Posts Tagged suicide bomber

Cool Stuff: Security Contractor David De Souza Tackled Suicide Bombers In Iraq– And Now The Tough Mudder!

This is a great story and David De Souza is part of the estimated 83,000 plus contractors wounded in this war, that have gone on to live their lives back home. They are contractor veterans and they have done heroic things in the war, and certainly have sacrificed with their lives and bodies.

David was also working for the British security company Aegis during the war in Iraq, and it is a reminder that the security contracting forces being used in this war come from all over the world. Some companies would be all British or American, or other companies would be a mix of all nationalities. Going through the DoL’s list of countries will give you an idea of how many folks have been involved over the years. And that is just the companies and contractors that filed DBA for injuries or deaths. The true cost in lives and injuries will never really be known…

Either way, bravo to David and to all contractor veterans who are doing what they can to work through their injuries and tackling obstacles back home. –Matt


Man injured driving Iraqi bomber off road tackles obstacle course
30th October 2012
A BODYGUARD who survived an attempted suicide bomb attack in Iraq is facing his toughest challenge since suffering devastating injuries in the high-speed crash.
David De Souza was working for private security company Aegis in Tikrit when he bravely intercepted a suicide bomber’s vehicle as it sped towards his convoy.
Mr De Souza drove out of the convoy in his 4×4 to block the suicide bomber and to protect a company boss who was travelling in a vehicle in front of him.
He rammed into the suicide bomber’s vehicle at high speed, smashing into it before coming off the road and rolling over six times.
The incident, on December 20, 2007, left Mr De Souza with a brain haemorrhage and a broken back.
He is now unable to work because of memory problems caused by his brain injury and is also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
A year ago, the 36-year-old, who lives in Ashwood, Kearsley, was unable to run more than mile, but next month he will take part in Tough Mudder, a gruelling 12-mile obstacle course in Malpas, Cheshire, in memory of his niece, Maddie Rose Gooch.
The challenge will be both a physical and mental test, as Mr De Souza suffers from his post traumatic stress disorder and “catastrophic thinking”, which means he often imagines the worst-case scenario, which includes events relating to his 35-year-old wife, Lisa, and their children.

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Technology: Thermal Matrix ACT 2

Wow, this is some cool technology. Thermal cameras are not new, but it’s still technology that is being played around with by various vendors and modified to be useful. I like this system because it gives you the ability to scan folks from a distance and it is very sensitive and tuned in for this specific task of finding things on people. That is great for Entry Control Points in war zones, where doing a preliminary screen of individuals before they enter your search area or holding area is essential.

I mentioned the Taliban’s efforts to attack contractors and others during this spring offensive, and tools like this could help to see what guys are hiding under their clothes. Things like pistols in their shoes or suicide vests/weapons could be detected from a distance with this camera system. I emphasize ‘from a distance’, because this gives you more time for your OODA.

You could also use this to scan high traffic areas of cities, and identify those locals that are carrying weapons on their person. Once you find someone like that, and they are not soldiers or police, then that might be a person to watch and see where they go.

If you would like to investigate this system and see what it is all about, here is a link. –Matt



ACT System by Thermal MatrixThe ACT (Access Counter IED Technology) System by Thermal Matrix is a concealed object threat detection system, using sensors combined with sophisticated computer technology.

The system electronically analyzes situations and identifies multiple threats including explosives, concealed guns, knives and other weapons. In addition, ACT detects threats a metal detector cannot reveal. They include plastic, liquid, and gel explosives, weapons made with non-ferrous metals, and contraband including illegal drugs.

Because it is portable and easy to operate, the ACT System is ideal for both commercial applications as well as domestic law enforcement security. The system is lightweight, and only requires a single operator. The hardware consists of a thermal sensor mounted on a tripod, connected to a laptop computer. Altogether it weighs less than 20 pounds, and can be set-up and operational within 15 minutes
The ACT System is excellent for use in a number of situations, including: ACT System uses for Law Enforcement

Event Security

Check Points

Entry Control

Perimeter Security

Crowd Surveillance

Loss Prevention/Theft

The heart of the ACT System is exclusive Thermal Matrix software, which uses advanced algorithms to analyze the thermal signature of a scene. The software automatically detects subjects and isolates them from the background. Subjects are then tracked using target recognition software. Advanced filtering enhances the image of the subject, allowing for greater detection by the operator.

The software also employs touch-screen, Graphical User Interface (GUI) controls, so the operator can analyze a scene just like using a DVD player. The operator can easily pause, rewind, zoom-in, and enhance the picture using multiple filter

Much like a digital video recorder (DVR), the computer continuously records the most recent 10 minutes of every scene. When the operator finds something suspicious, one push of a button will automatically archive that scene on the hard drive.

The ACT System is the most advanced, portable, easy-to-use concealed object detection system in the security industry.

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Industry Talk: The Booming Private Security Industries Of Pakistan And India

     Below I have posted two snapshots of the private security industries in Pakistan and India. In a nutshell, those industries are exploding with growth. In Pakistan, terrorism is the driver of this increase. In India it is a combination of economic expansion along with terrorism as the drivers.

     Of course Pakistan and India are very mistrustful of one another, and there is also the growth of their defense industries to meet the needs of their militaries. Interesting stuff and definitely an area to keep a watch on. –Matt

Boom in Pakistan’s private security industry

January 18, 2011

Pakistan’s deteriorating  law and order has led to a boom in the private security industry in the country. Companies are investing millions of dollars to train and update their security operations.

 An estimated 30,000 private security guards have found employment with 400 private security agencies that have sprung up in Pakistan in recent years. These guards are paid about ten thousand Pakistani rupees a month… well above the minimum wage of six thousand.

Specialist security guards and bodyguards make around 25 thousand rupees.

Training includes special focus on the deadliest of enemies, the suicide bomber. Iqbal Mahmood, the trainer at Security 2000 explains how to look for one. “If someone is draped in white dress, particularly resembling a white shroud is a sign that the person has come ready to die. This is usually the first sign, secondly when the body looks a bit out of proportions; particularly the chest is raised higher than a normal human being is another give away sign that this person might be a suicide bomber,” says Mahmood.

The security industry in Pakistan is worth around 60 million dollars a year. Visit any luxury hotel in Pakistan and you’ll see where the money is being spent.

Zahid Shah, Security Manager at Pearl Continental Hotel says, “We have tried to maintain and standardise our security arrangements by beefing up this location with various kinds of systems, there can be hydraulic blockers, there are electronic barriers, there are sniffer dogs, besides of course the manual arrangements which is comprising of the security guards and the supervisors that we have.”

Story here.


Booming private security agencies seek PE funding

Paramita Chatterjee & Pramugdha Mamgain

18 Jan, 2011

As rapid economic expansion creates a booming market for private security services, small and mid-sized companies in the sector are seeking risk capital infusion to further expansion plans. Growing public infrastructure in the form of roads, airports, shopping malls and commercial complexes has triggered a boom in the market for security services that is expected to grow five-fold to reach a size of 30,000 crore by 2015.

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Video: Footage of Taliban Attack in Lahore, Pakistan

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Film: The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 1 and 2, by Robert Baer

     I Just finished watching part 2 and ordered it through Netflix.  These two documentaries are awesome, and Mr. Baer did a great job in peeling back the layers of this horrific tactic.  If you want to see into the mind of these folks, and get a feel for the why and how, then check this out.  –Matt


The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 1 

The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 2 (2008) 

Editorial Reviews

About the Actor

Robert Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA s Directorate of Operations, operating against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, and was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East (Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker). His memoir See No Evil was a New York Times bestseller and inspired the movie Syriana, starring George Clooney.

When Baer left the agency in 1997 he received the Career Intelligence Medal, with a citation that says, He repeatedly put himself in personal danger, working the hardest targets, in service to his country.

–Robert Baer [was] one of the most talented Middle East case officers of the past twenty years. (Reuel Marc Gerecht, The Atlantic Monthly)

Product Description

On 18 April 1983 a truck drove into the entrance of the US embassy in downtown Beirut killing 63 people, including six CIA officers. Never before had the CIA lost so many officers in a single attack. In the weeks and months after the bombing top investigators from the CIA and FBI failed to solve the mystery of who was responsible. For Robert Baer, the CIA s top operative in the Middle East, it became a lifelong obsession.

His investigation and the answers he found became the Emmy Award-nominated motion picture, The Cult of the Suicide Bomber. In the first film Bob uncovered the history and evolution of suicide bombing as a weapon of radical Islam. Now in this vital new film he discovers how the phenomenon has spread to the West and changed the role of women in the Middle East, and crucially tells us how this threat can be defeated.

With shocking footage of actual suicide bombings and interviews with failed suicide bombers, The Cult of the Suicide Bomber is the most definitive documentary on suicide bombers ever produced.

Baer himself says: I almost look at the Cult of the Suicide Bomber films as a CIA briefing. In the CIA, we were taught to go to policy makers and tell them what we believe is the absolute truth. For me, the Cult films are the absolute truth.

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Iraq: Suicide Bomber Hits Anti-Israel Protest in Iraq

     I don’t post a lot of these types of stories, because unfortunately bombers are all too common in this part of the world.  But what made this story interesting to me is the symbolism.  One group of muslims protesting Israel should be off limits to another muslim suicide bomber-you would think.  Israel is equally hated by both Shia and Sunni, so this was an odd attack.  I wonder if the bomber even knew what the group was protesting?  Or maybe they just didn’t care about that, and just wanted to kill some IIP guys for their martyrdom mission?  –Matt


Suicide bomber hits anti-Israel protest in Iraq


MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) — A suicide bomber on a bicycle in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul targeted a protest condemning Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip, killing one civilian and wounding 16 on Sunday, police said.

“One civilian was killed and 16 were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up when he rode his bicycle into the middle of an anti-Israeli demonstration in the city,” local police Major Wael Rasheed told AFP.

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