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,…

Situational Awareness & Technology

We have often discussed the importance of situational awareness and its role in keeping yourself safe.  This pertains not only to personal security but to general personal safety as well.  The massive use of different handled devices has had a demonstrative effect on the situational awareness of most of the public. The other day while…

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…

The Insider Threat & Risk of Kidnapping

This is excerpted from the Integrated Protective Concepts book Kidnapping Prevention & Avoidance. Without a doubt the greatest threat you are likely to potentially encounter is the insider threat. Numerous kidnapping cases throughout the world have involved a person close to the victim or with inside knowledge of the victim’s activities and routine facilitating the…

Cultural Awareness – the Security Dimension

Being culturally aware is important for anyone traveling abroad or conducting international business.  It’s important to recognize that not everyone around the world sees things the way we do and understanding others’ perspectives and customs will allow us to better relate and avoid inadvertently offending someone. Noted cultural trainer Dean Foster recently wrote a piece…

Situational Awareness and Being Present

We have frequently emphasized the importance of situational awareness as the key component of personal security whether at home or overseas.  We have discussed various levels of awareness and discussed when to raise our level of awareness such as during arrivals and departures, when entering known danger areas and so forth.  It’s also important to…