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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

IED Awareness in the security industry today.




Within the landscape of contemporary security measures, the British experience with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) stands as a testament to the evolving nature of threats faced by nations and individuals alike. This understanding is rooted in a historical context, with the British contending with such devices since as early as 1867, a time when these mechanisms were referred to as ‘Infernal Machines’. The resurgence of their use by Irish Republican groups in the late 1960s marked a shift from community defence efforts to a protracted campaign of terrorism, a tactic not limited to any one group but adopted across ideological lines. The security measures used in Australia have frequently undergone adaptation based on the analysis of British intelligence gathering and experience.


The persistence of IED attacks, despite widespread knowledge of their construction and deployment, underscores a concerning complacency among military and security personnel in routine vehicle checks. This negligence extends into the realm of private security, where even experienced operatives often overlook fundamental precautions such as the underwater hull inspections of vessels they are tasked with protecting.


The narrative further delineates the dichotomy between perceived competence in personal security and the harsh reality of vulnerability to explosive devices. Titles and physical prowess, no matter how formidable, offer no shield against the destructive force of explosives, which can be as minimal in quantity as to be negligible by weight yet catastrophic in effect.


Explosives themselves are categorised by their reaction to stimuli, with a distinction drawn between low and high explosives—the former acting as propellants and the latter characterised by their rapid decomposition and shockwave generation upon detonation. The intricacies of detonation mechanisms and terrorist circuitry are well documented, emphasising the complexity and adaptability of threats faced by security teams.


In this environment, the role of the bodyguard and security personnel transcends mere physical protection, encompassing a proactive approach to threat identification and mitigation. This involves not just the anticipation of direct attacks but a comprehensive strategy to preemptively neutralise threats through diligent search and security protocols. Instead of focusing on the myriad of ways an electrical circuit might be closed to detonate an IED, one should focus on key initiating actions and the implementation of rigorous countermeasures across various potential threat vectors.


Effective security is not about matching the innovativeness of the adversary's tactics with equally complex countermeasures but rather about maintaining a disciplined, thorough, and adaptable defence strategy that prioritises the safety of the protectee above all. From the author.



The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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