This sickening act of terrorism is another hate crime, which early media reports indicate is the work of far right extremists. My sympathies reach out to the victims and families, and it is my fervent hope that no Corps colleagues’ relatives are directly affected by these dreadful events.
If any colleagues, or customers of whatever faith, require advice or support regarding the protection of places of prayer, then do contact me. I have a lot of experience in such matters.
I have been warning customers and consulting clients for some time of the increased threat from far right extremists. MI5 is spending over a third of its resources investigating such groups, and individuals.
Vigilance in communities is key. We live in dangerous times, with hate fuelling violence against the innocent.
Here is a very brief summary of what we know so far:
- Two mosques targeted in mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand
- Being reported that 40 people have been killed and over 50 injured
- Three men and one woman in custody – police say more attackers may be at large
- A number of improvised explosive devices in vehicles were made safe after the shooting
- Gunman live-streamed entering the mosque with his weapon drawn
Please see the ‘Iconic Site Guidance’ document, which contains useful information and guidance for protecting a wide range of sites. For civilian places of prayer, the key issue is to secure car parks, access points, and the perimeter, so that adversaries can be spotted before they get close enough to the main points of entry. A simple act, such as locking the main doors can gain precious time, even against armed attackers, to enable police armed response teams to arrive on site, and tackle the attacker(s). Slowing down the attackers’ ability to enter any premises can save lives!
It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.
The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is now assessed as: SEVERE
The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain is set at MODERATE
In Northern Ireland it is: SEVERE
- CRITICAL means that a terrorist attack is imminent
- SEVERE means that a terrorist attack is highly likely
- SUBSTANTIAL that an attack is a strong possibility
- MODERATE that an attack is possible but unlikely
Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on: 0800 789 321
You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…
The following telephone numbers may be useful:
Corps Security Central Support: 0141 847 2044
Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516
Editor: Mike Bluestone MA CSyP FSyI