Are U.S Border Towns Turning into Drug Battlegrounds?

I don’t know if this ABC news report is accurate when it says that Washington is only concerned with terrorists, but it would seem that Drug Cartels are starting to terrorize Southern cities in the U.S.

To those who say; “it’s alright since it’s drug on drug crime”, think of all the shootings and killings of innocent victims in this country everyday who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Also, if these brazen criminals think that Law Enforcement is turning a blind eye, how long will it be before they start targeting wealthy Americans and dragging them across the Border for ransom?

The U.S./Mexico border becomes more problematc by the day. As the tourist industry dries up, there is no doubt that the criminal element will become far more vicious, this is already evident.

The recent kidnapping, torture and murder of a decorated General - his bodyguard and driver in the resort town of Cancun, is proof that nowhere is safe in Mexico. I bet that very few ever gave a second thought to their safety in these well known and popular resorts.

It is now time to be having those second thoughts.

Chairman Tata Surprised by Tricky Terrorists

Chairman Rata Tata, whose company owns the Taj hotel in Mumbai, gave a frank and honest interview to CNN. I would imagine that the Tata Group’s PR people and General Counsel are scrambling at the moment trying to do as much damage control as possible.

The sad part of this unfolding story is the feeling one gets that the terrible loss of life at the hotel may have been prevented or at least mitigated had proper security measures been implemented and if the security that had been in place prior to the attack had not been removed.

One eye witness who stayed at the hotel a week before the terrorist assault spoke about metal detectors and baggage being checked. The same witness then went on to say that those security measures had been removed within the last week, allowing people to enter without being checked.

The most surprising news to surface must be the Chairman’s comments regarding the terrible event. Unbelievably, he actually said; “They knew what they were doing and they did not go through the front. All of our arrangements were on the front entrance”.

Who is Tata’s security advisor, a kitchen worker? Actually, he might have been better off if that were the case since the terrorists entered the hotel through the rear kitchen door. ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL CHAIRMEN AND CEO’s; Terrorists are Tricky. That is their job. They are watching your businesses and will do the opposite to what you expect.

In the case of the TAJ HOTEL, you made it easy for them. Did nobody in Mumbai ever stop to think that a bad person can go through the back door? It is one thing for a cafe in a pedestrian area to be attacked as anyone can walk right by or walk through the front and open fire, but how can a major landmark that attracts Western vistors drop their security measures AFTER they have received terrorist alert warnings that the hotel may be the target of terrorsit attacks?

I don’t know if it was the case with the Taj Hotel, but cutting corners where security is concerned is common place in corporate culture. Security is often seen as a necessary evil and usually the first department to experience budgetary cutbacks. It is very difficult to convince some clients that nothing happening is really a good thing and that by cutting out security may open the door to evil.

This appears to have been the case with the Taj. There is no doubt that the terrorists had conducted hundreds of hours of surveillance in and around Mumbai. Was it a coincidence that the attack occurred the week after security measures had been removed? What might have been the result if security had remained tight (if you could call watching the front entrance and disregarding the back as “tight security”)? Maybe the terrorists would have held back another month or two…maybe in that time they would have been detected…

One thing is for certain, places like the Taj Hotel have to get serious about security. Mr. Tata’s claim that; “If I look at what we had…it could not have stopped what took place”, must be replaced by more progressive, proactive thinking. If the Tata Group had spent an adequate amount of funding on ensuring that a strict security policy was in force – if only for the period in question – then they might not now be facing a 5 Billion Rupee reconstruction bill. Who knows how high the civil suits against the Taj will run when compensation and punitive costs are calculated.

Kudos though to Chairman Tata for at least recognizing that the Indian authorities may not be able to handle the situation on their own. “These attacks underscore the need for Law Enforcement to seek outside expertise for training, equipment and strategic operations”, he said.

We agree Mr. Tata. We also hope that you will recognize the need for the Tata Group to seek similar outside expertise to assist you with your security planning and training.

People said China was safe, but danger still lurks in the so-called "safe" places.

The unfortunate stabbing death of an american who travelled with the Olympians showed that we should not take safety for granted.

Without being there, it is difficult to know, but one wonders if the press got it right when they reported that the killer did not know that the people he attacked were from America. It is highly probable that most American tourists would stand out on the streets of Beijing. If they followed the advice of security consultants who advise about trying to “blend in”, there is a chance that they would be less obvious, but due to the fact that many were there to support the atheletes,I think it is very likley that the killer was able to identify them as being American.

The attacker did commit suicide after the attack, so there is a good chance that he was mentally disturbed. When we travel abroad, or even within our own countries for that matter, we should not only be looking for potential terrorists. There are a lot of other categories that can cause harm; burglars, robbers, purse snatchers, street con artists, kidnappers, people under the influence of alcohol/drugs and so on.

For many people, it is difficult to switch from relaxed tourist one minute to a defensive positon the next. Remember that it is alright to be cautous and suspicious. You don’t have to make friends with everyone you meet on the street. It is much more important to be able to come home safe and sound to your family at the end of your trip.

Spying on the terrorists

CSPAN had a very interesting author on this morning, Mike German, discussing his latest book, “Thinking like a Terrorist.” Not only did he speak about the insights gained from living with terrorist groups while an undercover FBI agent, but he also spoke about how ineffective many of our approaches and agencies are in dealing with terrorism.

For instance, Mr. German is very much against wide sweeping powers that grant agencies greater powers to detain and question suspects. He believes that by lessening control and oversight, there is a danger for agents and law enforcement officers to concentrate more on quantity of arrests and concentrate less on quality of information.

Mr. German also believes that spending a lot of money on equipment and technology does not necessarily make a community any safer. He cites the example of London and the much talked about “Ring of Steel”. However, all of those surveillance cameras did nothing to prevent the London bombings, when young men were able to transport bombs in their back packs. He said that there are so many video cameras placed throughout the British capital that an average person walking around London is photographed approximately three hundred times a day, yet those same cameras were not able to prevent the bombers.

This is an interesting view, especially when one considers that surveillance cameras are being considered for cities throughout the U.S. like they are in London. Mr. German raised another interesting point regarding religious fanatacism. He said that while the focus today is on Islamic terrorists, few stop to consider that domestic terrorist groups such as the Aryan Nation, had and continue to have strong ties to Christianity. Mr. German pointed out the full name of the Aryan Nation is; Church of Jesus Christ-Christian Aryan Nation.

No matter what church or beliefs they are alligned with, terrorists come in many different forms. Mr. German knows that better than most. After the Oklahoma bombing by Timothy McVeigh, Mr. German successfully infiltrated an anti-Government anarchist group and helped to bring them down before they perpetrated any of the heinous crimes they were planning.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee – literally.

Fox News has just come out with a piece on sleeping guards at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant in Tenn. The guards are employed by WACKENHUT Services Inc.,

The case of WACKENHUT Services Inc., sleeping guards came under scrutiny after the parent company, The WACKENHUT Corp., lost a contract to secure 10 other nuclear facilities after guards were caught sleeping at another nuclear facility in PA. We recently covered the case of the sleeping guards in PA in our blog, earlier in the month.

The facility at Oak Ridge is considered a prime terrorist target as it stores Uranium and the ingredients needed for the fabled “Dirty Bomb”. The security at these facilities seem to have a real problem with complacancy – and staying awake. If there is one place that you just can not afford to become complacant, it has to be at a nuclear facility that is considered to be at the top of the terrorist’s hit list.

If these guards are not sufficently embarrassed by their own incompetence, they should at least be aware that the stories are circulating all over the internet and that terrorists have access to computers. They might as well be putting out a “Welcome” mat.