Meridian Helping Bring Businesses Back

Business owners are able to let out a sigh of relief as Meridian Rapid Defense Group continues to secure vehicle-free restaurant zones in the U.S. and Canada.
Its business as usual now as a popular Niagara Falls dining area has implemented outdoor dining, allowing local restaurants to re-open their doors.

Read the full story below.

EINPresswire-524650219-meridian-barriers-join-tourists-at-niagara-falls

A Strategic Plan will prevent another Bourke St Rampage

 

The Bourke St rampage of Jan 2017 had its first anniversary this year. With the pain and loss still raw for the families of the victims, this was a time for remembrance and healing.’

Bourke St is Melbourne’s only retail ‘main street’ Mall. The Mall, located between Elizabeth and Swanston St is banned to vehicular traffic from 6am until midnight. It can however be easily breached as the Trams have access at all times.

AML have a good knowledge of the precinct through an associate who managed portable displays in the Mall for over 10 years. The Mall can easily be locked down with sensor operated bollards or boom gates for Trams and strategically deployed florals. For major events mobile crash barriers can be situated effectively to ensure minimal risk.

We pay our respects to the victims and their families and pray that such an event doesn’t occur again. Here is the report from the ABC on the memorial ceremony and those participating.

Bourke Street car attack anniversary marked at memorial service in Melbourne

9352588-3x2-700x467

Kurt and Emily Mudie paid tribute to their sister Jess, who died after the attack.

Family members of victims of the Bourke Street car attack have spoken of how they miss their loved ones and thanked the public for their care and support at a memorial service in Melbourne.

Six people were killed and many more injured when a car drove through the busy Bourke Street mall and along the footpath for several blocks on January 20, 2017.

Three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Thalia Hakin, 10, Matthew Si, 33, Yosuke Kanno, 25 and Jess Mudie, 22, were all killed after being hit along Bourke St.

Emily and Kurt Mudie delivered a tribute to their sister Jess, who was Emily’s twin.
“She was the most amazing person that I know, she would never ever fail to put a smile on my face, and I loved doing anything with her,” Ms Mudie said.

Ms Mudie said her sister would never leave her and continued to motivate her, as she had in life.

Mr Mudie said he had always tried to be there for his sister, but she had always been there for him.

The siblings sent love to their families and friends, to those who had been on Bourke Street on that day, and others who had lost loved ones.

“We know that this is a super-crap time, but I’m told time is a great healer and we will always be there for you if you ever need it,” Ms Mudie said.

8201806-3x2-340x227

Matthew Si, 33, was a loving husband and father, his wife Melinda Tan said.

The wife of Matthew Si, Melinda Tan, said she had been supported by many through the heartbreak of losing her husband.

“The pain of losing Matt will never disappear,” she said.

“His time with us was cut short, he was only 33 years old and he was always rushing home to our daughter Aria.

“That day he dropped her off at childcare and never came back. I’ve had to adjust to a new life that will always be missing a loving husband and father.”

Ms Tan said she was comforted that emergency crews did their best to save her husband and that he did not suffer alone.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sophie Rowell performed a violin solo for Mr Si, who was himself an accomplished violinist.

Matthew Bryant, the father of three-month-old Zachary Bryant, fought back tears as he spoke about his son.

8205850-1x1-340x340

Zara (left) with her brother Zachary Bryant (right). Their father said he had looked at the two of them on Christmas morning in 2016 and thought life was perfect.

“Our connection with Zachy started long before he was born — we named him a couple of months into the pregnancy and couldn’t have been more excited to welcome that little man into our family.

“From the first time I held him, it was pure love.”

Mr Bryant said he would always be grateful and blessed to be Zachary’s father.
The couple had a third child, Zayne, last month, joining their older daughter Zara, who was with Zachary when he died.

“While he unfortunately will never have the chance to meet his older brother, we endeavour to always keep the memory of Zachy strong and alive,” Mr Bryant said.
Victorian Governor Linda Dessau honoured those who had been injured, the first responders and families who had lost loved ones.

9352612-3x2-700x467

The families of victims and Victoria’s leaders paid tribute to emergency service workers at the memorial.

“To show that we have not forgotten your loss, and to offer you whatever support and comfort that we can.”

She also paid tribute to civilians who helped on the day.

“Those who responded when they found themselves in the midst of something for which they could not possibly have been prepared … who did all they could do to humanly help and provided us with a much appreciated beacon of hope by their goodness.”

The accused driver, James Gargasoulas, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

‘Tragedy will not define us’

Premier Daniel Andrews said Victorians had responded to “one act of evil with countless acts of empathy, compassion and, most importantly, love”.

“No words will ever be enough, nothing can ever undo the damage, but I hope that there is some small measure of comfort in knowing that you are not alone,” he said.

On Saturday, which was exactly one year since the incident, a private ceremony involving family and friends of those who died, as well as those who were injured, was held at the Parliament Gardens Reserve.

Two plaques were also unveiled — one in the pavement and one on a park chair.

“In memory of those whose lives were lost in Bourke Street on 20 January 2017 and in recognition of others who were injured or affected by this tragedy,” they read.

8206614-3x2-700x467

Flowers, toys and notes were left along Bourke Street in the days after the attack last year.

While some left flowers and notes at the reserve and also at different places along Bourke St, there was no official service on Saturday.

Source: abc.net.au

 

The Boxing Day Test – An event that requires premium extra security?

 

It’s Christmas and the Boxing Day Test is imminent. 5 days of scheduled Cricket excellence. The English Cricket Team versus Australia contesting Cricket’s Holy Grail – The Ashes. But far from occurring in the elegant grounds of Rupertswood at the home of the then President of the Melbourne Cricket Club – William Clarke and his wife Janet in 1882, with attendance by invitation, this will be held in one of the world’s greatest stadiums, the MCG – or Melbourne Cricket Ground – in front of up to 90,000 fans.

Boxing-Day-test-MCG-security-beefed-up-ahead-of-Mondays-match

Here is an extract for the Age describing last year’s Boxing Day Test. This year it’s the English team and it may prove to be an even bigger event.

Boxing Day Test: Spectators stream into MCG amid beefed up police presence

Spectators streaming into the MCG for the Boxing Day Test have been greeted by hundreds of additional police after a Christmas Day terror plot was thwarted last week.

Authorities have assured Victorians they should feel confident they are safe at busy events, including at the traditional Melbourne Test match.

Picture1

Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton declined to reveal how many police had been deployed but said there was a “strong visibility” at the event.

“I don’t say for operational reasons what those total numbers are but I can certainly tell you they number in the hundreds of additional police that are here today,” he said.

Picture2

Police carried out a series of raids across Melbourne on Friday to prevent an alleged terrorist attack planned to target CBD landmarks.

“It has meant that we’ve had to put additional planning into security of all the events through this period,” Mr Ashton said.

“If you’re at home [and] you’re thinking of coming to the cricket I’d only encourage you to do so.”

Picture3

Premier Daniel Andrews praised Victorians for continuing to enjoy major events despite the threat uncovered last week.

“It is great to see so many Victorians and Australians out doing all the special things at this time of year – not cowered by the plot that was foiled on Friday,” he said.

Picture4

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he expected good crowd numbers.

“Certainly the indications are the numbers are strong. People are streaming in,” he said, outside the ground on Monday morning. “We anticipate a good crowd and the weather is pretty well perfect for watching cricket.”

Source: theage.com.au

The question is whether the security on offer is actually the most effective – and efficient available – considering the size of the potential crowd. For metal detection, patrons are wanded. Obvious weapons such as knives and guns, as well as crude devices such as nail bombs may be detected, maybe. However there are far more effective mechanisms available to screen both the crowd and identify potential weapons or explosives.

Firstly there are the Evolv screening devices. These are walk through with the ability to cope with 700 people per hour. 24 of these units placed on entrances could effectively screen a 90,000 plus crowd in around 2.6 hours. Gates could be opened at 8am for the 11am start.

This device as the video demonstrates identifies the location and size of the weapon on the screened subject.

AML Risk Management also provide the very best in mobile explosive testing devices. Trained personnel from our Asset Protection Units can detect most common explosive compounds using hand held Trace Detection Devices. If detected the teams are equipped to render ineffective such bombs with specialist equipment that ensures 90% of the bomb or device capacity is neutralised.

SEEKERe-trace-detection-unit

Find out more about the Seeker-E Trace Detection device here and Explosive Containment Device here

An finally there is the danger of vehicular attack. AML Risk Management provide a portable and mobile Crash Barrier system that is tried and tested against vehicular impact to 48km/h. With large crowds using a blocked off Brunton Avenue and busy Wellington St, such an attack is a very possible high risk. Portable Crash Barriers are easily deployed and removed.

meridian-crash-barriers-3

You can find out more about the Meridian Crash Barriers here

Whilst our Government is involved with international conflicts, it is a possibility, indeed a reality, that someone aligned with a known terrorist group may attempt to disrupt this event. Let’s ensure that the only Ashes Australia experiences are restricted to the field of play. Being well prepared with practical preventative measures in the long run provides sensible and scientific protection.

AML provide measured, realistic and effective protection. Combining technology, training and intelligence.

Preparation, Prevention, Protection – the AML way

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.

shutterstock_393370627tiny

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%.

SEEKERe-trace-detection-unit

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.

 

Tube Station Fire Bombings in London

The Parson’s Green London Tube Firebomb Attack was attempted by young extremists in the name of Isis. The device was crude, utilising a builders bucket, a bag and a detonation device. Common and freely available materials were utilised. Such materials would be detected using Airport security checks. The Tube station and trains are soft targets, hard to monitor, but not impossible.

AML have access to explosive detection devices that are portable, accurate yet discreet. If such a device is found, AML can render it 90% ineffective upon discovery, whether it is a large, powerful explosive device or a crude device like this one was.

Be prepared, be safe. Contain, control and protect. By the time a device is deployed it makes little difference who has deployed it or why. What need to occur is a process that manages the risk and de-escalates the situation and its inherent danger.

Parsons Green tube explosion: Bomb blast in London leaves 29 injured in terror attack

AN EXPLOSION ripped through a packed commuter Tube train at Parsons Green in London this morning leaving many injured in what police have confirmed is a terror attack.

  • Explosion took place at Parsons Green tube station in West ondon after 8am on Friday, September 15
  • Officials said 29 people had been hospitalised in the blast
  • ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack
  • Police are still searching for one suspect and have launched a major manhunt
  • Theresa May has condemned the “cowardly” attack
  • Britain’s terror threat level has been raised to critical from severe

The explosion devastated the District line train, bound for central London, which had just stopped at Parsons Green station in west London at just gone 8am.

Emergency services including police, fire and ambulance raced to the scene after the improvised explosive device detonated in a carriage.

Witnesses said they saw a white “builder’s bucket” in a supermarket bag, and pictures online appeared to show wires protruding from it on the floor of a carriage. Reports suggested the device had a timer.

Parsons-Green-explosion-854476

Officials said 29 people had been hospitalised in the explosion, which police are treating as a terror attack, and witnesses described scenes of terror and panic as the blast sent a “fireball” and a “wall of flame” through the carriage.At least one child was hurt after a photo emerged of a schoolgirl with burned legs.

Almost half of the injured were hurt in a stampede following the explosion. The rest suffered burns when the homemade device exploded.

One witness, Richard Aylmer-Hall said: “I was blissfully reading my paper and listening to a podcast and suddenly the whole world charged past me down the platform, down the Tube.

“There was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming.

“There was a woman on the platform who said she had seen a bag, a flash and a bang, so obviously something had gone off.

“It was an absolutely packed, rush-hour District Line train from Wimbledon to Edgware Road.

“I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets.

“Some people got pushed over and trampled on, I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews.”Since then, every emergency vehicle in London has gone past me, fire engines, ambulances, every type of police vehicle.

“I don’t think anyone was hurt by the actual device or whatever it was.”

Another passenger said: “I heard a really loud explosion – when I looked back there appeared to be a bag but I don’t know if it’s associated with it.

“I saw people with minor injuries, burnings to the face, arms, legs, multiple casualties in that way.

“People were helping each other.”

Ryan Barnett was caught up in the crush in the stairwell of the Tube station. He heard of victims with burn injuries and reported seeing some commuters taking selfies on the platform.

Parsons-Green-attack-1066306

Mr Barnett said: “I was sitting there, headphones in, at Parsons Green, the doors open fine, I’m not really paying attention and all of a sudden hundreds of people run past me screaming a mixture of ‘stampede’, ‘attack’, ‘terrorist’, ‘explosion’, ‘get off the train’, ‘everyone run’.“Parsons Green station has a staircase at the front of the carriage where the train pulls up – I’m running and keeping my head down because there might be gunfire and on to the staircase.

“But when I was on the staircase, the stewards and other passengers, they are shouting ‘stop, stop, stop’, so I ended up squashed on the staircase, people were falling over, people fainting, crying, there were little kids clinging on to the back of me.

“It is absolute chaos, it was quite scary because at one stage we thought we might be trapped there – I heard a pregnant woman lost her shoes and had fallen over.”

A third witness said she saw “blood on the floor” and “people running down the stairs screaming ‘get out’”.

Following the terrifying attack, Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergencies committee this afternoon at Downing Street.

And she condemned the “cowardly” attack after hosting a Cobra meeting to discuss the UK’s next steps, saying it involved a device “clearly intended to cause significant harm”.

The Prime Minister said the terror threat level would remain at severe – meaning an attack is highly likely – but would be kept under review as the investigation progresses.She added there would be an increased armed police presence on the transport network in London, saying: “The police and the security services are obviously doing all the work to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack.”

But she also hit out at Donald Trump, after he lashed out at Scotland Yard in the wake of the attack and described the bomber as a “loser”.

He said: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!

“Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066263

Mrs May said: “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”In response to the US president’s remarks, London police said “any speculation is unhelpful”.

Express.co.uk asked whether authorities knew the identity of the assailant prior to the attack but Met Police confirmed they had no idea who the suspect was at that point.

Police have since identified a man believed to be the bomber after looking through CCTV footage but they have not yet released any further information about the bomber.

The attacker is still at large but police have launched a major manhunt to bring the bomber to justice.

Local MP Greg Hands said: “[If] the perpetrator is still at large… capturing the perpetrator and attending to those injured must be the priority.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m in contact with @metpoliceuk and emergency services about the incident at Parsons Green. Follow @metpoliceuk for updates & advice.”

London-Terror-Attack-1066346

He later said: “Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life.“As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also urged people to “keep calm” and listen to officials.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney was one of the first foreign officials to publicly comment on the attack.

He tweeted: “Thoughts and sympathy with London again this morning after terror attack on Underground -a number of injuries, no Irish reported as injured.”

The EU’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: “Solidarity with the people of #London & thoughts with those injured. Let’s work together to defeat those who seek to terrorise us.”

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066238

It is now believed the bomb was being operated by timer. It is unknown whether the attacker was with the device when it exploded.Experts now believe the device malfunctioned and only the smaller detonator ignited and not the main charge.

Shocked commuters took to Twitter to describe the scene.

One said: “What the f**k is happening at Parsons Green – never been so scared – can we get an announcement???”

Another said: “Horror on District Line at Parsons Green due to explosion / fire on train.

“People struggling to get out of the station.”

A third said: “What’s happening at Parsons Green, panic on the platform reports of fire or explosion in a bag. No announcements.”

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066247

Aaron Butterfield, a production manager, said he saw people “crawling over one another” in panic as they tried to get out of the station.He said police told him a second device had been found and a man had been seen with a knife.

Mr Butterfield had been caught up in the panic as he tried to enter the station on his way to work.

He said: “People weren’t even running, they were literally crawling over one another and just fleeing I guess.

“We were told [by police] there had been an explosion on a District Line train and someone was running around with a knife.

“Then we have just been told there’s another explosive device.

“It’s been really frightening and very confusing especially as no-one really knows what’s going on.”

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066226

Mrs May’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Once more people going about their everyday lives have been targeted in a callous and indiscriminate way.”My thoughts are with all those injured and affected.

“The police and emergency services were quickly on the scene and I would like to pay tribute again to their professionalism and tireless commitment.

“I am receiving regular updates on what is an ongoing and active investigation.

“I would urge Londoners to remain alert and assist the police and emergency services as much as they can.”

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066272

The Met Police have confirmed they are treating the explosion as a terror attack.A spokesman said: “Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are investigating after an incident on a London tube train this morning.

“Police were called at approximately 08:20hrs on Friday, 15 September to Parsons Green Underground Station following reports of a fire on the train.

“Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for CT policing, has declared it a terrorist incident.

“Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police attended the scene, along with colleagues from the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.

“At present we are aware of a number of people who have suffered injuries.

“It is too early to confirm the cause of the fire, which will be subject to the investigation that is now underway by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066236

“The station remains cordoned off and we are advising people to avoid the area.”Anyone who has information that would assist detectives is urged to contact the hotline 0800 789 321; if it’s an emergency always call 999.

“Anyone with images from the scene is asked to upload them to http://www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

“We urge the public to remain calm but alert and if you have any concerns, see or hear anything suspicious then contact police.”

The London Fire Brigade said “six fire engines, two fire rescue unit and around 50 firefighters and specialist officers” were sent to the scene.

Parsons-Green-explosion-1066201

Transport for London said: “We are investigating an incident at Parsons Green. Customers travelling btn Wimbledon & Earl’s Court are advised to use alternative routes.”Natasha Wills, of London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 8.20am to reports of an incident at Parsons Green underground station.

“We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team, with the first of our medics arriving in under five minutes.

“Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries. More information will follow when we have it.”

This is the fourth terror attack Britain has suffered this year, following the Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attack.

Source: express.co.uk

Proactive rather than reactive response to terrorism – Israeli Expert

The AFL Finals series is here now and soon the Spring racing Carnival will be upon us are. This is an interesting perspective from an Israeli expert Brigadier General (Res) Nitzan Nuriel. In principle we can only agree. It is the preparation and preparedness that will protect the public from harm.

Explosive detection and crash barriers are essential. And as was evidenced in the Manchester bombing it is the time AFTER a major event that provides a cover of chaos. Here is the article . Consider it realistically. You will note he does not focus on the ethnicity, religion or background of terrorists. Rather he addresses the most important consideration – how to effectively deal with such a threat.

How to Prevent the Terrorism Threat from Disrupting Concerts and Sports Events?

The suicide bombing that struck a music concert in Manchester, England last night claimed the lives of 22 people and left 59 injured. In a special column, Brig. Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel discusses the challenges of holding cultural and sporting events under the shadow of terror threats.

AP_17142834772483

One of the objectives of terrorism is to spread fear (terror) and anxiety among the general public to the point of disrupting everyday life. Major sports events, along with mass-audience cultural events (music concerts, festivals and so forth) have always been, and will always remain prime targets for terrorists owing to the extensive media coverage they receive.

Characteristically, the time and place of such an event are known and publicized well in advance. Massive crowds flock to these events, the public transport systems serving the venue where the event takes place are crowded and overloaded, and the process where the audience enters and leaves the venue leads to massive bottlenecks. All of these characteristics make mass-audience events a serious weakness and a preferred target for terrorist attacks. The primary question the authorities face when specific warnings have been received of imminent terrorist attacks is whether or not the event should be allowed to take place, whether it should be postponed, canceled or relocated to a different venue.

664102001001399640360no

The Israeli sports authorities were compelled to relocate international tournaments originally intended to be held in Israel to the neighboring island of Cyprus against the background of complex security situations. Similarly, states/teams scheduled to compete against Israeli teams took advantage of the same circumstances by demanding that tournaments be relocated from Israel to other, safer locations.

Recently, we encountered three situations where the tension between holding the match as planned and the option of postponing/canceling it evolved into a practical challenge. These situations involved the Israeli national football team in a match against Albania on November 8, 2015, the Maccabi Nahariya basketball team in a rematch in the context of the Euro Cup and a match in Turkey involving the Israeli football team Hapoel Be’er-Sheva. These are but a few examples from recent times where the dilemma was reported to the public, as there were many other examples involving different sports.

It should be noted that the ISA (Israel Security Agency – SHABAK) is the government organ responsible for authorizing or refusing such sports events. The ISA is required, along with the National Counterterrorism Bureau, to consolidate and submit a specific recommendation to the minister in charge. Naturally, there is always tension between the option of surrendering to terrorism by canceling the event and the option of taking the risk despite the concrete warnings.

shutterstock_393370627tiny

The terrorist organizations will be delighted to succeed in attacking international sports events generally and sports events involving Israeli participants in particular. As far as they are concerned, having the event canceled, postponed or relocated is a victory of sorts, achieved through a relatively minor effort. All they have to do is publish a video or some other electronic message that specifically threatens the event, and the organizers will start sweating when they ponder the dilemma of whether to allow the event to go ahead as planned or cancel it. If we accept this scenario, then terrorism will be able to disrupt our life almost effortlessly, in a manner where we will no longer be able to hold any events. A fabricated warning of a bomb planted at the venue where the event is about to take place will be sufficient to cause panic and lead to a postponement or even to cancellation.

So – what should be the appropriate policy for such circumstances? What can the organizers do to avoid a situation where the plans, and life itself, are unreasonably disrupted?

shutterstock_63072280tiny

I believe that the strength and resilience of a society that values life and its own survival, the risks notwithstanding, are measured – among other things – by its ability to maintain a planned routine of events. Does a basketball game or a football match justify taking risks involving human lives? Is it justified to take a risk when facing a tangible threat only to uphold the slogan “we will not allow terrorism to win and disrupt our life”? I believe that the organizers on behalf of the country hosting the match, game or performance should prepare in such a manner as to allow the event to take place almost under any circumstances. The proper way to accomplish this goal is to employ a system of advance preparation that analyzes the threats and develops a reasonable solution for every possible threat. There are no full-proof, 100% solutions, but a 100% effort is required during the planning stage, as well as during the implementation stage so that the risk of allowing terrorism to prevail is minimized. Canceling an event should be the very last resort, invoked only after it has become abundantly clear that despite the planning process, certain scenarios had not been provided with adequate solutions, and only then should the event be canceled. In any other scenario, other alternatives should be opted for, like enhancing security, expanding the security loops and even relocating the event to a different venue. The fight against terrorism is a long-distance run, and as such, it demands that we take calculated risks.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel is the former head of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau.

Source: israeldefense.co.il

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.

8757594-3x2-340x227

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.”

8757840-3x2-700x467

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

sydney-terror-raids-data

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’

8757614-3x2-700x467

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.

DF8V36HVoAA-DM-

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.

8757820-3x2-700x467

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

terror-security-data

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.

8757574-3x2-700x467

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

Updated Crash Barrier Report – Crash Barriers or Concrete Bollards?

Over the last few weeks there has been much discussion as to the usefulness or otherwise of ‘Bollards’, the description given to the large concrete blocks placed strategically around landmark locations and transport hubs in Australia’s Capital Cities. In the media, on Facebook and in the street, people all have an opinion.

At AML Risk Management, our interest is in providing the best options to safeguard the public from potential harm. This harm so far has specifically come from people who have demonstrated mental health issues. The key requirement, in terms of public space is stop persons using vehicles in a reckless and dangerous manner. It is not about a ‘policy decision’. It is about safety measures and safeguards for the public when exposed in vulnerable positions.

Here is a further report on the highest level vehicle mitigation barriers now available through AML Risk Management from the Meridian Group.

Archer Drop & Stop Vehicle Barriers Top US and European Crash Test Standards

Archer 1200 Receives PAS 68 Certification Becoming the Only Portable Barrier to Meet Anti-Terrorism Specifications

Pasadena, CA (July 6, 2017) – Meridian Rapid Defence Group (MRDG) announced that the Archer 1200 vehicle mitigation barrier has just received a passing certification on the European Publicly Available Specifications security standard known as the PAS 68. The barriers successfully stopped a 1500 kg vehicle travelling 48 kph becoming the only portable barrier to do so.

The Archer 1200 barriers already meet U.S. Department of Defence and Department of Homeland Security guidelines and have demonstrated the ability to stop a malicious vehicle in fewer than 10 feet. The products have Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) certification and have been independently tested by engineering consultants at KPFF and Karco.

pic

“Adding the European testing standard to the resume for the Archer 1200 is an important step for us in providing a rapid response security solution to countries in need,” said MRDG Founder and CEO Peter Whitford. “The U.S. has been very proactive in adding portable vehicle mitigation to sports venues, city centres and government buildings. We know that credentials that match their specifications will allow us to show their superiority over current marketplace options.”

Archer 1200 Barriers are portable, modular and require no electricity, hydraulics or maintenance. They are non-lethal and completely reusable after impact. With a HaulsAllTM jack, they are single-person deployable and easily moved to allow emergency vehicle access or to react to a changing developing need.

“When an attack happens, one of the first things to go in the area is power,” adds Mr. Whitford. “First responders can’t be held at bay with failed security systems. Speed is always the most critical element.”

Archer 1200 Barriers were recently employed in the city centre of New Orleans for the Mardi Gras parade. Painted a festive canary yellow, the barriers allowed free pedestrian flow through the streets while providing a solid perimeter to unwanted vehicles. The barriers are made of ballistic-rated steel for armour piercing NATO rounds up to .50 cal. ball rounds. This feature was required for deployment in Los Angeles for the 55th GRAMMY Awards as law enforcement was on heightened alert during the manhunt for rogue police officer Christopher Dorner.

MRDG products are also deployed at U.S. military installations including Fort Wainwright, Alaska and Kandahar Air Force Base; the ports of Long Beach and San Diego, Shell Motiva Oil & Gas Refinery and with the California Water Board.

AML Risk Management use Meridian Rapid Defence Group equipment.

MRDG is headquartered in Pasadena, CA and operates in the U.S., Europe, Asia and now Australia as perimeter security specialists. MRDG develops anti-vehicle barrier systems that are engineered for speed of deployment. The flexibility of the system allows tactical or military forces to quickly secure politically, economically or environmentally important sites for short and long durations. Their product line is focused on anchored and unanchored portable vehicle mitigation barriers as well as the supporting elements that ensure a fast and effective deployment.

These units are designed and purpose built. They are portable and reusable. And in our opinion at AML Risk Management they represent common sense.

Provide protection, prevention and preparation. The solutions are already available.

 

Bollards, Barriers or Both?

Currently the Federal and State Governments, along with appropriate City Councils (such as Melbourne and Sydney City Councils) have installed strategically, a series of large concrete bollards throughout each city. As well these same bollards have been installed near vulnerable infrastructure such as Sporting Arenas and Transport Hubs.

bollards bourke st mall

It would appear that the main purpose of the bollards is to present a deterrent to any person attempting to drive through designated Pedestrian precincts. It has also been noted that these bollards, temporary as they are, can be moved up to 40m when impacted by a vehicle, as reported in the Herald Sun and The Age newspapers

1498201184690

AML Risk Management understands that the authorities are preparing permanent vehicle impediments for such vulnerable positions. An associate of ours managed the outdoor displays featured in the Bourke St Mall for over 8 years. It is without question a sensible strategy. During that period there were 8 metre by 20 meter display units placed at the head of the Mall on Swanston St and Elisabeth St. Similarly there were large potted trees and floral units strategically placed. These units would have certainly restricted the driver who ploughed through the mall, but because of the nature of the mall and its functionality it would not have completely stopped him.

8680236-3x2-940x627

The tram tracks and its vehicles cause the open central section to remain unprotected so once a vehicle gains access it can still be a menace with low levels of control available. Trucks still do morning deliveries and require access at this stage to the mall.

1498204634821

AML Risk Management can now offer a solution for major gatherings and vulnerable infrastructure. A full range of effective tested and proven barriers is now available from our supplier; Meridian Rapid Defence Group. The units have been deployed successfully both in similar situations in US cities as well as in areas of conflict such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

For your interest we provide you the link on the Meridian Barrier Kits here. As you can see these units are far better designed with impact ratings, inbuilt portability and a proven track record of protection at the highest levels of alert.

AML is positioned now to deploy these units at short notice where required. The question is not ‘will such an attack happen?’, it’s ‘when will it happen?’. Sadly the proponents of ISIS have already indicated that Australia is a target. From our position at AML, it is better to be prepared, protected and aware. Your personal security is our business and our concern.

 

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

paris-shooting-scene-videoSixteenByNine1050

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

800px-US_Navy_010914-N-1350W-002_fires_burning_amidst_WTC_rubble

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.

fdc06361ef75967678a1dabc0e8c0637

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.

bollards

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.