Showing posts with label militants rypul threat assessments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label militants rypul threat assessments. Show all posts

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims Protection Services

LOS ANGELES - October. 21, 2017 - RyPul -- RyPul Threat Assessments is a full service global personal protective company that also provides specialized protective services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Our consultants provide close in personal protection, temporary residential protection, door to door protection escorts during any court proceeding, in-person presence for court-ordered parent exchanges, emergency transportation from the scene of a domestic violence event as well as emergency transportation from the point of conflict to a client’s safe haven of choice.





Located in Southern California, we are uniquely trained and suited to assist victims in the recovery of their personal safety, security, and dignity.  We also assist professionals, shelters, and organizations in the protection of their clients and survivors.  Let RyPul Threat Assessments offer you or your clients the best in personal, low profile, personal protection options today. 

Improving safety for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault

Find us on the web at www.rypulassessments.com.

Media Contact
RyPul Threat Assessments
Email: contact@rypulassessments.com
Phone: (888) 818-2790


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trump Wall May Reinforce Shift to Maritime Migrant Routes

Written by Tristan Clavel  Tuesday, 28 March 2017
US/Mexico Border Human Smuggling



Central American undocumented migrants are shifting to maritime transportation, according to a recent report, likely as a result of Mexico's crackdown on land routes, a trend that would likely increase should the US-Mexico border wall be extended.

An investigative report by El País shows that Central American migrants are increasingly boarding small boats to travel from Guatemala's Ocós coastal municipality to the Mazatán municipality in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Smugglers charge between $400 and $800 per migrant, according to the Spanish news media. Some migrants are opting to make this six to eight hour journey rather than attempt to cross the border between Mexico and Guatemala, an area which has become much more of a focus for Mexican law enforcement cracking down on undocumented migrants.

Every day, Ocós witnesses three or four vessels carrying around 15 to 20 migrants along this maritime route, according to a local official interviewed by El País. This route has traditionally been used by the Mexican trafficking group los Zetas to smuggle drugs, which has now reportedly diversified its portfolio with human smuggling.

Meanwhile, on March 13, 60 US senators signed an open letter warning of the potential adverse consequences of the preliminary 2018 budget proposal for maritime interdiction efforts. The proposed budget made no mention of the coast guard, according to the New York Times, but it nonetheless spurred fears of budget cuts for the coast guard in order to help strengthen security along the US-Mexico border and build a wall.

InSight Crime Analysis
Following the 2014 humanitarian crisis caused by the arrival of tens of thousands of undocumented children to the US-Mexico border, Mexico began cracking down on migrants travelling north through its territory, in large part due to pressure from the US. As a result, security was reinforced along its extremely porous southern border with Guatemala. Along with creating adverse consequences for the safety of migrants targeted by organized crime, the crackdown may well have led migrants to adapt and turn to maritime routes, as reported by El País.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Human Smuggling
Should President Donald Trump's now infamous wall be built, the same trend could repeat itself along Mexico's border with the United States. There is little reason to believe that criminal groups would not open drug trafficking maritime routes from Mexico to the United States to human smuggling, given the criminal profits to be made, or that migrants would not adapt and increasingly turn to maritime routes.

Moreover, this trend would likely be reinforced by cuts to the US Coast Guard's budget to help finance the construction of the wall. According to the New York Times, the Coast Guard stopped more than 6,000 undocumented migrants and seized 200 metric tons of cocaine during the 2016 fiscal year. The open letter from the US Senators referenced above says that the US Coast Guard intercepts more cocaine at sea than what is seized at ports of entry and amongst all other elements of domestic law enformcement combined.

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New Study Asks Why Voters Don't Punish Mexico Officials

Written by Patrick Corcoran  Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Mexico Security Policy


A new study from a Mexican academic seeks to establish under what circumstances Mexican voters punish politicians for insecurity, offering valuable insight into a major impediment to the nation's democratic accountability.

Sandra Ley's new paper, "Electoral Accountability in the Midst of Criminal Violence: Evidence from Mexico," starts from a premise that is both true and unfortunate: Mexican politicians are rarely held to account for the declines in security within their jurisdiction. This seems to contradict the natural reaction of any democratic electorate, and the challenge is further compounded in Mexico, where politicians are often not just unable to cope with security problems, but also active agents of insecurity.

Analyzing mayoral and gubernatorial elections during the Felipe Calderón era (2006-2012), and utilizing government tallies of organized crime-related violence, Ley concludes that voters were willing to vote out the incumbent party only when two conditions were met: When the incumbent party was President Calderón's National Action Party (PAN), and when the increase in violence was linked to organized crime. If either of those two factors were absent, the voters showed no significant tendency to vote out the incumbents.

The effects were further exaggerated when violence was directed at public officials, especially during electoral campaigns. According to Ley, a political science professor from Mexico City's Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), "For every violent event perpetrated against political actors over the course of the electoral process in a given municipality, the PAN's vote share decreases by 3.6 percentage points."

According to the author, this dynamic is a product of voters attempting to find "cognitive shortcuts" in determining who to blame. A problem as complicated as organized crime has multiple relevant actors -- for instance, the military, three levels of police, three levels of elected politicians, the judiciary, and the groups themselves -- and voters understandably struggle to determine who deserves the blame.
This struggle is further complicated as increasing insecurity becomes a political hot potato. Local officials can seek support from the state when they are unable to handle things along, and state officials can do the same with the federal government, after which every level has a plausible scapegoat for its own failings.

But only when the circumstances establish the simplest causality—when there is a great deal of organized crime-related violence, and only one party could possibly be to blame—are voters collectively capable of channeling the accountability toward the politicians.

InSight Crime Analysis
In some ways, the two necessary conditions for electoral accountability are entirely logical. Unlike regular street crime, organized crime typically has an active political component, in which the most powerful groups are protected. It therefore makes sense for voters to show more willingness to punish politicians when organized crime-related violence spikes.

As for the need for political alignment as a precondition, Calderón built his presidency on an anti-organized crime platform, so it is not surprising that he and his fellow PAN members suffered as the shortcomings of their approach became manifest. As Ley writes,

Overall, the results suggest that when a party attempts to "own" crime but fails to provide security, voters will punish its candidates at the polls, and even more so when political alignment facilitates responsibility attribution for poor security performance.

The problem is that merely limiting the blame to PAN politicians was woefully insufficient in the Calderón era. The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, held more than half of the statehouses and most of the nation's municipalities, so it retained ample influence over the nation's political system despite operating under a PAN presidency. Holding only PAN officials to account essentially gave a free pass to PRI officials, who collectively wielded as much or more influence over the political system's strategy to deal with organized crime.

Not coincidentally, the Calderón years brought some disturbing examples of PRI officials being rewarded at the ballot box despite overseeing security disasters. In 2011, former Coahuila governor Humberto Moreira was succeeded by another member of the PRI—his own brother, no less—despite Moreira being embroiled in a wide-ranging investigation stemming from allegations that he allowed the Zetas to take over the state.

In 2010, Juárez had become the world's most violent city under the watch of a PRI mayor and a PRI governor of Chihuahua. Nonetheless, when voters went to the polls that summer, they selected a PRI mayor and a PRI governor once more.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

It is possible that changes in the political dynamics (there is unlikely to be another president who bets his reputation on an iron fist on security matters) and in the political rules (as of 2014, reelection is permitted at the municipal level) may undercut the strength of Ley's conclusions. It is also possible that a catalog of scandals ensnaring governors from all parties may increase the public's willingness to look past political alignment.

But there's little evidence of this just yet. On the contrary, it seems that the arrival of a PRI president was the final straw for PRI gubernatorial candidates in Chihuahua, Durango, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas. In each of these states, the PRI retained the statehouse during the Calderón years, despite the governor having overseen a substantial deterioration in security, with longstanding and credible allegations of PRI officials colluding with criminal groups. In each of these states, the PRI gubernatorial candidate lost in 2016, now with Peña Nieto serving as president.

Unfortunately, the absence of consistent electoral accountability is a big part of the persistence of violence in Mexico. The incentives for politicians, who are generally motivated by their next election more than anything, and their parties are too disconnected from their performance on security. There is no certain punishment for the governor who sells his state to one criminal gang, or who allows his chief of police to protect one gang.

Until that changes, until the narrow conditions Ley identifies fall away, it is hard to imagine that Mexican politicians will be motivated by the public interest on security matter.

How 'invisible armor' could defeat bullets and blades

Ever wonder if there was such a thing as transparent armor? It sounds like something straight out of a comic book, but it's something the Navy has actually created.

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientists have created a remarkable transparent armor that is lightweight and still provides excellent protection.

Nearly as transparent as glass, the armor is essentially invisible protection from bullets. And if the armor surface is damaged, warfighters could fix it on the fly with something as simple as a hot plate and the armor will meld itself back together.

Think about how “bulletproof glass” (a misnomer since it is often only bullet resistant) works – you can see through it and it stops bullets.

Now what if you could do that for body armor and helmets? That’s the idea here.



This next-generation armor advance could also amp up transparent bulletproof walls to protect tourist attractions from the attacks we’ve seen in Paris and most recently, in London.

What’s the armor made of?

The transparent polymer armor gets its transparency from something known as tiny crystalline domains. The armor itself is made up of alternating layers of elastomeric polymer combined with a harder material substrate.

NRL scientists conducted tests using polymeric materials as a coating to try to enhance impact resistance.

By applying layers of the special materials to body armor and helmets, the result was better protection for warriors against bullets.

The armor also helped reduce the impact of blast waves caused by something like an IED explosion, which could potentially help prevent brain trauma.

When a bullet hits the armor

If you picture a windshield that has been struck by a rock kicked up while driving, the rock’s impact may cause damage that makes it difficult to see through the windshield.

One of the amazing things about this see-through armor is that when it's struck by a projectile, such as a bullet, it still retains its lucid nature. There’s virtually no impact on visibility and the damage is limited only to the spot where the bullet connected with the armor.

Repair vs. replace

The possibility exists that this futuristic body armor could be ironed back into shape after it sustained some hits, because of the material used to create it.

The material needs to be heated to around 100 degrees Celsius, which then causes it to become hot enough to melt the tiny crystallites. By heating the material, any impact from the bullet can be melded back together and returned to its normal state. Scientists believe that this sort of repair will not impact how the armor performs.

THIS FOAM STOPS BULLETS COLD AND PULVERIZES THEM TO DUST

Easy, fast repairs can be a great advantage for warfighters operating in remote locations and it can save money by repairing rather than replacing.

Implications for protecting against global terror attacks

In a scenario like the recent London attack, lightweight body armor approaches like the aforementioned can be very useful to protect armed officers from bladed weapons, bullets and other threats while the reduced weight can improve their speed, agility and flexibility of response.

Like the Capitol building in the US, armed officers protect the building and those working in and visiting the building. Based on the information provided publicly thus far, the terrorist wielded a bladed weapon and attacked British officers. One officer was tragically killed.

Guns and explosive devices are not the only methods of attack used by Islamic extremist terrorists. In Europe, terrorist plots and attacks have increasingly involved bladed weapons on foot as well the weaponization of vehicles.

Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State group have been actively promoting these sorts of attack methods.

Just last month in Paris, a terrorist tried to launch an attack with machetes at the popular tourist site of the Louvre museum. A French soldier stopped him before there were any casualties.

In 2013, two terrorists drove at British Army soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was walking a street in England. The terrorists then exited the vehicle, attacked him with blades and murdered him by hacking him to death.

Invisible Walls?

Ultimately, advances like NRLs in transparent armor could play a vital role in amping up “invisible” walls could be used to stop both people and vehicles from storming sites and areas. By enhancing protection, it could help prevent attacks and casualties.

Paris recently announced they are building an eight-foot bulletproof glass wall around the Eiffel Tower. Why? Tourist sites are attractive targets for terrorists. The goal is to stop not just bullets but prevent vehicles loaded with bombs from gaining access.

Transparent armor-ed up walls mean tourists can still enjoy an uninterrupted view while benefiting from enhanced protection.

Advanced armor like this can also become a deterrent to future attacks.

Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book "Future Weapons: Access Granted"  covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blue Lives Lost: Dramatic rise in police officers gunned down in line of duty in 2016

Of those men and women in blue who died in 2016, 62 were killed by gunfire – a marked rise from the 39 the year before – about a dozen of them shot by gunmen who set out to kill police.

In Baton Rouge, little 9-month-old Mason Jackson sees his father’s face every day, all the time – in photographs. His mother makes sure of that, makes sure he feels his father’s presence.

His mother tells him what a selfless, caring man his daddy, Montrell Jackson, was, and how much he wanted a child – they tried for nearly two years. She tells Mason how ecstatic Montrell was when he came into the world in March.



“That’s what hurts the most,” said Trenisha Jackson, “that he’s not here for his son. He was so excited about being a father. He felt his responsibility was to make sure he raised a wonderful young man. [Montrell’s] father was not in his life. He really wanted to be there for his son.”

Montrell Jackson, 32, was shot fatally in an ambush in July – when Mason was 4 months old – by a man targeting police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Baton Rouge Police Corporal Montrell Jackson, who was shot and killed by Gavin Long along with two other officers on July 17. (Officer Down Memorial Page)  That gunman killed a total of three officers – just a fraction of the nearly 140 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty this year, up from 130 in 2015, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a non-profit group founded and run by active and retired law enforcement officials.

The most recent shootings of police officers took place on Friday.



In Mt. Vernon, Washington, Mike “Mick” McLaurghry, a 30-year veteran, was shot in the back of the head while responding to a call. Officials said he was “hanging in there” in critical condition after surgery.

Later the same day, Sgt. Rob Hatchell, of Dallas, Oregon, was shot in the leg while attempting to arrest an intoxicated man.

Of those men and women in blue who died in 2016, 62 were killed by gunfire – a marked rise from the 39 the year before – about a dozen of them shot by gunmen who set out to kill police.

“What we’re seeing now, this year, is a big increase in gunfire murders of police officers,” Lt. Randy Sutton, a retired police officer and author who represents Blue Lives Matter, told FoxNews.com. “The methodology, where they are targeted attacks or ambushes or where people are lured into attacks, is up too. We haven’t seen that since the late ‘60s or ‘70s, when there was a tremendous amount of anti-police terrorism.”

Sutton, like many others in law enforcement, say that tension between police and minority groups like Black Lives Matter that have organized to focus attention on profiling and what they argue is unwarranted use of force has led some to see those in uniform as the enemy.

“It legitimizes a call for terror, a call for violence,” Sutton said. “It adds an element of danger for law enforcement.”



He added, “Of course not everyone who is in the protests believes that. But when there’s a mob in place and fervor builds up, people do things they wouldn’t normally do independently. And it can inspire lone wolf attacks. There are weak-minded people, some mentally disturbed, who absorb this call to action and act upon it.”

The methodology, where they are targeted attacks or ambushes or where people are lured into attacks ... we haven’t seen that since the late ‘60s or ‘70s, when there was a tremendous amount of anti-police terrorism.

- Randy Sutton, retired police lieutenant who represents Blue Lives Matter
The deadliest assaults occurred in July in Dallas and Baton Rouge amid protests over black men who had died in encounters with police.

A black gunman in Dallas opened fire on officers at a Black Lives Matter protest, killing five officers and wounding four others.

Tensions rose in Baton Rouge, where thousands of people were angry over the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white Baton Rouge officers after a confrontation at a convenience store.

Those in law enforcement say they know they are signing up for a potentially dangerous job when they enter the profession.

“There are risks every officer knows going in,” Sutton said. “That includes everything from going up against an armed suspect who is going to resist and going to do everything to escape, including shooting to try and kill you, to being struck by a car during a traffic stop.”

He went on, “But what is particularly frightening and disturbing at this point are the assassinations and entrapments, where police officers are lured into situations [in order] to kill them.”

Before her husband’s death, Ternisha Jackson just let the day-to-day risks of police work stay on the margins of her thoughts.

“Montrell loved his job,” his widow said. “We put the risks out of our minds.”

The growing protests outside police departments across the country, however, concerned her.

“That was the first time I became afraid, I was afraid for him, after everything taking place,” she said. “I was going out of my mind. I never feared for his life until the protests.”

She understands the anger many people feel toward police. She knows, too, that some of it could be justified. But the answer, she says, is not violence.

“I get pulled over, and it’s for a reason,” she said. “A broken tail light, it’s for [your] safety ... Police die protecting you. They chose to protect and serve, and they deserve respect.”

When someone encounters a police who acts unprofessionally, Jackson said, “They should call them out, file a report.”

In Texas, Cpl. Marcie St. John knew that a large but peaceful protest was underway in Dallas in response to fatal police shootings that week in Baton Rouge and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

She had finished her shift at about 8:30 p.m. and was on her way home – looking toward starting vacation the next day -- when she received a phone call from a colleague in law enforcement.

“My friend calls me and said, ‘Something is going downtown,’ something major,” St. John recalled.



Within minutes, she got an alert from her department, asking that everyone be ready to report to duty. At home, as she put on her tactical gear, she got a call from another friend who told her that her best friend, Michael Smith, her former partner, had been shot while on duty at the protest.

“He was a sound cop, a strong cop,” said St. John, whose brother, who also was a police officer, died in the line of duty when they both were rookies. “I never, ever thought it would happen to Mike.”

Sgt. Michael Smith was one of five Dallas police officers Micah Johnson killed on July 7. (Dallas Police Department) The killer was 25-year-old Micah Johnson, an Army veteran who told authorities he was upset about fatal police shootings and wanted to exterminate policemen, "especially white officers," officials said.

Johnson, who was killed by a robot-delivered bomb dispatched by Dallas police, had amassed a personal arsenal at his suburban home, including bomb-making materials, bulletproof vests, rifles, ammunition and a journal of combat tactics.

The killings marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In all, 12 officers were shot.



“Everything that’s going on in law enforcement, officers being ambushed,” said St. John, “in my 25-year career, I’ve never seen this. All of our officers – their lives and their deaths – have to matter.”

She has been helping Smith's widow, Heidi, and their two young daughters put their lives back together.

The youngest daughter, who was 9 at the time of Smith's killing, has thought back to her last conversation with her father before he went off to work.

Smith asked his daughter for a kiss, but she said she was busy playing a game. He pressed again, saying "This may be the last time,” St. John said he told her.

Ten days before his own death, Montrell Jackson felt deeply distressed over the contentious protests and Dallas ambush – both as a police officer and a black man.

He said as much in a message he posted on his Facebook page.

 “I’m tired physically and emotionally,” he wrote, according to screen shots of his post, which was taken down after his death. “Disappointed in some family, friends and officers for some reckless comments, but hey, what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy, but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same. Thank you to everyone [who] has reached out to me or my wife – it was needed and much appreciated. I swear to God I love this city, but I wonder if this city loves me.”


Jackson saw himself as a bridge between police and black residents, saying he understood the difficulty of being in each group’s shoes.

“I’ve experienced so much in my short life, and the past 3 days have tested me to the core,” he wrote. “In uniform, I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”


He appealed to protesters.

“Please don’t let hate infect your heart,” Jackson wrote. “This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets, so any protesters, officers, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer, I got you.”

In Missouri, Gavin Eugene Long, a black separatist, never saw, or cared about, Jackson’s plea. He traveled to Baton Rouge to hunt for police officers.

And that is where he ended the life of little Mason’s father.

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on https://twitter.com/Liz_Llorente

Origami inspired shield might save police officer's lives

Posted by Jessica Romero

A mechanical engineer professor took on the problem of police protection and he might have found a great solution. He and his team drew inspiration from an unlikely source: origami.

The shield can be compactly folded and easily transported. It consists of thin sheets of Kevlar and is about as heavy as a large suitcase. Even though it is compact it expands in five seconds which allows it to be used in unexpected dangerous situations.

The designer also pictured it being used to protect children and other people in dangerous situations where there is no cover.

According to Daily Mail:

Design is made up of 12 layers of bulletproof Kevlar.

Weighs only 55 pounds (25 kilograms). Many of the steel shields currently used approach 100 pounds (45 kilograms).

It uses a Yoshimura origami crease pattern to expand around an officer, providing protection on the side in addition to protecting them in the front.

When expanded — which takes only five seconds — it can provide cover for officers and stop bullets from several types of handguns.

In testing, the barrier successfully stopped bullets from smaller 9 mm pistols, all the way up to .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum 'hand cannons'.

Read more: http://kfiam640.iheart.com/onair/tim-conway-jr-33371/origami-inspired-shield-might-save-police-15574462/#ixzz4buad5gz8

This foam stops bullets cold and pulverizes them to dust

Foam body armor? Even armor-piercing bullets cannot get through this foam.

And the foam doesn’t just stop bullets. It destroys them…this foam decimates bullets into dust.

North Carolina State University Professor Afsaneh Rabiei led the team that created the amazing foam.  This is not ordinary foam like the kind used for shaving, for example. This is a special type of foam called composite metal foams, or CMF.  The military and law enforcement could use this kind of foam for advanced, ultra light body armor to protect personnel.

And this research team has other foams up its sleeve that have the potential to keep military and first responders safe from radiation and extreme heat too.

BULLET V. FOAM



Sound impossible that foam-based armor could stop armor piercing rounds? Testing has proved it is indeed possible.  In tests conducted by the development team, the foam body armor was able to defeat an armor-piercing bullet. And on impact, their foam smashed the bullet into powder.

 To challenge the foam material with bullets, the team built a shield. The strike face - the side facing the weapon - was made with the new composite metal foam together with boron carbide ceramics. The backplates – the side that would face the user - were made of Kevlar.

In tests, the team shot at the foam body armor with 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing round.

How well did it work?

Their foam absorbed the bullet’s kinetic energy.

The foam worked so well that an armor-piercing round could only penetrate less than an inch on the weapon-facing side of the shield.

On the side facing the warfighter’s body, the bullet was only able to cause an 8 mm indentation on the back .

Body armor innovation is important because it can save lives.

The National Institute of Justice standard allows up to 44 mm indentation from a bullet on side facing the user– so the foam performs  80 percent better than the maximum standard.

HOW IS IT MADE?

In basic terms, the foam is a composite metal foam. What does that mean?

THE 5 COOLEST MILITARY INNOVATIONS OF 2016

To make it, the team takes molten metal and bubbles gas through it. This process creates a sort of froth. When the froth cools, it becomes a lightweight, ultra strong matrix material.

Processes like 3D printing and milling can also be used to make composite metal foam.

The team first produced a foam shield that could block radiation.

This foam is able to stop and block X-rays. In tests, it can even protect against various forms of gamma rays.  According to NASA, gamma rays are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe like supernova explosions and areas around black holes. Here on Earth, they can also be produced in nuclear fission.  In tests, the foam could also protect against neutron radiation that can be produced by nuclear fission or fusion.  To develop radiation shielding, the team created a “high-Z steel-steel foam”. This one is a combination of stainless steel with a small amount of tungsten shaped into hollow spheres. This is then introduced into the steel matrix and creates the foam.

Current protection options tend to be very cumbersome, awkward and heavy. The foam shielding could provide a lightweight, strong alternative for the military. It could also have potential for transportation and storage of hazardous materials.

Space exploration and transportation of nuclear waste are just two other examples of how this foam could be used.

The Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy supported the team’s development of foam that is two times better at protecting against fire and heat as regular metal.

For example, their lightweight stainless steel foam was far more effective than stainless steel.

To examine the foam’s heat protection, the team tested some of the foam that was 0.75 inches thick against 800 degrees Celsius fire for 30 minutes. And they tested a regular piece of stainless steel the same size and width against the same heat.

Which resisted the heat better? The foam. The foam withstood the heat twice as long.

It took four minutes for the extreme heat to reach the other side of the regular stainless steel from the fire. The team’s foam withstood the heat for eight minutes before it reached the other end.

Being able to withstand heat longer could provide a number of advantages. For example, it could mean the difference between an accident causing an explosion – or not.

Foam like this could also be leveraged by the military to safely transport and store explosives. It could even be used for the safekeeping and transfer of nuclear and other hazardous materials.

Go inside dangerous missions and hear firsthand from American Special Operations warriors about how they have used advanced body armor in combat on Tactical Talk.

Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book "Future Weapons: Access Granted"  covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.

'Outmanned & outgunned:' Tribal police officers face dangerous challenges

The shooting death of 27-year-old Navajo Nation Police Officer Houston James Largo, who was responding to a routine domestic violence call in the remote community of Prewitt, N.M. on Sunday, highlights the unique challenges his agency faces in fighting crime.

Tribal officers often patrol vast, desolate areas – sometimes 1,000 miles at a time – that are often more underdeveloped and dangerous than other parts of the country. And they do so without many of the resources and funding other law enforcement agencies receive.

So the officers often find themselves outmanned, outgunned and unprepared.

“One of the most trying times I have in serving as president of the Navajo Nation is when I get word that one of our police officers has had their life taken needlessly,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a press release. “It brings to mind the situations our officers face every day in responding to calls, getting in their unit and putting their lives on the line. It must be difficult for family members to know their loved ones might not return.”

Begaye has called for continued support of police officers who are protecting the Navajo Nation.

It sometimes takes tribal officers more than an hour to respond to calls and many times they do so alone without any backup.

“Our nation mourns for you as does the country,” Begaye said. “Our officer’s lives are precious. They are the ones who stand guard over our nation and protect us.”

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie said a major problem the Nation faces is domestic violence, which has plagued the Navajo Nation for years.

More on this...

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“Unfortunately, many of our officers face this devastating issue every day when they are on duty and sadly it resulted in the loss of one of our bravest today,” Yazzie said in a statement on Sunday.

Prewitt, N.M., a tiny community not counted by the U.S. Census, rests along Interstate 40, which is 81 miles west of Albuquerque, the state’s capital and its largest city.

It is remote areas like this, defined by majestic red mesas, patches of sagebrush in rust-colored dirt, enclaves of mobile homes in various states of wear and disrepair, and dark, winding roads – many not even paved – that comprise the typical patrol areas for officers like Largo of the Navajo Nation .

The four-and-a-half-year veteran was one of 200 patrol officers, 70 short of what is mandated by the tribe. They patrol 27,425 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah that house the nation’s largest Indian reservation, which has a population of 180,000.

Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco told Fox News that it is not unusual for one officer to be responsible for patrolling 1,000 miles.

“The Crownpoint District, where officer Largo served, is our largest at over 4,000 square miles and we typically have five officers on per shift,” Francisco said. “It can take officers more than an hour to respond to a call, mostly by themselves.”

Francisco said this daunting challenge places his officers in one of the most unique categories of any law enforcement agency in the nation despite assistance from New Mexico State Police and the sheriff departments of the counties where the reservations reside.

Prewitt is nestled in McKinley County in northwest New Mexico. The FBI investigates violent crimes in the region since Indian land is on federal property. But the tribal police officers are basically on their own for other crimes. A Safe Trails Task Force initiative was formed in 1994 to combat a growing crime wave in Indian Country.

“Most departments in the country have more than 20 officers per 10,000 residents. We have 11,” Francisco said. “This is a staggering amount of area and people to cover.”

Contrary to the 1970s hit, Ball of Confusion by the Temptations, which had a line that said…”the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation,” the reality is that per capita reservations are among the most dangerous.

Federal statistics in 2013 shocked the nation. The numbers showed the violent crime rate on Indian reservations was 20 times the national average. The homicide rate passed that of Seattle and Boston.

By 2015, the homicide rate had dropped to 17, the number of rapes decreased to 64 and there were 1,358 cases of aggravated assault.

Domestic violence rates have long been off the charts – many times fueled by alcohol abuse.

These toxic factors mixed together sometimes have dangerous consequences for police officers putting their life on the line. Other than Largo, Navajo Nation Police Officer Alex Yazzie, 42, also was killed in the line of duty in 2015.

"Our officers put themselves in highly volatile situations every day in addressing domestic violence situations," Begaye said in his statement. "Although they are highly trained, they can still be severely wounded, which unfortunately is what happened today."

McKinley County Sheriff Ron Silversmith had worked with Largo both when he served with the Gallup Police Department and the sheriff’s department. He said he knows first-hand the dangers police officers face when they patrol the remote Navajo Reservation.

"It is probably one of the most dangerous jobs a police officer can have," Silversmith said. "There are a lot of times where there is no radio contact and you're on your own. You have to be strong willed to work out there."

Silversmith said officers are regularly out in the middle of nowhere on their own. It gets so dark in some areas you cannot see your hand in front of your face.

"They are short staffed and outnumbered and out gunned," he said.

Begaye said the tribe recently upgraded equipment and protective devices for its police department. But they still fall far behind other departments. Francisco said he needs to send recruits to Arizona Department of Public Safety’s academy because their building was condemned.

The other challenge he faces is recruiting new officers. The officers are paid $5 per hour less than surrounding state and municipal law enforcement agencies. And, with the vast amount of land that needs to be patrolled, recruits are far and few between.

In the meantime, the police department is burying another police officer.

Officials said a suspect is in custody in the Largo case but has not released the person’s name. The suspect will face federal charges, police said.


Joseph J. Kolb is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino.

Immigration judges headed to 12 U.S. cities to speed deportations

By Julia Edwards Ainsley | WASHINGTON

The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials.

How many judges will be reassigned and when they will be sent is still under review, according to the officials, but the Justice Department has begun soliciting volunteers for deployment.

The targeted cities are New York; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; San Francisco; Baltimore, Bloomington, Minnesota; El Paso, Texas; Harlingen, Texas; Imperial, California; Omaha, Nebraska and Phoenix, Arizona. They were chosen because they are cities which have high populations of illegal immigrants with criminal charges, the officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review, which administers immigration courts, confirmed that the cities have been identified as likely recipients of reassigned immigration judges, but did not elaborate on the planning.

The plan to intensify deportations is in line with a vow made frequently by President Donald Trump on the campaign trail last year to deport more illegal immigrants involved in crime.

The Department of Homeland Security asked for the judges' reshuffle, an unusual move given that immigration courts are administered by the Department of Justice. A Homeland Security spokeswoman declined to comment on any plan that has not yet been finalized.

Under an executive order signed by Trump in January, illegal immigrants with pending criminal cases are regarded as priorities for deportation whether they have been found guilty or not.

That is a departure from former President Barack Obama's policy, which prioritized deportations only of those convicted of serious crimes.

 A man, who was deported from the U.S. seven months ago, receives candy from his nephew across a fence separating Mexico and the United States as photographed from Tijuana, Mexico, March 4, 2017. Picture taken from the Mexican side of the border.  REUTERS/Jorge Duenes/Files
A man, who was deported from the U.S. seven months ago, receives candy from his nephew across a fence separating Mexico and the United States as photographed from Tijuana, Mexico, March 4, 2017. Picture taken from the Mexican side of the border. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes/Files
The policy shift has been criticized by advocate groups who say it unfairly targets immigrants who might ultimately be acquitted and do not pose a threat.

The cities slated to receive more judges have more than half of the 18,013 pending immigration cases that involve undocumented immigrants facing or convicted of criminal charges, according to data provided by the Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review.

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More than 200 of those cases involve immigrants currently incarcerated, meaning that the others have either not been convicted or have served their sentence. The Justice Department did not provide a breakdown of how many of the remainder have been convicted and how many are awaiting trial.

As part of the Trump administration crackdown on illegal immigrants, the Justice Department is also sending immigration judges to detention centers along the southwest border. Those temporary redeployments will begin Monday.

'AIMLESS DOCKET RESHUFFLING'

Former immigration judge and chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals Paul Schmidt said the Trump administration should not assume that all those charged with crimes would not be allowed to stay in the United States legally.

"It seems they have an assumption that everyone who has committed a crime should be removable, but that's not necessarily true. Even people who have committed serious crimes can sometimes get asylum," Schmidt said.

He also questioned the effectiveness of shuffling immigration judges from one court to another, noting that this will mean cases the judges would have handled in their usual courts will have to be rescheduled. He said that when he was temporarily reassigned to handle cases on the southern border in 2014 and 2015, cases he was slated to hear in his home court in Arlington, Virginia had to be postponed, often for more than a year.

"That's what you call aimless docket reshuffling," he said.

Under the Obama administration, to avoid the expense and disruption of immigration judges traveling, they would often hear proceedings from other courthouses via video conference.

The judges' reshuffling could further logjam a national immigration court system which has more than 540,000 pending cases.

The cities slated to receive more judges have different kinds of immigrant populations.

Imperial, California, for example, is in one of the nation's largest agriculture hubs, attracting large numbers of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico and Central America.

Bloomington, Minnesota, near St. Paul, is home to a large number of African immigrants, many of whom traveled from war-torn countries like Somalia to claim asylum in the United States.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by Sue Horton and Alistair Bell)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Good Police Officer Kill Idiot Terrorists Attackers In Saudi Arabia

Hero police officer shoots dead two ISIS terrorists wearing explosive belts in a dramatic gunfight captured on camera in the Saudi Arabian capital

The dramatic shootout happened at dawn in the north of the capital, Riyadh
Police raid a house after receiving information of explosives being prepared
Bystanders were rushed into a nearby mosque as it spilled onto the streets
Despite the terrorists being armed with machine guns, an officer shoots them with a pistol

By Paddy Dinham For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 16:50 EST, 7 January 2017 | UPDATED: 19:16 EST, 7 January 2017

Dramatic footage has emerged showing police officers and ISIS terrorists engaged in a shootout in Saudi Arabia.  The street battle began at around dawn, in the Jasmine district towards the north of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Security agencies obtained information that there was a gang preparing explosives, and launched a daring raid.


A video taken from a bedroom window shows the terrorists, armed with machine guns, approaching the police car But the suspects inside refused to surrender and a gunfight ensued, as shocked citizens watched on from their homes. The terrorists, who were strapped with suicide belts, are believed to have taken a prisoner hostage in the incident. Those who were out in the street when the shootout started were ushered to safety into a nearby mosque.  A video taken from a bedroom window shows the terrorists, armed with machine guns, approaching the police car. They get right up to the vehicle, but as they do, one of the police officers manages to shoot them at point blank range with a pistol.

In the background, a woman can be heard crying hysterically as she watches the drama unfold. They get right up to the vehicle, but as they do, one of the police officers manages to shoot them at point blank range with a pistol.  The hero police officer is currently in hospital recovering from his injuries.


Pictures released by the state sponsored Saudi Press Agency purports to show the two ISIS militants, although no names have yet been released.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Terrorists enter the US from Canada daily

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/10/17/with-focus-on-mexico-border-criminals-terrorists-may-be-entering-via-canada/

Monday, August 29, 2016

San Antonio Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Federal Prison for Receipt of Child Pornography

In San Antonio today, 29-year-old John Michael Rymers was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for receipt of child pornography announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Fred Biery ordered that Rymers pay $20,000 restitution to his victims and be placed under supervised release for the remainder of his life after completing his prison term. 
On October 23, 2015, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized a laptop computer and related media.  A forensics examination on the seized items revealed the presence of approximately 150 videos and 1,150 images depicting child pornography.
According to court records, Rymers has engaged in the sexual exploitation of minors over the past six years including attempts to hack into the computer systems of minors as young as 14 in order to obtain nude and sexually explicit images and videos of these individuals; and, using false personas, mainly of young women, in order to persuade, coerce and entice minor females to create and send to him sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.

Rymers has remained in custody since being arrested in October 2015.  On May 12, 2016, Rymers pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography. 
This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Antonio Child Exploitation Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visithttp://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html.

Illegal Alien Sentenced For Possession Of Firearms And Ammunition

Orlando, Florida– U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II has sentenced Hamid Mohamed Ahmed Ali Rehaif (25, Melbourne, and a citizen of the United Arab Emirates) to 18 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful alien. Following his prison term, he will be deported back to the United Arab Emirates. Rehaif was found guilty by a federal jury in May 2016.

According to evidence presented at trial, Rehaif was admitted into the United States in 2013 under a student visa in order to attend the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). After completing three semesters at FIT, he was academically dismissed in December 2014. As a result, Rehaif became an unlawful alien when he failed to immediately depart the United States. During that time, Rehaif possessed firearms and ammunition at a local shooting range in Melbourne, Florida. In addition, he provided ammunition to two hotel employees as “gifts.” At the sentencing hearing, the Court found that Rehaif had illegally purchased three other firearms.



Law enforcement agents originally made contact with Rehaif in December 2015, at a hotel in Melbourne where he had been living for two months. According to court documents, Rehaif stayed at the hotel for 53 straight days and paid over $11,000 in room fees. Law enforcement found rounds of handgun and rifle ammunition in his hotel room and in a storage unit that Rehaif had rented, but did not locate any firearms.  

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Melbourne Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina R. Downes.

Holliston Man Charged in Connection with Weapons Trove

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2016
Holliston Man Charged in Connection with Weapons Trove

BOSTON – A Holliston man was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with his possession of a trove of weapons, ammunition and incendiary material, and his threats to use them.

Joseph Garguilo, 40, was charged in a criminal complaint with being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition.  Garguilo is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal in Boston today at 2:30 p.m.                                                                      

According to the charging documents, on July 27, 2016, the FBI received information Garguilo had recently acquired parts to make an AR-15 rifle, and he was stockpiling other weapons including tasers, mace guns, hunting knives and thermite (an incendiary).  Around the same time Garguilo allegedly stated that “he will plant a bomb in police station…and kill as many homeland security officers as he can before they kill him.”  The FBI then initiated an investigation.  In recent days, the FBI learned that Garguilo had stated that he wanted to attack a mosque and/or kill President Obama.  Garguilo also allegedly said he wanted to, “chain a mosque closed and burn it down.”  Garguilo did not mention any specific mosque or time for this attack. The FBI also learned that Garguilo was stockpiling food and water as part of his plan, and that an acquaintance of Garguilo’s believed he was “about to snap.”



On Aug. 26, 2017, federal agents conducted a search of Garguilo’s residence and seized parts to assemble an AR-15 rifle, ammunition for the AR-15 rifle, nine millimeter ammunition, chemicals that could be combined to create incendiary or explosive compounds, and hand written notes threatening violent attacks against members of the Islamic faith.

As alleged in court documents, Garguilo is the subject of an active restraining order which prohibits him from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon a finding that “there is substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse…”

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Holliston Police Chief John J. Moore; and Medway Police Chief Allen M. Tingley, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori Holik and Mark Grady of Ortiz’s Criminal Division.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

DoD Taps DEF CON Hacker Traits For Cybersecurity Training Program

Famed capture-the-packet contest technology will become part of DoD training as well.

The Defense Department for the second year in a row sent one of its top directors to DEF CON in Las Vegas this month, but it wasn’t for recruiting purposes.

So what was Frank DiGiovanni, director of force training in DoD’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, doing at DEF CON? “My purpose was to really learn from people who come to DEF CON … Who are they? How do I understand who they are? What motivates them? What sort of attributes” are valuable to the field, the former Air Force officer and pilot who heads overall training policy for the military, says.

DiGiovanni interviewed more than 20 different security industry experts and executives during DEF CON. His main question:  “If you’re going to hire someone to either replace you or eventually be your next cyber Jedi, what are you looking for?”



The DEF CON research is part of DiGiovanni’s mission to develop a state-of-the-art cyber training program that ultimately helps staff the military as well as private industry with the best possible cybersecurity experts and to fill the infamous cybersecurity skills gap today. The program likely will employ a sort of ROTC-style model where DoD trains the students and they then owe the military a certain number of years of employment.

With the help of DEF CON founder Jeff Moss, DiGiovanni over the the past year has met and then picked the brains of, seasoned hackers and the people who hire them about the types of skills, characteristics, and know-how needed for defending organizations from today’s attackers.

DiGiovanni, who is also responsible for helping shape retention and recruitment policy efforts in the DoD, has chatted with CEOs of firms that conduct penetration testing, as well as pen testers and other security experts themselves, to get a clearer picture of the types of skills DoD should be teaching, testing, and encouraging, for future cybersecurity warriors and civilians.

This is the second phase of the development of a prototype cyber training course he spearheads for DoD at Fort McNair: the intensive six-month prototype program currently consists of 30 students from all branches of the military as well as from the US Department of Homeland Security. It’s all about training a new generation of cybersecurity experts.

The big takeaway from DiGiovanni’s DEF CON research: STEM, aka science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, was not one of the top skills organizations look for in their cyber-Jedis. “Almost no one talked about technical capabilities or technical chops,” he says. “That was the biggest revelation for me.”

DiGiovanni compiled a list of attributes for the cyber-Jedi archetype based on his interviews. The ultimate hacker/security expert, he found, has skillsets such as creativity and curiosity, resourcefulness, persistence, and teamwork, for example.

A training exercise spinoff of DEF CON’s famed capture-the-packet (CTP) contest also will become part of the DoD training program. DiGiovanni recruited DEF CON CTP and Wall of Sheep mastermind Brian Markus to repurpose his capture-the-packet technology as a training exercise module. “In October, he will submit to the government a repackaged capture-the-packet training capability for DoD, which is huge,” DiGiovanni says. Also on tap is a capture-the-flag competition, DoD-style, he says.

One of the security experts DiGiovanni met with at DEF CON this year was Patrick Upatham, global director of advanced cybersecurity at Digital Guardian. “I was a little apprehensive at first,” Upatham says. “After learning what they are doing and the approach that they are taking, it totally made sense.”

“He [Frank] is looking for a completely different mindset and background, and [to] then train that person with the technical detail” to do the job, Upatham says. “They are looking for folks who are more resourceful and persistent, and creative in their mindset.”

DoD’s training program is about being more proactive in building out its cybersecurity workforce. That’s how it has to work now, given that more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs were left unfilled last year overall. DoD’s Cyber Mission Force is calling for some 6,200 positions to be filled.

The goal is to train that workforce in both offensive and defensive security skills. That means drilling down on the appropriate problem-based learning, for example. The current prototype training program doesn’t require a four-year degree, and it’s more of a “journeyman apprentice” learning model, DiGiovanni says.

About 80% or so is hands-on keyboard training, he says, with the rest is lecture-based. “A lot of the lectures are by the students themselves, with a learn-by-teaching model,” he says.

DiGiovanni gave an example of one student in the DoD training program who came in knowing nothing about security. The young man was a self-professed  “cable dog” at Fort Meade, a reference to his job of pulling cable through pipes. But when he finished the six-month DoD course, he was reverse-engineering malware.

“When he came to the course, he didn’t know what a ‘right-click’” of a mouse was, nor did he have any software technology experience, DiGiovanni recalls. “To me, that’s a heck of a success story.”

The next step is determining how to scale the DoD training program so that it can attract and train enough cyber warriors for the future. The goal is to hand off the training program to a partner organization to run it and carry it forward, possibly as early as this fall, he says.

Meantime, DiGiovanni says the DEF CON hacker community is a key resource and potential partner. “The security of our nation is at stake. I think it’s imperative for DoD to embrace the DEF CON community because of the unique skill they bring to the table,” he says. “They want to serve and contribute, and the nation needs them.”

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Monday, August 22, 2016

"You call. We Meet. We Search. You Enter Safely!"

LOS ANGELES - Aug. 22, 2016 - PRLog -- RyPul Threat Assessments is now offering "ARRIVE SAFE" in the Southern California market. Arrive Safe are very professional and personalized security services to those who are a little uncomfortable about returning to an empty home, business, apartment or rental property after an extended time away, for fear of being accosted by some unwanted person who could be waiting inside.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

U.S. Special Ops orders new batch of low-profile pickups from Battelle

 U.S. Special Ops orders new batch of low-profile pickups from Battelle
By Gary GasteluPublished July 27, 2016FoxNews.com

And you thought your pickup was special.

Battelle has landed a second contract to supply U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with stealthy, armored trucks built to blend into the background in potentially hostile environments.

Similar to the commercial security vehicles that Battelle builds, the trucks were designed to maintain their stock appearance while providing military-grade levels of protection.

The non-profit R&D outfit has been modifying Toyota Hilux pickups for SOCOM under a contract for “Non Standard Commercial Vehicles” that began in 2013. It will add foreign market Toyota Land Cruisers and Ford Rangers as the partnership is extended over the next five years through a $170 million deal for several hundred trucks.



The models were chosen for both their baseline capabilities and popularity in the theaters where they will be used. Program Manager Jim Labine says Battelle uses a combination of consumer aftermarket and custom-made parts to fully convert the trucks’ suspensions and beef up their drivetrains to improve their off-road chops and better handle the thousands of pounds of armor added.

That armor is a mix of Dyneema plates hidden under the bodywork and sapphire-reinforced glass. Several levels of protection will be offered -- all classified, of course -- but the most potent models can provide protection on all sides, top and bottom included, from large-caliber firearms and IED shrapnel. Self-sealing fuel tanks and run flat tires are also employed.

Labine says a major engineering challenge is fitting the inflexible materials inside the existing bodywork without encroaching too much on the interior space, or leaving any gaps in coverage. From the outside, the trucks are nearly indistinguishable from the showroom versions. The only noticeable difference on the Ranger prototype is its very slightly thicker window trim.

The new trucks will be evaluated over the course of the next year before production begins, overlapping with fulfilment of the original contract.

Paranoid, off-roading fanatics shouldn’t waste their time looking for the trucks at their local military surplus auction anytime soon, however. Labine says that the upgrades have the secondary benefit of extending their lifecycles, and, even if SOCOM doesn’t destroy the evidence when it finishes with them, you’d probably walk right by them on the lot, anyway.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

11 Police Robots Patrolling Around the World

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACROSS the globe use semi-autonomous technology to do what humans find too dangerous, boring, or just can’t. This week, the Cleveland Police had a few nonlethal ones on hand at the Republican National Convention. But even those can be outfitted to kill, as we saw in Dallas earlier this month when police strapped a bomb to an explosive-detonation robot, and boom: a non-lethal robot became a killer. If that thought scares you, you’re not alone. Human rights activists worry these robots lack social awareness crucial to decision-making. “For example, during mass protests in Egypt in January 2011 the army refused to fire on protesters, an action that required innate human compassion and respect for the rule of law,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim of Amnesty International in a statement last year arguing that the UN should ban killer robots. More than a thousand robotics experts, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, signed a letter last summer warning against machines that can select targets without human control. We wanted to find out just how many of these things are in use around the world. But law enforcement isn’t exactly forthcoming about the topic, so this list is not exhaustive. Here’s what we found.




With the Republican National Convention underway, Cleveland police have enlisted the help of a new robot named Griffin, built by students from the local community college. Standing only 12 inches tall, the six-wheeled rover is designed to go places police can’t fit, like under a car or behind dumpsters to look for explosives. Griffin is equipped with a camera and light, which allows police to scope out the situation from a monitor at a safe distance. Unlike the larger bomb squad and military grade robots, like the one police strapped an explosive to in Dallas, Griffin is light enough to be deployed quickly without needing to be hauled out in a big truck. And it’s one of many robots Ohio police have on hand. Public records requests show Ohio law enforcement have received 40 robots from the federal 1033 program that transfers military equipment to local law enforcement.

India’s Riot-Control Drones
Police in the Uttar Pradesh region of India last year purchased a set of Skunk drones built to shower crowds with pepper spray and paintballs. The drone, manufactured by South African firm Desert Wolf, can hover mid-air over a protest and fire up to 20 paintballs (or other “non-lethal” ammunition) per second while simultaneously dispersing tear gas pellets onto people. Police control the drone from the ground, which levitates via eight motors that each power a 16-inch propeller. It’s outfitted with onboard speakers so authorities can communicate with crowds, as well as bright strobe lights and “eye safe” lasers to disorient and disperse a gathering. And of course, no drone is complete without surveillance capability. The Skunk comes packed with a thermal camera, an HD camera, and an onboard microphone, you know, to give the cops something to watch later.

South Korea's Prison Robo-Guards
Correctional officers at Pohang prison in South Korea had robot to help keep watch for them, during a trial in 2012.  Standing 5-feet tall, the Robo-Guard is equipped with 3D cameras and software to recognize inmate behavior. The robot’s makers say it’s able to report when something seems abnormal, like if there’s a fight or an inmate on the floor. The human in the control center can communicate with prisoners via the robot’s two-way radios. It’s unclear whether the robots were put into full-time use in South Korea after the tests, though recent reports indicate South Korea is now building robo-guards to keep patrol during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Isreal's Deadly Rover
This 26-pound, eleven 11-inch-tall robot is packing a 9mm Glock pistol. Designed by Israeli firm General Robotics Ltd with help from the Israeli Police Counter Terrorism Unit, the Dogo can fire up to five rounds in two seconds. This small land rover can enter a house quietly, climb stairs, and even maneuver over obstacles. Ready with eight cameras and two-way audio, the Dogo allows police to communicate with  and fire upon suspects without risking their lives, according to the company’s website.  If law enforcement aren’t looking to kill, the Dogo can also carry pepper spray or a dazzling light module to cause temporary blindness.

LAPD’s Huge Smasher
The Bat Cat—shorthand for Bomb Assault Tactical Control Assessment Tool—is the Los Angeles Police Department’s radio-controlled monster. Designed to pick up a car bomb with its massive, 50-foot telescoping arm, this unmanned ground vehicle reaches top speed at six miles per hour. While it might have been designed to remove massive explosives, the Bat Cat can also rip through a house in minutes, according to The Los Angeles Times,which reported that the LAPD used it to tear down the walls of a home during a standoff in 2011. Cops can switch out the end of the telescoping arm with a claw, a bucket, a forklift, or battering rams, and it can handle a payload of around 12,000 pounds, more than enough to haul your typical car bomb far from harm’s way. The Bat Cat was constructed on the chassis of a Caterpillar Telehandler, so it’s basically just pimped out remote-controlled forklift. Still, best to keep your distance.

Japan's Drone-Catching Drone
This is meta. Japanese police are using drones to take down drones, but they’re not shooting them. That would cause debris. Instead police are using a net. Japanese police introduced a net-wielding drone fleet earlier this year to catch suspicious looking small unmanned aircrafts that fly over sensitive government locations like butterflies. It takes a giant net to catch a drone, and the police fleet is equipped with a 6.5-foot-by-10-foot lattice. Last, year, the BBC reported that police deployed the net drones  in response to a drone carrying a non-harmful amount of radioactive sand that landed on the roof of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s house—a stunt that turned out to be a protest by an anti-nuclear activist. Japan’s drone-catching drone certainly seems a lot safer than the Dutch National Police Force’s solution—they trained eagles to take down unauthorized drones.

Brazil’s Olympic Peacekeepers
The Olympics are in less than a month, and Motherboard reports that Brazilian police forces are pulling out all the stops, including calling on a number of model 510 PackBots that were originally acquired in preparation for the World Cup, a military grade bomb detection and reconnaissance robot that was used after the Fukushima meltdown in Japan and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each PackBot 510 weighs around 65 pounds and carries with it four cameras, as well as its main feature, a 6-foot telescoping arm that can lift a 30-pound payload. PackBots are primarily deployed for bomb detection and disposal; it can even use mechanical wire cutters attached to the end of its arm. The PackBot climbs stairs, maneuvers in water, and can crawl around at about 6 miles per hour, faster than most adults jog. With millions of people coming to town for the Olympics, Brazilian police will use the technology to inspect suspicious packages.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Traffic Robocops
In Kinshasa, the sprawling capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo,  The Guardian reports that city officials installed a handful of giant solar-powered robot traffic cops in 2013 in an effort to reduce deaths and get more people to follow traffic rules. Decked out in cool sunglasses, the massive humanoid robots stand at busy intersections as kind of an all-in-one traffic light/crosswalk/traffic camera. The robots direct traffic with arms that signal red and green flags, and usher pedestrians safely across wide, busy roads. The humanoids were designed by Women’s Technology, an association of female and male engineers in the DRC, and, like every police robot on this list, are installed with surveillance cameras. Theirs send footage back to police in an effort to deter dangerous driving.



Poland’s Tactical Bot
Polish police recently got their hands on a new reconnaissance robot to toss around. The Tactical Throw Robot, directly translated from Taktyczny Robot Miotany or TRM, is  meant to be literally tossed into buildings or dropped from up high to scout the scene with its camera, microphone, and various illumination options. This ultradurable robot is also ultralight; weighing less than four pounds, police can throw it into second story windows without any mechanical propulsion. The device is similar to Recon Throwbot used frequently by American cops, and is designed to be outfitted with stun grenades or explosives if need, which can then be triggered by the control panel used to drive the TRM around.

Border patrol between South and North Korea
The “demilitarized” zone between South and North Korea is paradoxically one of the most militarized places in the world, including South Korea’s fleet of semi-autonomous killing machines that patrol the border day and night. Developed by Samsung, the SRG-A1 is armed with a 5.5mm machine gun and grenade launcher that can detect targets two miles away with its sensitive heat and motion sensors, as well as low-light cameras for patrolling at night. Multiple reports indicate that the SRG-1 has a fully autonomous function, too.



A Life-Saving Robot For Refugees in Greece
The coast guard in Lesvos, Greece recently started deploying a robotic life-preserver to rescue Syrian refugees making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Refugee’s boats are often underpowered, overloaded,  and don’t have enough life jackets. Everyday authorities scramble to  save people from boats that have capsized, run out of fuel, or wrecked in the rough waters. The robot helping them is named Emily, an acronym for  Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, and is a project by researchers at Texas A&M University. Emily is a floatation device that zooms across the water at 20 miles per hour tethered to a 2,000 ft. rope attached to a rescue ship. Emily makes fetching people who aren’t drowning faster, leaving the human rescue team free time to rescue victims who need more help.

By April Glaser  07.24.16  7:00am

Thursday, July 21, 2016

10 mistakes executive protection agents need to stop making

Published on July 20, 2016
Jared Van Driessche

Everybody slips up sometimes. We’re only human after all. And as Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden pointed out, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.”

The wisdom of this statement is of course not to encourage inaction to avoid mistakes, but to learn from them.

So in the spirit of helping everyone working in executive protection get a little smarter – and thereby making the whole industry a little sharper at our game – here’s a list of the 10 mistakes we have seen executive protection agents make too many times – and can learn from.

Thinking it’s about you

We’re sorry if we’re the ones that have to break this to you, but executive protection is a service industry. It’s never about you. It’s always about the client.

It’s about providing clients with know-how, activities and circumstances that keep them safe, happy and productive. That’s what the client needs, and that’s why they pay us. Everyone has personal stuff to deal with, so deal with it personally, and don’t bring it to your client.

They don’t need to hear about your day, your life or whatever else might be eating you. Even if some monumental, life-changing event just occurred on your way to work or while you’re on coverage. Actually, they shouldn’t hear about it. Why? Because the relationship is professional, not personal. Although the client might at times spend more time with you than they do with their spouse, it’s still not about you. It’s never about you or your needs. Ouch. Deal with it or find another job.

This can be hard, we know. Life happens when you’re on coverage. Maybe a family member has just died, or you received some horrible news like your parent’s house burned to the ground. Still, when you’re on the job, you’re on the job. The friendly “How are you?” gets answered with a “Good, and you?” rather than an open sharing of what’s also running through your head. Because that could disturb the client’s mind. And it’s not about you.



Wanting to be friends with the client

This can be another hard one. It’s the most natural thing in the world to want to be friends with the people we spend time and work with, but in the case of executive protection, it’s not a good idea for either the client or you. And certainly not for your career.

First, let’s all understand that being friendly is not the same as being friends. Maintaining a positive and polite tone is one thing. Trying to establish a personal relationship with a client is something else. It’s important that you don’t move out of the lane of your role as protector. Your job description does not include asking clients for favors or business advice, or trying to get family employed. Don’t involve yourself in business that isn’t related to your business.

Agents who do this are overstepping their bounds and trying to cross a five-lane highway. Even though our clients can at times be lonely and insulated, and might themselves make friendly overtures to protective agents, it’s important to maintain a professional distance. Because sooner or later the agent is going to get hit, despite what seemed to be a good level of comfort and rapport. They are taking advantage of the client, not helping him or her.

Another problem some immature agents have is trying to get noticed and get facetime with the client. They might be a little star struck, and they would like to see the feeling reciprocated. They might try to insert themselves into the client’s life, getting too close to them or to their staff.

But folks who are public figures see this all the time, and they’re seldom enamored with people trying play the game of “I want to get close to you”. They’d rather be far away from people like that. Guess which side of this budding personal relationship is going to get nipped, and be looking for work elsewhere?

Not respecting others who work around the client

Some people need to feel more important than others and end up making trouble for themselves. Don’t be one of those guys.

This problem arises when an executive protection agent thinks the job is more significant than the work of the client’s executive assistant, estate manager, nanny, chef, house cleaner or other staff. While the agent might be good with the client, he or she isn’t necessarily so with everyone else – and treats them differently, with varying levels of respect.

What our unfortunate agent doesn’t understand is this: the woman who cleans the toilet might have a very close relationship to the family that has lasted for years. They would much rather keep the loyal cleaner than the new EP agent who acts like a jerk to her.

Don’t think you’re your irreplaceable. Anyone can be replaced, starting with ill-mannered executive protection agents. So be respectful of the role others have in the client’s staff and life – that’s a great way to earn their respect, too.



Not blending in to client’s lifestyle, company culture or personal preferences

It’s not our job to force our culture or personalities on our clients. It’s our job to fit in.

If you come off as too militaristic, you’re going to make the clients feel like prisoners in their own home. If you act like Robocop around the spouse and children, they’re unlikely to feel comfortable even though they might be safe. And even Mr. Personality might need to take a chill pill, because his perky greetings and chattiness start getting on people’s nerves.

You don’t want to come off like that weird uncle who always manages to show up at the summer garden party in a three-piece suit or the funeral in his favorite Hawaii shirt. You want to blend in, so the client never has to think “who is this guy?!”

Check out Jared’s recent blog on being a social chameleon for way more perspective on this point.

Having a big ego does not make you many amigos on the protective team

So let’s get this straight. The client is a big shot, and that makes you one, too. You’re basking in the strong light of the principal’s halo, as the detail leader no less, and your power gives you license to treat other team members poorly.

Really?

We’ve seen it happen more than once. A guy who is a capable operator rises through the ranks to assume some management responsibility. He’s very aware of his role and perceived power, and he wields it to his own advantage without worrying about how that impacts other members of the protective team. The principal doesn’t know half the story, and likes him. Until he doesn’t.

One day, the guy rubs the principal’s spouse the wrong way, and he’s on his way off the detail. The next day, he’s looking for work and everyone he treated poorly remembers him exactly for that: being a jerk. And who wants to work with a jerk?

Don’t let your career turn to toast because you let your ego do the driving when you got a bit of influence. Instead, pay it forward. Someone just starting out in the industry might be a strong player in a few years, so be sure not to burn bridges you might need later.

Playing favorites

This is another pitfall that too many agents dive right into. It’s understandable because it’s human nature to want to be liked. And it’s yet another a good example of “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

Some agents who don’t get the bigger picture think they are special, and that the client really cares for them. They don’t see anyone else with such a close relationship with the client, and this illusion soon becomes a dangerous pseudo-reality. For one thing, it probably was never true in the first place. But even if it did seem to be, it clouds your judgement and leads to nothing good. Ultimately, it will cost you your job.

Cultivating a culture of favoritism damages team readiness. It’s unhealthy for the wellbeing of the program and the principal. And it’s not a sustainable foundation for anything. The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re the favorite today, someday you won’t be. And where do you go from there? Avoid being the favorite at all costs. With our history of developing and managing EP programs we see people fall into “the favorites trap” all too often.

Favoritism starts out innocently enough and often with the best intentions. The client really likes Tim, and Tim has to do everything. That’s a win-win for a short while, but it soon turns counterproductive.

The detail rapidly becomes a logistical nightmare. Tim will burn out – he’s too close to the client and working too many hours. The rest of the team will suffer – they come off like second-class citizens. The solution is to build everyone up to Tim’s level, not to turn Tim into a fast-flaming fave.

Being a control freak

We’re all for being sticklers when it comes to security and following the SOPs designed to safeguard our principals. But we also recognize that even the best of plans sometimes get broadsided by the client, and all for good reason: whatever the client says it is.

Or doesn’t say. You see, it’s the client’s business, not ours. Business opportunities arise suddenly; someone else’s plans changed suddenly. It doesn’t matter. When we’re on the clock, we’re on client time, not ours.

This can be tough for the pack of alpha males and females who often end up in our industry. We’re used to being in control, and we plan carefully. But when you can’t control it, just embrace it. You’ll end up being less stressed, and you won’t stress the client with unnecessary interruptions designed to satisfy your schedule, not the client’s priorities.

Trying to take advantage of the client financially

You know this is wrong without us telling you, right? We hope so. And yet, the point deserves a little clarification.

Working with C-suite executives, celebrities and other high net worth clients means moving about in some very different environments than most of us are used to. One day you’re bunking at the Motel 6, the next day you’re staying at the Four Seasons. You’re used to figuring out the cost per ounce when you compare hot dogs at the supermarket, and now you’re figuring out a menu that doesn’t have prices on it, trying to decide what to have for dinner.

It’s easy to think that because the client is wealthy, money doesn’t matter and you might as well try that caviar with gold leaf. It’s also wrongheaded. Money does matter – both in terms of how others will view your judgement and integrity – and to program success.

There’s always a budget for everything. Even if you don’t know what it is, assume someone does and is ready to check your expense reports. Go ahead and order a good meal, but don’t feel sanctioned to order the absolute most expensive item on the menu. Keep a clean path. Pay for your personal items yourself. Agents who go far in this industry respect the client’s wallet and work to save their money.

Clogging up information transparency – a.k.a. lying or being selectively honest

It’s true now and it’s been true for thousands of years: Information is power, and asymmetrical access to information can give a competitive advantage or disadvantage. That’s great if you’re fighting a war, but it’s really not good if you’re working on a team together.

We’re not saying that everyone needs to know everything. But the executive protection agent who deliberately resists sharing information, reduces information transparency or spreads false information is on his or her way to career suicide.

Some inexperienced agents might have the erroneous belief that hoarding information will further their interests. They’re making a fundamental mistake. They haven’t understood that what’s good for the team is good for the principal and for themselves. We’ve seen agents try to keep executive assistants in the dark to make them look incompetent. We’ve heard of agents who say the principal’s spouse prefers this or that driver – even when that wasn’t the case – to play favorites or gain personal advantage.

People like this are worse than dishonest. If they’re willing to hijack parts of the program for their own reasons, what else are they willing to do? Their reasons are never good, and manipulating the healthy flow of useful information will always hit them in the back of the head like a boomerang.

Getting the balance wrong between tactical discipline and friendly service

Being a good executive protection agent means juggling multiple roles seamlessly and imperceptibly. We’re the tactical tough guy when we need to be. We’re the friendly concierge if that’s what’s called for. We know not to overplay either hand. And we know when to switch immediately.

There are often multiple ways to accomplish the same objective. Use your situational and social awareness to find the ideal path, striking a middle way between the many possible extremes. You want to make sure the room you’re leading the principal to is safe? Great, but you don’t need to act as if you’re clearing a house in Ramadi. Find another way that works, and doesn’t make the principal wonder what’s going on and what movie you’re in.

Similarly, it’s great to be service-minded, but not excessively friendly in all circumstances. We’re here to facilitate the principal’s smooth flow through the day and night, but we’re willing to stand up and disrupt the good vibes if that means maintaining security.



Like so many other things, it’s a balance. We wish you luck and skill in finding yours!

Let’s learn from our mistakes

The good thing about mistakes is that they’re learning opportunities: they help us to discover better ways of doing things. Once you get over the initial pain of having put your hand too close to the fire, you know better the next time and can avoid a lifetime of burnt fingers. At least you could know better.

It’s only when we continue to make the same mistakes over and over that people start calling us names. Similarly, not learning from others’ mistakes is rarely an indication of a sharp mind.

We admit that we’ve learned some of them the hard way – by putting our own hands in the flames, so to speak. Other lessons came easier, by observing colleagues and staff get burned themselves. But they’re all things we need to be aware of and get better at.