San Bernardino: An Act of Terrorism or Calculated Violence?

On December 2nd, 2015, at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino California, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik had attended a holiday party in which according to witnesses, Farook had an argument with another employee. Many details of the attack will surface in the coming days, however the incident clearly identifies the need to distinguish between ideological terrorism and acts of calculated violence perpetrated by a lone wolf.

Farook, a 28 year old who had been employed there for 5 years then left the party with his wife only to return at around 11a.m. The couple came back to the party prepared for war. They had assault rifles, handguns and a full complement of tactical gear. They then proceeded to open fire indiscriminately on the people attending the holiday party.

In the end, 14 people were killed and 17 wounded. The obvious coordinated attack was no suicide mission as we have witnessed many times in these active shooter incidents. No, the couple made their getaway in a black SUV. The police chased the SUV that wound up in a shoot out that left Farook and Malik dead while wounding two police officers.

The couple was not on any FBI watch list, but as the investigation continues, the search for links to terrorist groups will become clearer.As it stands, the couple also pre-positioned explosive devices at the scene that was likely to be remotely detonated upon their safe escape. This may have been pre-planned for a secondary attack on first responders or as a secondary attack on the holiday party.

And as if that were not enough, a search of the couple’s home revealed another dozen pipe bombs, bomb making materials and enough ammunition for a small war.

One major factor in the emerging investigation for authorities will be to construct a time line and a deeper understanding of the couple’s motives and if they were operating alone or if they had any support from a larger terrorist network. If ties to any organization materialize, this would be cause for authorities to consider other potential soft targets that could be next.

The continued onslaught of these violent attacks underscores the need for education and training to prepare, as these incidents become part of our lives. Safety as you go about your daily life should be at the forefront of your thinking.

Your brain is your most important weapon and it is with you all the time. Does it not behoove you then to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to prepare for an active shooter threat? Developing the right mindset, one of both security and survival is quintessential and places you in a superior tactical position to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. And when avoidance is not possible, to evade or even counter to increase your chances of survival should you be faced with this type of threat.

ACTIVE SHOOTER EDUCATION NEEDED NOW!

In regards to active shooter incidents, Defense Coach University’s philosophy is to inculcate a fresh perspective that includes changing people’s mindset and behaviors on 2 levels; first the security mindset. The security mindset facilitates recognition and avoidance behavioral lessons so that the participant learns that their first line of defense is pre-planning and pre-positioning in advance of this conventional and highly dangerous situation.

The second level is the survival mindset. Here, through education and a comprehensive interactive learning experience, we clearly explain the development of an active shooter event and how to respond to an active shooter situation.

For the student, teacher, average citizen, doctor, nurse, medical professional, office worker or corporate leader, we stress the need for education and cognitive learning to train the participant for practical application of skills without the stressors and risks associated with the usual reality based training model.

Our team has vast experience in force protection training and professional education. We have found after training thousands in reality based programs, that when an individual is introduced to the very real stress of an active shooter or force protection scenario without prior and proper training and or conditioning for dealing with this type of critical incident; we end up with individuals that fail to learn and respond, and thus falter, leaving the training in a state of trepidation and perhaps worse, a lack of confidence.

It is for this very reason that Defense Coach University’s active shooter threat model is designed from the start to facilitate neuro-muscular cognitive learning (NMCL). NMCL is the bridge between an individual’s state of mind and their ability to respond.

The education and training is impactful then reflecting proactive and reactive abilities, and portrays a situation that may arise as a direct or indirect consequence of a mass shooting incident whether from an act of terrorism, active shooter on campus or workplace violence.

The DCU Active Shooter Threat program is therefore a force multiplier that bridges the gap between the absolute need to educate people in active shooter incidents and their ability to properly respond to it.

For more information on Defense Coach University’s comprehensive active shooter threat program or other programs, call us at: 1-800-820-0882 or visit us on the web at: www.defensecoachu.com

“SOFT” IS THE NEW HARD WHEN IT COMES TO TARGETS

As Parisians and visitors alike were out to enjoy the evening on Friday November 13th, the mood was obliterated by mass shootings and four suicide bombings in multiple locations. These coordinated attacks left 130 people dead and hundreds injured across Paris, another proclaimed “victory” for ISIS.

Though this time, Paris, France was targeted; it again revealed to the world just how vulnerable we all are. This was yet another tragic wake up call that could be heard around the earth. Even with the intelligence agencies working around the clock, a no-fly list that keeps get longer, a massive terror watch database and ears to the ground across the globe, it only takes a “lone wolf” to wreak havoc in any city in any country at any time.

The perpetrators planned and plotted to attack what are known as “soft targets”. Places that we all go to work or to be “social” with one another such as malls, concert halls, restaurants, bars, schools, sporting events and office buildings. These are soft targets, for the most part, unprotected and vulnerable to attack.

People often ask me if there is reason for concern in regards to future terrorist attacks as we traverse through our daily lives here in this land we call America. The reality is that while we have implemented many security practices, which help us mitigate large scale collective attacks by tightened and heightened security measures to make it more difficult for these people to enter the country. It is not the foreign radicalized terrorist or terror cell that concerns me. It is the lone wolf.

Because of heightened security here in the United States, (and not that a large scale attack could not happen, we just allocate huge resources to reduce the possibilities of coordinated attacks) terrorist organizations are utilizing technology such as social media to aid in recruiting people here.

In this manner, they do not have to move people across borders to carry out acts of terror, because they are already here in your backyard. And as America is a “cultural melting pot” with a thirst and laws to allow everyone their civil liberties to live their beliefs and lifestyles, it is not a far stretch for people to self-radicalize with extremist Islamist beliefs.

And so it is this lone wolf, this individual or small group of individuals that is already here, and that has been radicalized either by their own self-fulfillment or by the rhetoric of ISIS that poses a threat to our way of life currently.

You will recall the Tsarnaev brothers, who used pressure cookers to bomb the Boston Marathon in 2013? These brothers were not recruited by ISIS to carry out this horrendous act of terrorism; they simply learned their “trade” online.

In October of this year at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Chris Mercer carried out a mass shooting on campus that killed nine people.

These are but two examples of “soft targets” and the “lone wolf” perpetrators. There are many more and sadly, more yet to come. These soft targets lack the physical security measures that would make it more difficult for these horrific acts to be carried out.

The lone wolf does not have the support of these large terror organizations, even if recruited they are expected to develop their own plans, use whatever resources are available to them to gather supplies and intelligence and to execute.

They succeed despite the fact that they do not have much or any training or funding. They go virtually unnoticed, and thus ISIS has carefully shifted their tactics to gain this “share” of the market in America. Get these lone wolves to “buy into” the Islamic extremist propaganda. And as these supporters grow in numbers, they are encouraged to attack targets within the United States.

So Why Don’t Americans Change Their Mindset and Thinking to Alter Outcomes?

 The simple answer is that Americans for the most part do not want to be bothered or inconvenienced. They do not want to walk around in fear or with constant concern that something bad will happen and so they choose to ignore it and hope that it will just go away on its own.

Unfortunately, it’s not going away anytime soon. Until we acknowledge that we have a very serious problem here in the United States and around the world, nothing will change.

We need to instill a security mindset into people everywhere. We need people to understand that the barn door is already open and the “animals” are out. We need to find a way to balance daily life with security. Security is and should be the “word” of the day. It needs to be a daily part of everyone’s life.

When it comes to soft targets, the first line of defense is going to be a combination of everyday people watching out for one another and private security firms working in coordination with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. If we are going to win this war, it will be done collectively, and the collective starts with each and every person taking an active interest in their personal security as well as the security of our nation.

 

SHOULD I RESIST PHYSICALLY AND FIGHT BACK?

WHEN SHOULD YOU FIGHT BACK?

If you are attacked you first thought would likely be, “this can’t be happening to me”. It is so unimaginable that you’re still in denial. It’s normal to be afraid in a situation where someone wants to harm you. If it is a sexual assault situation you may even panic.

When the unimaginable happens, you will be afraid and your body will go into the flight or fight response. This is both natural and good; as it brings about the psycho-physiological responses, which may help you survive the incident.

If you have done everything reasonably possible to avoid the situation but you feel your life is in mortal danger, then you must make the decision to protect yourself and do whatever is necessary to survive and get home to your loved ones. When you make the decision to fight back you must commit wholeheartedly both mentally and physically.

Most people are good people, and are led by their moral compass. That compass usually has lines that most normally do not cross; however when your life is on the line, you may have to move that line. This may mean the decision to fight itself or it may be how committed you are to surviving. Keep in mind that surviving may also mean submitting to the attack. Even if you did do submit there is still a high chance of being injured or worse.

Let’s say for a moment that you have made the decision based on the information you have that your life is in danger and you have no other choice, but to fight back.

How will you do it?

Fighting back normally requires some sort of training or at the least, education to increase your chance of surviving and mitigating the risks associated with fighting back. In addition to preparing you to fight back, proper training helps you develop a winning attitude, improves your confidence and strengthens your commitment to survive a sexual assault or other violent confrontation.

Let’s face it most people have never faced a violent situation, especially one in which the outcome could result in rape or even their own death. Being thrust into a life-threatening situation within seconds when you were just thinking about studying for an exam or what to get at Chipotle for dinner is almost unimaginable and yet, this is exactly what will happen.

Your normal instinct and defense will not be enough. You cannot win this fight by yelling or screaming at your attackers like so many self-defense instructors have taught in the past. It would be near impossible for you to go from mild mannered student to one of the Avengers in a heartbeat, and yet this is the mindset that is demanded of you in this type of circumstance.

No, when a violent offender or group of offenders is wholeheartedly committed to carrying out sexual assault or rape, you will likely succumb to an unfavorable outcome unless…

You adopt the survival mindset.

The survival mindset is a state of mental readiness that allows you to survive and win the crisis. It is turning your worst fears into your greatest strengths. It is accepting the situation for what it is immediately and without denial so that you can quickly act in your own best interest and that of anyone with you.

There is no doubt, depending on circumstances that things could get tough and may even seem hopeless, but it is the indomitable human spirit, that deep desire to live, that you must find and hold on to.

Think of things such as your mother and father, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, family members, guardians and gather your strength from these positive thoughts to move forward in executing your mindset and plan for survival. You must focus all your energy on defeating the attacker and escaping the incident. You must not allow any other thought process to sabotage your plans.

The most dangerous time is during those first seconds when your actions, thinking and preparedness can save your life…

 In a real life sexual assault or other violent situation or crisis you will not have time to call the police or a family member for help and so it would behoove you to adopt the survival mindset and prepare for this possibility in advance, and accept the fact that you will be the master of your own destiny.

Take the case of a college student named Jessica…

Jessica came from a very good upbringing. Her both parents cared for her and raised her to be a strong independent woman. She worked hard to get good grades to get into a good college and was in her Sophomore year when disaster struck.

One night, Jessica has gone to the library to study for midterm exams. She was swamped and really needed to get the study time in to maintain her GPA. Normally, Jessica always used the buddy system and walked with a friend anytime she needed to go somewhere on or off campus. However, that night nobody was around to accompany her to the library.

She was pretty apprehensive and somewhat concerned as she left her dorm and started walking to the library. Her head felt like it was on a swivel, darkness had come early at this time of year and she was alert to her surroundings.

The library was a 15-minute walk from her dorm but with the building in sight, she started to relax. After entering the front door of the building she found a table and started opening the books to study. Before she realized it, 4 hours had past and it was now nearing midnight.

She called a friend, but they did not pick up their phone. Jessica knew she would have to walk home alone, but she was a bit more optimistic now that she had made it there earlier without any issues, and so out the library doors she went, backpack slung over her shoulder.

As Jessica rounded the corner of the building to get onto one of the paths, she was suddenly struck from behind and knocked down to the ground. She quickly turned and saw a man in a hooded sweatshirt. She screamed, but no sound came out of her mouth. The man immediately grabbed her by her hair and started dragging her into the nearby bushes. She begged and pleaded with the man for her life.

To make a long story short, Jessica survived the sexual assault, but had to leave school and is now in therapy several times per week. The psychological damage from the attack scarred her for life. She find’s nighttime very difficult. Sleeping problems and nervousness as well as a host of other problems have surfaced as a result of the sexual assault.

Did Jessica have the survival mindset?

Sadly, Jessica never adopted the survival mindset. When your life is on the line, you can choose to do what Jessica did and lose or you can give everything you have to fighting and win.

The survival mindset is a choice, like everything else in life is a choice. Choose the survival mindset. Be a winner. Believe in yourself and mentally prepare for the fight of your life. Take control of your safety and act decisively and immediately with the tools you have with you…your mind!

Start now by enrolling in Defense Coach University’s College Safety Prep Program and learn how to recognize threats before they happen, avoid dangerous situations, evade when you cannot avoid and counter if you have no other choice. Get the program that teaches you the survival mindset. Take the program that instills peace of mind and empowers you with the confidence to act…College Safety Prep.

 Call us today at: 1-800-820-0882 or visit us online at: www.defensecoachu.com

SURVIVING A KIDNAPPING

Kidnapping is a booming business of global proportions. Despite what most think, kidnapping does not just happen in areas of conflict or in places that are socioeconomically depressed. Kidnapping can happen anywhere in any town, city or country.

You could be taken off the street, from your college campus, hotel, at an airport or your home or from your vehicle. It will happen rapidly and when it does you likely will be wrestling a number of emotions including terror and fear

Fear can be a paralyzing emotion, preventing you from acting to the situation. Having the right mindset is central to your abilities during and after the attack. As difficult as it seems, you must adopt the “kill or be killed” mindset to survive and escape that first sixty seconds of the attack.

Let’s face it; the majority of people are of good moral character. They are law-abiding citizens and would like to believe that if they are faced with a decision that involves defending their life in a kidnap or criminal situation, they will defend themselves.

The problem with this is that most people associate their survival in these circumstances with “self-defense”. Self- defense is a commercially marketable terminology. It is a term used by the majority of people to accept what is morally right and not what is actually needed to survive the unthinkable.Homepage Slider_4

Sadly what is needed to survive kidnapping is to take on the survival mindset. Remember it is fear that paralyzes you and prevents you from acting. The fear that you will suffer pain, the fear that you will not see your family again, and the fear that, if you even try to do something to prevent this attack you will be hurt or killed. The reality is you must use all of your fears and turn them into your greatest strengths when confronted with a kidnapping.

Exercising a survival mentality does require some specific training, and execution of such tactics and techniques must fit the circumstances. You must consider your options as it happens and hopefully you will have planned and prepared in advance for the same. If you cannot think and act along these lines, then it would be best to comply with the kidnappers and hope for a negotiation or possible rescue.

OF COURSE LOGICALLY YOU WANT TO DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO PREVENT THE KIDNAPPING BEFORE IT HAPPENS…

  • Become a hard target
  • Identify potential threats
  • Understand travel vulnerabilities
  • Avoid choke points
  • Analyze routes
  • Learn the principles of surveillance detection
  • Maintain situational awareness at all times
  • Train and rehearse offensive and defensive tactics

I will tell you that compliance and cooperation is the best chance you have for survival and release in a great number of the cases. I will also tell you that once held in internment, you should be patient as hostage negotiations are difficult and many times lengthy.

I will also tell you that your survival, and in cases where execution is imminent, and your escape crucial, training is the key. The fact is, if you don’t have any, you greatly reduce your chances of survivability.

THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND KIDNAPPING

Let’s talk about how technology and social media have contributed to the proliferation of kidnapping globally.

Let’s face it there are more college kids these days on social media then in the classroom. It has become a modern convention for the college student as well as other younger students and even adults.Hands of a missing kidnapped

Because of the sheer number of users on social media sites like facebook and others that foster a “freedom of information act” type attitude”, kidnap gangs and transnational criminal organizations have literally assigned their own “tech” and social media people to scan and investigate profiles for target selection.

Since the vast majority of people want to disclose personal information including there whereabouts at any given time, and their residential or even office addresses or companies they work for or own, it has made it infinitely easier now with technology to gather intelligence on the best targets for kidnapping.

The other aspect of technology for the kidnappers is that the majority of the crime can be executed online. Of course they cannot actually abduct someone physically, though there are various types of kidnappings that can occur wholly online and via communication devices, but technology has paved the way for these criminals and transnational criminal organizations to accomplish their objectives efficiently and quite effectively.

There have been numerous cases where the kidnappers have arranged for rental cars to abduct and transport the victims to secondary crime scenes, buy plane tickets online with fake identification and purchase equipment and gear needed for the abduction.

We all appreciate the freedoms we have and the wonderful and exciting things that we can do and become with the advent of the Internet, but in the booming business of kidnapping it only serves to deepen the riff in preventing these crimes.

It would be prudent behavior to seriously consider what information one displays online including photos and personal information and think about limiting exposure to whatever you do decide to post to friends and family whenever possible. And know that there are people watching and they are not the government, they are not friendly and warm, they are the enemy and they don’t sleep, so it would behoove you now to be very proactive from this moment on.

SECURITY PROTOCOL FOR GOING TO THE BANK OR ATM

  • Keep all cash out of plain sight when driving to or from the bank
  • Vary the travel route you take so that no recognizable patterns are established, but keep to heavily traveled roads.
  • When making large deposits or withdrawals try to take along another family member, close friend, or business associate.
  • Try to avoid using ATM machines in the evening hours, when possible. If you must use an ATM after dark, try to find a drive-up ATM to minimize risks.
  • Always scan the area of the bank or ATM upon approach, observing shadows, movement, unusual or out of place things or people.
  • In approaching an ATM machine outside of your vehicle, have your ATM card in your hand, stand directly in front of the machine to safeguard your PIN number, take the withdrawn money immediately and put it in your pocket. Scan the immediate surroundings again while walking towards your vehicle.
  • In using a walk up type ATM machine, park your vehicle as close to the ATM as possible.
  • While using the ATM machine, keep alert by constantly scanning and observing the area around the machine and the surrounding area for anything or anyone suspicious.
  • If you suspect you are being followed at any time, drive directly to the nearest police station or the closest area with lots of people.
  • Leave word with a family member or close friend that you are going to the bank. Make sure they know the location of the bank you will be going to.
  • If possible, keep a cellular phone with you at all times. Make sure it is programmed with the proper police emergency numbers.
  • Always use an ATM that maintains good lighting both at the machine area and the surrounding parking lot.
  • Use indoor ATM machines whenever available. Follow the same observation and scanning concepts as above.

WHY SHOULD BECOMING A DEFENSE COACH BE A CRITICAL STRATEGIC BUSINESS DECISION?

It’s no secret that we are faced with an ever-escalating societal problem. Uncertainty.  These are uncertain times and we are in a period of continuous “flux”, economically, geo-politically, in relation to business, crime, terrorism and opportunism.

Defense Coaching satisfies Five very important needs:

1) The need to feel safe. To protect yourself and your family. To feel Safe in your home, while you’re out and about, while you are doing business and while you are on vacation. It imparts knowledge and skills that enable and empower you with certainty about your safety and security.

2). The need to earn more. Let’s face it we all could use a little more in our pockets. Defense Coaching is a new, exciting and needed field, which offers this opportunity.

3). The need for success, in everything we do is a basic human quality. To attain success in life is a universal goal that knows no boundaries. Success provides the impetus and motivation for most everything that happens in our lives.

4) The need to give. As people we need and want to give to others. To share and connect with people. To COACH, teach, help and inspire others to achieve and meet their goals.

5). The need to grow—personal growth and development is a lifelong pursuit. It is a way for people to assess their skills and set goals so that they can reach their full potential. We fully encourage growth and promote learning so that defense coaches are at the cutting edge in their field.

Every person in every job or business is constantly faced with day-to-day challenges and tasks, some expected, some unexpected. Defense Coaching satisfies these important needs and more.

With everything that is happening in the world and in our environment, and with the future uncertain, it should come as no surprise that safety and security are, and will continue to be priorities for people across the globe. There has never been a greater time to get involved in the business of defense, safety and security then now. Defense Coaching enables you with the tools and skills to execute your entrepreneurial spirit.

By taking an active role in defense on every level we become the masters of our destiny, and as a defense coach, are better prepared to deal with the expected and unexpected challenges that come our way thus giving you a decisive advantage both in business and in your personal life.

TRAVEL SAFETY

With escalating economic woes, stock market dives and business uncertainty, we see an ever-increasing rise in crimes perpetrated against citizens everywhere. And while here in the United States we have seemingly caught “cold”, other places and countries get the “flu” in terms of the economies.

People all over are affected by this vast economic downturn, and for the most of us it is difficult, but we do whatever we can to manage and get through it.

There is however others out there, criminals and opportunists alike who share the same goal of “getting through it” although their methods for accomplishing this objective are far more devious.airplane

The incidence of robberies, car-jacking, home invasions, pick-pocketing and other criminal enterprises always skyrockets when economic times are tough. And this brings us to our point; safety is now more than ever, paramount for the business or recreational traveler.

Travel Safety is a key concern for Americans and global citizens everywhere and is tantamount to the escalating crime issue that is occurring all over the world.

Whether traveling alone or with your family, you should raise your awareness level and take precautions to minimize potential threats and issues later on.

There are far too many items to review for this article however let’s discuss some of the more important points now:

  1. Make sure that you have packed all your suitcases and they are properly sealed and locked whenever possible and have markings or ID on each piece.
  2. Carry all your Identification on your person is something such as an ID carrier.

If you do not own one already, an ID Carrier is an essential item to hold your travel documents, passport and other forms of ID. Normally they are designed to hold these documents close to the body under your clothing, and are secured by a neck chain or some other type of string around the neck. The ID carrier should be worn underneath your outer garments so that it is not visible to the passerby. The chain or string that secures the item can also usually be tucked under clothing to diminish its visibility as well. In this way, you are less likely to lose them via your own misdoings or others. For safety purposes, it is better to employ a break away chain for the ID carrier than paracord or other string like material so that it is less likely it can be used to strangle or suffocate you with.

  1. If traveling abroad, contact the state department first and check to see if there are any increases in security threats for the area you will be traveling in. Also check in and register with the embassy in whatever country you are traveling to so that they are aware you and your families are there.
  1. No matter what your destination is, never wear expensive jewelry, carry large sums of cash or “stand out” in the crowd, as this will surely make you a target or any local criminals that are lurking about.
  2. Whenever traveling, become familiar with local laws, even while traveling within the boundaries of the United States. One of the reasons for this is number 6.
  1. When out and about at your destination, always carry something with you to act as a “buffer” in the event someone attempts to rob you or worse. We are not giving you advice at this time on whether or not to offer resistance should this happen, (as every circumstance must be handled within the confines of the numerous factors and people involved), but merely offering you a simple, and at times effective means of putting something-a barrier between you and the potential threat.

Defense Coach University offers comprehensive Travel Safety & Security Programs as well as Travel Briefs and Alerts for Corporations, Organizations and Individuals.

For more information on Travel Safety & Security please visit us at: www.defensecoachu.com or call: 1-800-820-0882