One Whitehall official said it this way, “The fear here is that we end up with a terrorist attack that is the result of a political dispute we know nothing about.”

In order to counter these categories, as well as other “un-thinkable” scenarios, they plan to protect London by land, air, and sea. The UK will provide 13,500 troops for the 2012 Olympics – more than are currently deployed in Afghanistan. These 13,500 are expected to provide back-up for security professionals and private contractors, much like CSECO, already hired for the job. They will provide special-forces as well as specialist bomb disposal units to sniff out any explosives. The UK also plans to have a 1,000 manned contingency force ready to act in the case of a civil attack. The Olympic Park in Strattford, East London, will be surrounded by missiles to protect against an airborne attack – mimicking the Beijing and Athens Games. Also protecting them from an air interdiction are Typhoon jet fighters that will be based at Royal Air Force Northolt. To detect any sea attacks before it’s too late, the navy’s flagship HMS Bulwark will be deployed off the south coast. HMS Ocean will be anchored in River Thames at Greenwich to provide a landing strip for helicopters.

It appears that the upcoming Games are taken care of right? So why all the terror based anxiety? Well, there are two reasons. One being that the UK is one of the U.S. military’s biggest allies when it comes to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has upset a lot of Islamist militants. The second is because of the ongoing uprisings in the Arab world. According to Sports Minister, Hugh Robinson, the security budget for venues has gone from $431.4 million to $850 million. On top of this number almost $730 million will be spent on security measures outside of the stadium with 12,000 workers on duty at peak hours to detect any suspicious activity. Although we won’t know the total cost of security expenditures until the Olympics have come to an end, this ties perfectly into the Rand Corporations Future Security Environments (FSE) model.

According to Rand Corporation, a non-profit with the purpose of improving policy and decision-making through research and analysis, threat arises from three main areas; terrorism, targeted disruptions, and serious crime. A targeted disruption occurs when people, who have no problems with the actual Games, utilize them as an opportunity to either bring attention to their cause or to bring harm to a third party. During the 2006 Winter Games in Italy, the passage of the torch was hi-jacked by anti-globalization protesters who targeted the main sponsor of the Games, Coca-Cola. Serious crime is an issue because there is a certain type of criminal who manipulates the fact that all of the focus is on the Games, to enact in serious crime away from, but close to, the Games.

Using this information Rand Corporation created a cube shaped model to assess terror threat levels. It is graded by three dimensions; adversary hostile intent, adversary operational capability, and influence on UK security.

Future Security Environment Model

Rand Corporation’s Future Security Environment (FSE) Model

  • Adversary Hostile Intent
    This dimension focuses on the potential intent of terrorists, or any other actor that engages in security-threatening activities, to further its objectives. It could be through demonstrations, through sabotage, through mass casualty or public disorder. This dimension conveys the intent of a potential adversary through the scale of its ambitions, and by demonstrating the kinds of activities it could conduct.
  • Adversary Operational Capabilities
    This dimension focuses on the capabilities of terrorists or actors to engage in a range of violent or non-violent activities to further their objectives. The technical capabilities will range from group to group to individual to individual. While groups may intend to act in competent activities they may be strained, or enhanced, by their level of technical ability. This dimension conveys the range of activities that may be undertaken.
  • Potential Domestic/International Influences on UK Security
    This dimension will focus on the extent to which the overall UK and global situation in 2012 will act as a motivating force for terrorists or other actors. The goal is not to predict specific issues that will motivate future attackers. Rather this dimension conveys the overall severity of the threat environment and the potential scale and tempo of threats it is likely to inspire.

Using this model it’s easy to understand why London’s threat level has been placed at severe. As media coverage intensifies and the opening ceremony draws near, MI5 will be doing everything in their power to assure the safety and security of all participants. They are doing everything from recruiting phone spies to re-enlisting retired agents to make sure these Olympic games go off without a hitch. Of course complete security is and always has been a myth, so they could never promise perfection, but they are doing all they can to prepare. “Next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are once-in-a-generation events for the UK,” Defense Secretary, Phil Hammond, said in a statement, “We want them to be secure, so that all those competing and attending can enjoy the games for the celebration of sporting achievement and cultural celebration that it is.”

CSECO speaks at Counter Terror Expo

Damaune Journey speaks at Counter Terror Expo in London

CSECO Counter Terrorism Expo

Damaune Journey speaks at Counter Terror Expo in London

Like Rand Corporation, CSECO is also concerned with the security efforts in the UK. Damaune Journey, Director of International Sales & Marketing for CSECO, was invited to speak at a Counter Terror Expo in London last year. He educated the audience on how the smuggling of drugs and other contraband funds terrorism and their activities. CSECO has been invited to speak again for London’s 2012 Counter Terror Expo and plans on returning this year.

Hope to attend the Expo again this year.

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In just two years the best soccer players in the world will migrate to Brazil for the highly anticipated 2014 World Cup. The mega-event is expected to bring thousands of soccer enthusiasts from around the world. For years Brazil has boasted the best players in the game – (Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, and Kaká) – but come 2014 they’re hoping to boast a security plan that works.

Brazil’s Justice Minister José Eduardo has promised, “the 2014 World Cup will be a very safe event.” But how do they plan to deliver on this promise in a country where anti-terror laws don’t exist – meaning suspects can not be deemed terrorists. Ever since 9/11 it is crucial for mega-event security-planners to understand that sub-national or private groups have the ability to produce threats on a scale that was previous thought to be reserved for an entire nation-state. According to Olympic security expert, Peter Ryan, security planners for events of this magnitude must consider scenarios, “that would sound bizarre and outlandish to non-security experts.” 9/11 forces them to focus on the fact that  “if terrorists could mount an attack like that, we would have to plan for every contingency,” they must, “think the un-thinkable.”

So what is Brazil’s plan to think the un-thinkable? José Ricardo Botelho, head of the Special Secretariat for the Security of Large Events, feels the key is integration and detection, “the country does not need to create anything new, but just to integrate its existing tools.” Brazil is actively training 53,000 public safety professionals in three categories: experts, multipliers, and operators. There will also be assistance from the armed Forces and Civil Defense. Not to mention that Brazil has already sent documents to the United States, Germany, England, Holland, South Africa, Poland, and Argentina requesting information about terrorists, “troublemakers” and hooligans. The hope, says Boetlho, is to create an interdiction between Brazil and potential problems before they have a chance to start, “We want to work proactively rather than defensively; hence the importance of technology. We are linking everything so that when a person fitting this profile applies for a visa, for example, we will already have the first barrier in place. But in the case of a country for which an entry visa is not required, when the person gets to our borders he or she will not be allowed into Brazil. But what if he or she does? We are working with state-of-the-are equipment to identify these people. We do not want them among us.”

What equipment is the Boetlho speaking of?

He is talking about the Ex-Eye – Robo-Cop style glasses with a built in facial-recognition software. They will be issued to Brazil’s military police. The cameras will be able to recognize 400 facial images per second and immediately detect criminals. These images will be sent to a database that will be able to store up to 13 million mugshots at a time. The small camera mounted on the glasses will be able to identify 46,000 points on a human face so there’s small chance of confusion. In addition to this he also has Anti-bomb groups monitoring all work, up to delivery, in order to ensure that there are no explosives, drugs or other contraband hidden inside of pillars or foundations.

As you can imagine acquiring security equipment such as the Ex-Eye can get expensive. The estimated security budget for the 2014 World Cup is $1.7 billion. Just 12 years ago, the 2000 Sydney games security expenditures cost over $1.5 billion less. Why the rapid increase? The cost of security is climbing so dramatically for the exact reason Ryan mentioned earlier. It is now common knowledge that any terrorist group trying to make a statement can do so on colossal levels. So although $1.7 billion may sound like a lot of money, it’s a minimal price to pay when thousands of lives are at stake.

CSECO in Brazil

CSECO in Brazil

CSECO in Brazil

CSECO in Brazil

Cambell/Harris Security Equipment Company knows all about the security efforts in place for the 2014 World Cup and recently visited Brazil to showcase their CT-30 Contraband Team Detection Kit which includes their famous K910B Buster Contraband Detector. Headed by CEO Tony Harris, CSECO has been actively fighting to eradicate the supply of illegal drugs that damage communities and diminish the loss of life from transport of dirty bombs, explosives, and illegal weapons since 1984.

ImageThe National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) released staggering numbers to close out the year. The number of police officers killed in the line of duty rose 13% from 153 in 2010 to 173 in 2011. This number is also up 23% from 2009. The report also brought attention to a frightening trend. For the first time in 14 years the leading offender, beating out the usual suspect of traffic-related deaths, was gunfire. 68 police officers were gunned down in 2011. Of the 68 deaths, 14 took place while the officer was attempting an arrest, nine occurred during a domestic disturbance call and five were ambushes. Some officials have linked these deaths to the overwhelming gun sales that have shattered records this past year.

ImageHowever, U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, doesn’t think legally purchased guns are the problem at all. “This is a devastating and unacceptable trend,” Holder went on to say, “Each of these deaths is a tragic reminder of the threats that law enforcement officers face each day – and the fact that too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them.”

Holder also mentioned that new training regimens and programs are being put in place to stop these ongoing tragedies. One program reimbursed departments with more than $23 million for about 80,000 new stab resistant and bulletproof vests, which Holder says saved 16 lives.

On the other hand, Holder hasn’t always been the most trustworthy politician when it comes to gun safety. Back in 2009 Holder played a huge role in the “Fast and Furious” gun walking program. This program, according to a report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), allowed at least 2,000 guns to illegally “walk” from Arizona gun stores across the border into Mexico. Only 600 have been recovered and many have been thought to be in the possession of Mexican drug cartels. The objective of the Fast and Furious program was to monitor the flow of weapons, but clearly did not go as planned. Since its start, over 200 crimes have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious including the heartbreaking death of Brian Terry.

ImageCraig Floyd, Chairman of NLEOMF, doesn’t agree with Holder. He believes the perpetrator here is our failing economy, “Drastic budget cuts affecting law enforcement agencies across the country have put our officers at grave risk. At a time when officers are facing a more cold-blooded criminal element and fighting a war on terror, we are cutting vital resources necessary to ensure their safety and the safety of the innocent citizens they protect.”

Law Enforcement agencies are greatly impacted by budget cuts. Not only does vital training get cut, but their numbers dwindle. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies were laid off last year. On top of this nearly 30,000 law enforcement jobs are unfilled. Floyd summed it up best when he described the real reason this is such a disastrous truth, “It’s perhaps the most preventable death for law enforcement.” He said. “Better training and better awareness of the dangers will help to spare more police lives as we move forward.”