Stopping the Next Active Shooter

As with almost every previous active shooter event, the initial investigation of the Uvalde tragedy paints a familiar picture: an apparently dissociated individual, exhibiting increasingly violent tendencies and threatening behavior over many years (some of which they expressed openly online), steals or purchases a weapon, and attacks a soft target they were familiar with – […]

5 Signs of Online Bullying in Schools

With the continued influence of social media platforms, the switch to online learning during the pandemic, and ever-faster Internet speeds, students have more freedom now than ever when it comes to online communication. While increased Internet usage has improved learning for many students thanks to accessibility and available resources online, time behind the screen isn’t […]

The Evolving Role of Fusion Centers in Today’s Threat Environment

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the federal government rapidly redefined national security priorities, shifting its focus to counterterrorism and protection of the homeland. Recognizing the obvious gaps in effective information-sharing, the government developed guidelines for the creation of a network of “fusion centers” across the country. These centers were designed to improve the collection, […]

Keeping a Human In-The-Loop: The Limits of AI in Security Systems

In the spring of 2020, Croatian chess player Antonio Radic’s YouTube chess channel, which had more than one-million subscribers at the time, was blocked during a chess show. Although YouTube restored access within 24-hours, Radic was never provided with an explanation for the block. He suspected his account was blocked because he referred to the […]

Physical Protection: Who Defines a “Hard Target?”

This article was written by TrapWire Director Michael Maness, who served two decades as a senior operations officer and field manager with the Central Intelligence Agency conducting covert counterterror and counterintelligence operations on behalf of the USG in more than a dozen countries. Just about everyone has heard the terms “hard” and “soft” targets. The […]

FedRAMP, Why it Matters to You

In 2011, as part of the U.S. government’s “Cloud First Policy,” the Office of Management and Budget initiated the Federal Risk and Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP was designed to enable federal agencies to leverage the efficiency of cloud-based products and services, confident in the knowledge that the systems used are secure and reliable. FedRAMP Director […]

Who Defines a Hard Target?

This article was written by TrapWire Director Michael Maness, who spent two decades as a senior operations officer and field manager with the Central Intelligence Agency and was involved in counterterror investigations ranging from Pan Am 103 through 9/11. Understanding the motivation and rationale for a criminal event – be it a school shooting, an […]

Inside the Mind of a Terrorist Surveillant

This is the second article in our series discussing real-world terrorist operational planning written by TRAPWIRE Director Michael Maness. (The first article, on an operation conducted by the Red Army Faction in Germany, can be found here.) Mike spent two decades as a senior operations officer and field manager with the Central Intelligence Agency and […]

A Well-Planned Assassination

In our previous post regarding a potential new modus operandi used by some terrorists, we mentioned the possibility that terror groups may now be developing hardened, professional cadres of assassins, rather than using suicide bombers or recruiting martyrs. We noted the similarity in this tactic with terror groups from the 1970s and 80s, including the […]

A New Approach to Public Safety

Business Executives for National Security (BENS) released an Issue Paper yesterday advocating for a new, networked approach to public safety. This approach focuses on the development of public/private partnerships to improve America’s ability to address an increasingly complex threat environment. This bottom-up approach to threat detection and information sharing could pave the way for significant […]

The Importance of Understanding the “How” Rather Than Just the “Why” of Terrorism

The events in Orlando have reignited public debate about the “why” of terrorism. Why are young people (east and west) drawn to the more violent tenets of Islam? Why do some of our fellow Americans, born and raised in the West, still feel like outsiders in their homeland? Why does the process of radicalization appear […]

Gates, Guns and Guards: The False Sense of Security

  Excerpted from: Al-Shabab hits Hotel Ambassador in Somalia’s Mogadishu June 2, 2016 ALJAZEERA “They want to send a message that although they might have lost control of the city, they can still carry out such attacks with audacity.” Based on initial reporting, it appears Al-Shabaab used a “double tap” operation to attack the Ambassador […]

The Pre-Attack Sequence

Modern terror groups have proven adept at modifying the tactics and methods used to launch attacks. Their preferred weapons and delivery systems have adapted to changing security systems and procedures – from knives and handguns used in hijackings in the 60s and 70s, to VBIEDs to airplanes as weapons over the past 15 years. However, […]

Do We Really Know What A Hard Target Is?

For several years there have been discussions and analyses of a shift in terrorist targeting from hard to soft targets. The recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, as well as the 2008 attack in Mumbai, all included so-called soft targets. When we in the West talk of “soft” targets, we clearly mean those sites lacking […]

Dangers of Profiling in Counter-Terrorism

ISIS will continue to use terror tactics and techniques that test the standard operating procedures of western intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This article highlights the dangers of using profiling when it comes to countering terrorism. ISIS’ increased use of local citizens, females and the young shows that the old focus on adult male foreign […]

Terrorist Targeting of Private Sector Employees: The Importance of Situational Awareness

This possible surveillance of an employee away from their work place (detailed in the NYT article below) is a classic technique used by hostile intelligence services and terror groups alike. Human nature is such that we often let down our guard when we are away from the office, making us more easily observable (and approachable). […]

The Chattanooga Effect

Since TRAPWIRE’s inception, our purpose has been to enable our customers to detect pre-attack events and patterns and get the information into the right hands in order to prevent the incident. The tools and methods we have built over the last 12 years have proven very successful at doing just that. However, it’s an obvious […]

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