Dynamiq Founder and Director of Strategy, Anthony Moorhouse.

The role of police and anti-terrorism units in thwarting terror attacks has always been a difficult job. Their job has become even more difficult as terrorist groups have devised new ways to create “weapons of mass destruction.”

On September 11, 2001 we saw what would be the start of modern terrorism when a coordinated group of highly trained terrorists hijacked commercial aircraft and turned them into weapons. In Mumbai, Bali, and Paris terrorists stuck again but with more conventional weapons. The tools used were simple yet deadly explosives and small arms, but the planning was still complex and mass casualties and panic caused.

With the rise of ISIS, attacks are occurring all too often. But ISIS has also given rise to another form of attack, the ‘lone wolf’ assault. This attack is characterised by the use of unsophisticated weapons, but without a highly coordinated team carrying out the attack. The introduction of such attacks, marked with allegiance to various terror groups, has made the jobs of law enforcement, security, and risk managers that much harder. In many situations, these attacks may not be able to be foreseen or prevented so a well-exercised emergency response plan is vital.  

Attacks such as on the nightclub in Orlando was not planned by a command team or higher authority. It was simply undertaken by a lone wolf who used his attack for notoriety, pledging allegiance to ISIS in the midst of carrying out his violence. He still used military-style weapons and masses of ammunition in a traditional hostage or mass shooting situation.

The recent attack in Nice, carried out by a lone wolf actor using a garden variety truck rather than any form of weapon designed for killing, is both particularly shocking and representative of yet another evolution in terrorist tactics. In many ways, the blunt force trauma caused by a speeding truck was worse than a large, sophisticated explosive device.

As a security or risk manager, you can’t be there to keep your people safe every second of the day. However, it’s part of your duty of care obligation to know how to communicate with them in an emergency and offer advice and assistance if required. What is your organisation’s plan for when the unthinkable happens to your people, whether they were specifically targeted or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

To learn more about how you can prepare your organisation to be ready to meet your duty of care obligation, please contact Anthony Moorhouse.


Back to all news