Spanish Terrorist Attack

There are some fundamental lessons to be learnt here. Again we have an open access Street Mall popular with the public and visiting tourists. Given that the ‘terrorists’ managed to blow themselves up and the house they were staying its reasonable to conclude that they were amateurs. Crash Barriers and Explosive detection checkpoints can prevent great loss of life in such circumstances Please note there has been an Arabic and North African Muslim population in Spain since 711 AD The ‘Moors” (a term applied by the British) ruled Spain until 1492. Their offspring have lived in Spain (as they have in Sicily, Malta and other Mediterranean cities ever since. It took one radical ‘Imam’ (largely discredited by the majority) to radicalise a small group of local youths sufficiently to commit these heinous crimes. Prevention and working WITH the local community can ensure such tragic foolhardy actions do not occur. At AML we simply suggest being prepared and ready to create deterrents and to block such actions in an intelligent and sensible manner.

Barcelona terror suspects say they were planning ‘a larger atrocity’ and blame dead imam for attacks

Police now believe all the attack suspects have either been killed or captured

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Mohamed Houli Chemlal, suspected of involvement in the terror cell that carried out twin attacks in Spain, is escorted by Spanish Civil Guards to court AFP/Getty

Suspects in the Spanish terror attack investigation have admitted a bigger attack was planned and blamed a dead imam for the outrage, according to court sources.

Appearing in court for the first time, Mohamed Houli Chemlal, said the Islamist terror cell was planning to use homemade explosives to kill hundreds more people at landmarks in the city, including the historic Sagrada Familia cathedral.

A total of 15 people were killed in two vehicle ramming attacks and a car-jacking in Catalonia last week, and 130 were injured. Police now believe all the attack suspects have either been killed or captured.

Chemlal, 21 and Driss Oukabir, 27, both appeared for hearings in Spain’s High Court on Tuesday, though Oukabir denied involvement in the atrocity.

Two other suspects also appeared in court: Sahal el Karib, 34, and Mohammed Aalla, 27. All hearings took place behind closed doors in line with Spanish law.

Prosecutors had asked for the four to be sent to prison without bail on preliminary charges of being part of a terrorist organisation, homicide, causing havoc and dealing with explosives.

But on Monday evening, a judge ordered two of the four surviving suspects to be held without bail, another to be detained for 72 more hours and one freed.

National Court Judge Fernando Andreu said there was enough evidence to hold Chemlal and Oukabir on preliminary charges of causing homicides and injuries of a terrorist nature and of belonging to a terror organisation.

Sahl El Karib, the owner of a cybercafe in Ripoll, the Pyrenees hometown to most of the members of the cell, will remain in custody under arrest for at least 72 more hours while police inquiries continue.

The judged ruled the evidence to keep holding suspect Mohamed Aalla, whose car was used in the Cambrils attack, was “not solid enough”, and he will be freed.

Chemlal was the first suspect to testify and admitted in court that the group planned a bigger attack using explosives against Barcelona’s monuments at the height of the summer tourist season, sources said. He is the only suspect to have conceded being part of the cell.

The terrorists’ broader plans are believed to have failed after a stockpile of gas canisters, to be used in an attack, blew up their safe house in Alcanar.

Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, 45, is believed to have been killed in the accidental explosion.

He was accused by two unnamed suspects of organising the plot and wanted to blow himself up in the attack, Chemlal said, according to a court official.

Satty is suspected of having radicalised the terror cell responsible for the outrages.

Chemlal survived the explosion and was arrested in Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, a day before the ramming attacks.

Traces of a high explosive, triacetone triperoxide, were said to have been found in the house, along with the remains of two bodies and Isis documents, according to Judge Andreu. The same substance was used in suicide bombings in Manchester, Brussels and Paris.

Driss Oukabir, 27, who was the first suspect named in the hours after Thursday’s attack, also appeared in a closed session in court and denied being part of the terrorist cell. In a break from his original story, he admitted renting the vans used in the attacks but said he thought they were going to be used for a house move, according to a source speaking with AP. Oukabir, who was arrested in the town of Ripoll, said he changed his initial story out of fear.

He previously claimed his documents were stolen by his 17-year-old brother, Moussa, to rent the vehicle which killed 13 people in the busy Las Ramblas district. The alleged driver of the van, Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, remained at large for four days before being shot by police in the town of Subirats yesterday.

Moussa was among five other suspects killed by police after attempting a second vehicle ramming in the coastal town of Cambrils hours after the atrocity in Barcelona, which left one woman dead. The other dead men were named as Said Aalla, 18, Houssaine Abouyaaqoub, 19, Omar Hychami, 21 and Mohamed Hychami, 24.

The suspects bought knives and an axe just minutes before the rampage, court documents showed.

Also on Tuesday, the French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb revealed the Audi car used in the Cambrils attack was photographed in Paris some time before the attack.

Mr Collomb said: “This group came to Paris but it was a quick arrival and departure.”

The significance of the France visit is not yet known but the cell is believed to have been exclusively Spanish.

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Crash Barriers Save Lives

The recent tragedy this week in Charlottesville, Carolina in the USA clearly illustrates the absolute common sense in deploying portable barriers to block vehicular traffic where crowds may be at risk.

Watch the video of the incident. It’s simply frightening. The driver of the Dodge Challenger accelerates and slams into two parked cars and the many pedestrians on the road.

It’s a clear message that Police and City Authorities worldwide need to consider portable crash barriers and then deploy them at ‘at risk’ events and venues.

Watch this video of a car travelling at approximately 55km/h hitting such Crash Barriers…

In this case the barriers are the Meridian Archer 1200 Rapid Defence Barriers. Note that the vehicle is stopped completely. Yes, the barriers would probably require personnel keeping a space clear behind them, but it’s obvious that the carnage that occurred in Charlottesville would have been avoided should these units have been deployed.

Now watch this video which demonstrates the simplicity and ease in which the Meridian Archer 1200 Barriers can be unloaded and deployed – with only one person if necessary.

It makes real sense to make such an investment in protecting lives. In the first video there are bollards protecting the footpaths on either side of the road. But the footage clearly demonstrates that when roads are occupied by crowds – for any reason – there is need to provide real protection from those – of any political, ideological persuasion or simply those of unstable mental capacity – who would do them harm.

The vehicle has now become one of the weapons of choice with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), automatic weapons and blades. In the last year we have witnessed Nice, Berlin, Charlottesville and Melbourne being subjected to vehicular attack, generally by unstable individuals. What they do or don’t believe is irrelevant. The real challenge is to protect people as effectively as possible from death and serious injury. Mobile Rapid Defence Barriers achieve this as is evidenced in the videos presented.

AML Risk Management can deploy such crash barriers anywhere in Melbourne at short notice. The Meridian Group work to the adage of Plan, Prepare, Protect. At AML we not only agree but insist on this approach, it is the foundation of the service we provide.

It’s time to take action now. Action that is effective and timely. There are no second chances.

MRDG Brochure_Need For Action

Sydney terror raids: Airport delays expected as security increased over alleged plot

In reading and watching this report, it suggests that now more than ever, Australia is ready for the EVOLV detection system.

Click here to watch the EVOLV video

Australian travellers have faced major delays at airports after security measures were ramped up following the discovery of an alleged terror plot involving a plane.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said authorities uncovered and disrupted a terror plot to bring down an aircraft using an “improvised device”.

International and domestic passengers have been advised to allow extra time for screening and to limit their carry-on and checked baggage, but there have been no official changes to baggage restrictions.

Transport Minister Darren Chester said additional security measures had been put in place at all major Australian airports in coordination with counter terrorism raids in Sydney over the weekend.

“Some of these measures will be obvious to the travelling public, other will not. The increased measures will include additional checks of cabin and checked baggage,” Mr Chester said.

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At Adelaide and Sydney airports, some passengers reported delays of up to 90 minutes before passing through security.

ABC journalist Ewan Gilbert was at Sydney’s international terminal on Sunday morning and said the effects of additional security measures were noticeable even before reaching the terminal building.

“Police on motorbikes are slowly patrolling up and down the long queues of cars, peering into every window,” he said.

“Once inside the terminal it’s certainly busy at the check-in desks, but it’s once you get through to security that the authorities are warning to again expect long waits.”

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One overseas traveller who spoke to the ABC was unaware of the Sydney terrorism raids, but said he had gone through some extra checks.

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When told the reason for the increased security and asked if it worried him, he replied “it concerns us, but we won’t stop for it”.

Other travellers said they were concerned by the alleged plot, but put their faith in officials.

“Absolutely we’re concerned but we’re hoping that they’ve got them and ASIO and the Federal Police keep up the exceptional work they’re doing,” one passenger said.

“They caught the people who they thought were going to do it so it’s good now, I guess,” another passenger said.

In Adelaide, tertiary student Liam Thompson said people waited in long queues just to reach the designated screening areas.

All passengers are being required to remove their jackets during the screening process and he described hearing more frequent public announcements and heightened police presence.

‘Bomb checks at the front door’

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While it appeared to be business as usual at Brisbane Airport this morning, passengers on inbound flights said they had noticed increased security measures.

Jacob Pickering got off a flight from Sydney and said he was delayed by up to an hour because of explosives checks.

“They were checking every three to four to five bags. [We were] probably there 45 minutes to an hour to get through check-in to get to the plane,” he said.

Marilyn Marsh-Booth arrived in Brisbane from Cairns on Sunday morning, and said every third person checking in to the flight was targeted.

“There were guys coming up to random people in the queue and getting them to check inside their bags,” she said.

“This was quite different. Every third or fourth person which was quite a lot.”

Nicole Burns flew the same route and said the extra security was immediately noticeable.

“When we entered Cairns airport this morning, the bomb checks were at the front door, so we had to get checked before we even entered the airport,” she said.

Margaret Rowe, who had returned from an overseas trip to Melbourne on Sunday, said queues to enter departures security screening at the domestic terminal “were amazingly long” and took 30 minutes to go through.

“However, the security procedures were no more intensive than usual and two of the security bag/body scanning stations were not being used,” she said.

“I didn’t sense any increased diligence in screening.”

At the X-ray point where carry-on luggage is screened, it appeared two staff members were viewing the screen before the luggage was passed back to the passenger.

At the Virgin terminal, there was a makeshift desk set up for an explosives check at the bag drop point.

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Travellers were told to arrive at terminals at least two hours before flights to allow ample time for screening.

A regular police presence was in place at Hobart Airport with the addition of a detection dog named Cassie.

Tasmania Police said it had taken measures to increase security at the state’s principal airports in response to the counter-terrorism investigation in Sydney.

“Cassie is a detection dog so she will cover all baggage and passengers that we screen her over and heaven forbid there is anything untoward, she will let me know and we will take it from there as per normal protocols,” Senior Constable Will Flynn said.

Australian Federal Police withdrew its presence from Tasmanian airports in 2014 following budget cuts.

‘You’re never really safe anywhere’

Heightened security at Perth Airport did not appear to be causing major delays.

Traveller Amy Kalantary said the airport seemed to have the situation under control.

“A little bit nervous but I guess you’re never really safe anywhere these days,” she said.

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Travellers at Darwin airport said they were happy to deal with extra security if it meant getting home in “one piece”.

“It’s the best thing for everyone’s safety. One, two, three hours — it doesn’t matter as long as we get to our destination safely,” one passenger said.

“That’s the most important thing as far as we’re concerned.”

Passengers vent frustration

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Virgin Airlines and its budget subsidiary Tigerair released a statement confirming additional security measures were in place at airports, and urging travellers not to be alarmed.

“As the measures place an additional burden on the screening system, it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process,” it said.

A Qantas Group spokesperson — representing Qantas and Jetstar — said it was working closely with the Government and airport partners to implement the measures.

“Australia has very strong safeguards in place at its airports; these changes are about making them even stronger,” the spokesperson said.

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Tigerair and Virgin were among the first airlines to issue travel alerts to passengers but for some it was too late to beat the long queues at the airport.

One Melbourne couple received a text message only three hours prior to their flight advising them to arrive earlier.

“We live two hours out of Melbourne and at 8:00am this morning we got a text message saying arrive two hours earlier instead of one,” the woman said.

“Well, that was impossible for us.”

Passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the delays caused by the new measures.

Source: abc.net.au

How has the global terror threat shaped airline security and just how confident can you be?

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Photo: Screening technologies and processes have intensified since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Extra security measures have been put at place at major airports.

That line often follows news of an alleged foiled plot, an increase in a country’s terror threat level or, at worst, news of an attack somewhere in the world.

Analysts say air travel is vulnerable by nature because of all the moving parts and the potential weaknesses they create, so how has security evolved and what systems are in place to protect us now?

Like most changes to security measures, the temporary ban on laptops was driven by intelligence that identified a vulnerability in the system, according to Dr John Coyne, head of border security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“Every time there is a threat or a risk that arises you see stages of response,” he said.

  • Mitigate and reduce risk: it’s an immediate, high-security response often wide-ranging bans or screening processes
  • Behind the scenes: authorities are working together to assess incoming information
  • Review and adjust: after a set period of time authorities review security measures and determine which are still required and any that need adjusting

Take the laptop ban earlier this year for example.

“With the laptop threat from Al Qaeda earlier in the year, a raid in Yemen from US special forces had intelligence that revealed AQ was working on a laptop-based bomb to bring a plane down so the first reaction is to bring in heavy handed stuff, arrest the situation straight away,” Dr Coyne said.

“You see that within a couple of hours of an incident. It’s not just about the measures, it’s about the theatre.

“Part of it is stopping the bad guys but also discouraging the bag guys.”

Dr Coyne said authorities have a window of “48-72 hours, maybe up to a week, [before] it’s a question of what more permanent changes need to be made”.

“We bought ourselves some time with heavy-handed measures, but they cost time and money, and the public get disengaged with risk and just get annoyed about not being able to take inhalers and baby formula on the plane so you have a limited amount of time,” he said.

“With the laptop threat, do you need new ways to scan them, or swabbing them?”

Let’s take a look at some of the other incidents that have shaped airport security.

September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States

This moment made aviation security a global issue.

Two months after the attack, US lawmakers made airport security a federal issue forming what we all now know as the TSA, or the Transportation Security Administration.

The restrictions implemented by this body continue to reverberate around the world.

Particularly the banning of a wide range of implements from carry-on luggage and the strict screening processes that prevent them making it on board.

These are all the things you’re not allowed to pack into your carry-on luggage in Australia.

Some other changes in the US since 911 include:

  • Only ticketed passengers are allowed through security screening
  • Fortified aircraft cockpits
  • 100 per cent checked baggage screening.

December 2001 shoe bomb attempt on Miami-bound flight

According to the TSA, Richard Reid, who would become known as the shoe bomber, used matches in an attempt to ignite explosive devices hidden in his shoes after departing Paris for Miami.

The threat continued and from 2006 the TSA required all passengers travelling in the US to remove their shoes for more scrutinised screening.

August 2006 foiled plot involving liquid explosives

British authorities detailed 24 terrorist suspects over plans to attack 10 transatlantic flights with liquid explosives carried in their hand luggage.

The flights were travelling from the UK to the USA and Canada.

Australia introduced measures limiting the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels allowed in carry-on luggage the following year, matching similar changes made across the world.

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Photo: The TSA introduced full body scanners after the “underwear bomber” incident.

December 2009 attempted ‘underwear bomber’ attack

An Al Qaeda extremist attempted to detonate an improvised explosive device concealed in his underwear while aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

In March 2010 the TSA introduced advanced imaging units known as full body scanners “designed to detect non-metallic weapons, explosives and other threats which could be concealed under layers of clothing”.

Other precautions include, removing laptops and tablets from luggage to allow for better screening, enhanced pat downs, canine teams and restrictions on cargo.

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Photo: The TSA suspended some cargo shipments after a plots involving bombs in printer cartridges on cargo flights were foiled.

People who want to do harm are ‘innovators’

“There is an easy way to 100 per cent secure airports and planes and that is don’t let people fly,” Dr Coyne said.

Despite the “outstanding security measures in airports, airlines and outstanding participation by the private sector” those who want to find and exploit the weaknesses in the system are innovating and so security systems need to keep developing to reduce those opportunities.

Will carry on eventually be banned?

Dr Coyne said historically there had been discussion about completely banning carry-on and “that was certainly the case straight after September 11” but he believes restriction is not the answer.

“I think improving search capability and improving search process — so improving x-ray machines, swipes for explosive residue,” he said.

“It is about making sure intelligence information is linked to those responsible for physical security, the operators.

“They’ve got to get lucky once, you’ve got to be lucky all the time.”

Source: ABC