In November the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) released new Active Shooter Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering. This is especially relevant given of the use of firearms in recent attacks in France, Tunisia and the USA.

The new guidelines note that since their first release in 2013, the Australian security context has changed due to:

1) The rise of Islamic State 
2) The flow of volunteers from around the world to fight in Syria 
3) The raising of the National Terrorism Threat Advisory to HIGH
4) A number of disrupted terror plots
5) Recent low-capability attacks (Lindt Café siege and shooting of a police member in Sydney)

Over the same period, the number of open terrorism investigations conducted by ASIO has doubled and there has been increase in passport cancellations for people wanting to travel to places such as Syria. According to the guidelines, people who are have adopted the ideology of Islamic State or al-Qaeda, and have been prevented from travelling “pose an enduring threat” to the community.

The National Terrorism Threat Advisory rates the threat of a terrorist attack as “probable.” The guidelines also note that past mass shootings in Australia have been the result of disgruntled or mentally impaired persons rather than an extremist ideology. This suggests that places of mass gathering face the possibility of an attack from multiple sources.

The guidelines define places of mass gathering as “characterised by having a large concentration of people on a predictable basis”. These include sporting venues, shopping or business precincts, public transport hubs, tourism and entertainment venues.

Critical infrastructure locations were also identified as possible terrorist targets—some of which include power, water, health, communications and banking systems.

Given that an attack of this type is plausible in Australia, the release of the new guidelines is a timely reminder for all organisations, not only those which are places of mass gatherings, to review their capability to respond to an attack. This should address preparation, prevention, response and recovery phases.

Dynamiq works with various clients across different sectors to prepare and respond to an active shooter incident. If your organisation is concerned about how to respond to an active shooter or armed assault act of terrorism then please refer to the link below or contact us directly.

For more information:

Website: Active Shooter Response Training 
Contact Philip Kent-Hughes on 03 8340 5219 or Philip.kenthughes@dynamiqglobal.com 
Download a copy of the new guidelines here.

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