The world we live in today is shaped in large part by the security incidents and terrorist attacks of the past... some we know about, and some still hidden in the shadows. As a counterterrorism agent with the U.S. State Department, Fred Burton was involved in many high-profile investigations including the search for and arrest of Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing as well as directing multiple proactive protective intelligence efforts for visiting dignitaries like Yassir Arafat and Princess Diana.
In the Ontic Protective Intelligence Podcast, Fred speaks with experts about real-life incidents ranging from the 1966 University of Texas shooting, to high profile kidnappings and workplace violence incidents, to name a few. Join us as we dig into the world of physical security and protective intelligence—the past, the present and the future.
Scott Stewart and Fred Burton Discuss the Attack Cycle and Pre-Operational Surveillance
Whether in person or in a movie, everyone has seen a threat actor trying to blend in. They may be looking at a newspaper upside down on a park bench or staring a little too intently at their target. Being hyper aware of these situations that just don’t feel right are innate in the lives of security professionals.
In this episode, Fred and Scott Stewart, veteran executive protection professional and former Special Agent, discuss this topic as it relates to the attack cycle — specifically, in light of the violent events in Nashville on Christmas Day 2020 and on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol. They discuss everything from the details that factor into pre-operational surveillance, to piecing together an impenetrable plan, to categories of threat actors. As we look ahead on the year and anticipate trends and behaviors, the attack cycle is here to stay. It will be invaluable to our safety and security in years to come.
Scott Stewart is a seasoned protective intelligence practitioner with 35 years of analytical, investigative and security experience. He is Vice President at TorchStone Global, a premier global risk mitigation and security firm. He led global analysis of terrorism and security topics at Stratfor from 2004 to 2020. Prior, Scott was the protective intelligence coordinator for Dell, and served as a member of Michael Dell’s executive protection team. He also spent ten years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), where he was involved in a large number of high-profile terrorism and protective intelligence investigations.
Over the years, Mr. Stewart’s analysis has been widely reprinted by other outlets and he has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Security Management Magazine, and Security Magazine, among others. Stewart is a popular speaker on security topics and is also frequently interviewed by journalists from leading news outlets to include the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, NPR, Reuters, the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and USA Today.
How the U.S. Capitol Riots Forever Changed the Value of a Proactive Security Approach
The riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 took many by surprise. Unfortunately, this feeling of surprise was felt by security and protection agencies near and far. It forever changed how we value protective intelligence and proactive threat management — especially in close proximity to a high-profile event.
In this episode, Fred Burton and Marisa Randazzo, CEO and Founder of SIGMA Threat Management Associates, discuss how the U.S. Capitol riots were a game changer for not only physical security, but the most high-profile example of a protective intelligence failure in recent history. Analyzing the threat landscape and being aware of even the smallest changes results in less missed signals and the ability to stay ahead of potential crises. In this action-packed episode, Fred and Marisa also discuss the security implications for the upcoming presidential inauguration.
Dr. Randazzo is CEO and founder of SIGMA Threat Management Associates, a team of leading experts in behavioral threat assessment and threat management. She is an international expert on threat assessment and violence prevention, with over 25 years of experience investigating, assessing, and managing a broad array of threatening and dangerous situations. She is Director of Threat Management at Georgetown University. Prior, Dr. Randazzo served for ten years with the U.S. Secret Service, most recently as Chief Research Psychologist, and has co-authored several leading books on threat assessment. She frequently provides commentary to major news outlets on all aspects of violent behavior and prevention.
Fred Burton’s Commentary on the 2021 State of Protective Intelligence Report [Bonus Episode]
In this bonus episode, Ontic’s CEO and Co-Founder, Luke Quanstrom, switched seats with our podcast host, Fred Burton, to discuss a new research study that the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence just published called the 2021 State of Protective Intelligence Report.
During this brief 12 minute episode, Fred and Luke discuss the current security landscape and implications for businesses in the coming year. Fred shares his perspective on the most critical issues, which include:
The Rise in Physical Threats: With the continuing rise in physical threats — many of which are being missed resulting in harm to employees, customers and human assets — every business leader should be sounding an alarm and looking to protective intelligence.
The Impact to Business Continuity: Unmanaged physical threats increase corporate risk, can be financially crippling and negatively impact business continuity.
The Need for Digital Transformation: Security leaders who do not adopt a digital mindset will quickly be business irrelevant. Digitally transforming physical security solutions will play a critical role in protecting their company financially, culturally and brand-wise.
For more information on what lies ahead, listen to the full podcast and download a copy of the report at: Ontic.ai/report
The Risk Profile and Motivation Behind Fully Armored Vehicles
There are not many car owners who contemplate the glass longevity, degree of sunlight exposure, or whether or not Windex has been applied to the inside and outside of the windows. However, these are exactly the types of details that run through the mind of Mark Caldwell, Co-Owner of TAC Americas, Ltd. — a market leader for manufacturing armored cars, trucks, SUVs, and other specialty vehicles.
In this episode, Fred and Mark discuss both the technical aspects of armoring and caring for a fully armored vehicle (FAV), as well as what motivates an individual to seek this heightened level of protection. Before committing to an investment in vehicle armoring, Mark encourages his clients (often heads of state or high-net-worth individuals) to think about what makes them a potential target, and factors that influence their level of protection — lifestyle, location (proximity to crime), etc.
Mark Caldwell is a former Special Agent and Regional Security Officer with the U.S. Department of State Security Service. Has served in this capacity globally, as well as in the private sector leading international security programs at Walmart, Proctor and Gamble and AIG. He currently works as a Corporate VP & Chief Compliance Executive of Grupo Financiero Atlantida and is a partner at TAC Americas, Ltd. The company is co-owned by Mark and Norma Caldwell and Trent Kimball. Norma is the President of the Honduran operation.
What makes someone predisposed to stalking and the shifting threat landscape with Dr. Reid Meloy
Stalkers tend to exhibit similar behaviors and mannerisms — more or less an unhealthy fixation with an individual or group. But what causes or makes these individuals predisposed to stalking? The answer is not an easy one and it's a topic that Dr. Reid Meloy, forensic psychologist, author, and co-founder of WAVR-21, has made it a key part of his mission to detect threats so we can prevent the next attack.
In this episode, Fred and Dr. Meloy discuss what causes people to fixate on public figures, celebrities, and CEOs. After spending the first part of his career in criminal litigation, he has dedicated the second half to prevention, or detecting pre-incident indicators before individuals have the opportunity to carry out acts of violence. With people living and operating online and on the ground, the ability to capture more is getting harder, and he shares that technology is playing a critical role in separating the signal from the noise.
Dr. Meloy is a board-certified forensic psychologist (ABPP) and consults on criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. Along with Dr. Stephen White, he created the WAVR-21 V3, a structured professional judgment instrument for targeted workplace violence.
Situational Awareness: What an Attacker is Looking For with Kelly Sayre