By Doc Rogers
Before clients travel to a foreign country they turn to the executive protection unit (EPU) to conduct a threat assessment. The members of the advance team will first conduct research on the Internet to learn about the criminal and terrorists risks within the destination country. They examine the country to determine the likelihood of physical conflict, potential for human injury and if the client’s visit would likely be a safe one. The advance team looks at the following areas.
• Criminal groups; petty criminals, sophisticated criminals, organized crime, activists, etc?
• Do criminals target visiting executives within tourist or business districts?
• High unemployment or economic conditions?
• Tactics and methods used?
• Pickpockets, bag snatchers, hold-ups, car-jacking, robbery, assaults, kidnapping, demonstrations or riots?
• Prone to use deadly force?
• Are the police effective or ineffective at deterring crime?
After the initial crime assessment of the destination country the EPU will assign a threat level.
• Low – Violent crime in-country is low and infrequent.
• Moderate – Violent crime in-country is moderate and criminals are prone to use deadly force on a moderate basis.
• High – Violent crime in-country is high and criminals are prone to use deadly force frequently.
• Tactics and attack methods to include recent and past activities.
• Highly trained group, state sponsorship, operates in groups of 2-4, individuals working alone, etc?
• Tactics and methods used?
• Does group conduct attacks aimed to maximize casualties, attacks at peak business hours, within tourist districts, etc?
• Is the group local, regional, or international?
• Has the group carried out any successful attacks?
• Type of assault?
• Weapons used?
• Pre-incident indicators observed?
• Are the police effective or ineffective at deterring acts of terrorism?
After the initial terrorist assessment of the destination country the EPU will assign a threat level.
• Low – No terrorist group detected in-country or the group’s activity is non-threatening.
• Moderate – Terrorists are present in-country but there are no indications of recent attacks.
• High – Terrorists are operationally active in-country and conduct attacks aimed to maximize casualties.
Based on the findings of the research conducted of the destination country the EPU will issue a document to the client requesting to conduct further on-the-ground advance work and taking additional steps to mitigate the potential risks for the client’s visit.
If there is general sense of terrorism or lawlessness within the country the EPU will advise the client to consider cancelling the business trip due to the given threats. Unlike what you see in the movies EP agents do not want their client’s going to a place that is likely to have aggressive conflict, potential violent behavior or dangerous situations if at all possible. Keep safe and God speed.