3 Ways to Protect Yourself in Soft Target Attacks

Recent attacks across Africa and North Africa in 2015-2016 have clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of hotels – especially in developing countries – to low tech attacks.  While hotel security in higher risk locations has long focused on the potential threat from vehicle-borne improvised explosive (VBIED) attacks such as have occurred in Jakarta, Islamabad and numerous…

Paris, Bamako and the Value of Active Shooter Training

The recent terrible events in Paris and Bamako illustrate the importance of active shooter awareness and response training for the average traveler. In the US active shooter training is frequently presented in the context of a workplace violence incident. This is just one possible scenario however. Even within the US there is a good chance…

Thinking About Crime Scene 2

In the past we have looked at the question of when and whether you should resist a crime or not. Most authorities on personal security and most law enforcement sources will advise you to comply with a criminal in the case of an obviously economically-motivated crime. If a mugger wants your wallet or your cell…

Guile & Deception as Kidnapping Tools

Most people when they think of a kidnapping think of a violent, dramatic event. The victim is ambushed, dragged from his car, threatened with weapons and restrained before being moved to a location where he is isolated. Many kidnappings do follow this model or something very similar. Speed, violence, “shock and awe” are effective tools…

When Cultural Faux Pas and Inadvertent Rule-Breaking Lead to Detention

US citizen Shezanne Cassim and four other men are currently being detained in United Arab Emirates for making a satirical film about a fictional martial arts school in Satwa neighborhood of Dubai.  The 20-minute film, which follows the format of shows like Fight Quest and Human Weapon begins with the film makers visiting the fictional…

Probability: Looking at Likelihood When Assessing Risk

There is a tendency to be drawn to the more exotic, spectacular or exciting threats when considering personal risk rather than the more likely but more mundane threats.  In many parts of the developing world your greatest risk is a vehicle accident.  Poorly maintained vehicles, lack or total absence of professional driver training and licensing,…

The Amorphous Threat

Amorphous:  Without a clearly defined shape or form; vague; indeterminate or unclassifiable When contemplating personal security situations we often envision the threat – whatever it may be – to be clear and direct.  Sometimes it is but often that is not the case.  Many crimes are direct and overt.  A blitz attack, a knife or…

Dangerous Business

If you do business in an international environment then chances are you deal with a wide range of people with different ideas about acceptable business practices, business ethics, conflict resolution and competition.  While some of these people may hold views very similar to yours many others may have a different perspective.   Generally speaking the further…

Travel Security: Keeping it in Perspective – Part 2

Continuing with the theme of keeping travel security in perspective that we introduced in the last article I’d like to stress again the need to keep a realistic and practical view of your personal security when traveling overseas and to avoid alarmist perceptions that often follow incidents like the Sarai Sierra case and the sexual…