Thanks to Carmen for sending me this story. I call this a ‘riot attack’ because it is an excellent way of getting close to your target, and masking your movements within the sea of protesters. And as the protesters are angered and riled up by some key agent provocateurs in the crowd, the attack elements can do their thing. The added benefit is that the crowd will follow the attackers into the compound and help in the killing and destruction. Which is exactly what happened with this protest/riot attack.
Might I add that the Terry Jones quran burning deal happened several weeks ago, and the UN had nothing to do with the act. Why not attack the US bases or consulates, because Jones is an American? And why show anger over just this one idiot who burned a book? There are plenty of religious nut jobs out there that have been burning Qurans left and right, to include even the Westboro Baptist Church. I did a search on Youtube the other day and I was blown away by how many folks across the world were burning Qurans out of protest against these intolerant and extremist elements of Islam. Muslims could have a field day with protests, and yet Terry Jones is the dork they use? Like I said, this is manufactured.
I bet the imams in the mosques who are working for the Taliban, have been telling everyone that Jones is a huge religious leader in the US? That is just not the case in reality, and you will notice that the media purposely ignores Jones. And yet these religious leaders in Afghanistan think he is significant? These groups manufactured this protest, and played upon the ignorance of the Afghan people who naturally believed everything they had to say about the matter. Is there not a voice of reason to counter such things in these mosques and town squares? I would say not, which makes using crowds as a weapon feasible.
So what does that mean for security specialists working in the war zones? (I wrote about this last year) It is just one more attack to study and be aware of in your particular area of operations. Now with uprising and protests popping up all over the middle east, the chances of this kind of attack will continue through the spring and summer. I would say that any protest that develops, will always have the enemy floating around in it and looking for ways of firing up the crowd. The key here is to identify folks in your ranks that have experience with riot control, like law enforcement types, and draw upon their knowledge to formulate a plan in the defense. A good study would be this last attack, and the attack on Dyncorp contractors last year.
Another thing that I was thinking about the other day is crowd control measures that contractors could use in these types of scenarios. I asked one buddy of mine who was a cop if he had any ideas, and in prime ‘Gorilla Warfare'(Pete Blaber)/Building Snowmobiles (Boyd) fashion, he said use snakes. In India, the cops used non-poisonous snakes as a crowd dispersion tactic to clear out people, and he said it worked like a charm. No chemical agents, no physical baton use–just release hundreds of snakes into a crowd. The crowd quickly switched gears and decided that running away from snakes was far more important than protesting whatever it was they were protesting. So the lesson here is that any less than lethal method, no matter how crazy, should be looked at as a way of dispersing a crowd and defeating the riot attack.
It also takes planning and talking it up amongst each other at your particular job site. Get your QRF’s in order, and insure communications protocols and response protocols are all hammered out and working properly. You want to make sure that when there is trouble, you can depend upon a ‘cavalry’. But until that response force comes, you should have a defense and plan that can hold it’s own until they come. You must have a good learning organization and a leadership that cares about doing things right in order to create a defensive plan that works. Also remember that if your guards are allowed to contribute ideas to the SOP’s, that they will be much more comfortable and supportive of implementing them. People will support what they help to create… I certainly hope the Nepalese were not just blindly following whatever plan they were given?
Another thing to think about is that you could also use the crowd as a means of attacking the enemy. The riot attack is not just a tool of the Taliban, and if the crowd is this easily manipulated in Afghanistan, then this could be one way of striking back. The key to success is to copy what it is they are doing in the various regions, and add one or two little things to the scheme that make it that much better. It is not good enough to just borrow the brilliance of your enemy, but to add to that scheme the things that will give you an edge over the enemy. Mimicry strategy, all the way…
Rest in peace to the fallen, and it sounds like these brave Nepalese guards had quite the fight on their hands. I do not know if their company is IDG Security Limited or not, but the UN does have a history of using Nepalese security contractors in Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the other fallen in this incident as well, and I certainly hope the UN will be steadfast in their mission in Afghanistan after this tragedy. The enemy wins, when groups like the UN give up and leave because of these attacks. –Matt
12 killed in Afghanistan amid protests over reported Quran burning
April 1, 2011
Twelve people were killed Friday in an attack on a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan that followed a demonstration against the reported burning last month of a Quran in Florida, authorities said.
The fatalities comprised seven U.N. workers and five demonstrators, officials said.
Another 24 people were wounded, said Abdul Rauof Taj, security director of Balkh province.
Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the police in Mazar-e-Sharif, told reporters that a number of suspects “who might be the main organizers” had been arrested. Read the rest of this entry »