Purpose: To provide the reader with basic knowledge about terrorism and its influence on modern close protection/bodyguard operations.
Content: Text and images about the subject.
Contributors: Henrik Bramsborg (DK)
Henrik Bramsborg (DK) is a professional bodyguard operating out of Northern Europe. Henrik Bramsborg works as a security professional and is also an author of several books.
"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" is an expression often used back in the 1970ies. However, there's still a lot to be said for this stigma. First, we've seen mindless terrorist attacks where thousands of innocents were killed and since seen a whole new war arise from it. In return we've seen occupying forces shoot and kill innocent people in foreign countries, instigating more hatred.
It's a wonderful negative circle....for bodyguards, that is.
The average terrorist doesn't exist it seems. He or she is likely to be in the mid-twenties, average education and average to reserved in social behavior.
A terrorist today works against the old doctrine of being part of a higher something and working in organizations, divided in smaller cells. The modern terrorist can work just as easily alone, as part of a group.
Communication goes on via the internet, alongside the old communication forms of phone calls, letters and "dead mailboxes" (a physical drop-off).
When working as a bodyguard for a client that is a target of terrorist activities, it is wise to be well educated on the specific terrorist threat (group, modus operadum and success rate), cooperate with all the partners you can find and carry lots of ammunition.
Gather as much intelligence you can and ask for more funds if you are not comfortable with the research quality. Keep your men updated on medical-/trauma treatment and train evacuation as often as possible.
In the 1970ies kidnapping, extortion and bombings were the way to go.
In the 1980ies, it shifted to bombings and airline hijackings w. ransome demands.
In the 1990ies the shift shift was less significant. Even though the typical disgruntled political terrorist still existed and were active, the Khalifat-freaks and religious terrorists were exploding in numbers. (Bombings still the preferred method).
2001 changed everything. Now the religious terrorist took the lead and became modern day terrorists, with the use of mass media, electronic- and micro funding and distribution of terror-manuals. Osama Bin Laden made terrorism (and counterterrorism) a multimillion dollar business - and paid with his life.
I've collected a few links here, that you can use to keep yourself updated on terrorism, terrorist attacks and outcomes. You should also check the resources tab in here, as we placed some goodies there.
Al Qaeda. Established as an idealistic freedom fighter organization in the late 1980ies, to repel the soviet forces from Afghanistan, this organization can truly claim to be the most modern and up-to-date there is out there.
Even though the charismatic leader, Osama Bin Laden, is dead and gone, Al Qaeda has managed to stay in the public eye and probably will for many years to come. The organization is dynamic in structure and has on several occasions invited Muslims to create their own martyrdom operating as singular cells.
They’ve created and published a terrorist manual; See the FBI released copy under “resources”.
Al Qaeda has also made terrorism a big business. Both founders, Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, were skilled businessmen, besides from philosophic scholars. They were demagogues with a vision of the ancient caliphates rebuild in a modern world, to shield against the evil from the west(!). Marketing methods includes written books and magazines, internet blogs and articles, interviews with certain TV stations, religious films on youtube or other open source media and even good old fashion preaching in mosques.
In the old days of terrorism, financing was primarily done through crime. Bank robbers and pickpockets alike funded terrorist organizations with their loot. Al Qaeda made this method obsolete, realizing that the globalization in general and the internet especially spawned new possibilities. They use micro funding thru money offices like Western Union and establish new online and offline businesses with the purpose of transferring the profits to terrorism.
Nobody knows how many members there is in Al Qaeda and to this day western intelligence organizations are still discussing whether Al Qaeda is controlled by someone or has transgressed into an autonomic organism of its own. Despite their purpose being political, they heavily misuse religious texts as external motivation.
Violent methods: Long term planning and operation of sophisticated terror attacks as well as simple bombings, hostage taking w. public (online) assassination as purpose and last, they muster a seriously heavy use of propaganda online as well as offline.
FARC. Was originally a military department of Colombian Communist Party, an official political party with ties to Cuba. FARC is one of the western world’s largest Marxist organizations with some 10 000 people under arms, not counting all their non-combatant helpers (informers, communications, funding etc.).
FARC usually operates within Colombia, but several kidnappings on the borders of Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador has been reported.
Violent methods: Simple bombings, kidnapping for ransom, hijackings and selective murders.
RIRA. As the military branch of Sinn Fein, PIRA has been one of the most successful terror organizations in the world, pretty much accomplishing what they set out to do, namely to make Ireland independent (Peace process ongoing). As PIRA dissolved due to the cease fire and political agreement with the British, RIRA spawned. RIRA is relatively small in numbers, but have a broad range of expertise, due to the former PIRA members, whereof many are proficient in bomb production and urban small arms attacks.
They are suspected of being funded by Irish 2. generation Irish-Americans in USA and local non-combatant extremists’. Several government officials call RIRA a criminal organization, due to the fact that their activities lack clear meaning and in some cases are in direct opposition to their claimed purpose.
Violent methods: Car bombings, parcel/letter bombs, urban shootings and beatings.
I’ve collected a few links here, that you can use to keep yourself updated on terrorism, terrorist attacks and outcomes.
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Since the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the men and women of the (FBI) have implemented a comprehensive plan that fundamentally transforms the organization to enhance our ability to predict and prevent terrorism.
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This publication is aimed at security and law enforcement professionals that have to handle terrorism and extremism. The publication has been written by an israeli security expert. The contents of this publication are relevant all over the world.
The new breed of terrorists behind the London bombings are techno-experts who have become skilled in evading the electronic surveillance methods used by Western intelligence services. Trained in counter-surveillance techniques.