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Eight injured in Navy bus explosion in Karachi | Pakistan | DAWN.COM.

Bomb me once, I lose a home – bomb me twice, I lose an arm – bomb me three times and…ummm…bye bye!

I am flabbergasted at this third attack in less than a week against our Country’s Naval Branch of Service. Yes, attacks do happen and sometimes, you cannot stop them BUT when the same type of attacks happen in such a short period of time, you cannot blame it on the ‘unforeseeable’ factor – rather, you blame yourself, for the lack of prevention and counter-terrorist intelligence.

Knowing that most suicide  bomb attacks occur on the road either via Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) OR in this case, a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), here are some proactive measures we can all take to ensure we do not fall victims to such attacks!

Basic Tactics for Motorcade Protection

While there are a number of elements that go into SUCCESSFULLY protecting against vehicle ambushes and attacks; there are measures one can take right this minute to ensure their assets (human and otherwise) are always protected!

Planning Principles: Everyone has their own way of planning for disasters that they feel is the best based upon their experiences and training but AfterShock enforces the following methods based upon surveys and cold, hard facts:

Route Selection

AVOID ROUTINE at ALL cost! Being predictable can enable the attacker to capitalize on your routine. This is not always possible especially because the last word is always the client’s – if he does not want to change routine, there’s not much we can do to stop it. What we absolutely can do about this situation is to educate them on the consequences!

In case the client does agree to a more methodical protective strategy, the best recommendation for anyone involved in a motorcade to do is randomly change routes to your destinations WITHOUT letting anyone except your lead guard know. This ensures that all confidential information is kept classified.

MOVEMENT DETAILS including times and dates should NEVER be advertised to anyone other than those that NEED TO KNOW!

This can only work if the client’s security detail on the destination end follows the same method and all involved KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT! There are a number of incidents that have resulted due to the loose lips of security staff and we all know that loose lips sink ships!

This information should never be posted on bulletin boards, websites or any other type of public display. While conducting a post-incident investigation at one of my last jobs, I discovered that the reason someone knew where to catch my client for a business development meeting was that while waiting in the lobby at the head office, he was able to see her movement for the day on the bulletin board.

CORRECT VEHICLE SELECTION should always depend upon the level of threat; and with the current situation of the Navy, they have failed to assess the threat levels, road conditions, number of personnel and history of past attacks against their assets – If this was my Navy, I would have split the personnel in smaller, faster moving vehicles with unmarked registration and flank security to hold off any motorbikes coming too close to comfort. Speed and mobility counts the most when on the road.

SAFEST ROUTE VS. SHORTEST ROUTE should always result in SAFEST ROUTE being the choice. You want to travel the safest route possible; sometimes it will not be the SHORTEST route and most Security Professionals believe that the shorter they are on the road the lesser the chances of something happening; but once you become predictable and the attacker knows when and where to attack you, the time you spend on the road will not matter, will it?

Besides the above factors, some others that should ALWAYS be considered while selecting the routes should be (i) Speed – which depends upon the environment, traffic and the profile you are presenting as well as the Client. While driving fast will get you out of harms’ way quicker, driving recklessly fast will get you noticed you more, even if you are low profile. (ii) ROUTE SECURITY – Figure out whether you need extra security at choke points and potential attack sites such as traffic lights and bottle necks along your routes. (iii) COUNTER ATTACK TEAM (CAT) – Once you have Route Security figured out, you can consider deploying a forward CAT element to give you adequate security to meet the threat presented.

There is one thing a Security Team or Company will never be able to do for you and that is protect you a 100%. Usually a combination of factors hinder the Security Element’s ability to provide you that cover but if you, as a Client, are prepared to make some drastic changes to your old habits, you will be much safer than you were before!

If you want a more detailed insight to Route Safety and Motorcade Security, fill out the form below..

Stay Well – Stay SAFE!

N Khan

Founder | Chief Consultant