It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

The initial video training is just enough information to be dangerous, at least in this author’s opinion.

kermit-3 In about 1972, Jim Raposo wrote a song made popular by Jim Henson singing as Kermit the Frog, ‘It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green’ and such words were never more true than in the world today for some who consult with international organizations and are painting whole countries green! Kermit, apparently has begun to understand the dangerous times in which we live. It is a shame that some of these consultants are not as kermit-2well aware. When I say it’s a shame, I mean shame in the most Asian culture seriousness of the word. Perhaps an allusion to another time in our country when being green was a euphemism for being a novice, inexperienced and in capable of functioning on their own, particularly in dangerous situations, is the best way to understand the color.  

I enjoy allusions to cinema and when those illustrations also include John Wayne, so much the better! In El Dorado, John Wayne plays Cole Thornton, a gun hand who refuses to go against his old friend who is the sheriff in the middle of a range war. Instead, he comes to his aid. The sheriff, J.P. Harrah, gets very irritated at a new friend of Wayne’s character, named Mississippi (James Caan) and turns toward him, gun drawn. Thornton (Wayne) says, “Now wait a minute J.P., he’s a little green…” el-dorado-1

Like an unripe fruit, he was not ready. In this case, he was not ready to be on his own in a dangerous situation.    

What does this have to do with this consultant advising this international agency on security and using the color green? The plan, apparently, was to review the security needs of every country in the international organization’s wheel house. They would then color code them as to the level of security training necessary. There were four categories, red being the highest risk and requiring the most training, orange, yellow and then green. Thirty-four out of sixty-five areas of responsibility worldwide, 52.3% were rated as GREEN and were considered LOW RISK. The most heinous part is that the LOW RISK countries required NO TRAINING. Some extremely basic 3 hour introductory videos are shown to everyone but beyond that – No Training!

Low risk countries included all of Europe; including Germany, France, and Spain and we all know how safe those places are today. Ukraine, recently invaded by Russia with war still prevalent in the eastern cities only rates a YELLOW – two days of training!

Although Eastern and Western Mindanao were considered separately, the Philippines was listed as GREEN, no training needed. Western Mindanao is RED and Eastern Mindanao is only YELLOW – requiring just 2 days of training! I could continue; but, you can imagine that if over 50 percent of an organization’s countries, or areas of responsibility, require no supplemental training at all, what is the level of situational awareness of the people working in those countries?

Let’s take a further look at Mindanao. The company divides it into Western and Eastern as we described earlier. Those were the names used before the emancipation. The correct name for Western Mindanao is the Zamboanga Peninsula. Remember, it is shown as RED and the remainder of Mindanao or what was labeled as Eastern is YELLOW – requiring only two  days of training so near to one of the most hateful bunch of Al Qaeda factions out there. Now, realize that all of Mindanao is only 37, 654 square miles. That is less than the State of Ohio which is 44, 825 and can be traversed easily in a few hours. The Zamboanga Peninsula is only 572.74 square miles, which is comparable in size to New York CITY which is 468.90 without its suburbs! So, here I am in Ohio saying that in NE Ohio I’m okay, only a yellow; but, if I travel a few hours to near Cincinnati, bang- I’m in red territory.

Let’s jump off the island of Mindanao and consider the rest of the Philippines which is GREEN – no additional training needed. Manila, the capital city is about as far away from Mindanao as you can get and still be on the archipelago.  By air it is only 561 miles to Manila from Mindanao and 1040 miles by land and boat. Forty two hours travel in the latter and only 59 minutes in the former. Plus, the airfare currently is only $91 one way. Employees of this company living in Manila are GREEN and require no additional training while they are only $91 and 59 minutes from some of the worst Al Qaeda terrorists in the world.

The United States is listed as GREEN yet shootings, stabbings, kidnappings are on the news almost every night. Should not every American have some understanding of how to be situationally aware enough to protect themselves? Apparently the employees of this organization do not require it. The initial video training is just enough information to be dangerous, at least in this author’s opinion.

No doubt, those involved in this organization went about their task in good faith and put a great deal of stock into what they were being told. I would really like to know what kind of a grid was used to determine the levels of risk.  I would also like to know how, any group responsible for the lives of their employees, and, due to their diverse spread across the world, their employees’ spouses and their children, can consider any of them to not require any real training.

Sadly, if I were to hazard a guess… a deciding factor was cost. To the organization’s credit, they weren’t specifically trying to save themselves money because the brunt of the cost of the training would be born by the employees themselves. That is the way this company is structured. You could say, that a company that was bearing its responsibility correctly, (or  I believe the argument could be made to carry their responsibility morally), should be providing the training at no cost to the employee; but that is not the way it is currently for most of these contract-type employees. 

Over fifty percent of this organization’s area (and probably an even much higher percentage of their actual employees and families) are living in GREEN areas. Very seldom in writing is there an opportunity to use this word, so here goes, I am flabbergasted!

If you could see me right now you might think you were intoxicated or had a head injury because you might just see two of me… because I am simply beside myself on this one!

I truly believe that the organization involved here is attempting to do their very best; but, internally they have almost no expertise by which to filter what they are being told by outside consultants. I have no idea the credentialing of these consultants. Maybe, in many areas they are considered experts. However, it is this one person’s seasoned opinion that they are very wrong in the way they are directing this organization.  I urge any group that decides to depend solely on the opinions of someone or some group from outside their own agency on how best to protect their own people to use the very utmost of caution.

One last movie analogy, in the Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade, the malefactor must decide which chalice he believes to be the cup of Christ. If he picks the right one, he receives immortality, the wrong one brings death. As the Nazis villain decays into a pile of dust, the ancient crusader left to guard the cup says very simply, “He chose poorly.”crusader

 

 

InSCIghts on the ISLAMIC STATE

International Caution for World Travelers – worldwide impact threatens business and worldwide travelers

Developing a deeper understanding of terrorism today to aid local law enforcement tomorrow
Developing a deeper understanding of terrorism today to aid local law enforcement tomorrow

Analysis by Security Consulting Investigations, LLC – Your premier private investigative service worldwide – Dr. Ross L. Riggs, Director SCI

THE ISLAMIC STATE is terminology that is worthwhile as a non-identifier which aides U.S. media in re-drawing the lines as to what constitutes 1) a Member of the Islamic State 2) a State Action by the Islamic State (as compared to non-State action and classified as a ‘private’ action’ even when the subject identifies themselves in allegiance to the Islamic State and declares their actions as designed to further the Islamic State. In other words, IS has become a tool for the politically correct to redefine it however they need to for their purposes.

If one traces the etymology of the term Islamic State, a direct correlation can be found with its predecessors of ISIS including but not limited to: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; ISIL, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant as well as others. The purpose of the re-codification of the terminology is to bolster the Obama Administration’s claim following the death of Osama bin Laden that al Qaeda is decimated and on the run, that terrorism as such was eliminated from the known threats for the citizens of the US by al Qaeda’s demise.

Nothing, of course, is further than the truth – al Qaeda has been growing and morphing into all varieties of terrorist outlets all across the Middle East and northern Africa. One cannot deny the vitality of the terrorist movement, unless, of course, you consider events such as the pathetic attempt by major media outlets in the U.S. kowtowing to pressure from the Obama Administration to label the beheading of Colleen Hufford, age 54 and the brutal stabbing of Traci Johnson, who remains in serious condition, by Jah’Keem Yisrael a known Muslim extremist who tried to convert co-workers to Islam and screamed Islamic phrases as “workplace violence.” According to reliable sources, Nolen began attending worship services this May at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This is the same Mosque that Breitbart News report that Imam Suhaib, who had ties to al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki used to attend.

Ja'Keem Yisrael
Ja’Keem Yisrael

Under the category of “NAH… HE DIDN’T REALLY SAY THAT, DID HE?” is the report on CNN September 30th during the morning expose’ on the Oklahoma beheading case, stating that the prosecutor was not going to seek the death penalty, the talking heads of psychobabble were declaring the actions by Jah’Keem Yisrael aka Alton Alexander Nolen a result of the build-up of family and personal pressures since he was a child and the resulting violence was the proximate result of his environment.

Ja'Keem 2

The anchor, John Berman, closed the segment with the statement, this case is a difficult case (referring to the beheading) … “any way you slice it.” In fact, the news watch Buzz Feed News counted 3 times in 10 seconds that he used the phrase referring to the beheading.

A SECOND THREATENED BEHEADING IN OKLAHOMA CITY – MAN ARRESTED
After a verbal altercation and on-going difficulty in an Oklahoma base nursing home, one employee threatened to behead a female employee. The man, arrested on charges of TERRORISM, claimed that he represented ISIS. Here are the basic facts from MAILONLINE:
• Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, worked 20 miles away from beheading scene
• A Muslim, he was fired on Wednesday for the threats at Bellvue Nursing Home
• Muriithi told the victim he would cut off her head and post the footage on Facebook Kenyan native

• Police arrested him Friday – the same day Alton Alexander Nolen was identified as the suspect in the beheading at Vaughan Foods in Moore, OK.
• Muriithi is now being held on terrorism charges with his bail set at $1million

Police Response

How does local law enforcement take this type of INTEL to prevent this type of TERRORISM in their communities?

First – it is critical to reinforce with local police and with the public that other than a very rare ‘in the right place at the right time’ kind of moment, police very seldom have the ability to “prevent crime” or “protect the citizens” – to understand the concept, refer to this author’s published article “To Protect and Serve” There is only one person who must accept the responsibility to protect and that is the individual who is facing the attacker. Police respond to a call for help which means that the attack has already taken place. If police take it upon themselves to be the ultimate guardian of the population then every time they fail to be at the exact right spot at the exact time, they will count themselves a failure – great for destroying a job satisfaction and increasing stress exponentially. If the public actually believe that the police officer will come springing out of a phone booth, blue tights and a red cape ready to whisk them to safety, they will certainly be eager to vote down the next safety levy and bad mouth the police every chance they get. Can crime be prevented by having a police force that is strong, resilient, professional in appearance and highly visible with a great track record of cases solved and convictions received? “Yes! Absolutely!” The ‘less –stupid’ criminals will go hunt their prey is cities where the probability of being apprehended either in the act or following the investigation is much less. The point, however, is that the individual citizen must be ready at a second’s notice to not be a victim. (I have another whole diatribe on why we should drop that word from our language all together!) The local citizens must be willing, equipped and prepared to defend themselves. Local law enforcement can learn from these recent instances however and take action to prevent such acts of terrorism in their communities.

FIRST ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should get behind quality, self-protection training for their citizens; everything from identifying trouble, reporting suspicious persons and events (sometimes to their employers and to local police).
Recently in a small town in NE Ohio a 90 plus year old woman who lives alone was nearly stabbed to death one evening because she partially opened her front door to someone asking for ‘gasoline’ because his car broke down. This assault never had to happen. A peep hole in the door. A front camera with a video screen, or simply knowing that as a 90 year old woman, she does not answer the front door after dark. Yes, it is a sad commentary on our times but, these are the times in which we live and we must be prepared to protect ourselves.

SECOND ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should train employers on their responsibility to take the reports by employees of bullying, extreme behavior of any kind, and threats very seriously and have a course of action laid out based on the type of threat or incident.

Develop connections within neighborhoods. COPS NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR CARS – talk to people, develop a rapport with young people, elderly people, shop owners, – Cops need to develop their people skills. The earliest signs of someone about to cause serious trouble (even within normally closed communities like a Mosque) there are always people who either know or suspect something is building and about to happen. Usually these people would tell the authorities if they had someone they trusted and that they knew how to reach. It does not happen overnight but it will never happen if the department does not start.
Here come the ‘nay-sayers’ – not enough money, short on personnel – we’re running from call to call now and have no time to stop and walk the beat, eating the grocer’s apples and getting the kitten down from the tree (oops, that’s the fire department’s job, skip the last one!)
There are always excuses. There are always obstacles. PRO-ACTIVE POLICING requires no longer being satisfied just going from call to call as ‘responders’ – Someone once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done; you always get what you’ve always gotten.”

If you go all the way back to 9-11, there was information out there about the hijackers. The citizens who were in contact with them – such as at the flight school, were not trained on what to be looking for and there was no connection for people to know who to call, how to call or what to report. The car bomb in Times Square – how many times did those guys drive cross-country and go around buying up chemicals in quantities that only the world’s largest hair salon would need that many of those kinds of chemicals… Did you know that those guys did not exactly fit the description of ‘Che Robere’s House of Hair’? Someone, somewhere had a gut instinct that these guys were up to something but ‘who you gonna’ call?’ Agencies must not forget the lessons of 9-11 and begin to retreat behind their walls of non-cooperation. Organizations such as the International Counter Terrorism Officers’ Association continue to support inter-agency cooperation, training and information sharing. We have the tools, the people, the equipment and methodologies to stop these attacks but we have to get back to some good old fashioned police work.

Security World Map 2

map with ISIS

                Beheading of French tourist –
                                   The Islamic state claims responsibility

A 55 year old professional mountaineering guide from Nice France, Herve Gourdel was kidnapped on September 28, 2014 by a jihadist group called Jund al-Khalifa (caliphate soldiers). She had been hiking in an Algerian national park. The group claims allegiance to the Islamic State. They had threatened to kill Gourdel unless France stopped bombing ISIS targets in Iraq. A search by a large contingent of security forces of Algeria in the Tizi Ouzou region failed to locate Gourdel. Thirty minutes after President Obama urged the world to unite against ISIS and destroy what he called a “network of death” ISIS released the short video of Gourdel’s beheading.

Gourdel

Travel

According to the Langley Intelligence Group, “an international appeal from ISIS in which it called on its backers everywhere to attack Europeans… jihadists in the Philippines declared that they were holding two Germans hostage and would kill them unless Berlin withdrew support for the U.S. led campaign against ISIS or paid ransom… jihadists in a wide array of other locations, including Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Pakistan and the Caucasus are among those who have pledged allegiance to ISIS, which is gaining supporters around the world… as this terror network grows, so too does the danger to the security of Americans and other westerners who seek to travel the world.”