Prevention Requires Planning – New Year’s Eve 2017

With half a million people likely to attend this year’s Melbourne Fireworks Displays for New Year’s Eve, the real planning to protect the public commenced months and months ago – probably immediately after last year’s successful event. Equally for those who would cause harm, their planning also commenced around the same time.

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Read this article from the BBC on the man charged with planning an attack on the event this year, Mr Ali Ali.

Melbourne man planned New Year’s Eve terror attack, police say

Australian police have arrested a man they allege was planning to carry out a terror attack during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Melbourne.

Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, will be charged with terrorism offences that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, authorities said.

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Police allege he had planned to shoot people with an automatic gun at Federation Square in the city’s centre.

There is no ongoing threat to the public, police said.

Last year, about 500,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve in Melbourne’s city centre.

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Authorities said Mr Ali was born in Australia to Somali parents and had been monitored by police as a “person of interest” since January.

They said he had not obtained an automatic weapon before his arrest in Werribee, a Melbourne suburb, on Monday.

“What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could,” Victoria police deputy commissioner Shane Patton said on Tuesday.

“This is a person who would become particularly energised, for a lack of a better word, when overseas [terrorism] events occurred and would express a great deal of interest in committing an attack himself.”

No other suspects

Mr Ali had obtained an al-Qaeda manual online with instructions for staging a terrorist attack, and was a sympathiser of so-called Islamic State, according to police.

Mr Patton said he had connections with extremists but was believed to be acting alone. No further arrests were expected.

Search warrants were executed at Mr Ali’s home, a business where he had worked, and a relative’s property.

The arrest was not linked to previous operations, police said.

Last year, police said they had foiled a major terror attack planned for Christmas Day in Melbourne, with Federation Square also among its alleged targets.

Australian police have charged 74 people in counter-terrorism investigations since 2014, when the nation’s terror threat level was raised to “probable”.

Source: bbc.com

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Consider this. The organisations sponsoring such random attacks are not organised local Militia. In 90% of cases, the individuals ultimately involved are in fact mentally unbalanced. The approach taken by extremists such as the ISIS group is to appeal to such persons. The logic is simple. Those suffering from a mental affliction are unpredictable and quite often unaffected by the laws of society. They live in an alternative reality – their own delusions.

 

So in preparing for such an event, when planning it is imperative that Security Agencies look past the stuff that Intelligence Agencies focus on and deal with the real ‘what if’ contingencies of vehicular attack, weapons or explosives. The religion, political position or country of origin make little difference when security is breached. The real objective is to protect lives. To make secure the public areas and patrons attending.

The crowds on New Year’s Eve create huge no-go zones for vehicular traffic, that is unless of course the driver of a vehicle wishes to cause harm.

What such people look for is an easy breach, an entry that is not blocked or patrolled. Witness the carnage at Nice in France or even here in Melbourne. Quite simply, what is required are portable crash barriers – units able to be easily deployed and removed. Cost effective and capable of preventing any vehicle from entering a prohibited area for a designated period only.

The Meridian Crash Barriers supplied by AML Risk Management do just that. Patrons enjoying the Fireworks can be assured of their safety and their peace of mind. View the range of equipment available here

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The Meridian Crash Barriers are rated to stop a fully laden vehicle travelling at up to 48km/h. The units can easily be deployed using one or two people.

cropped-profile-pic.pngFor further information, please call 03 9326 2244 for a prompt response from a member of our trained and experienced team, or leave your details here

AML Risk Management – Preparation, Planning and Protection

Isis Inspired Vehicular Attack – Can it be prevented?

Again, another madman takes to a pedestrian and bike thoroughfare, mowing down innocent civilians, in this case sadly school children, who were celebrating graduation from High School. This is a perfect example of the need for High Tech retractable bollards with crash barriers being placed after the carnage. Often the first action is a distraction to mount an even bigger assault. This happened in Bali at Paddy’s Bar when a small device distracted the security only to be followed by a massive explosion.

It is becoming clear that this type of ‘lone wolf’ attack using a vehicle is being copy-catted worldwide. The technology is already available to prevent such ruthless and mindless attacks on civilian populations. Please review our two previous blogs here and here. In Britain such Bollards are already deployed in a number of locations.

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Permanent hydraulic Bollards simply lower to surface level to allow vehicles to pass if that vehicle has been set up with the sensor code. Emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles and some delivery vehicles are permitted, with strict protocols.

The issue becomes difficult when crowds gather in spaces for individual events and activities. Protests, sporting events and festivals all ensure large crowds gather in relatively unprotected precincts – where such bollards cannot normally be deployed.

AML Risk Management utilise portable Crash Barriers from Meridian of the USA. You can read here about these very portable, very effective crash barriers and view videos demonstrating their effectiveness against vehicular attack.

Here is a full reprint of the report in Wednesday’s Age Newspaper on the attacks minus the politicians statements. Consider carefully – would bollards (hydraulic) have protected the pedestrians killed and injured? The attacker was deemed a ‘lone wolf’. What if he was a diversionary tactic? Did the authorities have the equipment to prevent further vehicular attack?

Eight people dead in New York City bike path ‘terror attack’

New York: Eight people were killed when a man drove a utility vehicle down a bike path next to the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, before he jumped out with two fake guns and was shot by police officers.

Federal authorities were treating the incident as a terrorist attack, a senior law enforcement official said.

Sayfullo Saipov, the 29-year-old New York attack suspect, is seen running down the street after he allegedly ran over cyclists and pedestrians in a utility vehicle.

Two law enforcement officials said that after the attacker got out of the truck, he was heard yelling, “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great”.

The attacker, in a rented Home Depot ute, hit numerous pedestrians and cyclists as he drove as many as 20 blocks south on the bike path, officials said.

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov by two law enforcement officials, Associated Press reports.

Saipov is reportedly an Uzbek national who has been in the US since 2010. He lived in Tampa, Florida and Ohio at different times and has a history of minor traffic violations.

Two law enforcement officials said that investigators discovered handwritten notes in Arabic inside the truck that indicated allegiance to Islamic State.

Saipov is expected to survive, meaning investigators will likely have a chance to question him about his motive for the attack, but so far, they said, he appeared to have been a “lone wolf” suspect – someone who acted alone after being inspired, but not directly instructed, by the Islamic State.

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The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov by two law enforcement officials, Associated Press reports. Photo: St Charles Missouri Dept of Corrections

He had been living in Paterson, New Jersey, before the attack, and rented the vehicle in that state before driving it into Manhattan, officials said.

Five friends from Argentina are among those killed in the attack.

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The damaged Home Depot truck came to rest in the bike lane in New York City.  Photo: AP

The compatriots, from the city of Rosario in central Argentina, were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

A statement from the ministry says it passed on its deepest condolences following the deaths of Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi.

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Some people were being treated for injuries near a mangled school bus. Photo: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A sixth Argentinian man with the group named as Martin Ludovico Marro is being treated at the Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan, the ministry added.

A Belgian woman was also killed when a driver ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists in New York.

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Initial reports said a van on the bike path had run down several people. Photo: Bebeto Matthews

Three more Belgians were also injured – a mother, father and child from the same family and are undergoing surgery, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told news agency Belga.

The suspect in the attack, identified as Sayfullo Saipov has come out of surgery after being shot by police and is expected to survive, CNN reports.

Eight people dead in New York City bike path ‘terror attack’

Eleven people were transported to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

The ute eventually collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children. After the collision, the driver of the ute got out of the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two guns.

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An image of the incident. Photo: Alex Cruz/IllmaticNYC

A local uniformed police officer confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen, police said.

The subject was wounded and transported to hospital, where he remained in critical condition on Tuesday night. A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered at the scene.

It was the greatest loss of life from a suspected terrorist attack in New York since suicide hijackers crashed jetliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing more than 2,600 people.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect appeared to have acted alone.

“There’s no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. These are the actions of one individual meant to cause pain and harm and probably death,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that, based on the information they had, “this was an act of terror around a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians”.

Commissioner O’Neill said the motivation of the attack will form part of the investigation, which will be jointly conducted by the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Look at the [modus operandi] of the attack, and he made a statement when he exited vehicle which suggests it was a terror attack,” he said.

Witnesses described gunshots ringing out, people scrambling for cover and a street strewn with bodies and crumpled bicycles.

A large section of the West Side Highway was closed for the investigation as hundreds of officers, including the bomb squad, responded to the scene. The truck came to a rest near Chambers and West Streets.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed by White House chief of staff John Kelly and “will be continually updated as more details are known”.

The motorist hit numerous people as nearby Stuyvesant High School was letting out for the day, officials said.

Students at the high school, one of the city’s elite public schools, reported that they saw a man shooting from a ute, and then saw the vehicle turn and strike a school bus.

Ramon Cruz, 27, said he saw a man crash his white ute and emerge from the vehicle at Chambers and West Streets.

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Mr. Cruz said the front of the ute was smashed and the driver appeared injured. Then Mr. Cruz said he heard someone yell, “he’s got a gun, run, run!”

Police officers, including the bomb squad, responded to the scene and several nearby buildings, including Stuyvesant, were placed on lockdown, with those inside told to take shelter.

The Fire Department said officials responded just after 3pm, local time, to reports of a mass casualty at Chambers and West Streets.

Source: theage.com.au

For further information on the Meridian Crash Barrier System please contact us at AML Risk Management on 03 9326 2244 or leave your details on our contact page on the AML website.

AML – Planning, Protection, Prevention

Time for Real Protection – Real Safety – Real Surety

At AML Risk Management we consider the immediacy of risk. Government agencies such as the Police, ASIO and Defence Forces are assigned the role of providing accurate intelligence on potential threats and then acting appropriately. In Australia to date these agencies have demonstrated a very good record in both intelligence and in curtailing potentially disastrous activity by dissidents of all persuasions. At AML we see our role as the failsafe solution. Should parties with malicious or aggressive motives manage to bypass the authorities, AML can provide the equipment and expertise to both negate and neutralise such threats posed by these groups and individuals.

Many observers look at events such as the AFL football finals, the Spring Racing Carnival, the Moto Grand Prix at Phillip Island, the Melbourne Marathon and other major events as being likely targets for terrorist activity. From a publicity perspective, yes these events are the most attractive to groups such as ISIS. However from a logistical perspective, these are very difficult events for would be terrorists. All have very high security presence, multiple camera CCTV and a high Police presence. Bag searches, wanding and surveillance make large one off events very difficult targets.

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Consider pedestrian shopping malls, transport hubs and recreational locations. These areas are exposed. Any type of vehicle can cause very serious injury in the space of a few moments.

Consider what happened in Europe this summer. In Britain, small vans mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge with the occupants leaping out and randomly stabbing people. The Manchester bombing was at a theatre and the detonation was timed to cause maximum damage.

In Nice, and in Berlin, trucks were driven into festive crowds. The perpetrators deliberately pick what are largely uncontrolled inattentive crowds, in relatively easily accessed public spaces. This was again recently crudely and clumsily replicated in Spain.

Two things can alleviate such danger. Firstly a combination of fixed and permanent bollards with Crash Barriers installed specifically for the nominated events can almost totally negate any vehicular traffic other than authorised emergency and Police vehicles.

AML Risk Management supply and deploy a range of crash barriers. These units are designed to stop a vehicle moving at speed. Here is a video demonstrating how the unit works…

Secondly the AML team provide the most modern, up to date explosive detection devices available here in Australia. The devices are compact, portable and extremely accurate, with trained personnel operating the equipment.

Most importantly, the devices are mobile so there is no ‘checking station’. Should any suspicious package be found, AML have equipment and protocols that will ensure the effectiveness of any explosive device is minimised by 90%.

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Too many people focus on where the possible protagonists come from. Quite frankly it’s irrelevant after an attack is activated, and in 80% of cases so far, the bombers and terrorists are actually young misguided ‘home grown’ young men targeted by extremists from outside of to their local communities.

AML Risk Management take a common sense pragmatic approach to public safety and security. When contracted to do so it is our job to ensure the safety of families, of innocent people, innocent lives. If you would like to find out more please visit our website here or call us on 03 9326 2244.

Prepare, protect and provide a safe comfortable environment for the public.

AML Risk Management – The right choice.

 

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

The Cost of Terrorism

Economic impact of terrorism related incidents

According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, the cost of terrorism to the world was $52.9 billion in 2014, the highest value since 2001, and a tenfold increase on the same value in 2000.

The cost has been proportionately higher in certain economies as the following examples indicate:

  • In Nigeria, terrorism has caused foreign direct investment to drop by $6.1 billion or 30%
  • Since 2005, terrorism has cost Iraq over $159 billion, or 32% of GDP
  • The total economic costs of the 9/11 attacks has been estimated by the New York Times at a staggering $3.3 trillion dollars

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A detailed study on the economic impact of the terror attacks in Paris on Nov 13, 2015 found four distinct economic impacts which are applicable to terrorist attacks in any major Western city

  • The first impact is an immediate and sustained decrease in tourism which typically affects the whole country, not just the area where the incident occurred
  • The second impact is a decline in consumer spending as consumers reduce their exposure to large public spaces in the city such as shops, cafes, restaurants and major sporting events
  • The third impact in the psychological impact on consumers – the threat of terrorism has been shown to have a significant impact on consumer sentiment which results in families delaying major expenditure such as new cars, consumer electronic and holiday
  • The fourth impact is the significant costs and productivity lost through increased security measures including screening and access control to public spaces

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A study conducted by economists in the United States found that the economic effects of the publics change in behaviour are 15 times more costly that the immediate damage in the wake of an incident.  When surveyed 41% of shoppers would still avoid an area where an incident had occurred and employees would require a 45% increase in wages to return to their jobs.  The study also found that increasingly the threat of terrorism (without actual incidents occurring) also had a significant impact on the way people behaved.

In Australia, ASIO has confirmed that security operations have prevented 4 mass casualty attacks since September 2011.  Victorian police have similarly conducted numerous raids aimed at disrupting potential attacks, most recently prior to Christmas.

It is also important to consider the cost of ‘false alarms’ or false positives which occur when a full security response is activated in response to a suspicious object or activity which ultimately turns out to be innocent.

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In Melbourne these types of incidents have become increasingly common:

  • Aug 30, 2014 – Closure of the Bourke Street mall and surrounding streets following a hoax bomb threat
  • 23 January 2015 – Elizabeth Street in Melbourne’s CBD was evacuated after a bomb threat
  • Nov 17 2015 – Several streets in the Melbourne CBD were closed and buildings evacuated after a suspicious shoebox was abandoned in Collins Street near Southern cross station
  • January 10, 2015 – Closure of Terminal four at Tullamarine airport after a hoax bomb threat
  • November 20 2015- Evacuation and lockdown of Station Pier after the reporting of a suspicious package
  • January 12, 2017 – Evacuation of the Moorabbin justice complex after a bomb threat

In all of these incidents the locations were subject to lengthy lockdowns and / or evacuations.

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Determining the short term economic impact for these is at one level relatively simple – lost productivity from workers forced to evacuate or locked down and lost retail turnover both during the incident and in subsequent weeks.  Whilst this understates the true cost of these ‘false positives’ it provides ample evidence that these events are extremely costly and this cost could have been prevented if a cheaper and quicker way could have been utilised to determine the true risk.

As an example, using our modelling methodology, the 2014 closure of the Bourke Street Mall resulted in retail losses in excess of $200,000 on that day alone.  The evacuation of buildings surrounding Southern Cross station in 2015 as the result of the suspicious shoebox resulted in potential productivity losses in excess of $1 million.

Evolv – a better solution.

AML can now provide the Evolv Body scanning equipment for fast processing of large crowds. Each unit has throughput of 700 people per hour.

Watch the video here

Guidelines to protect Australians from terrorist attacks in stadiums, shopping malls and public transport hubs

NEW guidelines to protect Australians from terrorist bomb attacks in sporting stadiums, shopping malls and public transport hubs have been released.

The Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee has released the guidelines to help governments and businesses prepare for a possible improvised explosive device in places of mass gathering.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism, Michael Keenan, said the guidelines were to guard against the threat of IEDs and were not in response to any specific threat.

“We want to ensure places of mass gatherings are equipped to contribute to the collective national effort to manage any IED threat,’’ Mr Keenan told the Herald Sun.

“Sadly as we have seen overseas in recent months, crowded places, such as public transport hubs, shopping malls and entertainment precincts, can be vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

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“While Australia’s threat level remains at probable – which means credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies indicates that individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia – the incidents overseas highlight the need to be prepared.’’

Crowded places such as public transport hubs are vulnerable to attacks. Pictures: Tony Gough

According to the guidelines, violent extremists and “disgruntled individuals’’ have specifically identified mass gathering places as attractive targets both in Australia and overseas.

They warn that terrorist attacks against targets in Western countries with similar security environments to Australia typically involve the use of small portable devices, devices hidden in vehicles, or mixed-mode attacks where terrorists use explosive devices and other weapons, usually firearms.

AML Risk Management Emergency Warden

“A terrorist attack in Australia using IEDs is likely to be low cost, involve minimal training, and make use of precursors that are widely available (eg from hardware stores, chemists and agricultural supply stores) and can be bought without raising suspicion,’’ the guidelines warn.

“An IED target is often chosen for its high symbolic or economic value, its potential to generate casualties and public anxiety, or its ability to gain media attention.”

The guidelines give details of how buildings can be made more resilient to IED attack, including by creating “stand-off’’ space to stop vehicles getting too close to buildings.

“Strategically placed objects such as spheres, planter boxes, seats or bollards on the pavement at entrances to (places of mass gathering) can provide extra protection from unauthorised vehicle intrusion as well as increasing stand-off distance,’’ the guidelines say.

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They further give advice on how to identify suspicious behaviour but warn it is not an exact science and nervous behaviour might be “typical for other settings, such as attending a job interview”.

“Consider these behavioural signals: continuous scanning of an area, unusual perspiration, heavy breathing, fidgeting, rubbing hands, pacing, clock watching, exaggerated yawning, avoiding security/uniformed officers,’’ it suggests.

The guidelines follow similar documents on terrorism in public places and active shooter guidelines.

Source: Herald Sun