‘Animal Rebellion’ – changed plans but still a threat….

In our previous issue of Corps Relay we circulated the intention of ‘Animal Rebellion’ to attempt to blockade City of London-based Smithfield Meat Market, during the period 7-21 October 2019.

Further updates on the possible impact on our City of London, and City of Westminster customers’ colleagues and premises

Following a further meeting held by City of London Police (CoLPA) and attended by Corps Security’s Regional Operations Director, we can report on the following update:

  • It was previously thought the newly formed Animal Rebellion group would occupy Smithfield’s market for two weeks from Monday 7 October. However following negotiations between the group, City Police and City of London Corporation the protest in the market will only take place over a 24-hour period starting from the afternoon of Monday 7 October.
  • Organisers anticipate around 2,000 protesters will participate. However the Facebook page suggests numbers will be smaller.
  • The Animal Rebellion protest in Smithfield appears to be one action as part of a two-week action undertaken by Extinction Rebellion, which will mainly target government agencies in the Westminster area.
  • The Extinction Rebellion protesters intend to target 10 locations in Westminster for at least two weeks from Monday 7 October. The protesters are likely to stay static in their sites, however their activity is dependent on the weather.
  • Map of intended routes and affected areas

What tactics will the protesters employ?

Readers should be aware of the likely tactics that protesters will employ:

  • Protesters’ tactics could include:
    • Graffiti, Criminal damage,
    • lock-ons outside premises,
    • swarming,
    • roadblocks,
    • mass sit-downs / die-in’s,
    • impersonating staff to enter building,
    • attending and disrupting events held in buildings
  • It is possible that protesters will approach businesses asking for their support.
  • There is no current intelligence to suggest violent tactics will be used from this group. However, as this is a new group it is difficult to foresee what their exact method of protesting will be

Where are the most likely locations for protests?

Potential locations that may be targeted by protesters within the City of London include the following:

  • It is expected Animal rebellion will protest Smithfield’s market for 24 hours, however it is possible they may re-enter the site during the two-week period. Meanwhile Extinction rebellion protesters will focus their activity in Westminster and government area.
  • Intelligence suggests protesters will set up a base on Grand Avenue in the centre of Smithfield market.
  • Intelligence suggests a charity shop in Plumtree court, Shoe Lane EC4A will be used by protesters as a feeding location.

How will Police respond during the protest?

The policing plan, as advised by City of London Police, will include the following:

  • A 24/7 robust policing plan will be in place from City Police throughout the two-week period in case protesters re-enter site or pop-up demos emerge.
  • Various Police teams have been set up including a Protest removal team (to deal with protesters glued to buildings), Rope tactics team (to deal with protesters climbing buildings) and Police liaising team (to engage with the protesters, businesses and local community).
  • There will be an increased number of officers around locations that have been targeted recently.

Police Advice:

  • Please ensure your own security plans are reviewed ahead of the demonstration.
  • Residents and businesses are encouraged to talk to officers deployed in the area. Please report all hostile reconnaissance activity.
  • Any intelligence, concerns or advice can be emailed to protestenquiries@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk. Please send your emails from corporate email address.
  • If a situation escalates there will be an enhanced police and security presence in the City, who will be in the area to deal with the matter.
  • All persons (Security and other personnel) working throughout Central London should follow the TFL, and Police announcements on any impact on the Tube, Bus and other transport networks.
  • Only call 999 in the event of an emergency or threat to life.

All site Security Control Rooms should be monitoring Sky/Breaking News around the clock.

It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.

HMG’s terror alert status for the UK is detailed below:

The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SEVERE

The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is SEVERE

NOTE: Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack

  • LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
  • MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
  • SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future

Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and violent political activists and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on:
0800 789 321

REPORT IT!

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 378 7000
Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516

Editor: Mike Bluestone MA CSyP FSyI

‘Animal Rebellion’ planning to blockade Smithfield Market

It has been widely circulated through the media of the intention of a new protest group calling itself ‘Animal Rebellion’ to attempt to blockade City of London-based Smithfield Meat Market, during the period 7-21 October 2019.

How will this protest impact on our City of London customers’ colleagues and premises?

Following a Public meeting held by City of London Police (CoLPA) and attended by Corps Security’s Regional Operations Director, we can report the following:

  • Animal Rebellion, whilst linked with Extinction Rebellion, are a separate group with separate protest objections. Animal Rebellion (AR) intend to blockade Smithfield Market as a protest against Government Policy, with the aim of changing views on Cruelty to Animals and transitioning to more sustainable food sources. The Intention is to close the Market until Government respond to initial objective reported
  • This activity is planned to commence on 7th October, with AR stating that it plans to continue the protest until 21st October. AR are encouraging people to bring Tents, Food and Compost based toilets
  • CoLPA stated that as it is believed that AR activity is planned to peak around the Operational Hours of the Market Trading i.e. 0200-1000 Monday-Friday, CoLPA will be policing the area in increased numbers, during these hours, and have stated that the intention is to prevent the closure of the Market under any circumstances.
  • CoLPA, BTP and the Met are consolidating forces and, drawing upon experiences gained from the previous Extinction Rebellion protest in Central London, are prepared for smaller protests to break out across the City in support of this cause.
  • Currently preventative measures by police have already thwarted two potential threats in preparation for the protest activity

How may this protest impact upon the working day?

The numbers expected are unconfirmed but as a caution, CoLPA advised for the local area to prepare for a guide rate of 2,000-10,000 protestors. This will inevitably result in road closures and blockages, especially in the vicinity of the Market itself.

British Transport Police (BPT) have warned of possible major disruption at Farringdon Station, with possible closures. This is again based upon experiences learned from Extinction Rebellion’s previous activities.

Whilst most protestors will be focusing their attention on causing disruption at the Market, extra vigilance should be applied to managing access control.
Some protestors may attempt to gain unauthorised entry to places where there are possible links to their cause. In preparation, Access Control and lockdown measures should be strengthened. In addition, all persons (Security and other personnel) working throughout Central London should follow the TFL, and Police announcements on any impact on the Tube, Bus and other transport networks.

All site Security Control Rooms should be monitoring Sky/Breaking News around the clock.

 

It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.

We have been informed that a further briefing will be held on 1 October 2019, and we will issue further bulletins with updated information and intelligence as and when we receive it.

HMG’s terror alert status for the UK is detailed below:

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

US President Donald Trump arrives in the UK today for a three-day official state visit

How might this visit impact on City and Central London premises, and premises in other parts of the country?

City of London, Central London, and other customer sites across the country impacted by the visit especially those where there are American owned
businesses or interests, or which are adjacent to such businesses, should place their security teams on high alert.

Today, the first day of Mr Trump’s three-day trip, will see a ceremonial welcome attended by the Queen, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be held in the Buckingham Palace garden. After the welcome, the Duke of Sussex will join the group for a private lunch at the palace.

Later on the president will be given a tour of Westminster Abbey and will also meet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for tea at Clarence House.

Heads of state are usually welcomed to the UK on Horse Guards Parade, rather than in the palace grounds.

President Trump will be staying at the US Ambassador’s residence Winfield House, near Regent’s Park in central London.

A state banquet in the palace’s ballroom will take place on Monday evening, with Mr Trump, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with other UK public figures and prominent Americans living in Britain.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May will host a business breakfast attended by the Duke of York at St James’s Palace.

Business leaders understood to be attending include Barclays CEO Jes Staley, GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley, BAE Systems chairman Sir Roger Carr and the National Grid’s John Pettigrew.

Mr Trump will then visit Downing Street for talks with Theresa May, followed by a joint press conference. Mrs May has said she will step down as prime minister three days later on 7 June.

In the evening, the Trumps will host a dinner at the residence of the US ambassador attended by Charles and Camilla on behalf of the Queen.

The trip is expected to culminate on Wednesday 5 June with Mr Trump, the Queen and Prince Charles attending the national commemorative event in Portsmouth for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

A visiting leader will sometimes speak at the Houses of Parliament during a state visit, but this is currently not confirmed.

On the basis that there will be huge numbers of protestors on the streets of Central London, and also in Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham and Nottingham, there is a risk that some may decide to protest outside the offices of American owned interests, or disrupt staff and visitors to such places.

Whilst most protestors will be focusing their attention on causing disruption along the visit routes (see CSSC bulletin and map) extra vigilance should be applied to managing access control.

Some protestors may attempt to gain unauthorised entry to places where there are US owned interests or assets. In addition, all persons (Security and other personnel) working on customer sites in London should follow the TFL, and Police announcements on any impact on the Tube, Bus and other transport networks.

All site Security Control Rooms should be monitoring Sky/Breaking News around the clock.

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

290 Fatalities and over 500 injured in the terror attacks against churches and hotels on 21 April…

The Sri Lankan government has announced that the suicide bombers who attacked the churches and hotels in Colombo, and elsewhere on the 21 April, were from a Sri Lankan based Islamist group known as the NTJ. Significantly, the government has admitted receiving prior warning of attacks some two and a half weeks earlier, and again only ten minutes before the attcacks, but no preventative actions were taken.

The lesson for all of us is that reliable information and intelligence must never be ignored. Here at Corps Consult, we are constantly ‘banging the drum’ of the need for Security, and indeed non-security personnel, to report all and any suspicious activity, and behaviour, in real-time…

Once again we repeat the message that terrorists rarely carry out such attacks without first visiting and/or surveilling their targets. As a consequence, spotting and identifying ‘hostile reconnaissance’ is of paramount importance in any security programme.

It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.


Sri Lankan officials inspect St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north of Colombo after the attacks…

 

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

Deadly Attack on Mosques in New Zealand

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

  • Counter-terror police have said three suspicious packages found near transport hubs across London earlier today (05-03-2019) were “small improvised explosive devices”
  • Officers were called to Waterloo Station, London City Airport and an office building at Heathrow Airport in separate incidents within hours of each other earlier today
  • Three A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags were found, the Met Police has now confirmed
  • Specialist officers have assessed the packages, which were found to be “small improvised explosive devices”
  • Officers say they are treating the incidents as “a linked series” but are “keeping an open mind regarding motives”

Click here for the Counter Terrorism Policing’s Incident message

We set out below some guidance for identifying IEDs and Vehicle Borne IEDs:

What to look for:

  • Unexpected or unusual origin or no return address or address not verified
  • Poorly or inaccurately addressed – printed unevenly or in an unusual way
  • The writing is in an unfamiliar foreign style
  • Unusual postmarks or postage paid marks
  • A Jiffy bag, or similar padded envelope has been used
  • Unusually heavy for its size. Most letters weigh 30g, whereas most effective letter bombs weigh 50 – 100g and are 5mm or more thick
  • It has more than the appropriate value of stamps for its size and weight.
  • It is marked “personal or Confidential”
  • What to look for:
  • Unexpected or unusual origin or no return address or address not verified
  • Poorly or inaccurately addressed – printed unevenly or in an unusual way
  • The writing is in an unfamiliar foreign style
  • Unusual postmarks or postage paid marks
  • A Jiffy bag, or similar padded envelope has been used
  • Unusually heavy for its size. Most letters weigh 30g, whereas most effective letter bombs weigh 50 – 100g and are 5mm or more thick
  • It has more than the appropriate value of stamps for its size and weight.
  • It is marked “personal or Confidential”

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

IEDs Mailed out, and Racist Shooting Attacks on a Synagogue – Lessons for the UK

In our previous issue of Corps Relay, we highlighted the potential threats, posed by Neo Nazi and other far-right extremist groups. We also vowed to continue to update readers on the trends relating to this category of extremists.

Sadly however, we have now seen those threats translate into further action, albeit in the United States. The two primary attacks in the USA, have consisted in the first instance, of the extensive mailing of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to a number of high profile targets, including Democratic Party politicians, including former President Obama, as well as Jewish people, and others. The perpetrator of those attacks, Cesar Syac (of Native American descent) is in police custody, after smart forensic work uncovered his fingerprint on one of the devices.

Fortunately there were no casualties following the ‘barrage mailing’ of those devices, but the second, and most recent attack of 27 October, which consisted of a heavily armed ‘shooter’ (identified as Robert Bowers, now in police custody) burst into a synagogue full of worshippers (who were celebrating a baby naming ceremony), and open fire indiscriminately with an AR15 (M16) assault rifle, resulting in the deaths of eleven worshippers, and many others being injured, including three law enforcement officers.

Some may feel that mass shooting attacks are purely an American phenomenon, and that such shooting attacks (by far right extremists at least) cannot happen here. But such thinking is dangerous, and is countered by the fatal brutal knife, and gun attack in Yorkshire on Jo Cox MP, and the vehicle ram attack at Finsbury Park Mosque, which we covered in our previous Corps Relay.

For churches, mosques, synagogues, and indeed all places of worship, there is a real dilemma as to whether ‘tight and robust’ security should be in place, or whether such places retain an ‘open house’ policy. In fact, there are ways to find a sensible balance in these two ostensibly conflicting cultures.

Here at Corps Consult, we call it the installation of a ‘Welcoming but Secure’ environment.

So, what does that mean? ‘Welcoming’ and ‘Secure’? Aren’t these two terms contradictory?

Well not if the security policy and measures are planned sensibly, proactively, and based upon detailed Risk and Threat Assessments, and professional Security Reviews and Surveys.

Let’s consider these issues by reference to the synagogue attack in Philadelphia, and our own Corps Consult approach. Here in the UK the Community Security Trust (CST) has responsibility for securing the UK’s synagogues, Jewish schools, and other communal institutions. The CST approach, is one that we at Corps Consult share, namely that the emphasis is placed on installing security policies and measures which focus on robust and reliable access control, in the broadest sense of that term, as follows:

  • By ensuring that only the right persons can gain entry to the premises
  • Preventing the wrong people from gaining entry, and
  • Installing security measures, and procedures which can mitigate against the consequences of forced entry by the wrong people

In terms of allowing access to the right people, this can be achieved through smart physical and electronic access control, and in the case of places of worship, by deploying guards ‘front of house’ who can stop and check each entrant (in the UK Jewish community, a mix of volunteer and paid guards are deployed). Of course, where an armed attacker or attackers approach, the risks are  heightened, but good training can mean that the guard can spot an attacker at a safe distance, and then act, for example, by closing and locking the door or doors in question, and sounding the panic alarm, and by placing physical barriers against the outer door (an upturned table placed against a door may hold off a shooter for a few vital seconds).

In commercial/corporate premises, CCTV can be used as a means of spotting/identifying hostile reconnaissance, and unusual behaviour in the ‘defensive space’ zones, such as the entrance pathways or and car parks. Of course, only armed police officers can eventually neutralise such armed attackers, but our objective is to ‘buy time’, to slow down the adversary’s advance through a ‘layered’ security approach.

In the Philadelphia attack, the synagogue had apparently installed ‘fast opening’ door mechanisms on the emergency external doors, but they unfortunately, had no guard on the main entrance door, as they wanted to preserve the ‘open house’ policy, but as stated earlier, having a polite but well trained guard deployed at a door, can be both a deterrent, and a vital segment in the ‘stopping and challenging’ layer of the security measures. I personally have only ever felt good, safe, and indeed welcomed, when stopped, and challenged politely, by a smart and well trained security officer, wherever and whenever security is in place.

Incidents such as these are also timely reminders of the need to have tested, and drilled emergency and contingency plans in place. Having designated internal safe havens; Full and Partial lock down procedures; Evacuation and Invacuation procedures; Effective communications; Panic Alarms, are all vital components in the overall security plans.

We also set out below some guidance for identifying IEDs and Vehicle Borne IEDs:

What to look for:

  • Unexpected or unusual origin or no return address or address not verified
  • Poorly or inaccurately addressed – printed unevenly or in an unusual way
  • The writing is in an unfamiliar foreign style
  • Unusual postmarks or postage paid marks
  • A Jiffy bag, or similar padded envelope has been used
  • Unusually heavy for its size. Most letters weigh 30g, whereas most effective letter bombs weigh 50 – 100g and are 5mm or more thick
  • It has more than the appropriate value of stamps for its size and weight.
  • It is marked “personal or Confidential”

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

NOTE:

  • 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

REPORT IT!

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

Hello and welcome to our first 2018 edition of Corps Relay – the newsletter designed to help you protect your people and property.


Islamist Terror/Daesh

Security Service (MI5) and Counter-Terror Police Place Focus on Extreme Right Wing (Neo-Nazi) Activists

Whilst there has been no let-up in the threat from Islamist terror groups operating in the UK, the Police and security services are increasingly engaged in monitoring and meeting the threat from extreme right-wing neo-Nazi groups.

Two serious acts of extreme violence perpetrated by far-right extremists have already taken place, with the murder of Jo Cox MP, and the attack on the Finsbury Park mosque.  In addition, the government has proscribed the neo-Nazi group, National Action, although some of their activists continue to operate through known aliases.

The outgoing head of UK Counter-Terrorist Policing, Mark Rowley, revealed that four right-wing terror plots had been foiled in 2017.  Extreme right-wing groups were seeking to build international networks.  Other reports suggest that Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups are actively seeking to recruit British far-right activists in order to bring them to the Ukraine to fight alongside the Azov battalion, a notorious Ukrainian fascist militia.

Significantly, a record number of white people have recently been arrested in the UK on suspicion of terrorism, amid a rise in both Islamist radicalisation, and that of far-right extremists. Official statistics show that 91 out of a total 260 people held on suspicion of terrorism offences were white – a rise of 20 from 2015 and the highest number since 2003. White suspects made up 35 per cent – or one in three – of all terror related arrests in 2016, compared with 25 per cent in 2015. The rise contrasts with a fall in arrests across all other ethnic groups.

Corps Relay will continue to update readers on the trends relating to this category of extremists.


Islamist Extremism and ‘Daesh’ – Background Update
So who/what is Daesh?

Daesh being the acronym for ‘Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fīl-ʻIraq wa ash-Shām’. The self-described Islamic State (or IS), is a Sunni, extremist, jihadist, self-proclaimed caliphate and unrecognized state in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East.

The group originated as ‘Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad’ in 1999. This group was the forerunner of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’ took part in the Iraqi insurgency against US-led forces and their Iraqi allies following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2006, it joined other Sunni insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, which consolidated further into the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) shortly afterwards. In April 2013, the group changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It grew significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, gaining support in Iraq as a result of perceived economic and political discrimination against Iraqi Sunnis. After entering the Syrian Civil War, it established a large presence in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo.

Daesh had close links to al-Qaeda until February 2014 when, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with the group, citing its failure to consult and lack of compromise. Daesh was too extreme even for Al Qaeda!

The group’s original aim was to establish an Islamic state in the Sunni-majority regions of Iraq. Following its involvement in the Syrian Civil War, this expanded to include controlling Sunni-majority areas of Syria.  The big news was its proclamation of a worldwide caliphate on 29 June 2014.


Map of Daesh’s aspirational Caliphate

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu’minin, Caliph Ibrahim—was named as its caliph, and the group was renamed the Islamic State. In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims worldwide, and aims to bring most traditionally Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control, beginning with the Levant region, which approximately covers Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus, and part of southern Turkey.

The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, the European Union the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. The United Nations and Amnesty International have accused the group of grave human rights abuses, and Amnesty International has found it guilty of ethnic cleansing on a “historic scale”.

Daesh’s actions, authority and theological interpretations have been widely criticized around the world by non-Muslims and within the Muslim community. On the pure military front in Iraq and certainly in Syria too, Daesh is on the back foot, although it continues to attract willing recruits from across Europe, North America and other parts of the globe, many of whom significantly, return to their countries of origin and become active in perpetrating terrorism within those home countries.


Independent Office for Police Conduct replaces the IPCC

The IOPC replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission on 8 January 2018. Michael Lockwood has been appointed as the IOPC Director General.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is the reformed police watchdog, previously known as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). New leadership under a Director General will mean speedier decision-making, with a new board to ensure greater accountability to the public. This is the latest step in the Home Office’s reforms to strengthen the organisation and will lead to new powers. The new single Executive Head will ensure clear lines of accountability and a streamlined decision-making process.

As well as these changes, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 includes further provisions which will increase the IOPC’s powers, clarify its investigative processes, and further safeguard its independence. The major reforms were announced by Prime Minister Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary, and these powers will allow the IOPC to:

  • Initiate its own investigations without relying on a force to record and refer a particular case for investigation
  • Reopen cases it has closed where there are compelling reasons, such as new evidence
  • Increase the IOPC’s independence from the police by abolishing ‘managed’ and ‘supervised’ investigations
  • Investigate all disciplinary investigations against Chief Officers
  • Present cases against officers in the police disciplinary process when the force disagrees with the IOPC’s findings

The IOPC, like the IPCC before it, will continue to investigate the most serious and sensitive matters involving the police, including deaths and serious injuries as well as matters such as allegations of corruption. It will also oversee the complaints system in England and Wales and set the standards by which complaints should be handled by the police.

The Home Office has also announced the appointment of new board members Geoffrey Podger as Senior Independent Director, and Manjit Gill, Catherine Jervis, Mary Lines, Andrew Harvey and Bill Matthews as Non-Executive Directors. The Non-Executive Directors will form the majority of the new board, and provide independent support and challenge to the Director General as well as oversight of the overall running of the organisation.


Government Proposal for a new National Police Force to protect nuclear sites, railways and roads

A new national “infrastructure” police force may well be created if Government plans to improve protection of nuclear sites, railways and roads comes to fruition.

An organisation comprising the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP), the British Transport Police (BTP), and Highways England, would be established under the proposed changes. The four specialist services are currently separate bodies.

  • The Civil Nuclear Constabulary employs more than 1,500 officers and staff to police nuclear sites around the UK. It is responsible for the armed protection of civil nuclear facilities and materials on site or in transit. Counter-terrorism makes up a major chunk of the force’s work.
  • British Transport Police has around 3,000 officers who are assigned to police Britain’s railways. The force also covers the London Underground and other urban networks.
  • The Ministry of Defence Police has approximately 2,600 officers and provides a number of functions at sensitive defence sites around the country.
  • Highways England is the government agency charged with operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways, and major A roads. It has in excess of 3,000 employees.

Although updates from HM Government on this initiative have gone quiet in recent months, this may be attributed to Brexit negotiations, rather than a sign that the actual proposal has been ditched.  Corps Relay will update readers as and when more news on this proposal is forthcoming.


Future issues of Corps Relay will continue to provide updates on policing and security here in the UK.  In the meantime the international terror threat level in the UK remains at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”.

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is assessed as: SEVERE
The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain

In Northern Ireland it is: SEVERE and in Great Britain SUBSTANTIAL

NOTE:

  • 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.

REPORT IT!

You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…

 

For further information, or for back copies of Corps Relay, feel free to contact our team direct on: 0207 566 0516

or via e-mail at mbluestone@corpssecurity.co.uk  or sreuben@corpssecurity.co.uk

Editor: Mike Bluestone CSyP
Associate Editor: Sue Reuben ASyI

Terror Attack in Finsbury Park

Last night London suffered yet another terror attack which took place in close to the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park.

Media reports thus far indicate the following:

  • One man died and ten people were injured when a man drove a hired van into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House.
  • Eight people were taken to hospital after the attack outside the mosque, which is also a community centre.
  • A 48 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
  • This is the fourth terror attack in the UK in four months, after incidents in Westminster, Manchester and on London Bridge.
  • Police said all victims of the attack, which was in the area of Finsbury Park Mosque, were Muslim.
  • Many are believed to have just left evening prayers at the Muslim Welfare House after breaking the Ramadan fast.
  • The perpetrator was “not known” to the security services.

This is not the first time that Muslims – and specifically visible Muslim targets, namely mosques – have been targeted in acts of terrorism in the UK. The threat from extreme right-wing groups has been growing in recent years. In fact 16% of all terror arrests in the year to March were classed as “domestic” extremism. Many readers may not be aware that MI5 and Counter-Terror police invest a significant amount of resources in monitoring and arresting extreme right wing activists.

In short, whilst we have experienced a number of terror acts perpetrated by Islam extremists, the risk of future attacks by extreme right wing terrorists cannot be ruled out

A more detailed bulletin on the attacks of extreme right wing groups will follow on.

Readers involved in Muslim communities or in any other faith group who may require advice on security are welcome to contact Corps Relay at the relevant email address below.

Future issues of Corps Relay will continue to provide updates on policing and security here in the UK.  In the meantime the international terror threat level in the UK remains at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”.

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK was decreased on 27 May 2017 and is now assessed as SEVERE

 

The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain

 

In Northern Ireland it is SEVERE and in Great Britain it is SUBSTANTIAL

NOTE:

  • 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.

REPORT IT!

You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…

For further information, or for back copies of Corps Relay, feel free to contact our team direct on 020 7566 0516 or via

e-mail at mbluestone@corpssecurity.co.uk or ebrooksbank@corpssecurity.co.uk

Editor: Mike Bluestone

Associate Editor: Emma Brooksbank

Special Terror Alert Bulletin

Barbaric Terror Attack in London Bridge Area – Seven Killed and Many Injured:

Seven people have been killed in what is rightly being described as a barbaric terror attack in the London Bridge area.

A van intentionally rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge at just before 10.00pm on Saturday 3 June. Three men then got out of the van and commenced a vicious stabbing spree, targeting people in nearby Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead by eight police officers who fired 50 bullets. Sadly, a member of the public was accidentally shot, and that person remains in hospital in a non-critical condition.

Some 48 members of the public were taken to five hospitals, including Guys and St. Thomas’s. Four police officers were injured, including a BTP officer, and an off duty Met officer who were both seriously injured whilst tackling the terrorists. Following the incident 12 people have been arrested during police raids in Barking, east London.

The Prime Minister has announced that the general election will go ahead on 8 June, although all major political parties suspended national campaigning, except UKIP. A Police casualty bureau has been set up for which the telephone numbers are as follows:

00 096 1233 and 020 7158 0197

Can we expect more attacks?

Here at Corps Relay, we expressed concern in our previous issue (No26) of the possibility of ‘copycat’ attacks by Islamic extremists who would have been perversely ‘inspired’ by the Manchester Arena suicide bombing on 22 May, as a result of which twenty-three adults and children, including the bomber, were killed and 119 were injured, 23 of them critically.

We also wonder whether the lowering of the Terror Threat level to Severe from Critical may have been premature, given that as a result of that change the Military armed presence was withdrawn from the streets…

Equally, there is no evidence to suggest that Islamic extremists have lost their desire to perpetrate further outrages, and so our message to all readers is to maintainheightened vigilance, especially on those sites and premises with high footfall, and which attract large numbers of members of the public.

Vigilance is not of course the exclusive domain of security personnel, and readers and customers are reminded to encourage all staff and contractors at their premises to be alert, and vigilant to any suspicious behaviour, or activity.

Please ask yourselves the following questions relating to the security of your own premises:

  • Are you applying the ‘onion skin’ principle of layered security, and defensive space? Can you extend outwards the first checking points for visitors?
  • Is it feasible for you to arrange for visitors, whether pedestrians or in vehicles to be checked initially at outer gates, rather than allow entry to internal Reception areas?
  • Have you assessed whether Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures are required?
  • Can you deploy security personnel to perimeter areas which enable them to safely look out for vehicles being driven at excessive speed?
  • Are reporting mechanisms fast enough to enable prompt activation of lockdowns in the event of a shooter getting on to your premises, or a speeding vehicle being detected?
  • Who has operational control?
  • Are your personnel trained to understand and identify hostile reconnaissance?
  • What contingency plans exist to address situations where someone or something worrying or suspicious is discovered?
  • Do you have updated evacuation and invacuation contingency plans?
  • Are reporting procedures adequate in terms of escalation of concerns, and police support?

‘Top Tips’:

  • Restrict both pedestrian and vehicular access to authorised persons and vehicles only
  • Maintain a good flow of intelligence and information, including close liaison with  local Police and Counter-Terrorism advisors
  • Have the right calibre of trained people in place, including well trained Security teams
  • Carry out regular tests (including Penetration Tests) and drills of all security and safety systems
  • Implement both internal and external security audits
  • Ensure that Contingency and Emergency plans are in place and are easily accessible for all relevant personnel
  • Always ensure that Security teams are alert to suspicious behaviour and activity in or around your subject premises or environment!

REMEMBER!

It is vital that Access Control and anti-tailgating measures are as robust as possible, and that unauthorised persons are not allowed to gain access to your premises!

REMEMBER!

That it is vital that everyone looks out for hostile reconnaissance, and that any suspicious activity is reported in real-time!

 

The current threat level from global terrorism is set at:

 

SEVERE meaning that a terrorist attack is still highly likely!

 

The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain:

In Northern Ireland it is:

 

SEVERE and in Great Britain SUBSTANTIAL

NOTE:

  • 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.

REPORT IT!

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:

0207 566 0516

 

Editor: Mike Bluestone

Associate Editor: Emma Brooksbank