Stressing Security Response and Standard Operating Procedures within Critical Facilities

Stressing- testing of security response, procedures and interactions- is critical to achieve a well rounded security infrastructure that meets the goals of the charged organization/ agency.
By: Unclassified Statement for the Record on the Wo
June 5, 2012 - PRLog -- Executive Summary

Stressing- testing of security response, procedures and interactions- is critical to achieve a well rounded security infrastructure that meets the goals of the charged organization/ agency. It is common knowledge that the greatest threat to the United States has changed from foreign terrorists to domestic terrorism carried out by a “lone wolf” or unaffiliated groups of extremist sympathizers. The ability to be able to predict how security personnel respond to a “real world” threat and how do the in place standard operating procedures benefit or limit/ interrupt that response is the key to a better security infrastructure.


With continued counterterrorism (CT) efforts, decentralization will lead to fragmentation of the worldwide jihadist movement within a few years. With this fragmentation, core Al-Qa’ida will likely be of largely symbolic importance to the movement; regional groups and lesser extent small cells and individuals will drive the global jihad agenda both within the United States and abroad.
During and after this transition, the movement will continue to be a dangerous force regardless of Al- Qa’ida, affiliates and allies. Terrorist groups and sympathetic individuals will have access to recruits, financing, arms and explosives, and safe havens to execute operations

Homegrown Violent Extremists

In the near term, the threat in the United States from homegrown violent extremists (HVE’s) will be characterized by lone actors or small groups inspired by Al-Qa’ida’s ideology but not formally affiliated with it or other related groups. A majority of HVE’s are constrained tactically by a difficult operating environment in the United States, but a few have exhibited improved tradecraft and operational security and increased willingness to consider less sophisticated attacks which suggests the HVE threat may be evolving. In the past, most HVE’s who have aspired to high- profile, mass-casualty attacks in the United States- typically involving the use of explosives against symbolic infrastructure- did not have the technical capability to match their aspirations. However, an element does exist of extremists who were first radicalized in the United States, but then travelled overseas and received training and guidance from terrorist groups, attempted (2) mass- casualty explosives attacks in the United States

The Threat from Iran

The 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States shows that some Iranian officials have changed their calculus and are now willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived US actions that threaten the regime. There are concerns as well about Iran plotting against US or allied interests overseas. Iran’s willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran’s evolution of the costs it bears for the plot against the Ambassador as well as Iranian leaders’ perceptions of U.S threats against the regime


Foreign intelligence services (FIS) are constantly developing methods and technologies that change the ability of the U.S Government and private sector to protect U.S national security and economic information, information systems, and infrastructure. The persistent, multifaceted nature of these activities makes them particularly difficult to counter. Given today’s environment, the most menacing foreign intelligence threats will involve;
   Cyber- Enabled Espionage. FIS have launched numerous computer network operations targeting U.S Government agencies, businesses and universities, most go undetected. Although to this point, most detected attacks have been against unclassified networks, foreign cyber attackers have begun to target classified networks
   Insider Threats. Insiders have caused significant damage to U.S interests from the theft and unauthorized disclosure of classified, economic and proprietary information and other acts of espionage. We believe that trusted insiders using their access for malicious intent represents one of today’s primary threats to U.S classified networks

Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear Weapons

Although a mass attack is unlikely, concerns do exist about a limited number of CBR attacks in the United States or against U.S interests overseas because of the interest expressed in such a capability by foreign groups. The threat is that lone actors or “lone wolves” abroad or in the United States- including criminals and homegrown violent extremists; inspired by terrorist leaders or literature advocating the use of CBR materials are capable of conducting at least limited attacks. It is our belief that a foreign fighter cadre that includes U.S passport holders from Al- Shabaab may have aspirations to attack within the United States. Besides Al- Shabaab, many other militant and terrorist networks will continue to threaten U.S Interests outside their primary operating areas

The Benefits of Physical Breach Test

The main benefit of a physical breach is the ability to determine the strengths and weaknesses of security guards, security detection equipment, awareness of security team members and the overall security infrastructure. Over the last 5-10 years, numerous articles of classified and critical information have been stolen, leaked or assumed to be misplaced. The questions you must ask are;
1. Is classified/ critical information being secured properly? Or is it being left in a vulnerable state?
2. Can a person(s) just enter our property either detected or undetected and what can they gain access to while on property?
3. Can items classified as highly explosive or dangerous be stolen from our facility?
4. Do the set standard operating procedures in place relate and can they be executed in real life situations?

What to Do After a Physical Breach Test

After the test is conducted, a report should be completed and turned over that includes not only weaknesses, but strengths as well. Every aspect of the breach test should be included in the report as well as surveillance photos and video recordings of the actual breach test. Now armed with the results, a recommended training program should be offered and completed prior to another breach test being conducted.  After a second breach test is conducted, the same information as above should be given, hopefully with more strength’s that the first breach test. This process should be conducted a minimum (4) times per year initially to continually improve the abilities of the security infrastructure.
Source:Unclassified Statement for the Record on the Wo
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