Executive's Guide to Personal Security


Praise for Executive’s Guide To Personal Security

"David Katz and Ilan Caspi provide the reader with extremely critical and practical advice on how to increase personal safety and security. They recognize that government can’t do it all and that the private sector and ordinary individuals must play a vital role in ensuring our collective well-being."
––Jeff Schlanger, Chief Operating Officer—Security Services Group, Kroll Inc.

"The security needs of the corporate world have ...

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Praise for Executive’s Guide To Personal Security

"David Katz and Ilan Caspi provide the reader with extremely critical and practical advice on how to increase personal safety and security. They recognize that government can’t do it all and that the private sector and ordinary individuals must play a vital role in ensuring our collective well-being."
––Jeff Schlanger, Chief Operating Officer—Security Services Group, Kroll Inc.

"The security needs of the corporate world have changed dramatically since 9/11. In addition to the traditional concerns of pilferage and stolen property, there are new problems to face. The Executive’s Guide to Personal Security provides the necessary information to help solve those problems and covers all aspects of personal and corporate security including situational awareness, hotel and room selection, countersurveillance, physical and technical security systems, emergency planning, risk and crisis management, terrorism, and local criminal hazards, to name but a few. Whether you are a business traveler wishing to enhance your level of personal security while abroad or a corporate manager tasked with developing strategies to combat the risk of attack, this book is an invaluable tool."
––Paul Lunt, Vice President, Asset Protection and Risk Management, Foot Locker Inc.

"Katz and Caspi’s writing is a must-read for every domestic and international business executive and corporate security department head; recent national security issues have filtered down to the corporate level. This book sets down the parameters of what Corporate America must do in the new world order."
––Arman H. Yurt, Private Security Consultant, former Interpol officer and Principal of Global Protection Services of New York

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Addressing a Growing Business Concern
In an era when everyone feels a little more at risk and terrorist threats have become a common occurrence, personal safety is now a focus for many executives who have never felt vulnerable before. Although there are many basic rules that can be followed to help people arrive safely to their destinations without being robbed, kidnapped, assaulted or even murdered, many people continue to choose to ignore them. To remind businesspeople about their vulnerabilities and help them stay safe in a world where numerous threats loom, former DEA special agent David Katz and former Israeli Secret Service officer Ilan Caspi offer expert guidance on a variety of security matters.

Kats and Caspi show executives and ordinary people how they can prepare for hidden threats that lurk at work, while traveling, and at home. The authors also introduce a plethora of lessons that they learned while working on international criminal investigations and protecting dignitaries at public events. In Executive's Guide to Personal Security, they break down their professional training and experiences to cover more common occurrences that can affect ordinary people as they perform common activities, such as buying a new home, traveling abroad, and even renting a car. The experts apply their wealth of knowledge to these pursuits and offer an abundance of advice about protecting yourself as well as your employees, your facility, and your company's information.

Creating Emergency Protocols
While delivering the tools and techniques of personal and corporate safety, the authors present the best ways to create emergency protocols and handle crises that affect individual, family and property safety concerns. Their tips and strategies offer readers a sense of control over their environment and ways to decrease risk by increasing security measures that can prevent criminals and terrorists from inflicting harm.

Along with many general recommendations about creating a neighborhood watch, avoiding predictable routines while abroad, and taking simple precautions when staying in a hotel room, the authors offer comprehensive chapters on vehicle safety, protective equipment, countersurveillance, technology security, bomb threats, emergency response and other major personal safety issues. Although they also address hostage survival, commercial espionage and surviving a hijacking, the majority of information they divulge can be put to use immediately to make anyone's life more secure.

Addressing Workplace Violence
For example, when the authors describe violence in the workplace and the ways executives can make their workplaces more secure, their advice includes the following:

  • There must be a clearly defined procedure for employees to follow when they notice unusual behavior in a co-worker.
  • Employers should implement a complaint process that transcends the usual chain of command in instances when the person who is complaining does not have to go through the person who is being complained about to lodge a complaint.
  • Human resources departments can employ the services of a mental health professional familiar with employee-related crises.

Baby Gas Masks and Guns
The authors present numerous strategies people can use to protect themselves from disease, fire, theft, and chemical attack. Along with prescribing the many defensive actions people can take, the authors also offer recommendations about protective equipment for the family, including baby gas masks; an introduction to firearms for personal protection; and advice about hiring private security personnel.

Why We Like This Book
Although it is rife with an alarming sense of paranoia, all of the suggestions and ideas presented in Executive's Guide to Personal Security are relevant and very interesting to delve into on the level of the professional security officers who present them. Although most readers might not be ready to don the full-body protective armor that the authors describe, or purchase bulletproof cars, their insights are thought-provoking and comprehensive. Their insights into the minds of terrorists and the tactics that have been used by criminals to rob, kidnap, extort and murder also create a foundation on which executives and travelers alike can stand to become more watchful and careful while they go about their business. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471449874
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/7/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,032,843
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Katz is a former senior special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He is an expert in conducting complex international criminal investigations, high-risk arrests, undercover operations, physical and technical surveillance, and intelligence analysis. He also spent four years as a primary firearms instructor at the FBI/DEA Academy, where he taught firearms and tactics. In addition, he is an expert in physical site security and the tactical use and deployment of bullet and explosive-resistant armor and glass.
Ilan Caspi is a former senior Israeli Secret Service officer who has served in the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. During his assignment in Washington, he conducted a review of existing embassy security protocols and implemented improvements. He is a practiced expert in conducting threat assessments and analyzing security intelligence data. He has managed security operations at key facilities and public events and is a dignitary protection specialist.
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Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Target: Corporate America.

Chapter 2. Awareness.

Chapter 3. General Recommendations.

Chapter 4. Know Where You Are Going: Pre-Travel Research.

Chapter 5. Preparing to Travel.

Chapter 6. Residing Abroad.

Chapter 7. Vehicle Safety Measures.

Chapter 8. Principles of Route Selection.

Chapter 9. Protective Equipment.

Chapter 10. Countersurveillance.

Chapter 11. Receipt of Mail and Packages.

Chapter 12. Physical Site Security.

Chapter 13. Technological Security.

Chapter 14. Emergency Response Planning.

Chapter 15. Bomb Threats and Bombings.

Chapter 16. Hotel Safety and Security.

Chapter 17. Hijacked.

Chapter 18. Hostage Survival.

Chapter 19. Commercial Espionage.

Chapter 20. Violence in the Workplace.

Chapter 21. Criminal Activity.

Chapter 22. Studying Abroad.


Appendix . Security and Awareness Checklists and Forms.

Appendix B. List of Vendors.

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First Chapter

Executive's Guide to Personal Security

By David S. Katz Ilan Caspi

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-44987-3

Chapter One

Target: Corporate America

In the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by the Al Qaeda organization, it has become clear that Western economic interests, particularly American corporations, have become the most desirable target of terror groups seeking to further their own varied political agendas. In the past, the prime targets of terrorist groups were military bases and personnel and official U.S. government facilities. Striking at the American military was the foremost priority, especially for radical Islamic fundamentalist groups. Recall the murder of 242 Marines in Lebanon and the attacks on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and the USS Cole. Governmental and diplomatic facilities were also primary targets of groups like Al Qaeda, which was responsible for the car bomb attacks that destroyed the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in Africa. To be sure, there always were the occasional terror attacks that targeted civilians. Kidnappings were frequent occurrences in many parts of the world, and hostages were taken to be used as bargaining chips or for ransom. The spate of airline hijackings in the 1970s and 1980s, the attack on the Achille Lauro, and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, are examples of incidents specifically targeting civilians. However, in the not too distant past, thelargest and most well-financed operations seemed to be reserved for attacks on official targets. This is no longer the case. Today most experts on international terror organizations agree that terrorists have changed their targeting priorities. Unquestionably, the current targets of choice are Western, or more specifically American, economic interests.

It may seem as if this shift in targeting priorities followed the attacks of September 11, 2001. This is actually not the case; the trend had already been well documented long before the Twin Towers fell. Remember, the first attack on the World Trade Center, on February 26, 1993, was undertaken with the goal of causing one of the towers to topple over and take its twin with it. Clearly, the intent in the first attack was to cause the deaths of many thousands of civilian noncombatants. The ugly truth is that terror groups the world over have made the murder of civilians the first priority. Exhibit 1.1 clearly documents the trend over the five-year period before the attacks on September 11, 2001. In fact, this exhibit shows that attacks against military targets, traditionally thought of as the prime target for these so-called freedom fighters, actually represent the smallest target category.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, this trend will certainly continue and is expected to do so at an accelerated rate. Why is this so? What makes civilian economic targets so important to terror groups?

If you ask the average person to describe his or her most vivid impression of the horrors perpetrated on September 11, virtually everyone will recall and describe the image of the collapsing World Trade Center towers, the terrible scene of ordinary people leaping out of the burning towers to their deaths and the thousands of office workers and rescuers killed. The attack on the Pentagon seems to have been largely ignored, almost forgotten. Why? Why do civilian deaths seem to shock us in a way that military casualties do not?

The very idea of terror attacks on civilian targets creates a visceral reaction in all of us. Those who died in the World Trade Center weren't soldiers or instruments of U.S. foreign policy. They were ordinary folks simply going to work to support their families. They kissed their spouses good-bye that morning never imagining that this was the last time they would ever come home to them. The media reported numerous stories of people trapped on floors above the impact of the planes phoning home on cell phones to the loved ones they knew they would not see again in this world. These images were enough to terrorize average citizens into changing jobs and moving away from crowded population centers. In the aftermath of the attacks, rentals of office space in the Empire State Building, once again the highest building in New York City, began to drop precipitously as people began to view the stately building not as prime commercial real estate but as the new prime target for the terrorists. As Vladimir Ilyich Lenin observed, "the purpose of terrorism is to terrify." Certainly attacks against innocent men, women, and children do just that.

However, other, more practical reasons better explain why economic targets are now so desirable to those seeking to destroy our way of life and diminish American influence throughout the world. One is the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center resulted in consequences to the American and world economies that exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of Osama Bin Laden and his associates. They immediately recognized that economic targets were not only easier to hit but also that there was an unlimited supply of such targets that could be easily struck with more far-reaching effects than attacks against embassies and military bases.

Our system of government, with our constitutionally guaranteed freedom and liberty, is the enemy of radical fundamentalism. Fundamentalists loathe democracy because it is the antithesis of the repressive theocratic system they aspire to create. Radical Muslim extremists know all too well that the fanaticism they seek to promote cannot flourish within an open society where freedom of thought and expression is protected. They are also aware that the most effective way to combat the spread of Western-style democracies is to attack the foundations of economic prosperity that makes it so powerful. Damage the American economy and you damage American ability to spread its ideals throughout the world. Bin Laden himself made this observation in a tape that surfaced shortly after the attacks. World conditions and political realities guarantee that the United States and its interests, possessions, and citizens will continue to be targeted at home and abroad. Corporate targets have become more desirable as terrorists seek to use economic disruption to achieve political goals.

An examination of the practical advantages of attacking corporate targets will further illustrate the point and illustrate why civilian economic targets are so attractive. There is a distinction made between so-called hard targets, that is, well-defended military bases and well-prepared embassies, and "soft targets" with little or no security such as office building and industrial centers. Military targets:

Are generally harder to strike because of enhanced security

Result in military casualties

Generally cause loss of government property

Cause damage that is generally confined to the target itself

Attacks against civilian economic targets are more desirable to terror groups because economic targets:

Are more vulnerable, easier to strike

Result in loss of civilian life

Cause loss of private and public property

Create widespread damage to the fragile world economy

The September 11 attacks clearly illustrate the distinct differences between hard and soft targets as well as the effects of a successful attack on each. Two targets were selected and attacked: a hard target, the Pentagon, and a soft target, the World Trade Center. The disparity in the actual effects of those attacks is great. The destruction of the Twin Towers not only killed many more people than the attack on the Pentagon but also caused economic repercussions that were still being felt more than a year later.

Exhibit 1.2 shows some of the costs to private industry as well as the loss of tax revenue associated with these attacks. While the actual tally is still incomplete, even this partial accounting shows the enormity of the economic loss. Other data estimate in excess of $60 billion (some estimates put this closer to closer to $100 billion) in property damage and casualty losses alone. In addition, the attendant economic loss to the City of New York is estimated at more than $83 billion. These staggering amounts actually surpass the annual budgets of many of the world's governments.

The insurance industry has been particularly hard hit. Recent estimates have placed the amount of insured loss at approximately $58 billion. The enormous financial loss to insurance companies will compel underwriters to require that steps be taken to reduce the likelihood of financial loss caused by terrorism. Corporations will likely find that their insurers will exclude terror acts in their policies or require certification that antiterrorist measures have been taken. Every facility, structure, or organization that is deemed to be an attractive target for terrorist activity is being charged more for insurance coverage. For example, small neighborhood synagogues in Brooklyn, New York, have had their liability premiums raised by thousands of dollars per year simply because Jewish interests and buildings are deemed as being at risk of attack.

The airline industry, which seems to be constantly facing economic challenges even during relatively mild downturns in the national economy, was also dealt a severe blow by the 2001 attacks. Many people viewed the federally funded settlements given to the surviving family members of the victims of the attacks as a bailout for the airline industry. To collect the government benefit, the recipients were required to forgo their right to any other legal action to recover damages, such as suing United or American Airlines for negligence in not providing an adequate level of security.

In addition, business was disrupted in New York City, the financial capital of the world, for months. The American stock market, already reeling under the collapse of the tech stocks, was further hard hit, as were global markets. Some estimates attribute more than 40 percent of the current economic downturn to the attack on the World Trade Center. No terror attack in history had ever created the same amount of widespread damage or generated such a powerful response.

Compare these far-reaching effects to the results of the attack on the Pentagon. Certainly the damage done was far more localized. While the pain and suffering of the families who lost loved ones in the Pentagon is no less than those who lost relatives at the Trade Center, comparatively little attention has been paid to them. The nationally televised interviews always seem to focus on the surviving family members from the Twin Towers. Civilian deaths and injuries always create a stronger reaction in the general public because the death of an ordinary citizen is far easier for the average person to relate to. Terrorists have, to be sure, grasped that fact and are focusing the bulk of their assets and abilities on planning additional attacks on U.S. civilian and economic targets. In October 2002, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning that Al Qaeda might have been specifically planning attacks on U.S. economic interests. Al Qaeda leaders, the report stated, "aim to undermine what they see as the backbone of U.S. power, the economy." The FBI said that "an attack may have been approved" and that "Our adversary is trying to portray American influence as based on economic might and therefore seeks to strike an economic target prominent enough for economic aid and symbolic reasons that it would have immediate resonance around the world." This analysis is actually quite correct. The economic might of the United States is what allows it to remain the most influential force in the world. Our system of democracy, with all its attendant personal freedoms, would not have captured the imagination of the oppressed people of the world were it not for the prosperity and economic success it has produced.

The State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism has documented this trend in its "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report dated May 21, 2002. Exhibit 1.3 shows a comparison of the number of anti-U.S. attacks for the year 2001.

More attacks targeted U.S. economic interests during the year 2001 than all other attacks combined. Furthermore, the trend exactly mirrors the statistics of terrorist incidents worldwide shown in Exhibit 1.1, which showed that the overwhelming numbers of terrorist attacks were directed at business facilities. The same is true for the attacks specifically directed at American interests during the year 2001. In fact, the same is true for the past 10 years. Terrorists deliberately target business interests. This trend will certainly continue as the terrorists clearly understand the financial damage that the World Trade Center attack caused. They understand, correctly, that the government of the United States is subject to pressure from its citizens. That is the nature of our representative republic. The government also is subject to the influence of the leading U.S. corporations that have an arguably disproportionate power as a result of the enormous contributions they make to political candidates. If corporate profits are endangered, terrorists reason, corporations will use their influence to persuade the U.S. government from taking actions that may result in economic harm to big business. What the terrorists always fail to grasp is the level of resolve of the American people. Americans are refugees from the type of tyrannical regimes that many of the terror groups seek to impose. Americans have an understanding of right and wrong and will not be bullied or intimidated into doing anything that is not consistent with our core values. This is why we continue the fight against terror and why American business continues to thrive in virtually every market in the world.

This is the current political reality of our time. We continue to do business in the face of threats from those opposed to our way of life. We do this knowing that our mere presence makes us targets for the groups that seek our destruction. The only course of action open to us is to prepare ourselves to face this type of threat and counter the danger we face from well-trained and well-financed fanatical groups that are willing to kill themselves if it will cause harm to America. And, unfortunately, this is likely to be the reality for the foreseeable future. We must, therefore, appreciate this new reality and take the necessary actions to protect ourselves.

How should we begin to answer these new challenges? The first step is to understand that you are at risk and may very well be targeted for attack by terrorists or common criminals. Do not assume that you are not already in the cross-hairs of some radical organization. If you begin by honestly evaluating your risk, then you can take the precautions necessary to avoid becoming a target.


Excerpted from Executive's Guide to Personal Security by David S. Katz Ilan Caspi Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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