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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: A Disturbing Pattern

While details are still emerging, all indications are this was a terror attack possibly carried out by a jihadist inspired individual or group. The Orlando shooting fits a troubling pattern of attacks targeting crowded public entertainment venues such as what happened in Paris, Brussels and Tel Aviv. This focus on “soft targets” is something we have been alerting our clients about for more than a year. In our estimation, the lone-wolf, self-radicalized, firearm attack against public venues has become the new norm.

As with previous events, investigators will uncover clues to the identity, motivation and planning by this attacker(s). And, like past attacks, it will be clear that some of these clues were observable (and reportable) prior to the event. The Pulse shooting is yet another in a long string of attacks that highlight the weakness of a security plan that relies solely on first responders – the so-called gates, guns and guards approach. It is impossible for law enforcement officers to be everywhere all the time. Even when police arrive within minutes of the shooting (such as in this case and San Bernardino) most of the causalities have already occurred. Much more emphasis has to be placed on spotting pre-attack planning and identifying these individuals ahead of the event. This is not an impossible task: TRAPWIRE has been doing this for almost ten years.

By providing our clients with a combination of threat/surveillance detection training, along with an ability to accurately capture, analyze and disseminate suspicious activities, and tying this to a social media monitoring capability, our law enforcement, military and private sector users are being provided high fidelity, actionable intelligence that is helping them prevent rather than react to criminal events.

It appears he was organized and well-prepared.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina

 

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