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

Terror Threat Level now back down a notch to "Severe"

SPECIAL BULLETIN (No 24)

Terror Threat Level now back down a notch to:

‘SEVERE’

Is it time to relax?

The UK terrorism threat level has been reduced from ‘Critical’ to ‘Severe’. The announcement was made last Saturday 27 May, by the Prime Minister. The announcement followed a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra last Saturday morning.

The change indicates an attack is highly likely, although not imminently expected.

The Military personnel deployed last week to support the civilian police will be stood down on Monday 29 May, at the close of the bank holiday weekend.

It is now apparent that the Security Services (including MI5 and other agencies) and the police have made very significant progress in shutting down the operational terror cell in which Salman Abedi and members of his Libyan family were active, hence the threat level being downgraded so promptly. It had been upgraded to ‘Critical’ in the aftermath of the suicide bombing carried out by Abedi at the Manchester Arena.  The threat level had of course, been set at ‘Critical’ in the aftermath of that horrific bombing, which mercilessly, targeted young people and children.

There are some questions to pose:

  • So what now?
  • Does the threat level downgrade mean we can all relax?
  • If we can’t still relax, then what should we all be doing, that we haven’t already been doing?

What now?

Let’s firstly not forget that the Security Services have told us that the threat from Islamic extremists will likely be hanging over us for the next couple of decades. MI5 estimates that there are some 3,000 active terrorist minded operatives out there, in the UK alone.

My concern is that other extremists could ‘jump on the back’ of the Manchester attack, and be ‘inspired’ to conduct their own attacks. ‘Copy-cat’ attacks do occur. It is hard, indeed impossible, for decent minded people of goodwill, to get their heads around the fact that Islamic extremists have defined the carnage of the Manchester bombing as a success!!  Let us also not forget that it was Libyan terrorists who brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988…

So can we relax, perhaps even just a bit…?

The short answer is, no.

One particular terror cell/group (with a Libyan connection) may be no more, but there are others ready to make their move. MI5 and the police, to their enormous credit, have thwarted many other terrorist plots. The officers of those organisations are working tirelessly to protect us all, but the sad reality is that every now and again, a single group of terrorists will slip through the net. There are just not enough Security Service and police personnel to have all suspects under physical surveillance 24×7…

So, what should we all be doing, that we haven’t already been doing?

The need for heightened vigilance should remain in place.

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:

  • 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!

The current threat level from global terrorism has now been 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

Dear Readers,

Since issuing our previous Corps Relay (Number 24), the Prime Minister has announced that Britain’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) last night raised the terror threat level to ‘critical’, its highest level.

This significant step has been made less than 24 hours after the bomb attack at a teen concert in Manchester, which tragically left 22 dead and 64 injured.

The Prime Minister has also confirmed the identity of the Manchester suicide bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi (a Mancunian of Libyan descent), who it is suspected by the Security Service, did not act alone. This leaves open the possibility of an active Islamist terror cell on the loose.

The threat level has only been raised to ‘critical’ twice since the system was introduced on August 1, 2006. Troops are to be deployed onto Britain’s streets amid fears a further terror attack ‘may be imminent’.

Deployed troops will come under the command of civilian police forces throughout the UK, and it is likely that they will be deployed on static and patrolling security duties, as has been seen over the past 2-3 years in France.  The deployment of military personnel will then free up warranted police officers to focus on their counter-terrorism and law enforcement duties.  Additionally, certain military units will provide direct support, and back-up to armed police response teams.

Given the raising of the threat level, readers are advised to conduct a re-assessment of current security measures at their premises and facilities.  Special emphasis should be placed upon perimeter security and access control.  Readers are advised to consider adopting the ‘onion skin principle’ to the physical security of premises, so that (just like the layers of an onion) there are several layers of security measures in place to help prevent, and mitigate the impact of attacks.

Where appropriate, consideration should be given to deploying additional security officers so that the deterrent effect at premises is enhanced, and more trained eyes and ears are on the ground able to spot potential hostile reconnaissance, and/or suspicious behaviour.

Again, in appropriate circumstances, consideration should be given to the deployment of trained ‘sniffer dog’ teams, such measures being especially relevant, for example, to places of entertainment, museums and shopping centres, and facilities which attract large number of members of the public, and where footfall is generally high.

Corps Security and our consulting department, Corps Consult, can assist readers who have specific requests for further support or guidance.

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK was raised on 23 May 2017 and is now assessed as CRITICAL

 

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

Appalling terror attack at Manchester Arena – Many dead and injured…

The vigilance and awareness of all our site based, and other uniformed colleagues, is now being raised yet again, in the face of yet another example of brutal terrorism. Corps Security’s teams will be busy today providing reassurance to customers, and in particular to those who operate places of entertainment, and where there is high footfall, and a regular presence of members of the public.

Colleagues in our Events teams will be ensuring that all appropriate emergency and contingency plans for events are checked and understood.

The attack in Manchester targeted young people, including children.

Here at Corps Consult, we are liaising with Police and contacts at CPNI to get their take on this most serious terror attack, the worst in the UK since 7/7 2005.

What we know at this stage…

Greater Manchester Police say 22 are confirmed dead in suspected terror attack

  1. 59 people were injured in the blast at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert
  2. Sixty ambulances attended the scene
  3. Police have set up an emergency number for those concerned about friends and relatives: 0161 8569400
  4. There will be no trains to or from Manchester Victoria station on Tuesday
  5. The Conservatives have suspended their general election campaigning
  6. Calls have been made for blood donors to step forward

 

The Prime Minister will be chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee later today.

One eye witness told the BBC that he was “metres away from an explosion” while waiting to pick up his daughter from the concert. He said his wife suffered a “stomach wound” and “possible broken leg”. He added: “Someone came through the doors then bang.” This report supports the confirmation that this attack was in fact a suicide bombing, , this means that access control and front of house security, at all sites, must be checked, and where necessary enhanced.

Further bulletins will follow as and when more solid information is to hand.

In the meantime, our customers and colleagues are urged to maintain extreme vigilance in the face of ruthless adversaries…

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 raised on 29 August 2014 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

Aftermath of Westminster

Hello and welcome to the 22nd issue of Corps Relay – the newsletter designed to help you protect your people and property. The brutal terror attack in Westminster on 22 March is further proof (if any were needed) that terrorism can rear its ugly head in the UK, with devastating effect. The Corps Relay Team takes this opportunity to express its condolences to the relatives and friends of PC Keith Palmer, and all the other innocent victims of this cruel attack. Our two special bulletins can be found HERE and HERE.

In light of recent events we have focussed on preparation and training should a terrorist attack occur. Firstly, we summarise the National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical options, a document which outlines ways to enhance your security, before we explain how Corps Security has become a self-provider of Project Griffin training. We end with our usual summary on Armed Police activity.

National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options – A Summary

Corps Relay was pleased to see that the National Counter Terrorism Security Office had released the National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options. Below is a summary of the document.

The National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options is a document that can be used by either the private sector or security industry that outlines ways in which they can enhance their security position in times of raised terrorism threat levels.

These options can be used in conjunction with the Police Service’s ‘National Menu of Counter Terrorism Tactical Options’ or independently.

At the end of each issue of Corps Relay we include the current threat levels facing our country from international and Irish terror.

Each level of threat has a different response needed from the security industry, and these are:

  • Critical – Maximum protective security measures to meet specific threats and to minimise vulnerability and risk
  • Severe/Substantial – Additional and substantial protective security measures reflecting the broad nature of the threat combined with specific business and geographical vulnerabilities and judgements on acceptable risk
  • Moderate – Routine protective security measures appropriate to the business concerned The overall business strategy in dealing with a change in threat level is to understand the type of threat posed and to consider the appropriate level of action that allows the business to continue running as usual.

The following principles should be central to any decisions:

  • Prioritise areas to protect
  • Measures should be proportionate to the threat
  • Do not let security costs exceed the value of what you are protecting
  • Security is more cost effective when incorporated into long-term planning
  • Agree a strategy and document all decisions

Menu of Tactical Options If there is an increase in threat level, then the following list of tactical options should be considered by your business to help ensure security on your premises:

  • Have a lock down procedure
  • Increase security presence
  • Brief staff to be more vigilant
  • Work in partnership with local businesses • Ensure you have a fully functioning CCTV system
  • Establish parking checks
  • Instate a robust visitor entry process • Implement search regimes
  • Consider cancelling or postponing large events
  • Review staff abstractions
  • Enforce a stricter delivery system

REMEMBER ROBUST AND VIGILANT ‘COMMUNITIES’ PROVIDE A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT FOR TERRORISTS/CRIMINALS TO OPERATE IN

The full National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options document can be found HERE

 

Project Griffin

Project Griffin Training Corps Security is pleased to announce that it is now a self-deliverer of Project Griffin training. This initiative was formed back in 2004 and encourages members of the public to work in Partnership with the police to deter and detect terrorist activity and crime. Our Project Griffin Champion within Corps Security is Russell Southern, and we asked him a few questions to find out more.

Can you give me some background to Project Griffin training? Project Griffin is the national counter terrorism awareness initiative for business produced by NaCTSO to protect cities and communities from the threat of terrorism.

The aim of Project Griffin is to:

  • Help understand the threat from terrorism to the UK
  • Guide individuals on what to do if they find themselves involved in a terrorist incident or event that leads to a planned attack
  • Enable people to recognise and report suspicious activity ·

What is your role within the training?

Now that we can self-deliver my role is to act as the link between the Police and Corps Security to provide updates and reports on modules that are taught along with the number of personnel trained.

How did we go about becoming a self-deliverer of the training?

What was the process?

I first heard that Project Griffin was available to be self-delivered from the Crime Prevention Association meetings that I attend monthly which are held by the City of London Police. The reason the Police decided for this to be self-delivered was due to the number of people they wish to be trained. The average number of people the Police were training annually was around 100,000. By allowing self-delivery they hope this will reach 1 million trained annually. Knowing the importance of the training and how good it would be to self-deliver I got in touch with the Police and arranged for a contract to be written up between Corps Security which would enable the company to self-deliver.  I had to speak to a number of people to arrange this between Corps Security and the Police as at first only limited companies were allowed to hold a contract. This has now been changed.

How do you think this helps the officers who get trained?

This benefits not only Corps Security staff but also allows us to deliver the training to the client and the tenants as well as, other service partners in the building. We can provide updated training when needed and out of the 14 available teaching modules available, can pick and choose which ones are relevant to the individuals being taught. This allows us to be very flexible with this training and carry out refreshers when necessary. Before we had to wait until sessions were available but now can deliver these as often as we like.

Why, do you think, is this training important?

With the ever changing threat from terrorism it is essential for not only security but all members of the public to be aware of what to look for and how to report. The more people are aware the more protected we all are from terrorism.

Armed Policing in the UK – An Update

In his last speech as commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said that armed police shouldn’t be afraid to shoot their weapons. In his speech to the Royal United Services Institute, Hogan-Howe stressed the importance of trusting our armed officers and to treat them less suspiciously. He did also say that he was concerned with the way that officers who are involved in shooting accidents are treated, saying some shootings take too long to investigate.

“We can’t afford to have officers think twice because they fear the consequences of shooting someone. That’s how they get shot, or the public gets hurt, or a criminal gets away with a gun.”

There seems to be a similar thought throughout the Metropolitan Police regarding armed officers. Here at Corps Relay, we have been following a Metropolitan Police Federation’s survey that indicates that nearly half of all Met police officers want more firearms specialists. This survey was answered by approximately a third of all Metropolitan police officers over the last three weeks of January, and another finding was that three quarters of all who answered believed that all officers should be issued with Tasers.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has been replaced as the commissioner of the Metropolitan police by Cressida Dick, the first female to be appointed to the role.

Future issues of Corps Relay will continue to provide updates on policing and security here in the UK.

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

Dear Readers,

Following on from our special bulletin of yesterday, here is a further update on the terror attack in Westminster, along with some additional guidance, and information:

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT THUS FAR

  • Four people have died and 40 people have been injured in a terror attack near the Houses of Parliament
  • At 14.40 GMT a single attacker drove a car over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London, killing at least two pedestrians and injuring many more
  • The car then crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament
  • The attacker, armed with a knife, ran to Parliament where he was confronted by the police. One officer, PC Keith Palmer – who was not armed – was stabbed and killed
  • The attacker was shot dead by armed officers
  • This was the first time a terror attack has been conducted in the UK where a conventional vehicle has been used as the primary ‘weapon’ of attack
  • The terrorist was also armed with a knife, which dealt the fatal blow to PC Palmer
  • Although reports indicate that the attack may have been the action of a lone wolf, a number of arrests have been made across the UK suggesting that more than one person was involved in the planning, or coordination of the attack
  • Significantly, Daesh (Islamic State) has belatedly claimed responsibility for the attack, although that claim should not necessarily be taken at face value, since terror groups such as Al Qaeda, and Daesh, will often claim responsibility for the terrorist actions of others in order to boost their own warped reputation

IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR READERS AND CUSTOMERS

The use of a conventional vehicle (in this case, a small car) demonstrates the ease with which terrorists can inflict death, injury and mayhem without recourse to firearms such as assault rifles, pistols or IEDs.  The implications for those involved in the protection of premises and property, is that focus must be placed on examining existing security measures and, in particular, having adequate defence in depth, i.e. a layered approach to protective security in place.  Thus, for example, outer perimeter security such as fencing, lockable gates, CCTV, access control, appropriate Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measures, and of course vigilant and alert security officers, are all vital components in the prevention of attacks, as well as countering the gathering of hostile reconnaissance.

It seems more than a coincidence that the terrorist in this incident, after mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge (an area frequently teeming with tourists and office workers) would then choose to crash his vehicle into railings close to, what is being described, as the weakest segment in perimeter security at the Palace of Westminster. This suggests that the perpetrator had this information to hand, and was thereby able to launch a knife attack, resulting in the tragic killing of an unarmed officer.  It must equally be acknowledged that by tackling the terrorist at that outer perimeter, the bravery of unarmed police officers restricted the threat of further death and injury beyond the very perimeter being guarded.

As a consequence of the above we pose some questions below which we hope will assist you to take practical steps to mitigate the threats from terrorism, and ramming attacks:

  • Are you satisfied with your existing access control physical measures?
  • Have you assessed whether Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures are required?
  • Is entry to your premises or estates adequately controlled?
  • Can you deploy security personnel to perimeter areas which enable them to safely look out for vehicles being driven at excessive speed?
  • Are reporting mechanism fast enough to enable prompt activation of lockdowns in the event of 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!

Despite this attack, 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 raised on 29 August 2014 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 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: 020 7566 0516

Editor: Mike Bluestone

Associate Editor: Emma Brooksbank

Dear Readers,

This afternoon’s terror attack in the Westminster area of London remains an ongoing incident.  Media reports thus far indicate the following summary of events:

  • A police officer has been stabbed in the Houses of Parliament in central London
  • The alleged assailant was shot by armed police
  • Witnesses report seeing several people being “mowed down” by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge (two fatalities have been reported at this time)
  • Footage on social media shows people lying in the road
  • Metropolitan Police say they are treating it as a terrorist incident and buildings are in lockdown

Parliament and several other iconic sites within the Westminster area remain on lockdown, and Westminster tube station is closed.  Some customer premises within the Westminster district may also presently be on lockdown, although others located outside of the immediate secure zone, may not be affected.  Corps Security’s operations teams are in contact with relevant customer sites affected by the incident, and are providing support to our Site Security Management, and security officer teams.

Until all the facts relating to the incident are fully known, we urge all readers with premises in Central London to maintain the highest levels of vigilance, paying special attention to access control, as well as to the reporting of any suspicious activity around premises.  Those customers with premises in Central London will likely find disruption to public transport throughout this evening.

The following telephone numbers may be useful:

  • Corps Security Central Support – 0141 847 2044
  • Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516

Mike Bluestone CSyP

Director

Corps Consult