Did you know that 80% of travel intelligence is based on us internalizing only a handful of patterns?
What do I mean?
Patterns begin to emerge once we've read enough briefings from sources like these:
US State Department, UK/MI5, Global Rescue, Stratfor, various embassies & consulates, etc...
This article highlights 15 patterns that consistently appear in travel security briefings and related literature. Once these patterns are identified, our job becomes much easier.
15 Patterns of Travel Security Briefings
1) Terrorists love targeting transportation hubs. Other targets they prefer include the following: government buildings (embassy/consulate), hotels frequented by westerners, high profile events, airport terminals, clubs, places of warship, etc.
2) Previous terror attack sites should be avoided, and previous attack anniversaries & symbolic holidays (cultural/religious) should be noted with caution.
3) Industrial espionage exists everywhere. Especially in China, Russia, India, France, and Israel.
4) Assume that the host government may potentially monitor all of your communications (internet, phone, etc.).
5) Every country has restrictions on such items as... sat phones, bullet resistant clothing, weapons, restraints, medical items (including medications), etc.
6) Generally, civil unrest occurs at the same locations repeatedly in a given city. The government might only allow people to protest in designated areas. Avoid these areas.
7) Transportation unions around the world are always going on strike, so do your research.
8) Travelers are more likely to be a target of petty crime, than anything else. And there will be petty crime wherever there are tourists.
9) Medical care and food/water quality are substandard in developing countries.
10) No good comes from contact with birds, dogs, insects, etc. They carry every virus/disease you want to avoid.
11) Female travel safety can be especially concerning, depending on your location.
12) Every country has corrupt law enforcement, some more than others.
13) Nothing you leave at the hotel is safe: laptop, data on laptop, USB drive, phone, wallet, etc.
14) Know the law/customs and avoid any potentially damning situations.
15) Use common sense security practices. Actively practice situational awareness, if nothing else.
Thanks for reading!
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About the EP Nexus Blog
The EP Nexus executive protection blog, is a comprehensive resource for security professionals involved in executive protection, protective intelligence, threat assessment, and related fields.
Launched in March of 2016 as a resource for executive protection professionals, command center gurus, and close protection know-it-alls, EP Nexus is quickly becoming a resource for those seeking to quench their thirst for executive protection reading.
The most popular section of the blog is Executive Protection Hacks. EP Hacks is a series in which we address complex topics (one topic per issue) in a convenient collection of tools & writings. I am actively collaborating with industry leaders to produce future issues. If you're interested in taking an active approach in moving your industry into the future, contact me below.
Outside of EP Hacks, I explore the following topics in writings, tutorials, and webinars: online tools for executive protection professionals, open source intelligence investigations (OSINT), threat assessment, protective intelligence, travel security, and more.
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