The Risk of Hostile Vehicle Attacks on Melbourne’s Major Sporting Events.

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Melbourne is recognised as the ‘Sporting Capital’ of Australia. its reputation is that of a sports mad population. Major events such as the AFL Final series, the Spring Racing Carnival and the Australian Tennis Open draw huge crowds of up to and over 100,000 people per day regularly. Add to these events such as the International Rugby, State of Origin Rugby League, Boxing Day Test Cricket, Day/night and Big Bash Cricket, there are continual events over Spring and Summer attracting huge crowds. With the pre-event parades included, such as the Grand Final Parade and Melbourne Cup Parade, and there are staggering numbers of people ‘on the streets’ connected with major Sporting Events.

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Sporting Events have previously been targeted in both Europe and the USA by militant terrorist groups. Both al Queda’s propaganda publication – Inspire, and the IS online magazine ‘Rumiyah’ suggest and recommend attacks on major sporting events.

The al Queda publication’s call to action (released four years ago) called for bombing attacks against targets such as the US Tennis Open, the UK FA Cup, the English Premiere League and the League Cup in France.

In a more sinister move, more recently the Islamic State’s magazine ‘Rumiyah’ called for Truck and Knife attacks on events where crowds gather.

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Quite simply, Australian sporting events represent very soft targets. In Europe, these events are heavily guarded by armed police and security forces. Heavily armed police with exposed ‘carried’ automatic weapons in substantial numbers protect such events. Obviously this is based on both previous assaults and recent intelligence.

As of August 2017 over 600 people world-wide had been killed or injured by vehicle rammings. It is time to recognise Australia is not immune.

For anyone who has attended a major Sporting Event in Melbourne, the vulnerability is obvious. At Caulfield Racecourse on Cup Day there are roadside crowds of up to 2-3000 people prior to the gates opening. At the MCG the roadway around the ground and entrances hold up to 10,000 people just prior to major games. The Australian Tennis Open Tournament regularly sees similar crowds roadside prior to major matches.

There are police in attendance and there are concrete bollards and water filled barriers in place. But the reality is that these will provide little protection in the event of a concerted, well planned vehicle attack.

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Water filled barriers and concrete bollards are easily pushed aside. Police are armed with sidearm weapons. There needs to be a far stronger and more practical barrier to such types of attack.

The Meridian Defence Group’s Archer 1200 Crash Barrier system is designed for precisely this purpose. The unit has been thoroughly tested to the most rigorous safety standards in both Europe and in North America. A vehicle of 1.5 tonne will be completely stopped by this unit when travelling at a speed of 50km/h. The units are portable, requiring either one or two persons to deploy and demount. The Archer 1200 has been successfully used in fields of war (Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan) and around fuel depots and refineries in the US.

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Here it has been successfully deployed at venues such as the South Melbourne Market (The Mussels and Jazz Festival) and at Anzac Day ceremonies this year.

For further information on the Meridian Barriers please click here

For a free no-obligation consultation and quotation please call 9326 2244 and speak with M/s Emerald Forrest, AML Risk Management’s Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Systems Co-ordinator or her associate M/s Irene Rentifis.

The Meridian Defence Group’s Crash Barrier Systems are available exclusively through AML Risk Management here in Australia.

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Ensure your next major sporting event provides real protection for patrons attending. Create a genuine hard perimeter that is planned, prevents vehicle intrusions and protects all venue participants.

AML Risk Management – Planning, Prevention and Protection

Hostile Vehicle Attacks in the Northern Hemisphere

Many people have commented on Terrorist Attacks here on this page when mention of Hostile Vehicle Attacks is made. Simplistic responses such as the banning of ethnic or religious minorities, closing down immigration and punitive methodologies against those wearing religious garb have all been canvassed.

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Put simply none of these measures will prevent a hostile vehicle from causing Death or Injury. Active insurgents simply do not play by the rules. They do not announce their intentions or telegraph their beliefs. Quite simply they carry out their intended actions causing mass chaos, injury and destruction with absolutely no forward warning. The only thing that can effectively prevent such actions is a solid, well tested Hostile Vehicle Mitigation System – such as the Meridian Rapid Defence Group’s Archer 1200 Barriers. In Australia these units are available exclusively through AML Risk Management.

Take a look here at the relevant history of Hostile Vehicle Attacks in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a distinct pattern and it is evident that this is dependent on the physical accessibility of Europe and European cities to the Middle Eastern War Zones. The US and Canada are also high level targets. Australia is far more difficult for these groups but as recent events in Sydney with regard to Aviation prove – not impossible.

Terrorist Attacks by Vehicle Fast Facts

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Police evacuate Stockholm Central Train Station after a truck crashed into a department store injuring several people in Stockholm, Sweden, Friday April 7, 2017.

Editors Note: This is a selective list which only includes attacks involving civilians.

(CNN) Here is some background information on terror attacks involving vehicles used as deadly weapons by radicalized individuals or terror groups.

Facts:

Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch encouraged its Western recruits to use trucks as weapons. A 2010 webzine article, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine,” called for deploying a pickup truck as a “mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.”

In September 2014, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called for lone wolf attacks using improvised weaponry, “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.”

Timeline:

March 3, 2006 – Mohammed Taheri-azar, an Iranian-American, drives an SUV into an area crowded with students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nine people sustain minor injuries during the attack, which Teheri-azar later says is retribution for the killing of Muslims overseas. He is convicted of attempted murder in 2008 and is sentenced to 33 years in prison.

October 22, 2014 – A three-month old girl and an Ecuadorian tourist are killed when a driver swerves into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem. The driver, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi is shot and killed by police. Israeli media reported he published militant writing on Facebook and supported Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has conducted attacks in Gaza and the West Bank, but his family denied he supported Hamas or any terror organization.

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July 14, 2016 – After a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, France, a man drives a 20-ton rental truck into the crowd, striking and killing 86 people. The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a Tunisian national, drives nearly a mile on the beachfront promenade before he is shot and killed by authorities. French officials say Bouhlel seemed to become radicalized “very quickly” by ISIS propaganda before the attack. He also suffered from mental illness, according to his father.

November 28, 2016 – At Ohio State University, 11 people are injured when a student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, carries out a car and knife attack. A campus police officer shoots and kills Artan, whom police believe was inspired by ISIS and the radical cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.

December 19, 2016 – A Tunisian man drives a tractor trailer into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. In the wake of the attack, authorities conduct a manhunt for Anis Amri, 24, throughout Europe. He is shot and killed by police in Milan, Italy, four days after the attack. Hours after Amri dies, ISIS releases a video of him pledging allegiance to the terrorist group.

March 22, 2017 – A man drives an SUV into a crowd on the sidewalk along the Westminster Bridge in London, killing at least four. After ramming the car into a barrier outside the House of Parliament, the driver exits the vehicle and stabs a police officer to death. The attacker is then gunned down by a police officer. The assailant, Khalid Masood, 52, of West Midlands, reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism, British Prime Minister Theresa May says.

April 7, 2017 – Four people are killed, when a truck drives into pedestrians on a busy street in the center of Stockholm, Sweden, before crashing into a department store. A fifth victim dies from her injuries three weeks later. The attacker, Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan, admitted to carrying out a “terrorist crime,” his lawyer says. Akilov is later sentenced to life in prison.

June 3, 2017 – Eight people are killed in two terror attacks in central London before police shoot three suspects dead, the Metropolitan police say. The violence begins when a van swerves into throngs of pedestrians on London Bridge. The suspects then jump out the van and proceed on foot to nearby Borough Market, a popular nightlife spot, where witnesses say they produce knives and slash indiscriminately at people in restaurants and bars. At least 48 people are taken to hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service.

June 19, 2017 – Just after midnight, a van plows into a group of pedestrians who had attended late-night prayers at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, killing one man and injuring 11 people. The driver is arrested at the scene for attempted murder and further held on suspicion of terrorism offenses. The suspect is later identified as Darren Osborne, 47, a resident of Cardiff in Wales, according to multiple UK media outlets. Osborne is later sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 43 years.

August 16-18, 2017 – At least 13 people are killed and about 100 are injured on August 17th after a van plows through a crowd of people in a popular tourist district in Barcelona, Spain. Two suspects are arrested, but the driver gets away, according to police. ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, issues a statement claiming responsibility, saying that the attackers are “soldiers of the Islamic State.” On August 18th, in Cambrils, a coastal city around 100 kilometers from Barcelona, five attackers drive an Audi A3 into several pedestrians, killing one. The attackers are shot and killed by police. A house explosion on August 16th, in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, is also believed to be connected to the attacks.

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September 30-October 1, 2017 – On September 30 in Edmonton, Canada, a man purposely strikes a police officer with a white Chevrolet Malibu before jumping out of the vehicle, stabbing the officer several times with a knife and fleeing on foot. There is an ISIS flag in the car, which is later seized as evidence. Just before midnight that same day, a police officer stops a U-Haul truck at a checkpoint and recognizes the driver’s name as similar to that of the Chevrolet’s registered owner. The U-Haul truck then speeds off towards downtown Edmonton. During the chase, the truck deliberately attempts to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys, injuring at least four pedestrians. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, a Somali refugee, is later charged with five counts of attempted murder, dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

October 31, 2017 – Eight people are killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drives down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York. The captured suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Authorities found a note near the truck used in the incident, claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS, a senior law enforcement official said.

Source: cnn.com

In Australia it has been mentally unstable individuals who have caused damage, loss of life and injury. It is immaterial as to why someone acts so, the real issue is prevention and the protection of human life.

The Meridian Archer 1200 system is adaptable to many informal and casual street gatherings and large temporary crowds. Read about it here.

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It is portable, yet effective and can be deployed by one or two people.

Call now on 03 9326 2244 and ask for Emerald Forrest, our hostile vehicle Mitigation Services Coordinator, for a free no-obligation consultation. or leave your details here and one of our operatives will get back to you promptly.

Choose AML Risk Management and the Meridian Rapid Defence Group’s Archer 1200.

Planning, Protection, Prevention. It’s the AML Risk Management program. Strategise to Protect and Prevent.

 

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation. What constitutes a Hostile Vehicle?

 

meridian-crash-barriers-3The answer is simple. Any vehicle being driven in such a way to cause death or injury to others – deliberately – can be deemed a hostile vehicle.

Where Hostile Vehicle Mitigation strategies come into play are in the areas where large groups of people gather – pedestrian malls, events, protests, seasonal shopping crowds.

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation can be of a permanent nature – bollards, both fixed and hydraulic or temporary – Crash Barrier systems installed prior to events, gatherings and large crowds, removed after such events.

The Meridian Archer 1200 portable Vehicle Mitigation Barriers is one such system. In Australia AML Risk Management deploy this system and ensure crowd safety. This year the system has been used effectively at the South Melbourne Market Mussel and Jazz Festival which blocked off Cecil St between Coventry St and York St for 2 days on the 10th and 11th of March.

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The units are placed prior to the event and can effectively stop a vehicle of 1.5 tonnes travelling at 48km/h.

The need for such systems was demonstrated last week in Indonesia where Motorcycles and Scooters breached church entrances and Police Station entrances carrying suicide bombers. There was an appalling loss of life.

So certainly there are concerns with regard to ISIS terrorists, in Australia, but this is a much bigger concern in Indonesia where radicals have based themselves for decades.

Here events like Anzac Day Ceremonies have been targeted by radicalised youths but not affected as yet. This year AML positioned the Archer 1200 Portable Vehicle Mitigation systems at Anzac Ceremonies in Victoria as a precaution.

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The real tragedies that have occurred here in Melbourne have all been predicated by mentally disturbed perpetrators. That being said, it is certainly wise to ensure the safety of any public gathering, sports event or street festival with a sensible well devised Hostile Vehicle Mitigation plan.

AML Risk Management are well positioned to provide a full consultancy and implementation of such a program for any interested parties.

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Call now on 03 9326 2244 and book an appointment for further information or leave your details here and one of our operatives can assist you in developing an effective plan to ensure the safety of your event.

Remember with AML Risk Management proper Planning Prevents and Protects.

AML Risk Management – First in Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation – The Real Issue is Protection

The Australian Government has created guidelines for organisations, Councils and other entities with a vested interest in preventing Hostile Vehicle Attacks. AML Risk Management is a forerunner in presenting Hostile Vehicle Mitigation practices. It utilises the Meridian Crash Barrier systems and has provided fast turnaround deployment and installation in key locations to date.

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The Federal Government through its National Security website provides the following analysis. This week we publish Section 1 so that people may aquire a better more fulsome understanding of the risks involved.

Key hot spots

Commercial hubs, shopping centres, special events, stadiums, hotels, CBDs

About this publication – When and where vehicles collide with pedestrians

Protecting people in crowded places requires attention to the vehicle management, urban design and architectural features of a space. This document addresses the ways in which vehicles are being used as weapons to harm people in public spaces, and how these threats can be mitigated.

Section 1 defines hostile vehicles and the nature of the threats they may pose to people in crowded places.

Section 2 provides guidelines on how to prevent hostile vehicles from injuring people. It provides examples of physical barriers and traffic management solutions to prevent hostile vehicles entering crowded places.

The Conclusion outlines the advantages of early implementation in relation to cost and overall protection when designing an effective mitigation strategy, and provides contact details for further information.

1.01 Threat Context

What is the threat context?

The use of a vehicle as a weapon in a terrorist attack is not new. For some time, this tactic has been considered and used by violent extremists – including in Western countries.

Recent terrorist incidents and violent extremist propaganda demonstrate that hostile vehicle attacks continue to be of interest to violent extremists globally.

Attacks of this nature require minimal capability, but can have a devastating impact if targeted towards crowded places.

The terrorist attack on the Bastille Day parade in Nice in July 2016 and subsequent vehicle attacks in Germany and the United Kingdom have attracted global attention. Terrorist propaganda has glorified these attacks, including the methods and tactics used, and called for emulation around the
world.

The potential for hostile vehicle attacks is not limited to Islamist extremists – any violence-prone group or individual could use a vehicle as a weapon should it suit their objectives.

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1.02 Hostile Vehicles

What is a hostile vehicle?

A hostile vehicle is generally one whose driver is determined to access a restricted or unauthorised area or location in order to cause injury/death to people, disrupt business or effect publicity for a cause. A hostile vehicle may be used to carry an explosive device or the vehicle itself, travelling at speed, may present the primary danger.

The most likely targets of hostile vehicles are spaces occupied by a critical mass of people at a particular time, where the aim of an attack is to cause death/injury to large numbers of people.

The driver of a hostile vehicle may not necessarily obey traffic road rules. There is an inherent danger in not taking this into account when conducting a site assessment. All too often, security measures have been installed under the assumption that a vehicle will not, for example, travel the wrong way down a one-way street.

This document focuses on preventing vehicular access to crowded places to help mitigate the risk of a terrorist attack. The suggested counter-measures may also be valuable in other situations, such as protecting pedestrians on footpaths from dangerous or drunk drivers.

The methods of hostile vehicle attack may include:

  • Parked (containing material to cause harm ie explosives)
  • Encroachment;oExploiting gaps in site defences (no impact)
    – Tailgating through an active barrier system; and
    – Tampering with vehicle barriers to later provide unlawful access.
  • Penetrative Impact (ramming people & structures)
  • Entry by deception to access restricted areas (trojan vehicle)
  • Duress (against a security guard or employee to open a barrier)

1.03 Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

What is a crowded place?

Crowded places are locations or environments which are easily accessible by large numbers of people on a predictable basis. Crowded places include, but are not limited to, sports stadia, transport hubs, shopping centres, hotels, clubs, places of worship, tourist attractions, movie theatres, and civic spaces. Crowded places do not have to be buildings and can include open spaces such as parks and pedestrian malls. A crowded place will not necessarily be crowded at all times: crowd densities may vary between day and night, by season, and may be temporary, as in the case
of sporting events, open air festivals, or one-off events.

Security should be proportionate to threat

Security measures can be resource intensive, costly and, if not correctly managed and communicated, can alienate staff and the public and significantly disrupt the day -to-day operations of a crowded place. This is why expert specialist advice is essential and why careful consideration and planning is required before implementing any protective security measures.

It is important to take a holistic approach to security consistent with the foreseeable risks to your venue or asset. Applying security measures to counter the vehicle risk in isolation can inadvertently create a vulnerability to another risk, such as crowd crush.

Understanding the hostile vehicle risk is crucial to ensure your security measures are not over or under engineered.

Source: https://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Media-and-publications/Publications/Documents/hostile-vehicle-guidelines-crowded-places.pdf

Next week we will republish Section 2: ‘How to separate hostile vehicles from Pedestrians – Hot Spots’, such as Outdoor Markets, Parades, Festivals and Sporting Events.

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We will then discuss the deployment of the Meridian Crash Barriers and just how effective these units really are

Til next week remember Planning, Prevention and Protection.

Be safe, be sure with AML Risk Management.

Vehicular assault, Crowd targets – Use Crash Barriers for Protection

Would be ‘terrorists’, enlisted on internet sites by bogus extremists, now choose vehicles as the weapon of choice. In France, Britain, Berlin, Stockholm and now Canada, young men – acting alone – steer large and small vehicles into crowds with only one purpose – to kill.

In North Carolina a person of different political persuasion does exactly the same thing. In Melbourne a suspected schizophrenic drives through lunch time crowds killing six people. What is the solution? The answer is restrict the access to pedestrian malls with Bollards and then to make one hundred percent sure with effective Crash Barriers.
Here is a report on the latest Canadian attack. Consider that Edmonton, Alberta is really a very large country town of 800,000 people. It could be compared to Greater Geelong or Newcastle. The attack was made on a football game crowd that drew a very large crowd.

Canada terror attack in Edmonton: Man arrested after ‘stabbing police officer, ramming police car

A suspected terrorist has been arrested after allegedly stabbing an officer and deliberately ramming pedestrians during a high-speed chase in a rented truck in Canada.

The rampage, which left five injured, began on Saturday evening outside a football stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, and ended hours later when the suspect’s U-Haul rental truck flipped onto its side with police in hot pursuit.

The suspect is believed to be 30-year-old Edmonton resident Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, according to CTV. Sharif is reportedly a Somalian national living in Canada as a refugee. Police have not yet laid charges, however the incident is being investigated as a terror attack.

The suspect was pulled out of the vehicle through the smashed front windshield and handcuffed, a witness, Pat Hannigan, told the Edmonton Journal.

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The suspect’s U-Haul rental truck flipped onto its side with police in hot pursuit. Picture: AFP/Michael Mukai Source:AFP

The recovery of an Islamic State flag from one of the vehicles used in the attacks led police to pursue the incidents as an act of terrorism.

“Currently, we believe this is an individual who acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages,” Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident a “terrorist attack,” and urged Canadians to be vigilant.

“I am deeply concerned and outraged by this tragedy,” he said in a statement. “While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against,” he said.

Mr Trudeau said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the country’s Integrated National Enforcement Team had joined the Edmonton police in its investigation.

“We cannot — and will not — let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear,” he said.

At approximately 8.15pm Saturday local time, a man in a speeding white Chevy Malibu crashed through police barricades outside Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, where a Canadian Football League game was being played.

The car struck a police officer standing in front of his patrol car, “sending him flying 15 feet through the air” before crashing into his car.

“A male, believed to be 30 years of age, then jumped out of his vehicle and began viciously stabbing the officer with a knife, as a struggle ensued,” the police statement said.

The suspect then fled on foot and the police officer was rushed to a hospital. The scene was captured on a surveillance video which was released by the police.

Police set up roadblocks around the city of 800,000, and just before midnight police pulled over the U-Haul truck.

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Police investigate the scene where a car crashed into a roadblock in Edmonton. Picture: Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP Source:AP

When police noticed that the name on the driver’s license was similar to that of the registered owner of the white Malibu, the man took off toward downtown Edmonton, according to the police account.

“He deliberately tried to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys” at two different places, Knecht told reporters.

“Currently, it is believed four pedestrians were struck by the truck and transported to hospital with multiple injuries,” it said.

Witnesses described a scene of stunned panic when the truck ploughed through pedestrians.

“There were people flying and everything,” Kim Andressen told the Edmonton Journal. “I’m shocked — I just see people flying.”

The chase ended when the suspect lost control of the truck, which flipped onto its side.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said he believed it was a “lone wolf” attack.

“Terrorism is about creating panic and disrupting people’s lives,” he said, adding that Edmontonians would “rise above hatred and division.”

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A U-Haul truck rests on its side after a high-speed chase with police in Edmonton. Picture: Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP Source:AP

The incident was reminiscent of similar vehicle attacks by jihadists in Barcelona, London, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm.

In 2014, a Muslim convert ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, killing one of them. The assailant was shot to death after he tried to attack a police officer with a knife.

That incident came just two days before a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa was shot and killed by a Canadian Muslim in an incident that spilt into the nearby Canadian parliament before he, too, was killed by police.

Several Canadians have joined the ranks of Islamic State over the past five years, and others have been intercepted and jailed on terrorism charges under a law made tougher after the attack in Ottawa.

In March 2016, a Canadian who said he was acting on orders of Allah attacked two soldiers with a knife at a recruitment centre in Toronto.

Canada is a member of the international coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria. Although it has withdrawn its combat aircraft from coalition operations, it still has special operations forces and trainers on the ground in Iraq.

From News Limited

This is a very real problem with a highly effective and simple solution – Crash Barriers.
When an event is planned in such a place, or in a major city, it’s possible to position effective crash barriers to protect the crowds from vehicular harm.

We have previously published a video of the Meridian Archer 1200 Anti-Vehicle barrier. It’s worth reviewing. You can do so here [Link: https://amlrisk.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/crash-barriers-save-lives/%5D

In using these barriers AML Risk Management can guarantee that most vehicles can be stopped. The units are simple to assemble and deploy and just as easy to remove (with only one person if necessary).

AML is capable of deploying such barriers anywhere in Melbourne or Sydney at short notice. Bollards and untried, untrained static guards make little difference in such a determined attack. The Sydney Opera House, the MCG, the Bourke St Mall, Martin Place – all are vulnerable. Meridian’s motto is ‘Plan, Prepare, Protect.’ and at AML we can only agree. It is the foundation of the service we provide.

With the Spring Racing Carnival, the Cricket season with matches at the MCG, the SCG and the Gabba, and Christmas shopping just around the corner now is the time to take action. You do not get a second chance. Act now, act decisively.

Call AML Risk Management on 03 9326 2244 for a free, no-obligation quotation on your venue or site. Or leave your details here and one of our trained supervisors will get back to you ASAP.

Spanish Terrorist Attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crash Barriers Save Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MRDG Brochure_Need For Action