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  • January 15, 2019 3:56 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    by Gary S. Miville CIPM II, CIPI, CPO

    RIBI Security - Regional Vice President

    As we work in our different areas throughout the United States there is a constant need for security professionals to network. We have organizations like ASIS International and the IFCPP which help us meet peer to peer, but ultimately we need to enhance our ability strengthen our network to include the Federal government organizations. One organization that I have found especially helpful and insightful is InfraGard.  InfraGard is an alliance for national infrastructure protection. This organization was formed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation around 2003 as a non-profit.  InfraGard’s liaison and outreach efforts have developed close working partnerships, not only between the private sector and the FBI, but with other pivotal agencies, to include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Small Business Administration (SBA).

    InfraGard partnership is an association of persons who represent businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement/public safety agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the U.S. The InfraGard National Members Alliance is comprised of 84 chapters representing over 50,000 vetted members, to include critical sector subject matter experts on protecting the 16 Critical Sectors.

    InfraGard provides its members with unmatched opportunities to promote the physical and cyber security of their organizations, through access to a trusted, national network of Subject Matter Experts from the public and private sectors, and government stakeholders, at the local, state, and federal levels. InfraGard engages subject matter experts and address threat issues across each of the 16 sectors of critical infrastructures and key resources recognized by Presidential Policy Directive-21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

    To become a member of InfraGard there are a list of requirements.

    •      U.S  Citizen, 18 years or older
    •      Affiliated with a critical infrastructure sector
    •      Consent to and pass FBI security risk assessment and periodic re- certification
    •      Agree to adhere to InfraGard Code of Ethics and Information Sharing Policies.

    If you are interested on becoming an InfraGuard member or you would just like to attend a meeting with a member. Go to for more information.

  • January 15, 2019 3:50 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Washington Post

    A group representing FBI agents warned Thursday that the partial government shutdown is threatening national security as thousands of federal law enforcement professionals, working without pay, grow anxious that personal financial hardships may jeopardize their security clearances and as furloughs of their support staffs slow investigations.

    The shutdown is the result of President Trump’s insistence that more miles of border wall be built in the interest of national security — to keep migrants and drugs from entering illegally — and Democrats’ refusal to go along with his demands for $5.7 billion in wall-construction funds. With the shutdown well into its third week, groups representing government employees ranging from those who patrol borders and guard courthouses to those who make undercover drug buys have expressed alarm that the political drama has reduced them to bargaining chips while they continue doing dangerous jobs that keep Americans safe.

    “It’s uncharted territory, as this shutdown is going to be the longest in history,” said Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association. “For special agents, financial security is national security.”

    Of particular concern to FBI personnel is Friday’s missed paycheck — their first since the shutdown began in late December.

    In a letter to the White House and lawmakers, FBIAA leaders wrote that their agents “are subject to high security standards that include rigorous and routine financial background checks. . . . Missing payments on debts could create delays in securing or renewing security clearances, and could even disqualify agents from continuing to serve in some cases.”

    O’Connor said FBI investigations already are being affected. No one at the FBI is getting paid, but investigators are still working while much of their support staffs, including some surveillance experts, are not, O’Connor said. The FBI lab in Quantico, Va., has faced significant staff reductions, and the money available for investigative expenses such as undercover drug buys is dwindling, he said.

    “Operations are being hindered,” O’Connor said. “This situation is not sustainable.”

    The FBI has nearly 13,000 special agents, and already some families are making tough choices to manage household finances. Several current FBI employees said Thursday they worry that there is no sign of the shutdown being resolved soon and that, as a result, they could miss not one but two paychecks.

    Dave Gomez, a retired FBI supervisor whose wife works at the bureau, said he is pulling money from his retirement savings to make sure they can pay their mortgage.

    Gomez, who experienced a shutdown during the Obama administration, said that back then he told his agents not to worry, because shutdowns last only a week or two, not long enough to miss a paycheck.

    “What’s happening now is a shock for a lot of agents, and I think you will see a lot of agents stressed about missing a paycheck,” he said. “FBI agents aren’t different than other Americans in that a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck.”

    The shutdown affects all the federal law enforcement agencies within the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. marshals guarding the trial of accused drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in New York, amid extremely tight security, are working without pay. Agents with the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel and Customs and Border Protection officers all are working without pay and much of their support staffers.

    “The thing that concerns us the most,” said Patrick O’Carroll, executive director of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, “is with all the ‘nonessential’ personnel that are not showing up. With active investigations and arrests, when you start taking out the analysts, you’re losing a big part of that.”

    FLEOA has warned its members “to be extra vigilant and cautious performing your duties” because of the increased risks associated with not having support staffers available.

    The shutdown debate is more complicated within the Border Patrol, because many of those agents support Trump’s demand for more wall construction.

    Border Patrol union leaders appeared at the White House last week to show their support for Trump, despite agents working without pay. While the president continues to have broad support within the Border Patrol, some agents say there is growing worry among the rank and file about missed car payments and late mortgages. Many of those who are assigned to remote border towns are their families’ sole breadwinner.

    “People have started to contact creditors,” said one agent in Arizona who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to reporters.

    Morale is sinking because agents are already under strain after a busy period along the border, with record numbers of families coming across, according to one agent in South Texas who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. This agent, also not authorized to comment publicly, faulted Democrats for the shutdown.

    The National Border Patrol Council’s fealty to the president is not shared by the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents the blue-uniformed Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to U.S. ports of entry, an even larger workforce.

    “If employees are working, they must be paid — and if there is not money to pay them, then they should not be working,” NTEU President Tony Reardon said in a statement Wednesday after his union filed a suit alleging that federal laws that force workers to stay on the job without pay are unconstitutional.

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:44 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Denver Post

    A representative of the Denver Art Museum told police the facility suffered nearly $2 million in losses following the vandalism spree last month in which a suspect is accused of damaging centuries-old artifacts from China and the Mayan civilization.

    Museum officials said Monday they’re still working to determine total damages in the wake of the December incident. Staffers at the museum had not publicly attached a dollar figure to the vandalism.

    Denver police arrested Jake Siebenlist, 18, on suspicion of felony criminal mischief in the amount of $1 million or more on Dec. 9. Siebenlist appeared briefly in court Monday, and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge March 14, according to Denver District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler.

    Siebenlist reportedly pushed and shattered a glass structure, threw sculptures across a room and shattered artwork onto the ground in the museum’s “Stampede: Animals in Art” exhibit, according to a probable cause statement prepared by Denver police.

    He also allegedly shoved museum patrons out of his way and tried to punch security officers who restrained him until police arrived. He was then transported to Denver Health Medical Center for minor injuries.

    Among the damaged items were a rare Mayan vessel and a 19th-century Chinese vase.

    The probable cause statement details damages and destruction to 10 items, estimated at about $1.93 million by a museum employee. The employee told police further evaluations likely would increase that amount, according to the document.

    The Denver police document listed the damaged items as: Wolf Headdress Mask, Raven Rattle Tlingit, Jaina Style Figurine, Moche Portrait Bottle, Chinese Vase with Phoenixes, Moche Rattle Bowl, Mayan Fish-Shaped Vessel, Maya Vessel with God on Bird, Chinese Initiator Sculpture and Beware of Cranes Sculpture.

    Museum spokeswoman Jena Pruett said Monday that the costs of the damages from the incident are still being evaluated as the museum works to repair some of the artwork, and she would not comment on estimated costs.

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:33 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Magazine

    One after another, reports involving allegations of sexual misconduct continue to be made public. Many of these reports follow a similar scenario—a middle-aged, executive-level man allegedly uses his power and influence to target, and sometimes sexually assault, a person over whom he has power. When true, the events behind these stories can leave the victims and their families scarred and damaged for life. Given what’s at stake, many victims and their advocates have turned to Twitter to express solidarity and expose their alleged abusers, using the #MeToo hashtag. By now, the #MeToo movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, and its impact has put employers of every stripe on notice. 

    In the United States, the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been vocal on the topic. Recently, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum publicly offered three overarching recommendations to employers attending an Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies conference: Change workplace culture; hold people accountable; and implement the right policies, procedures, and training. 

    These directives are helpful, but seasoned security professionals, like their counterparts in HR, know that the problem requires more than recommendations and policy tweaks. Experienced security managers know that workplace behavior is modified and office cultures are changed when allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and investigated properly and thoroughly. Together, these serious attitudes and activities buttress what ethics and compliance experts call an organization’s compliance regime. When that regime is fair, disciplined, and combined with sound policies, clear expectations, and exemplary leadership, it forms the foundation of the organization’s culture and, ultimately, its reputation and identity.

    Recognizing this, organizations of all sizes are increasingly turning to security professionals to either assist HR in conducting internal investigations or to conduct the investigations themselves. This is a serious responsibility, so it is important to keep in mind that a successful workplace investigation is a complex undertaking. It is time consuming and fraught with the potential for legal liability. It can also be expensive. 

    A proper investigation requires an intricate mixture of skill, experience, and patience. Those who attempt one without an understanding of the fundamentals are more likely to fail. The case study ("From Consensual to Concerning,"​​​ below) is provided to help the reader better understand how these fundamentals play out during an investigation. 

    ​Fact Finding

    Experienced investigators know that few workplace activities invoke so much risk—and at the same time, so much opportunity—as an investigation. An improperly conducted workplace investigation can be ruinous and harm the careers of everyone involved. But a well-executed investigation bolsters an organization’s culture, which in turn enhances its reputation and its identity.  

    Successful investigations often rely on teams. In #MeToo investigations, the typical team includes three groups: fact finders, advisors, and decision makers. 

    Fact finders gather information. They take direction from the appointed advisors and pursue the investigation’s objectives by means of thoughtful and deliberate fact-finding. Their purpose requires them to be objective, so they must do their work in a fair, impartial, thorough, and purposeful manner.

    Fact finders’ tasks often include the gathering and proper preservation of physical, electronic, and testimonial evidence. Their results are typically packaged in a formal report and ultimately provided to the decision maker by way of the advisor. Under ideal circumstances, that advisor is legal counsel, so the fact finder’s report can be designated as attorney work product and shielded against unwanted discovery or disclosure. This practice is not nefarious; it is legal and proper and often in the best interest of all parties.


    To fulfill the objectives of the assigned investigation, the effective fact finder must have a process. Remarkably, many fact finders and decision makers, regardless of their level of experience or training, have little or no process to work with. Lacking this, the fact finders often spend more time and resources on their tasks than necessary, produce inconsistent results, and create unnecessary liabilities for those they serve. No investigation, regardless of its objectives or scope, can be successful if not properly engineered and driven by process. 

    Although certain details may differ from incident to incident, the processes used by successful investigations usually have similar attributes. The investigation has meaningful and well-defined objectives; it is properly and lawfully executed; it is fair and impartial; and it produces results that are accurately documented and communicated. 

    Also, to achieve maximum efficiency, an investigation should unfold incrementally and progressively, in distinct phases. Each phase should be engineered to build on the phase that preceded it. Generally, #MeToo investigations include these phases: assessment; preparation and planning; information and evidence gathering (fact finding), which usually includes the interviewing of the complainant; and verification and analysis, which invariably includes the interviewing of the alleged wrongdoer.

    The investigation process should also be open to the possibility that additional complainants may come forward, necessitating  the expansion of the initial investigation. Indeed, organizations that are experienced in investigations often anticipate both new and expanded allegations once the investigation of the initial complaint begins. This anticipation helps the organization craft and implement containment strategies and bake them into the overall investigative approach.

    For example, one such containment strategy is to lock down the scope of the initial allegations with written statements provided by the accuser. Doing so prevents subsequent embellishment of the initial complaints. 

    As the investigation progresses, some fact finders put all their focus on the third phase—information gathering and the interviewing of the accuser—and then once they have amassed a rich collection of facts, evidence, and information, they conclude their investigation. This is a mistake, because even the most impressive collection of evidence requires analysis and verification. Without clarifying analysis, those to whom the fact finders report may receive an incomplete result, which may deny them a thorough understanding of the matter. 

    The four phases of the investigative process give the fact finder the structure necessary to be effective. They also help when it comes to optics; following a phased process helps the fact finder transcend the dated image of a bumbling corporate gumshoe and may elevate him or her to the professional standing of an expert investigator.

    ​Results and Metrics

    Fact finders should never play the role of decision maker. To do so is unfair and creates the appearance of prejudice. Sadly, HR professionals make this mistake frequently.

    In many organizations, HR is routinely responsible for all internal investigations. In addition, HR either decides the appropriate discipline or makes recommendations regarding such to the decision makers. The criminal justice equivalent of this would be for law enforcement personnel to determine the punishment of those they arrest—clearly, not a wise practice. Similarly, investigative best practices call for all final decision making, as well as the disbursement of disciplinary or corrective action, to be a separate process from fact finding, and not conducted by the same people. 

    Like most effective processes, the investigative process should generate measurable results. Frequently, organization leaders will measure results in terms of the actionable evidence accumulated. However, the first and most immediate metric should be return on investment (ROI). For example, properly engineered and executed investigations generally produce tangible, measurable results such as the recovery of stolen property or money, the termination of dishonest employees or vendors, or successful prosecution. Other possible measurable results are civil recovery, restitution, damage awards, and successful insurance claims. 

    However, when investigating a #MeToo allegation, the achievement and recognition of measurable ROI is more difficult. Still, process-driven investigations enable the ability to generate statistical results that can be used over time to measure effectiveness and identify opportunities for process improvement. The ASIS International Investigations Standard (ANSI/ASIS INV.1-2015) identifies this methodology as the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model.

    When properly used, PDCA provides a repeatable and scalable framework for the conduct of one’s #MeToo investigations. Without process and structure, the investigator has no means to measure results and show value to their customer. Even worse, the process becomes more vulnerable to claims of bias, ineptitude, and discrimination. 

    Legal Issues

    Workplace investigations are fraught with liability. Internal investigations, by definition, involve the investigation of people who have a relationship with the organization. Usually, they are people the organization employs or does business with. Many consider themselves “insiders.” As such, they have special rights and expectations. They may carry a sense of entitlement and self-importance. 

    These considerations add to the complexity of the fact-finding process, and to the reaction of the subject to the investigation’s findings and management’s corrective actions.

    Clearly, this path is filled with legal obstacles and challenges. On the other hand, the totality of these complexities gives the properly prepared and equipped employer a decisive competitive advantage. The #MeToo investigator should have at least a working knowledge of criminal, civil, and employment law. 

    The employer that can efficiently bring an end to workplace harassment, discrimination, or a toxic workplace without litigation or a public relations debacle has a significant competitive advantage over the employer that cannot. Thus, a skilled and savvy investigator can be an asset to almost any organization.   

    ​From Consensual to Concerning

    Investigations in sexual harassment must address a variety of situations, many of which do not fit the typical #MeToo mold. For example, in one real-life incident, a romantic relationship turned sour, requiring security to launch an investigation.

    The participants, whom we will call Christopher and Meredith, met each other at work. He was a regional vice president and she an entry-level analyst. Over a period of several months they began to date, and then entered into a consensual romantic relationship. Christopher started acting jealous and possessive, insisting that he know with whom Meredith talked, exchanged emails, and took breaks while at work. Meredith later described this as romantic obsessive behavior. She decided to terminate the relationship. 

    Christopher, still driven by possessive feelings, began to stalk her. He started following her home after she left work. Meredith no longer felt safe at work or anyplace else, and she reported her concerns to HR. Pursuant to established protocols, HR immediately reached out to the director of corporate security and requested assistance to investigate Meredith’s allegations. Security, working with the legal department, determined that the matter was sufficiently work-related and that, if true, the claims were actionable. Thus, two investigators were assigned. The security director and HR discussed and defined the investigation’s objectives.

    Meredith submitted to a formal interview. She revealed that not only was Christopher constantly monitoring her at work, but he was following her everywhere, even when she was on vacation. Further investigation produced evidence that Christopher used the organization’s email system to communicate threats. In addition, Christopher was using company computers to store inappropriate images of Meredith, which were secretly taken by him without her consent. 

    Though engaged by HR, the investigation team reported to general counsel, thus preserving the attorney work product privilege. Upon viewing Meredith’s written allegations, Christopher’s threatening email messages to her, and the stored images, counsel advised HR that Christopher’s termination was both appropriate and legally defensible. However, counsel also recommended that Christopher be interviewed and asked to explain his behavior and provide any extenuating circumstances or mitigating evidence. 

    During the subsequent interview with the investigator and his witness, Christopher conceded his obsession with Meredith and his related behavior. In writing, he agreed to cease this unwanted behavior, resign, and never communicate with Meredith again.

    Following the acceptance of his resignation, Christopher left quietly. This case reveals a few valuable lessons. One is that a team approach to #MeToo investigations improves efficiency and results. HR, security, and general counsel all worked together, and had important roles to play. Another is that allowing the terminated employee to leave with his or her dignity intact usually costs nothing and often produces priceless results.

    Common Mistakes in #MeToo Investigations

    1. Using law enforcement vernacular instead of the language of business. Good investigators use the language of their internal customer.

    2. Seeking employee prosecution as an objective. The decision to prosecute should be made for business reasons only.

    3. Bending the rules. Rules, policies, and laws provide organizations with structure and order. Failing to obey them is a disservice to the organization.

    4. Interviewing the accused before properly interviewing the accuser and documenting his or her allegations.

    5. Permitting or insisting that the fact finder make recommendations regarding corrective action. Leave this to the decision makers. 

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:28 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS News

    Virtual reality is often associated with video games. But well-known companies are now using it as a tool to train for potentially dangerous situations. Major companies like Walmart, Chipotle and Verizon are using VR to prepare employees for what they could see on the job.

    Verizon has more than 1,600 stores across the country where front-line employees help people get connected and buy the latest gadgets to do so. But the harsh reality is that those hot-ticket items make them a target for armed robberies, a dangerous scenario that could be difficult to imagine – until now.

    In one digital scenario, two gunmen strike as the store opens, taking one employee hostage and going straight for the safe. It was only a simulation, but as CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil learned firsthand at a Verizon training site outside Washington, D.C., the fear was all too real.

    "VR takes your brain elsewhere, so I am standing here in a classroom and my brain thinks I'm on a factory floor, on an airplane tarmac, in a Verizon store. So it's basically like visualization on steroids," said Derek Belch, the founder of Strivr, which builds virtual experiences as a training tool first for football teams and now for a growing number of major companies.    

    Virtual reality is often associated with video games. But well-known companies are now using it as a tool to train for potentially dangerous situations. Major companies like Walmart, Chipotle and Verizon are using VR to prepare employees for what they could see on the job.

    Verizon has more than 1,600 stores across the country where front-line employees help people get connected and buy the latest gadgets to do so. But the harsh reality is that those hot-ticket items make them a target for armed robberies, a dangerous scenario that could be difficult to imagine – until now.

    In one digital scenario, two gunmen strike as the store opens, taking one employee hostage and going straight for the safe. It was only a simulation, but as CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil learned firsthand at a Verizon training site outside Washington, D.C., the fear was all too real.

    "VR takes your brain elsewhere, so I am standing here in a classroom and my brain thinks I'm on a factory floor, on an airplane tarmac, in a Verizon store. So it's basically like visualization on steroids," said Derek Belch, the founder of Strivr, which builds virtual experiences as a training tool first for football teams and now for a growing number of major companies.    

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:22 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Skift

    Safety and security has been a key consideration in event planning for decades, but new threats from acts of terrorism, extreme weather, and pandemics are increasing the need for diligence.

    Experts note a widening of scope surrounding security, which can at times present a complicated challenge to meeting planners as they work with event stakeholders to safeguard attendees and stay informed on emerging safety issues.

    In a world now increasingly defined by economic and political instability, the process of event design has become entangled with risk mitigation. While incidents like 2017’s Las Vegas shooting and Manchester Arena bombing are rare, the strategies of event planners have been influenced by the reality that unpredictable threats seem to have proliferated in recent years.

    “What was simply focused on numbers of passengers per flight and company drug and alcohol policies has now become much more specific and encompassing,” said Fernando Lonergan, senior director of Australia and Regional Sales and Solutions at BCD Meetings & Events, citing factors such as the political stability of potential destinations, health of bilateral government relationships of the customer’s source market with the destination, and the emergency response capabilities of third parties.

    According to Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Chief Marketing Officer Padraic Gilligan, duty of care and emergency preparedness are a given for any event, but the bar is constantly being raised.

    He cited emergency preparedness certification from industry associations like the Association of Destination Management Executives International which he said is further raising awareness of duty of care across the full business events spectrum, “so it’s not just the focus of the end-user corporation but other agents along the supply chain which need to be duty of care-aware”.

    Gilligan said more corporations are taking extra precautions such as bringing their own security details to destinations where they are staging incentive programs.

    “What was simply focused on numbers of passengers per flight and company drug and alcohol policies has now become much more specific and encompassing,” said Fernando Lonergan, senior director of Australia and Regional Sales and Solutions at BCD Meetings & Events, citing factors such as the political stability of potential destinations, health of bilateral government relationships of the customer’s source market with the destination, and the emergency response capabilities of third parties.

    According to Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Chief Marketing Officer Padraic Gilligan, duty of care and emergency preparedness are a given for any event, but the bar is constantly being raised.

    He cited emergency preparedness certification from industry associations like the Association of Destination Management Executives International which he said is further raising awareness of duty of care across the full business events spectrum, “so it’s not just the focus of the end-user corporation but other agents along the supply chain which need to be duty of care-aware”.

    Gilligan said more corporations are taking extra precautions such as bringing their own security details to destinations where they are staging incentive programs.

    “We are certainly seeing a change in the way our clients think about health and safety,” he said, adding that this is being reflected in increased reconnaissance of the venue space before the event, engaging with intelligence agencies, together with use of media monitoring software to identify risks, increased use of external security consultants, providing close personal protection for VIPs and requesting evacuation plans and procedures from the venue.


    Events should be about maximizing the delegate experience, which begins with an assurance that they will be safe and secure. Ideally, they shouldn’t be aware of the measures once the event begins.

    As Gilligan pointed out, “Duty of care and emergency preparedness should run quietly and seamlessly in the background. It need not directly impinge on the program itself other than in the reassuring security briefings and communications … in advance of their travel.”

    Stricter access control and bag inspections are now commonplace and proactive events organizers are transforming these from an inconvenience to a reassurance.

    Bag checks and metal detection wanding are now commonplace at a lot of Melbourne’s events, according to Horne. But behind the scenes, the facility has enhanced its use of closed-circuit TV by applying facial recognition and artificial intelligence.

    Lonergan also advocates wider use of electronic chip technology in event lanyards. “Not only does it assist in heat mapping delegate movements within the program, it also supports delegate identification, ensuring that duty of care of the company assets are being shared with the right audience,” he explained.

    Bruce McIndoe, founder of security firm WorldAware, sees security as a shared responsibility among all in the meetings and events supply chain.

    “What will be critical to ensuring we execute comprehensive and thoughtful duty of care practices is continued collaboration and communications across the industry to pull all the various efforts on this front together,” he said.

    The security expert advocated four key requirements for event planners:
    · Perform a location and site assessment.
    · Conduct a venue and hotel selection.
    · Designate a risk management and security point of contact.
    · Review emergency planning.

    In addition, WorldAware recommends proactive training of all parties involved and the continuous monitoring of potential impacts to safety, security, and brand reputation as paramount in providing a safe, secure operating environment.

    The final requirement is good communication: “A plan only works if people are aware it exists and understand their role in executing that plan. Planners often underestimate the broader set of resources (onsite and back home) that need to have visibility into these plans,” McIndoe said.

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:13 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Guardian

    Outside the National Archives in Washington, a sign says “Closed.”

    “We’re sorry,” it reads. “Due to the shutdown of the federal government, the Washington DC facility is closed.”

    This museum is not alone; government-funded Smithsonian museums in New York and Washington, as well as the National Zoo, are closed due to a partial government shutdown, which kicked off on 22 December over border security issues, forcing thousands of federal workers to work without pay or take unpaid time off.

    “We can’t reopen until we have a federal budget, so it all depends on a call from the White House,” said Linda St Thomas, the chief spokesperson of the Smithsonian Institution. “When we get federal funding, we will reopen immediately.”

    All 19 museums, including the National History Museum, the African Art Museum and the Portrait Gallery, are losing out on a great number of visitors. They’re accustomed to drawing 1 million visitors a month, according to St Thomas.

    “We go by month, it depends on the weather,” she said. “I think it’s roughly 1 million visitors for all 19 museums for the month of January.”

    All special events and programs, including lectures and films scheduled at the museums has been postponed until after the shutdown or are cancelled. The highly coveted exhibits – including the Oprah Winfrey retrospective at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the presidential portrait of Barack Obama at the National Portrait Gallery – will resume after funding is restored.

    The US Botanic Garden in Washington is also open daily, “having been funded for the fiscal year”, said Devin Dotson, its head of public affairs. “We continue to welcome visitors from across the United States and around the world to explore our collection."

    The estimated 2019 budget for all Smithsonian museums is $957m. The funding includes a multi-million dollar roof repair of the Hazy Center, a renovation of thew National Air and Space Museum, funding to fix the ongoing infrastructure at the National Zoo and a renovation of the west wing at the National Museum of American History.

    In the meantime, the Washington tourism board is trying to shed light on other attractions for culture-seeking visitors; like the food scene and live sport (which may or may not satisfy art aficionados).

    “While we’re disappointed the Smithsonian museums are closed, the vast majority of things for visitors to see and do throughout Washington’s neighborhoods remain open,” said Elliott L Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “It’s a great time to find a deal in the city and explore our Michelin-rated dining scene, watch a hockey or basketball game at Capitol One Arena or catch a show at one of the city’s many venues.”

    Other museums are still open, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Phillips Collection, the Museum of the Bible and National Law Enforcement Museum. The Newseum, a museum devoted to journalism, announced yesterday that they are offering free admission to federal employees during the shutdown.

    While the National Zoo is closed, the Smithsonian claims “essential personnel” are on site to care for the animals during the shutdown, though they remain closed to the public.

    Museum-goers remain disappointed by the closure, by what it represents to museum workers and arts administrators.

    “This administration has made it clear through budget cuts and ignorant tweets that the arts and cultural education are of little value or importance,” said Whitney Bell, a Los Angeles-based artist, writer and founder of a talk series called The Stories Of Women.

    “Hundreds of thousands of jobs furloughed and millions of Americans left without access to our most important cultural institutions, historic landmarks and influential art, and for what?” she asks.

    “A xenophobic wall that flies in the face of the melting-pot ideology this country was built on. This, like everything else Trump has done, is designed to whip up and manipulate fear to further an agenda that only protects his pitiful legacy, at the expense of the American people.”

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 3:10 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Brussels Times

    Mehdi Nemmouche, the man accused of carrying out the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014, visited the museum the day prior to the attack, the court where he is on trial heard.

    Four people died in the gun attack. Nemmouche was identified by security camera footage, and later arrested in Marseilles in possession of weapons, which he claimed to have found. According to the prosecution, those weapons, including a Kalashnikov from Croatia, were the same as those used in the attack.

    The second full day of the trial consisted of the prosecution setting out the case against Nemmouche and his co-accused Nacer Bendrer, accused of helping organise the attack and the flight of Nemmouche. A third man, Mounir Attallah, had charges against him dropped and will testify as a witness.

    Evidence that Nemmouche visited the museum emerges from camera footage from the previous day, which shows him entering the museum and approaching volunteer worker Alexandre Strens. They have a brief conversation, and then the man identified as Nemmouche leaves. Strens was next day one of the four victims – two museum staff and two Israeli visitors. The court also heard that three of the victim had died immediately. Strens, the fourth, died later in hospital.

    The trial resumes on Tuesday morning.

    See Original Post

  • January 15, 2019 2:55 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Mental Floss

    On August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from Paris’s Louvre Museum. It was a Monday—the museum was closed and security was minimal—and the thief had reportedly spent the weekend plotting the heist while hiding in one of the museum’s closets.

    At the time, security at the Louvre was abysmal. There were less than 150 security personnel in charge of guarding 250,000 artifacts, and none of the paintings were bolted to the walls. (The Mona Lisa, for example, hung from four measly hooks.) According to Ian Shank at Artsy, “Months before the heist, one French reporter had spent the night in a Louvre sarcophagus to expose the museum’s paltry surveillance.”

    After the painting's disappearance, France’s borders were effectively closed, with officials examining every vehicle crossing the country's eastern border. Media coverage of the heist spread across the globe, turning the little-known painting into a household name. The Paris-Journal offered 50,000 francs for the painting’s return. Soon, a tip from an art thief would cause police to turn their attention toward one of the country’s most promising young artists: Pablo Picasso.

    Picasso, who had moved to Paris a decade earlier, lived with a gaggle of Bohemians dubbed la bande de Picasso. Among this crew was the poet and writer Guillaume Apollinaire, whose former secretary was Honore-Joseph Géry Pieret, a Belgian man of questionable morals. Shortly after the Mona Lisa was stolen, Pieret—lured by the possibility of a cash reward—stepped into the Paris-Journal's office and claimed that he had lifted art from the Louvre before and had given the works to "friends."

    Pieret was telling the truth. In 1907, he had stolen at least two Iberian sculptures made in the 3rd or 4th century BCE and sold them to Picasso, who paid him 50 francs per piece. (Picasso used these artifacts to inspire his work Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. [PDF]) That wasn't all. According to Nick Mafi at The Daily Beast, Pieret also stole a similar piece from the Louvre in 1911 and placed it on Apollinaire’s mantel.

    The police read about Pieret's exploits with great interest. They believed that the people who were in possession of these sculptures might also have the Mona Lisa. And they didn’t have much trouble piecing together who, exactly, the thief's friends were.

    Realizing that they were in deep trouble, Picasso and Apollinaire packed the Iberian sculptures into a suitcase and ran off in the middle of the night with plans of throwing the artworks into the river Seine. But when the two artists reached the water, they could not will themselves to dump the statues. Instead, Apollinaire visited the Paris-Journal the next morning, deposited the statues, and demanded that the newspaper give him anonymity. The newspaper agreed ... until the authorities stepped in.

    Within days of Apollinaire's visit to the newspaper, the police had detained him. In early September, Picasso was ordered to appear before a magistrate. When asked if he knew Apollinaire, the terrified painter lied. “I have never seen this man,” he replied.

    Recalling the events, Picasso said, “I saw Guillaume’s expression changed. The blood ebbed from his face. I am still ashamed.” As the proceedings continued, Picasso wept.

    Although both men were indeed in possession of stolen art, the judge determined that the situation had nothing to do with the Mona Lisa’s disappearance and decided to throw the case out. Two years later, both men would be cleared of any possible connection to the crime when police discovered the painting had been stolen by Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian artist who had been working at the Louvre.

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  • January 15, 2019 2:47 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Management

    ​Following the spike in terrorism activity and related convictions over the past two decades, a new national security challenge is rapidly approaching: the release of dozens of terrorists from prisons around the world. Sentencing those involved in extremist activity is notoriously challenging. It often relies on unrelated criminal convictions or the charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization, which results in sentences of 13 years on average. This means that those convicted in the years following 9/11 are approaching their release date.​

    In the United States, about 25 Americans charged with terror crimes are expected to be released by 2021, and that number will jump to 72 in 2025. At least 80 terrorists will be released by the end of the year in the United Kingdom, and the first man to be convicted in connection with 9/11—a Moroccan man living in Germany—was released from prison in 2018. ​

    “If you go to jail, it doesn’t mean you’re not a terrorist when you come out,” said Michael McGarrity, assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, during a session at GSX 2018. ​

    While the soon-to-be-released prisoners may be monitored, there is currently no way to track those convicted of terror-related crimes—legislation establishing a national database has continually stalled. And, according to Jennifer Hesterman, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and vice president of business resiliency and education services at Watermark Risk Management International, LLC, there are no effective deradicalization programs within the prison system.

    ​The people arrested in al Qaeda plots after 9/11 are coming out of prison in the next couple years, and they have not been rehabbed. It’s a concern to me,” Hesterman said during another GSX 2018 session. “They are coming back out and we can’t keep track of them; we don’t have the resources. We’re not actively trying to work with them and train them to go the right direction.”

    A lot has changed in the terrorism landscape over the past decade, and both Hesterman and McGarrity said counterterrorism efforts are struggling to keep up with the rapid evolution of recruitment, detection, and communication techniques between terror organizations and potential extremists around the world. While McGarrity said extremist recidivism rates tend to be low following a prison stint, it is challenging to detect and act on concerns about further radicalization.

    “Never before have we seen so many individuals inspired and willing to take direct actions,” McGarrity said. “We’ve arrested more subjects over the past two years—many times we have to arrest them on nonterrorism charges, whatever it is to take that person off the street before they commit an attack. We’ve consistently arrested 100-plus people a year since 2015. We have seen how the message has evolved. ISIS encourages and empowers them to take action on their own, ​and anyone is a worthy target.”

    The top terror threat to the United States continues to be homegrown violent extremists—those who are recruited and radicalized online. 

    “Radicalization is online—there are far too many subjects in the U.S. being radicalized online in their basements,” McGarrity noted. “These aren’t tough people who went to training camps. They were radicalized online, socially awkward, and are not meeting mentors or other operatives.”

    Hesterman outlined the methods used to radicalize individuals and described the people who tend to fall prey to such efforts. There are two types of lone actors, she said—one that is well-adapted to society and makes the choice to leave society, and another is not well adapted, and society leaves them.

    “I’ve seen cult of jihad up close and personal, and it’s powerful,” Hesterman said. “They know how to hook people, target the message to the audience. They’ll use rap music for teenagers or target the message to professors. They have people all day online looking for disgruntled people they can seek out. They isolate them—don’t tell anyone we’re having this discussion—then they encourage them. This is a long process, but the people in the violent ideology business, they are patient.”

    It can be exceedingly difficult to identify potential homegrown extremists due to the nature of online-only radicalization and encrypted communications platforms. Additionally, there’s no one demographic that is especially susceptible to radicalization—previous homegrown extremists have tended to be male and 19 to 25 years old, but that number is trending lower. Hesterman showed instances of extremists who target children through English-language workbooks that use jihadist beliefs as examples, and McGarrity pointed out several occasions in which teenagers attempted to plan jihadist-inspired attacks.

    McGarrity also noted that teenagers can be especially susceptible to jihadist influence due to the violent aspect of it—and that can make it difficult to know what role the ideology plays in their radicalization.

    “Teens are more attracted to violence than propaganda,” McGarrity explained. “Ideology can be a source of inspiration, but they are motivated to act in violence. We had one subject who said the reason why he wanted to kill others was that he was inspired by ISIS, Hezbollah, and the white supremacy movement. Is that someone who’s really a stalwart educated in the ideology that he’s following, or someone looking to commit violence?”

    However, violence isn’t the only threat. Both McGarrity and Hesterman emphasized the role that nonviolent extremists can play in the radicalization and terrorism landscapes.

    “We’re struggling with this area—radical preaching, writing, or think tanks,” Hesterman noted. “What we do is give them platforms because we think it will let off steam if a group is going to boil over—we think that’s a vent—but they’re still able to get their message out. A group crosses a line when they do not further peace or harmony in society. If that line is crossed, they are recruiting. This is hard, because there are legitimate groups that cross that line.”

    McGarrity agreed, noting that the threat of so-called “keyboard warriors” who never set foot on a battlefield cannot be discounted. Samir Khan, a Pakistani American living in North Carolina, was recruited to become the editor and publisher of the English-language Inspire magazine, writing articles such as “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” out of his parents’ basement.

    To combat the ever-evolving threat, McGarrity said it is more important than ever for the FBI to work with state and local law enforcement officials, as well as the private sector. 

    “The bystander is one of the most important tools in our fight against terror attacks,” McGarrity said. “The human intelligence community is important. We get about 15,000 tips a year and rely on partnerships with state and local law enforcement to sound the alarm.”

    Joint terrorism task forces—the approximately 150 groups across the country that combine intelligence officials and counterterrorism specialists to fight radicalization in their communities—are key to community cooperation, McGarrity said. “If we did it alone, we would not be successful,” he said.

    When it comes to the private sector, the FBI wants to provide learning in targeted sectors to understand the threats they may be able to identify. “The CSO is not who needs that training,” McGarrity noted. “We need to work with people on front lines. The more we can tell them about threats and what to look for, we get better leads. From the retail and transportation sectors, leads have been incredible—we get thousands.”

    Hesterman said that deradicalization—which is especially important now that extremists are leaving prisons and coming back from the front lines in Iraq and Syria—has a long way to go.

    “If we tell people their ideology is wrong, we have to tell them what is right, and how to replace that,” she said. “We have to offer an alternative, and that’s hard for us. That’s a huge dilemma. It’s hard for us to argue with them because they have taken the bait. If they think their beliefs or way of life are under attack, they lash out.”

    Both McGarrity and Hesterman argued that, despite the shrinking numbers of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and the seemingly low profile of al Qaeda groups, the terror threat remains critical. And the impending release of radicalized individuals from prison is a stark reminder of that.

    ​“The war on terror is not ending any time soon,” Hesterman concluded. “We’ve been able to dislodge ISIS in geographical areas, but the battlefield is the mind, and ideology is the glue holding this together. Terrorism isn’t geographically somewhere—it’s a battle of ideas. We’re part of the environment and problem, and what we do impacts this situation. Humility is a powerful tool in this fight.”​

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