Why we need counter surveillance training | ITS
FACT: The best protection team in the world cannot stop a bullet once it is fired. Therefore, we need to stop the bullet before the actual pull on the trigger. This is the true meaning of prevention.
How can we do prevention?
1. Deter the attacker from conducting an attack.
2. Detect the attacker in the process of gathering information (intelligence) or other preparation stages before the attack.
3. Hide protection team movements from the attacker, effectively blocking his/her intel gathering.
In this article we will describe the counter surveillance effort in executive protection missions.
Have a Plan
First, have a protection plan (See mission plan article here). Once there is a protection plan, add the counter surveillance action to it. Counter surveillance, for the purposes of executive protection, means concealing the movement of the protection team as much as possible. If the movement is obvious and cannot be hidden, employ manipulation and deception tactics to make it less predictable (or altogether unpredictable). The result should be that even if the attacker saw the movement, he does not understand what he saw, or he cannot confidently predict what the next movement will be.
The attacker needs to feel that his chances of success are slim. This feeling should be based on his experience in the collection of information (surveillance). There are many ways to deter attackers, such as:
1. Active Security System (ASS) - This system basically emphasizes questioning everyone and everything in proximity – more about ASS in depth in our 7-10 days Executive protection training courses. Rather than disclosing sensitive techniques and tactics in detail online (where they can be read by a potential attacker as well), we prefer to discuss them in person during training.
2. High-Profile Appearance – The security team must present as a highly disciplined, alert, serious detail with all the gear that this entails - from radios to sunglasses to armored cars. Property grounds should have electric fence, metal gates, dogs, cameras (fake and real, hidden and exposed). This is obviously a high-volume, high-budget approach requiring complex logistics. At times, this system is not very efficient due to its many moving parts. To quote my first commander at my army special forces unit: “If it is not simple, it will not work!”
3. Detect & Avoid Tracking – As taught in our hands-on courses, the goal is to deter the attacker by exposing his tracking efforts to follow you in real time. These street/road tactics are highly effective and are an important part of the deterrence effort.
More about it in the courses we provide all over the world throughout the year. For details or questions, please press here.
The writer is Tomer Israeli, head of Israeli Tactical School in Washington D.C. Tomer is a former special agent team leader and chief security officer in the Israeli Secret Service.
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