Operating in Beirut: Part 3
By: Georges Tabet
In late February, after three months into the contract, I made the decision to move the current team members around. I had learned early in my career from a former Diplomatic Security Agent that it was always a good idea to switch out teams if it was an extended operation.
The reason for the change was two-fold; first, I was able to ensure that members of the current team were able to get some down time and R&R, and second, if bad guys were trying to identify team members and their movements thru surveillance activities, the movement of personnel would most likely confuse and cause issues for an adversary who may be planning an attack.
In addition to the team changes, I met with my ATL and talked about a few ideas that I wanted to implement into our ongoing operations. I fully believe that in order to be successful when running operations in a medium to high threat area you must be fluid and must always change the way that you operate.
While in Iraq I learned that the number one reason that the insurgents were so successful in both their planning and attacks against coalition forces was because of their ability to stay flexible, mobile, and constantly change how they operated.
In addition to the changing of the teams, I also started running a two person motorcycle team that would trail the team’s movement and would act in the role of a CAT (Counter Assault Team) if the principal would get hit. The two person CAT team consisted of the driver who operated a Kawasaki Ninja ZX 14 and a shooter. The shooter carried a Bulgarian Krinkov rifle with a 75 round drum attached and with an EO Tech sight. The weapon was placed into a custom fitted bag that laid between the driver and shooter but could be pulled out of the top of the bag and put into action in less than a second. When the team drove, you were unable to tell that the rear passenger was armed. Fortunately, our CAT team never had to make any type of contact during movement operations.
With the new changes in place we continued on with our operational missions for the final few months of our contract. During the last 3 months we again had no problems and our client was extremely grateful for the work we had done. Our client left for an extended vacation to southern France and our contract was complete.
A month after the departure of our client, “Tony”, one of our Lebanese team members came to our office with his brother. “Tony’s” brother worked for a member of the Lebanese parliament who had explained that a group of 6 individuals with automatic weapons and night vision equipment had been taken into custody by Lebanese security forces at the end of May. The individuals had been questioned and had admitted that they had been paid to kill our client.
When questioned why they had not completed their act, one of the individuals had stated “Whomever he paid to protect him made him a Shaba (Ghost) because we could never find him”. The individual also stated that the men who were watching him and protecting him were not “normal” security and were “very good” in what they did and how they acted.
Whether the information was a 100% accurate I will never know, however, I truly believe that being creative and constantly changing aspects in our operational plans and tempo made us successful in the protection of our Lebanese client.