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.

4449094-3x2-940x627

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.

ddfae6ce1c7359a58de383d14e4370c5

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.

FREE-16-The-Big-Bang-NYE-Fireworks-650x433

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

1451628741570

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

meridian-crash-barriers-3

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.

globoll_a

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.

Picture1

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.

Picture2

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.

Picture3

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.

Picture4

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.

Picture5

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.

Picture6

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

Gun Control and Protection of the Public

With the devastating event this week in Las Vegas whereby 59 people lost their lives and 500 were injured in a senseless mass shooting, the issue of Gun Control is firmly back on the agenda in the USA. Here in Australia, the Prime Minister of the time, John Howard, made a momentous decision after the terrible Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania on the 28-29th of April 1996.

Within a year the then Government had implemented the ‘National Firearms program Implementation Act 1996’ restricting the private ownership of high capacity semi automatic rifles, semi automatic shotguns and pump action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. The implementation was given full support by the Commonwealth States and Territories. Similar laws were passed in Britain in 1997 in response to the Dunblane massacre which occurred 6 weeks before the Port Arthur massacre.

158D527B-9970-4050-8E17-887595C94E40_w1023_r1_s

In Australia there have been no mass shootings since the change in Gun Laws. Prior to the change in Gun Laws 13 mass shootings occurred in the previous 18 years (more than 4 people). Homicide rates have dropped 50%. The youth suicide rate where firearms are used has also dropped substantially.

The Shooter in Las Vegas had 23 weapons in the room and a mass of ammunition. Bullets were fired at up to 90 rounds every 10 seconds. He fired for over 10 minutes.

Rifles included AK47s and AR15s capable of delivering up to 935 rounds per minute. These were modified with ‘Bump Stocks’ enabling this type of firepower.

ak-47-vs-ar-15-1_o

The US has uncontrolled Gun ownership. In Nevada, its legal to carry weapons on the street to some extent. Quite frankly, it’s a free for all. Not so in Australia thankfully, but we still have serious issues with illegal weapons. It’s imperative that these are detected before any such tragedies occur.

Hand Guns are illegal for most people in Australia, yet criminals smuggle many such weapons into Australia.

To achieve optimum safety at events, transport hubs and other locations AML have secured the rights to the Evolv detection system.

Watch the video on this new and effective weapons detection system. It’s silent, efficient and can identify large and small weapons. It’s designed to prevent ‘Mass Casualty Threats’. It can process 700 people per hour. It’s quick, it’s thorough. Unlike the units currently in use at Airports, Courthouses and similar locations, these units do not require coin, key trays or wanding. Weapons are identified in terms of size and locations on the carrier’s body. Green light or red light, it’s that simple.

Australia is one of the safest locations in the world in respect to gun crime. Using equipment such as Evolv will ensure that this remains the case.

profile picFor further information, please leave your contact details here on our website or call 03 9326 2244 to book an Evolv device for your location.

AML Risk Management – Detection means Protection

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

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.

Streets of the future: Anti-terror bollards rolled out in Australian cities

UNSIGHTLY concrete blocks that line city streets and hot spots are fast becoming a familiar sight in major Australian cities as part of a move to stop terrorists from ploughing vehicles into pedestrians.

Concrete barricades are currently being installed in Sydney’s Martin Place, where the deadly Lindt Cafe siege took place, to prevent a London or Nice inspired terror attack.

A City of Sydney spokesman told news.com.au the council was currently installing concrete barricades in Martin Place, between Phillip and Elizabeth Streets, as part of ongoing work “to review and strengthen security in public places”.

“The City of Sydney takes advice from NSW Police and state emergency services on issues of public safety, including the installation of bollards and barricades to block vehicle access in response to security concerns,” the spokesman said.

Concrete bollards like these will be installed in Sydney’s Martin Place and other key location to stop London Bridge style terror attacks. Hamish Blair

Concrete bollards like these will be installed in Sydney’s Martin Place and other key location to stop London Bridge style terror attacks.

The introduction of the bollards is not response to any specific threat, according to the council.

“Barricades or bollards will be rolled out to other stages in Martin Place over the coming weeks after further consultation with NSW Police and emergency services,” the spokesperson said.

“The City is continuing to work with NSW Police on reviewing public places of mass gathering, on City of Sydney land, to determine if additional bollards or barricades are required.”

Anti-terror attack bollards are being placed in Martin Place, Sydney, where the Lindt Cafe siege took place in 2014. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Anti-terror attack bollards are being placed in Martin Place, Sydney, where the Lindt Cafe siege took place in 2014

There are currently over 2,500 bollards on City of Sydney controlled land but not all were introduced as anti terror measures. The cost for the supply and installation of a bollard can vary depending on the use between $1,000 and $5,000, according to the council.

A Property NSW spokesman told news.com.au it has also introduced anti-terror security measures “to restrict vehicle access at Darling Harbour and The Rocks, including enhanced security measures at three access points at Iron Wharf Place, Moriarty Walk and Zollner Circuit”.

“Under the NSW Counter Terrorism Plan, police support the owners and operators of critical infrastructure, providing guidance on appropriate risk based security measures to counter threats from terrorism,” the spokesman said.

“All security arrangements are made in consultation with NSW Police.”

It comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for bollards to be placed in busy pedestrian areas nationwide following the deadly Bourke Street rampage in Melbourne earlier this year.

Some international security agencies and counter-terrorism experts have also recommended improving security following terror attacks by erecting concrete bollards.

It appears several state governments have heeded the advice as they rollout anti-terror measures designed to prevent a terror attack similar to those in London or Nice.

In England, armed soldiers now stand guard on the streets of London for the first time since 2003, guarding Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Westminster. While there are no plans for armed guards to patrol city streets in Australia, one local who spoke to news.com.au, said it seemed like the “natural next step”.

A security expert told news.com.au that “bollards alone” will never been enough to prevent opportunistic terror attacks. But supporters of the initiatives say bollards, despite being visually unappealing, do offer tighter security in densely populated public areas.

Other Australian cities on their way to becoming what some critics have described as “fortresses” include Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast. And there are plans for many more to come.

MELBOURNE

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne.

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne.

Melburnians woke up to more than 100 new bollards lined outside public areas including Southern Cross station, Southbank Boulevard and other key locations this morning.

“At the request of the State Government and Victoria Police, the City of Melbourne has placed additional protective blocks at key pedestrian locations in the city,” a statement from a City of Melbourne spokesman read.

“Around 140 temporary concrete protective blocks have been placed at eight locations.

“The concrete barriers will provide greater security to people visiting and gathering in the city.”

But critics have labelled the measures “ugly” and expressed concern over potential impacts on livability quality and tourism.

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Southern Cross station, Spencer street, Melbourne.

One Melbourne resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the blocks as “eyesores”.

“It’s only one step away from armed guards with machine guns and night curfews for residents,” he told news.com.au.

“Safety is important but so is keeping the place attractive for locals and tourists to want to live and visit. There’s got to be a better way to do it.”

Concrete bollards on Flinders Street during the Anzac Day March in Melbourne, April 25, 2017. Picture: Mark Stewart

Concrete bollards on Flinders Street during the Anzac Day March in Melbourne, April 25, 2017.

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Boathouse drive under Princes bridge Southbank, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Boathouse drive under Princes bridge Southbank, Melbourne.

The newest bollards at eight key Melbourne locations are in addition to 66 already installed on June 10 in the Bourke St Mall and at Federation Square.

The first ones were installed after the fatal Bourke Street rampage in which a car mowed through crowds in the mall, killing six people, including a 10-year-old girl, in January this year.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the terror attacks in Nice and France had inspired work around making Melbourne safer.

“There is a balance to be struck here in keeping the city functional and doing everything we can to make attacks, events, crimes, evil like what we saw (on Bourke St) much harder (to commit),” he said when announcing the initiative earlier this month.

“There’s no time to be wasted here. The threat of terror ‒ the threat of hostile vehicle attacks, the threats to public safety ‒ are all too real.

“We weren’t going to wait around for six months or 12 months while planter boxes are built so they look better.”

A pram is seen on the corner of Bourke and William Street after a man went on a rampage in a car through Bourke St mall, Melbourne, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Picture: AAP /Julian Smith.

A pram is seen on the corner of Bourke and William Street after a man went on a rampage in a car through Bourke St mall, Melbourne, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the government had to act quickly and the current concrete blocks were only temporary.

“These are temporary, these are not what people will have to put up with forever,” she told radio station 3AW.

“This has been in response to international incidents and we just thought ‘we can’t wait’.

“It would be great if we didn’t need to have this, it does change the nature of our city a little bit.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has previously said bollards have the potential to make a city look like a fortress.

“It’s not my preference to have ‘fortress Melbourne’,” Mr Doyle said last month.

Concrete Bollards Bourke street Mall Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards Bourke street Mall Melbourne.

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Boathouse drive under Princes bridge Southbank, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Concrete Bollards have gone in overnight at Boathouse drive under Princes bridge Southbank, Melbourne.

Mr Doyle today told news.com.au that council was “moving towards permanent measures” after responding to requests from police with temporary protective blocks.

“We’ll look first at street furniture, planter boxes and rubbish bins, which can be reinforced and turned into unobtrusive but effective safety measures,” he said.

“Then we’ll look at versions of the green “heritage” style bollards that you can see near Flinders Street Station and towards Princes Bridge.

“After that, we’ll look at fixed bollards and retractable bollards. We’ll take advice from the police on their placement.

“I recently travelled to Chicago where they’ve used flower beds along the footpaths, surrounded by bluestone, as a form of bollard.

“What looks like a very attractive street treatment is in fact an effective safety measure. We’re looking at this approach.”

GOLD COAST

The bollards which will be installed in Surfers Paradise. Photo: Supplied

The bollards which will be installed in Surfers Paradise.

Sixteen anti-terrorist pop-up bollards on the Esplanade in Surfers Paradise will be all that stands in between an out-of-control vehicle and pedestrians.

The Gold Coast City Council is spending $500,000 to install the bollards across the Esplanade to help protect pedestrians from terrorists who use trucks and large vehicles to plough into pedestrians, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the bollards were so strong they could stop a high speed truck and still retract and pop-up for the next event.

The retractable heavy-duty pillars will be put up during major events in Surfers Paradise and in emergency situations.

Police and council workers will control when the bollards are in use.

The bollards will be placed on the Esplanade by the end of the year.

ADELAIDE

Adelaide’s Rundle Mall has had permanent bollards in place to increase security since early this year.

“Places need to be safe and they also need to be seen to be safe. There’s a perception and reality thing we need to manage,” Lord Mayor Martin Haese told ABC radio in January.

Mr Haese said Rundle Mall is the city’s main retail area and a key public space.

The bollards are placed at either end of the mall and were designed to allow traders access in vehicles at different times.

Mr Haese said the council was continuing to work with the state government to ensure the safety of public events across the city.

“We recognise, quite unfortunately, that we’re probably operating in a somewhat different environment than what we were a few years ago,” he said.

“That’s a little bit sad in itself but it might be a reality.”

Source: News.com.au