The New Reality…


I was at an Infragard sponsored terrorism symposium this week I heard three well respected panelists, all professional security practitioners, use the term “the new reality” several times over the course of the hour. Much of what they had to say was insightful, intelligent and well thought out, but the concept that our future is a series of ever increasing high active-shooter-incidentsprofile attacks and expanding incidents of workplace violence is not necessarily the case. While we have reaped the security benefit of debt-fueled spending, favorable demographic shifts and excessive incarceration, those means of security are no longer feasible mechanisms of reducing violence in our society. We need to adjust to that new reality.

“The new reality”, as used by the panel and generally by security professionals at large is frequently referencing what is different about the enemies, criminals, or terrorists we face. Most security professionals are trained to analyze … Read more »

Responding to Mass Violence in Our Community




“Men do not rise to the level of their expectation, but default to their level of training.”


~ Archilochos


Gun sales and the demand for personal security training typically increase in the aftermath of a high-profile event like terrorist attacks, mass shootings, or a particularly gruesome homicide. We can expect this week’s latest episode in Orlando to provoke the same. That is quite likely a very normal characteristic of the human condition; that we perceive what is current or popular as more pressing or threatening than those events with less notoriety. Sadly, these waves of popularity do very little to increase the safety and security of our society. Much like fitness, health or being good at your job, protective and defensive skills require commitment, consistency and a solid progression.

When it comes to security, the culture of our society has changed significantly. Historically, our approach to controlling … Read more »

Religion, Racism and Cultural Diversity


When we look at history, it is typically the strongest of opinions that drive conflict, violence and social unrest. Strong opinions and people committed to their ideas, many of which were uniformly unpopular, are also the cause of our most significant advances. The impact of religion has had a mixed impact on society as a whole, at time beneficial, and at times violent. Racism falls in the same boat. Despite the popular notion that “multiculturalism” is good for society, has some limitations that we need to consider.


The concept that multiculturalism is good for society stems from scientific studies on genetics and the long-term survival of species. In general, non-specialized species tend to survive longer than highly specialized ones as they are most able to adapt to change. The more genetic diversity in an ecosystem, the better prepared it is for unforeseen shocks to the system. Further, it is … Read more »

Terrorism, Violence, and the Ideology of Oppression

“We, God willing, will continue to fight you and will continue martyrdom operations inside and outside the United States until you abandon your oppression…”

                                                                                                                       ~ Osama Bin Laden

The Islamic Extremists who committed the mass murder in San Bernardino, which killed 14 and injured another 21 people, were a young married couple. They left a six-month-old child at home with one of the terrorist’s mothers. They had equipped themselves and planned for this type of action for an extended period before its execution. It was clearly not a spur of the moment “workplace violence” incident. Rather than blaming guns, terrorists, and the usual suspects, we are going to look at how these violent ideologies are enticing young people, across cultures, religions and social class at unprecedented rates.

The popular media like to present the unsupportable and inaccurate assertion that violence is a human aberration. Unfortunately, many in our society have … Read more »

Paris Attacks – This is Quite Different…

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks that have killed 129 people. This is the first successful large-scale attack ISIS has been able to coordinate in the Western world. There is a large difference between encouraging disenfranchised youth to act out against the society they live in, and planning and executing a group of attacks like this. It represents a significant extension of the group’s proven capabilities as was predicted in the article on ISIS we released in August, which was the third in a series called Understanding Islamic Extremism.
As a review, the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar reset a significant portion of the loyalty chain that was keeping Al-Qaeda relevant in the global Jihadi movement. Zawahiri is nearly universally disliked while ISIS has been steadily rising in popularity. The death of Mullah Omar effectively put every AQ cell or operative in a position to … Read more »