What do you think can be done to better secure critical infrastructures, public gatherings, and military installations from lone-offender terrorists who use IEDs and VBIEDs?
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 200 WORDS) Your responses should be substantive in context and content and further the academic discussion (challenging and inquiry).
Being a veteran of the United States army, this was one of the issues that surrounded our military, due to the difficulty in detecting these devices. We had to be aware of our surroundings. One of the trainings that we went through, going through basic and AIT, was to identify differences in the training room daily. This could be something as simple as a different color marker on the whiteboard tray, and it came down to our lives being dependent on identifying the difference, which in turn was the threat. IED’s are being disguised in canisters and containers the size of a shoe box, or smaller, and can pack a punch, creating a chokepoint for ambush situations in our military occupations in the Middle East.
To aiding in preventing the usage of VBIE, or at the least limiting their effectiveness, is to create barriers of infiltration. These barriers can be something as simple as check points, the problem in these situations is training and complacency. Barriers are only as effective as the members manning them are at securing and inspecting vehicles before the enter in close enough proximity to a critical infrastructure in which they would be effective. As stated by the Department of Homeland Security, a wide variety of measures can be utilized to reduce the potential risk, including “Emplace vehicle barriers where appropriate and necessary; use multiple layers of barriers to protect targets by preventing use of multiple VBIEDs to breach a high risk or high consequence target and allow follow-on attacks” or “Conduct random explosive detection canine searches to avoid taxing valuable resources; stagger search times and patterns to implement counter-surveillance measure” (DHS, n.d.). Other measures would include awareness campaigns amongst employees, having open lines of communication for potential concerns, that could provide immediate response without having to go through multiple channels.
I work corporate security for a fortune 500 company, and our policies and procedures dictate and outlines precautionary measures for explosive devices. The awareness aspect of our training brings about realistic scenarios in which we evaluate threats and monitor employee responses. Prior to COVID shutdowns we would plant suspicious boxes, vehicles, or persons on site, and analyze the response of how many reported the incident, and the time frame in which the first report was filed. These allowed us to conduct threat assessments and determined the frequency of trainings and updates to our policies to help bring about higher quality response from personnel. This also allowed us to evaluate the response efforts of our security team, and how they handled the situation. Thinking outside the box in terms of preventative measures is critical. Each site and location should analyze their threat level and see where their weaknesses are and create barriers, either physical or through environmental design to reduce the risk of being selected as a target or reducing the effectiveness in gaining close enough proximity to initiate maximum effectiveness.
DHS. (n.d.). General protective measures of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). https://www.fbiic.gov/public/2008/oct/DHSGeneralProtectiveMeasuresforVehicleBorneImprovisedExplosiveDevices(VBIED).pdf