August 2023 TorchStone Global Monthly Executive Protection Report

August 2023 TorchStone Global Monthly Executive Protection Report
September 12, 2023 sdcpm
Executive Protection Report August 2023 - TorchStone Global

August 2023 TorchStone Global Monthly Executive Protection Report

TorchStone Global believes that broader situational awareness and intelligence are key to providing quality executive protection—whether the principal is a Fortune 500 CEO, international movie star, or local city council member. With that in mind, we are launching our monthly executive protection report, cataloging incidents we have captured through our open-source searches that are relevant to the practice of executive protection. We hope the report will serve as a centralized source of threat activity to provide insight into current trends in threats to high-profile individuals.

For more information on customized threat tracking for at-risk individuals, threat assessments, executive protection, or other security services, please contact us.


The TorchStone Executive Protection Report tracked 30 domestic and 18 international security incidents or updates to prior incidents impacting high-profile individuals during the month of August.

  • Violence targeting political figures further destabilized the security environment in Ecuador this past month. The August 9 assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio led to a nationwide declaration of emergency just days ahead of a general election. The country has been dealing with elevated political unrest over the past year. Tensions are likely to remain high until at least October 15, when the country will hold its second round of voting to select a new president.
  • Legal challenges against former president Donald Trump have led to threats against a federal judge overseeing one of his cases and members of a Georgia grand jury. Individuals accused of threatening election officials around the country following Mr. Trump’s 2020 presidential bid are facing convictions and jail time. Mr. Trump and his family have also been the target of recent threats. Threats of political violence are likely to persist as the 2024 presidential gears up.
  • Climate change activists continue to target corporate executives and high-level politicians with protest actions designed to attract attention to their cause. Protest activity has been most pronounced in the United Kingdom this summer but has also targeted high-profile individuals in Massachusetts and Australia.

August 6, 2023: A Massachusetts resident pleaded guilty to making a threatening interstate communication after issuing a bomb threat directed at an election official for the state of Arizona. The man made the threat in February of 2021 stating that the official needed to “Resign by February 16 [2021] by 9 a.m. or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated.” He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

August 21, 2023: Police arrested a man for threatening U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez. The suspect allegedly sent harassing and threatening emails to Judge Marquez from mid-January to late March 2022. Judge Marquez was targeted after she oversaw a previous case in which the suspect was found guilty of making threats towards Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in 2014. The suspect is set to stand trial in early December 2023 and is facing six counts of threatening a federal officer, five counts of making interstate threats, and one count of cyberstalking.


August 10, 2023: California State Assemblymember Mia Bonta has proposed a bill that would remove restrictions on security spending from campaign funding for local and state lawmakers. The current financial cap on security spending from campaign funds is $5,000 initially instituted in the Political Reform Act of 1974. Bonta stated that she introduced the bill to “give lawmakers and candidates more peace of mind.” The bill passed through the state Assembly and following approval by the state Senate’s Appropriations Committee, it will be voted on by the Senate.

August 15, 2023: NFL player Ja’Marr Chase has been granted a temporary restraining order against a former romantic partner due to her engaging in an “unhinged and disturbing pattern of harassment” against him. Following a one-night romantic relationship in July 2021, the woman harassed Mr. Chase repeatedly after he broke off the relationship. The restraining order was filed based on allegations that she harassed, stalked, and made credible threats against Mr. Chase and his mother. A hearing to decide whether the temporary restraining order will become permanent will be held on September 7 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

August 15, 2023: Comedian Elsa Majimbo stated via X that she has been repeatedly stalked and followed on the street near her Los Angeles home. Ms. Majimbo released the make, model, and license plate number of the car that had been following her. Ms. Majimbo says that the stalking began after she refused a romantic advance by the man who owns the vehicle.

August 21, 2023: Music artists Jhené Aiko and Big Sean filed for a temporary civil harassment restraining order in LA County on August 21 against a 29-year-old male alleged stalker. Ms. Aiko stated that the man breached the gated home in Pacific Palisades, evaded the security team, and made entry into the residence. Ms. Aiko also claimed that the man recently attended an event where she performed.

August 28, 2023: Paris Jackson reported that she has been subjected to online harassment and received death threats from fans of Michael Jackson due to her failure to make a public birthday post for her late father.

August 21-23, 2023: Paris Jackson filed for a restraining order against an alleged stalker. Two days later, law enforcement responded to reports of a trespasser at Miss Jackson’s residence located in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood on August 23. Upon the LAPD’s arrival, they discovered an individual had breached the rear gate of the residence and encountered a guest staying at Miss Jackson’s home while she was away. After the confrontation, the intruder fled the property. Authorities are actively pursuing the investigation and have heightened their presence with increased patrols in the vicinity. It is unclear if the incident is related to Ms. Jackson’s August 28 complaints of harassment surrounding her late father. In June 2018, Miss Jackson had a brief encounter with an alleged stalker at a recording studio, prompting her to file for a temporary restraining order.


August 4, 2023: Police arrested a Bristol resident for threatening conduct toward staff at two separate Catholic churches. The man issued a death threat during his court hearing on August 7 stating he would “kill the pedophile who took my children.” The charges were based in part on a sign left at St. Mary Church in Farmington that read “Death to pedo demons. You pedophile’s [sic] kidnapped my children.” Authorities have charged the suspect with intimidation based on bigotry, stalking, breach of peace, and harassment.


August 4, 2023: Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger has been placed under 24/7 police protection after receiving a death threat. Mr. Danzinger received the threat via email from an individual with a self-proclaimed affiliation with a Nazi group. The email stated that the individual would go to Mr. Danzinger’s house and “teach his family a lesson.” The incident is being investigated by local law enforcement and the FBI.


August 2, 2023: A judge sentenced a woman to 18 months in prison for issuing a bomb threat directed at the Athens-Clarke County Democratic party headquarters. The threat was issued on December 3, 2022, ahead of a scheduled campaign appearance by the U.S. Senators from Georgia. The woman stated in her threat, “I am coming by either tonight or in the morning to set a bomb up. So I can blow all the Democrats up.” Police discovered a stolen laptop from the campaign headquarters in her possession.

December 4, 2022: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested the suspect in connection with the bomb threat.

August 16, 2023: The names and addresses of members of the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump on racketeering charges have been posted on far-right websites. Anonymous posters and commenters on these sites, including Trump’s social media site Truth Social, issued multiple threats including “these jurors signed their death warrant.” The Fulton County sheriff’s office announced that it was “aware” of the doxing and threats issued to the grand jury members and they are working with state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify who issued the threats.


August 5, 2023: Authorities issued an arrest warrant for a man who threatened to kill Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy. The death threat was left on the voicemail of the Country Clubs Hills Police Department. The suspect is facing a felony charge of threatening a public official which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

August 21, 2023: Authorities have charged a Plainfield resident with threatening to kill former President Donald Trump and his son Baron Trump. The suspect issued the threats in May and June when she emailed the headmaster of a school in Palm Beach County Florida. The threat stated, “I will shoot Donald Trump Sr. AND Barron Trump straight in the face at any opportunity that I get!” She is currently facing charges of threatening to kill or injure another person in interstate commerce.

June 14, 2022: The U.S. Secret Service arrested the woman after they found her outside Barron Trump’s school.


August 7, 2023: Terre Haute City Hall was placed on lockdown following a phone threat directed at a local judge. City hall employees stated that they received multiple calls from an anonymous caller threatening violence towards city court judge Kenneth McVey. The lockdown lasted approximately two hours. Police officials stated that the investigation is ongoing.


August 28, 2023:A Glenburn resident attempted to break into UFC President Dana White’s house in Levant. The suspect attempted to kick down the front door of the house before fleeing after realizing he was being recorded by CCTV on the property. Authorities have charged the suspect with two criminal offenses and the case has been submitted to the Maine District Attorney’s Office.


August 12, 2023: Protesters from the environmental action group Climate Defiance interrupted a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris at a fundraising event.  A single protester began shouting at the Vice President during her speech on civil rights, demanding further action on the ongoing climate crisis. The protester was quickly escorted out of the building. A larger group of Climate Defiance members gathered outside of the event, holding signs that read “Kamala: Off Fossil Fuels.” The event was held at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School where Vice President Harris was the keynote speaker.

August 21, 2023: Activists from the environmentally focused Climate Defiance group disrupted a fundraiser in Nantucket held by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey. The group interrupted the Governor while she was onstage, demanding that she halt the construction of all fossil fuel projects statewide. The protesters dispersed when the Nantucket police arrived. None of the protesters were arrested and no charges have been filed against the group or any of the individual activists.


August 24, 2023: A man who threatened to kill U.S. Senator Jon Tester has received a 2.5-year prison sentence. The man began making calls and leaving voicemails at the Senator’s office in late 2022, stating that he wanted to “rip off [Sen. Tester’s] head.”  The defendant cited his disagreements with the Senator’s political stance as his motive.

April 2023: The suspect admitted to making the threats when he was arrested by the FBI and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of threats to injure and murder a U.S. Senator.

New Hampshire

August 25, 2023: GOP activist Alex Talcott died from stab wounds at his home in Durham. Law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating whether the person who killed Mr. Talcott acted in self-defense, but a motive remains unclear. Police have identified everyone involved in the stabbing, but no arrests have been made.

New Jersey

August 15, 2023: Authorities arrested a man for making terroristic threats against Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at a community basketball game. The suspect is a longtime Newark community activist who confronted Mayor Baraka about rising rent prices in the city. During the confrontation, the suspect reportedly said that he would knock Mayor Baraka out, which prompted the mayor’s security team to call the police. The suspect denies that he made any threats directed at the mayor and the incident remains under investigation.

New Mexico

August 21, 2023: Authorities have charged a Las Cruces man with making an interstate threat for leaving a death threat on a Houston, Texas congresswoman’s voicemail. The suspect subscribes to QAnon conspiracy theories and falsely accused the congresswoman of being transgender and a pedophile. The man admitted to making the threats when he was questioned by the FBI in May.

New York

August 24, 2023: Police have arrested a man and charged him with stalking in the fourth degree for trying to discover Drew Barrymore’s address. Ms. Barrymore’s neighbors reported the suspect to police after he went door to door in Ms. Barrymore’s Southampton neighborhood asking residents where she lived. The arrest happened three days after the man rushed the stage in an attempt to talk to Barrymore at a public event. The man has previously been arrested in four different states for disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and trespassing.

August 21, 2023: Actress Drew Barrymore was escorted off stage during a 92Y interview when a man rushed the stage. The man stated, “I need to see you at some point while you’re in New York.” Security blocked him from going onstage and escorted him out of the event. Police were made aware of the event, but no arrest was made.

August 24, 2023: A court has sentenced an Endicott resident to three months in prison for making threatening calls targeting U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

March 16, 2022: Police arrested a man for leaving seven voicemails at Rep. Greene’s office threatening to hurt her or pay someone to do it for him. The man said that he made the threats due to his perception of Rep. Greene’s negative impact on social security benefits.


August 6, 2023: Police arrested a man for issuing a bomb threat directed at Hamilton County Judge Gary Starnes’ courtroom. The man threatened the judge, along with a bail bond agent and the public defender’s office from a Hamilton County Jail phone. The suspect was being held for making false reports and has 14 pending criminal charges that have all been handled by Judge Starnes since 2020.


August 3, 2023: A judge sentenced a man to three and a half years in prison for threatening two Arizona election officials and their families. He pleaded guilty in April to interstate threatening communications and will be under three years of supervised release following his prison term.

December 20, 2022: The suspect was arrested in connection with a series of threatening messages targeting election officials in Arizona on far-right-wing social media platforms. He doxed one of the officials stating, “Someone needs to get these people AND their children.” The man has a history of posting threatening language including advocating for the “mass shooting of poll workers and election officials.”

August 16, 2023: Prosecutors charged a woman for making a death threat via voicemail targeting U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Judge Chutkan was targeted because she is presiding over former President Trump’s criminal case in Washington D.C. alleging that he tried to overturn the 2020 election. In the voicemail, the suspect stated, “If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you.” The woman has been charged four times in the past year over similar allegations and was detained as recently as August 5, 2023.


August 9, 2023: Federal agents shot and killed a man who refused to surrender at his Utah residence. The suspect had made threats against President Joe Biden on social media stating that he’d be “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle” ahead of the President’s visit to Utah. The man also posted online that he’d be “ready with a loaded gun” if the FBI dropped by. FBI investigators said that photos the man posted showed his knowledge of sniper tactics. Investigators were already familiar with the suspect for his prior threats against Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and New York Attorney General Letitia James.


August 3, 2023: A court sentenced a man to 20 months in prison for threats directed at a state judge, defense lawyer, and a prosecutor. The convicted man threatened to kill the judge and defense attorney and to rape the prosecutor. The threats were made by phone on a Vermont Corrections Department reporting line in the fall of 2021. The man has been in custody since September 2020 for stalking and will be under supervised release for three years following his sentence.

Fall, 2021: The man was sentenced to an additional 4-12 months in prison for punching his defense attorney in the face during trial. He was already serving time on a state sentence for stalking and has been in and out of Vermont correctional facilities since 2013.


August 20, 2023:  An unnamed man made two death threats targeting the offices of the Spokane mayor and the City Council. The threats were issued by the same man via voicemail, who stated his name and phone number before saying “you’re going to be executed.”  Law enforcement officials have not released the name of the suspect as the threats are the focus of an ongoing investigation. Police have confirmed that no arrests have been made in connection with the threats.


August 22, 2023: Milwaukee police are investigating a bomb threat directed at Milwaukee’s City Hall. A city official stated that the threat included other locations, but the city hall was mentioned specifically. Law enforcement officials completed their search of the building and did not find any individuals or suspicious objects. The investigation is still ongoing.


August 1, 2023: Four climate activists from the Disrupt Burrup Hub group were arrested for trespassing at the home of Woodside Energy CEO Meg O’Neil. The activists had reportedly planned to confront Ms. O’Neil with a camera crew. The four activists have been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offense. A police spokesperson confirmed the arrests, additionally stating that the officers were “attached to the state security investigation group.” Disrupt Burrup Hub has engaged in multiple protests targeting Woodside Energy, including releasing stench gas at the company’s headquarters in June which prompted an evacuation.


August 8, 2023: Colombia’s attorney general’s office is investigating an alleged planned attack by the National Liberation Army (ELN) against attorney general Francisco Barbosa. Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro and Colombia’s military intelligence apparatus have disputed these reports and accused the AG of making the accusation for political reasons. Mr. Barbosa has publicly opposed many of the ELN’s proposals made in ongoing peace discussions the militia group is having with the Colombian government.


August 9, 2023: Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated at a campaign event he was hosting in the city of Quito. The attackers are believed to be associated with the criminal gang Los Choneros which had issued numerous threats targeting Mr. Villavicencio during his candidacy. Outgoing President Guillermo Lasso declared a national state of emergency in response to the assassination. The murder of Mr. Villavicencio marks a rise in violence against elected officials in Ecuador, with Manta Mayor Agustín Intriago, political organizers Pedro Briones and Puerto López, and mayoral candidate Omar Menéndez all being shot and killed earlier this year.

August 14, 2023: Local political leader Pedro Briones was shot and killed by a gunman on a motorcycle at his home in Esmeraldas province. Mr. Briones was a leader of the Citizen Revolution Party in Esmeraldas. Details of the killing were reported by local media as the police have not commented on their investigation. His killing came five days after the assassination of Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio.


August 15, 2023: German prosecutors have opened an investigation into the attempted murder of Berlin-based Russian journalist Elena Kostyuchenko. Ms. Kostyuchenko was allegedly poisoned on a train ride from Munich to Berlin in October of 2022. Two other Russian journalists who have been critical of the Kremlin, Irina Babloyan and Natalia Arno, also experienced symptoms consistent with poisoning in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Ms. Kostyuchenko has been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin in the past and exposed alleged Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine. Russia has an extensive history of attempted murder via poison targeting critics of the Kremlin.


August 15, 2023: Unknown assailants allegedly placed an explosive device on politician Ghaith Al-Tamimi’s car. The attack occurred in Baghdad’s Al-Mansour neighborhood, according to a social media-based self-described explosives expert. Other media outlets have not confirmed the incident.


August 10, 2023: The car of Lebanon’s caretaker Defense Minister Maurice Slim was shot at while traveling in southeast Beirut. Two bullets struck the window of Mr. Slim’s vehicle, but no one was hurt. Interior Minister Bassam al-Mawlawi has opened an investigation into the incident. The incident follows a violent clash between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah in the nearby village of Kahaleh but it is unclear if the two events are related.


August 3, 2023: Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero stated that the death threats that forced her to move into a local army base in June have not stopped. Mayor Caballero did not specify who has been making the threats on her life but has said they are in response to her efforts to fight organized crime in the city.

June 13, 2023: Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero relocated to an army base in the city after receiving death threats. The mayor made the announcement after confirming the police had found seven dead bodies in a pickup truck on June 12, but did not clarify if the incident influenced her decision.

August 18, 2023: Spanish pop star Miguel Bosé said that a gang of 10 armed intruders forcefully entered his gated Mexico City home. They restrained Bosé, his two children, and the household employees for over two hours while they pillaged and fled the residence. Additionally, Mr. Bosé mentioned that the attackers departed after taking his vehicle and other belongings.

South Korea

South Korea’s SM Entertainment, which oversees several K-pop music labels and groups, has reported four disturbing incidents that threatened performers and offices associated with the company over the month of August.  The threats were all internet/social media-based and resulted in at least one arrest.

August 7, 2023: SM Entertainment reported an internet user to the police for posting a murder threat against aespa member Winter. The message read: “Tomorrow, I will kill Winter, who will fly abroad.” Winter and other aespa members were set to head for the U.S. on August 8 for a music festival. The travel went ahead as planned.

August 8, 2023: Police increased patrols around Seoul’s Yongsan District after a social media user threatened the headquarters for HYBE records, which manages the globally famous BTS group. The post read, “I will stab people in front of the HYBE headquarters…. I really hope Chairman Bang Si-hyuk will be there.” HYBE temporarily shut down its offices in response.

August 11, 2023: Hanam Police Station in Gyeonggi Province announced that they arrested an unidentified man in his 20s for posting a threat online to kill nine staffers at SM Entertainment. The man insisted that he committed the act “in a fit of rage,” as he felt like an SM artist―a girl group member whom he has been following for 10 years―did not like him back. He reportedly sent her social media messages expressing his feelings.

August 21, 2023: An X user posted images from a hotel room allegedly belonging to NCT group member Jaehyun. The person allegedly stole the key card and entered the room while the performer was on a U.S. tour in October 2022.


August 7, 2023: An alleged Russian informant has been arrested for conspiring to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian Security Service states that the unnamed agent had gathered intelligence regarding President Zelensky’s planned travel and had attempted to pass it on to Russia. Russia has backed multiple attempts on President Zelensky’s life since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

United Kingdom

August 1, 2023: Four members of the climate action group This Is Rigged were arrested for vandalizing the Scottish Parliament building. The activists were protesting the Scottish government’s lack of response to the recent licenses for new oil and gas projects in the North Sea. This is Rigged has engaged in numerous protests outside of the Scottish Parliament building throughout 2023.

August 3, 2023: Five Greenpeace activists were arrested in connection with a protest staged at a house owned by Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The activists draped black fabric over the side of Mr. Sunak’s house to protest his recent approval of new oil licenses in the North Sea. Mr. Sunak and his family were not present at the time of the protest.

August 8, 2023: The brother of Simple Mind’s frontman Jim Kerr has been sentenced to an additional four years in jail for stalking and breaching a restraining order. The man used his Facebook account to issue threats to murder John Fagan and sexually assault his wife, Julie Fagan. The convicted man was originally sentenced to nine years in jail in 2020 for his involvement in the harassment but continued his harassment campaign of Mr. Fagan while imprisoned by writing letters to his employer falsely accusing Mr. Fagan of raping a young boy. The man began harassing John and Julie Fagan in 2019 after Mr. Fagan made a negative post concerning the band Simple Mind’s album Walk Between Worlds.

August 18, 2023: A judge issued a restraining order and an 8-week prison sentence against a man for stalking MP Mike Amesbury. The man harassed Mr. Amesbury between June and August of 2023, repeatedly approaching him outside of his office after being asked to direct any issues with the MP through proper channels. His prison sentence will be suspended for one year.