March 2024 TorchStone Global Monthly Executive Protection Report

March 2024 TorchStone Global Monthly Executive Protection Report
April 9, 2024 sdcpm
Executive Protection Report March 2024 - TorchStone Global

March 2024 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 celebrity, 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 21 domestic and 23 international security incidents or updates to prior incidents impacting high-profile individuals during March 2024. Below are some key incidents of note over the past month.

Breakdown of March Targets and Tactics

March EP Report Domestic vs. International Targets

March EP Report Targeting Trends Since May 2023

  • TorchStone recorded two more assassinations of Mexican mayoral candidates and the abduction of a journalist as politically motivated violence continues leading up to Mexico’s June 2 elections. Campaigning for the election officially began this past month and there have already been dozens of assassinations and abductions of candidates, political advisors, and journalists. Candidates at the local level face the most risk due to the lack of security resources to protect them. Violence is likely to continue through at least June 2.
  • Spanish authorities arrested six individuals suspected of targeting the homes of professional athletes in affluent Madrid neighborhoods over the past two years. Police say that the gang selected their targets and planned their robberies based on images and information shared on social media by the players, their families, and friends. The string of robberies netted the criminals hundreds of thousands of euros in cash and valuables. The case serves as a reminder to use caution when posting on social media and to avoid providing details that could make your home vulnerable to theft or other forms of attacks.
  • Deepfake videos that utilize AI to falsely portray individuals committing lude acts (such as pornography) have dramatically increased over the past year, according to a UK media investigation. An analysis by the UK’s Channel 4 News of the 40 most visited deepfake pornographic websites found 143,733 videos portraying 4,000 well-known individuals – mostly women. Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni took action against deepfake creators this month by filing a defamation lawsuit against two men who created an unauthorized video of her in 2022. The Prime Minister’s lawsuit could set a precedent for cracking down on deepfake video creators who target high-profile individuals.

March 8, 2024: A woman threw red liquid at Vice President Kamala Harris’ motorcade during a campaign event in Phoenix. The liquid was deemed later to be to be “non-hazardous.” The liquid contacted 8 police officers and their motorcycles. The officers were able to continue with the motorcade and other police officers were able to locate a female in her 30’s, who had thrown the liquid from the sidewalk, and arrested her. The woman had previously taken part in local pro-Palestine protests, but it is unclear what her specific motive was.

March 12, 2024: A Massachusetts man was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for sending a communication containing a bomb threat to an election official in the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.  According to court documents, on or about February 14, 2021, the man sent a message via the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, addressing the election official by her first name and warning her that she needed to, “Resign by Tuesday February 16th by 9 am or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated.”  The man pleaded guilty in August 2023 to one count of making a threatening interstate communication.

March 25, 2024: An Ohio man was sentenced to two and half years in prison for sending death threats to an election official in the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office during Arizona’s primary and general elections in 2022.  According to court documents, the man left a series of voicemails threatening the life of an election official between August 2, 2022, and November 15, 2022, accusing the official of failing to protect the 2020 election and committing election fraud.  The man pleaded guilty in August 2023 to one count of making a threatening interstate communication.


March 15, 2024: LAPD responded to a burglary at the residence of NBA player Paul Pierce while Mr. Pierce was out of town. According to police, the suspects stole cash and luxury watches estimated at $100,000 before fleeing the property. Additionally, law enforcement continues to review security surveillance footage as the investigation is ongoing and it is unclear if this burglary crew is related to the recent “burglary tourist” crews from South America targeting affluent residences.

March 11, 2024: A man has been indicted for threatening to kill an Orange County judge and kill/harm others in similar roles. The man sent an email to the judge in February and made other posts on social media claiming he would assassinate the judge and conduct a mass shooting at the courthouse targeting other judges, lawyers, and police officers. The man appears to have made the threats while he was in Mexico but was arrested after attempting to enter the United States.

March 16, 2024: Media reported that actor and comedian King Bach, whose real name is Andrew Byron Bachelor, was another victim of home burglaries being conducted in Los Angeles. During a January break-in that was first reported in March, thieves took about $200,000 in jewelry and cash. The actor was not home during the burglary. Police believe that it was not a targeted attempt, but one of opportunity. The investigation led to the arrest of several individuals that they believed were responsible for the crime. Mr. Bach had not received any of his jewelry back as of March.

March 26, 2024: Actor-songwriter Dominic Fike secured a temporary restraining order from Los Angeles County following law enforcement’s response to reports of an alleged stalker who unlawfully entered his Los Angeles residence, claiming to have been in a longstanding relationship with him. According to legal documents filed, Mr. Fike encountered the uninvited individual in his living room during the afternoon. It’s unclear how she gained access to the residence. The intruder reportedly became confrontational when asked to depart, resorting to physical force against Mr. Fike’s assistant who attempted to escort her off the premises. The female alleged stalker faces at least two civil harassment cases.

March 22, 2024: Authorities have charged two men for the shooting death of Sidney Barrett Morris at a Los Angeles restaurant in November. After a four-month-long investigation, LAPD determined that the attack specifically targeted Mr. Barrett Morris, who was a director within the California State University system and the nephew of Motown songwriter, Barrett Strong. The accused men have been charged with one count of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime, one of the men also faces a charge of arson for setting the getaway vehicle on fire the next day in an attempt to destroy evidence. Authorities are still working to establish a connection between the victim and suspects, according to the commanding officer of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.


March 1, 2024: The FBI Miami Field Office is seeking information on an Iranian intelligence officer suspected of targeting U.S. officials for assassination. Authorities suspect that the intelligence officer, Majid Dastjani Farahani is seeking out assassination targets as part of Iran’s effort to respond to the United States’ operation that killed Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani in 2020. U.S. authorities have investigated and arrested multiple individuals associated with Iranian assassination campaigns in recent years.


March 2, 2024: Gunshots were reported outside former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home early in the morning. No one was injured in the incident. Police recovered a bullet from inside a police cruiser that entered through the windshield. In 2022 while in office, Mayor Lightfoot enhanced her security detail after an alleged stalker was caught near the home with a loaded gun. At the time of this report, no arrests have been made.


March 1, 2024: Law enforcement responded to reports of an unwanted individual outside rapper Boosie BadAzz’s (otherwise known as Torrence Hatch Jr.) Baton Rouge residence in the early evening hours. Mr. Hatch Jr. reported that the alleged stalker has made multiple unwanted visits to his residence over the past few months, claiming to be in a relationship and threatening to shoot rounds into his home. The police have arrested the alleged stalker.


March 7, 2024: A Flushing man accused of stalking Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and her wife was charged with two counts of misdemeanor stalking in Wayne County.  The charges stem from a March 5 incident at Nessel’s family home in Plymouth, MI, where police responded around 8:34 am to reports of a man sitting on the front porch of the home.  The man is also accused of attempting unsolicited contact with Nessel on a prior occasion.


March 3, 2024: A man accused of harassing Governor Joe Lombardo and his family online was arrested after he showed up at a Las Vegas house he thought was the governor’s and broke a window.  The man was booked the following day on one count each of aggravated stalking, cyberstalking, destruction of property, and trespassing.  In addition to breaking a window, the suspect also banged on the door of another home while yelling.  Authorities found about three dozen posts on social media in which the man accused Lombardo of murder.  Nevada State Police, which oversees Lombardo’s security detail, told Las Vegas police that it had been aware of the posts and that officers had planned on speaking to the man, but hadn’t prior to his arrest.

New Mexico

March 1, 2024: Albuquerque police are investigating the passing of 26-year-old adult film star Sophia Leone as a “suspicious death.” Ms. Leone’s family found her unresponsive in her apartment. Ms. Leone’s modeling agency had previously claimed that her death was being investigated as a robbery and homicide, but Albuquerque police have contradicted that claim. Authorities are awaiting the results of a toxicology exam to determine the exact cause of death.

New York

March 28, 2024: Protestors interrupted a fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall featuring President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, in opposition to the White House’s handling of the crisis in Gaza. The large fundraiser was stopped multiple times by several protests shouting over the discussion moderated by Stephen Colbert. Hundreds of protestors also gathered outside the event as the three presidents arrived at the fundraiser, protests around Radio City Music Hall continued into the night.

March 31, 2024: NYPD detained a man who assaulted actor Michael Stuhlbarg Sunday evening at the intersection of 90th St and East Drive, near Central Park. According to police reports, the assailant struck Stuhlbarg in the head with a rock in an unprovoked attack. Stuhlbarg chased the suspect until police captured him. The victim suffered a slight head wound but refused medical attention. There are no indications that the attacker recognized Stuhlbarg or attacked him due to this profession.

March 31, 2024: Broadway actor John Cardoza was robbed at an uptown Manhattan restaurant Sunday afternoon. As he was leaving the restaurant, a man approached him asking for a dollar. When Cardoza refused, the assailant threatened him with what appeared to have been a firearm. Cardoza surrendered his wallet with no further incident. There are no indications that the assailant targeted Cardoza due to his profession.


March 23, 2024: A series of bomb threats forced the Lancaster public library to be evacuated. The threats were made via email to newspaper offices threatening a reporter, homes of reporters, and public library officials, and a suspicious package was discovered at the scene. The library had scheduled a “Drag Queen Story Hour” that was canceled due to the threats. After an hour of locking down the library and nearby buildings, the police lifted the lockdown order stating there was “no danger to the public.”


March 4, 2024: State senator Brent Taylor’s personal and business information was posted on social media in a doxing attack. The senator replied in a post that he was not “intimidated easily.” The doxing was made on X by the account Decarcerate Memphis which is likely in response to the senator submitting several bills to promote public safety and “Make Memphis Matter.” The organization was founded in 2020 to resist the federal government’s attempt to restore order to Memphis.

West Virginia

March 7, 2024: A New York man has been sentenced to prison after threatening to kill a United States Senator over the phone. According to court documents, on February 9, 2022, the man placed a phone call to the Martinsburg, West Virginia, office of a United States Senator and left a voicemail that included the threat that there was “a bullet coming to your head soon.”  The man pleaded guilty to the charge in October of 2023.

Washington, District of Columbia

March 26, 2024: An unidentified man targeted national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s home causing a bomb squad to be called. The incident involved the suspect throwing a substance from a car window later determined to be manure. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal team declared the scene as safe afterward and started an investigation.


March 25, 2024: Police arrested a man accused of organizing an effort to assassinate the city executive leader of Lankaran, in southern Azerbaijan. Police claim that the man, who lived in Russia, had coordinated with multiple people across Azerbaijan to organize the assassination plot. The plot allegedly also included the targeting of an unnamed foreign English teacher living in Azerbaijan. The accused man faces terrorism charges and is awaiting trial.


March 2, 2024: Investigators with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) are reviewing whether illegal activity occurred during a pro-Palestinian protest that led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s team to cancel a reception to host a visiting G7 leader.  The scheduled reception between Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was abruptly canceled after approximately 400 demonstrators shouting pro-Palestinian slogans blocked entrances to the building and prevented many attendees from getting in, causing the venue to briefly go into lockdown.  Although there were no arrests or injuries at the time, TPS is reviewing the events that led to the cancellation of the reception and if it’s determined that illegal activity occurred, charges can be filed later.

March 6, 2024: MP Charlie Angus has been “inundated” with death threats, swearing, and homophobic slurs over his proposal to curb greenwashing by the fossil fuel industry. This came after Angus tabled a private member’s bill that would ban misleading ads by the fossil fuel industry that market the industry as a solution to climate change.  After shutting down the bill, calls including threatening remarks began to come into Angus’s constituency office, especially after the Conservative Party of Canada launched an online petition attacking the bill.  Angus said the response has been increasingly common, with a mostly male “rage farm” attacking him over challenges to the oil and gas sector, referring to the social media tactic of cultivating outrage amongst followers.

March 9, 2024: Toronto city councilor, James Pasternak, is speaking out after an individual called his constituency office and left an antisemitic voicemail message that is now being investigated by police.  Three days after the incident, police announced the arrest of a Markham man in connection with the incident, which police said is being investigated as a suspected hate-motivated offense.  The suspect has been charged with uttering threats, indecent communication, and criminal harassment in connection with the incident.


March 24, 2024: The mayor of San Vicente was found shot dead in a car with one other person according to the police. She was 27 years old and was the youngest mayor in the country. The country has seen a surge in gang-related violence since January and has declared a state of emergency to combat armed gang violence. According to Police, the two appear to have been shot inside the car and no motive has been stated currently.


March 20, 2024: A French court issued guilty verdicts for 28 people involved in a coordinated cyber-harassment campaign against French online influencer, Magali Berdah. The guilty individuals had to pay tens of thousands of Euro in fines and compensation to the victim and some were convicted to up to 18 months in prison. Ms. Berdah claimed that the harassment campaign began in 2022 and accused French rapper Booba of being the ringleader of the campaign. Booba has denied the allegations. In a separate case, a French court dismissed Booba’s charges of fraudulent activity against Ms. Berdah’s social media marketing company.

South Korea

March 20, 2024: An unidentified person issued a bomb threat against Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome ahead of the first regular season MLB game in South Korea. Police suspect that the threat sought to disrupt a game featuring Japanese star player Shohei Ohtani.  Around 150 police officers used K-9 units, X-ray detectors, and other equipment but did not locate any suspicious items. There is significant animosity between South Korea and Japan linking back to World War II era atrocities that continue to manifest today.


March 6, 2024: Actor-turned-politician, Navneet Rana received a threatening message on WhatsApp. The audio message sent to her also included remarks against the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, and other political leaders. Her assistant lodged a complaint with the police and the investigation is currently ongoing. Rana was arrested in 2022 for her remarks and actions taken in protest against the former Prime Minister.


March 20, 2024: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has filed a defamation lawsuit against two men accused of creating deepfake pornographic images of her. Deepfake refers to the technology whereby video editors can impose a person’s face over an image in a very realistic way. The images date back to at least 2022, preceding Prime Minister Meloni’s term in office. Meloni is seeking €100,000 in damages, a symbolic figure her lawyer has said will go to a fund to support female victims of violence if she wins.


March 3, 2024: A candidate for mayor in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, Alfredo Gonzalez Diaz, was shot and killed while driving along the Acapulco-Zihuatanejo federal highway on Sunday. Gonzalez intended to represent the Labor Party in the mayoral election in Atoyac de Alvarez.

March 6, 2024: Demonstrators used a pick-up truck to break through the doors to Mexico City’s National Palace while President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was holding a press conference inside. Security personnel acted to remove the protestors before they posed a threat to the president or any other officials. This was the first report of the palace doors being broken down in recent years, despite efforts in the past by other protestors. The protesters were demanding justice for 43 students who were abducted and murdered in 2014.

March 11, 2024: Mexican journalist Jaime Barrera went missing in western Mexico but was found alive two days later. Barrera said he was abducted by an armed gang who beat him and inquired about his reporting before releasing him with a warning about his work. Barrera disappeared on March 11 after leaving work in the city of Guadalajara. He said he had just gotten to his car when five armed men surrounded him and forced him into a separate vehicle. After being blindfolded and taken to another location Barrera said his captors questioned the way he wrote and if his reporting was influenced by someone’s directions. Barrera said they did not say which cartel or group was involved.  Barrera’s case garnered national attention partly because his daughter, Itzul Barrera, is a member of the leadership council for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Morena party.

March 12, 2024: A Morena party candidate for mayor in the Mexican state of Guerrero was shot and killed outside his home in Chilapa. The candidate, Tomas Morales, was running for the office of mayor in Chilapa, a violent city that has seen gang warfare thrive. This follows a trend of violence against political candidates at the municipal level in Mexico: at least six local politicians have been murdered so far this year ahead of the June 2 elections.


March 16, 2024: Tony Aziegbemi, the Edo State chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, was abducted by unidentified gunmen near his home in Benin City. Aziegbemi’s abductors followed him home the night of his capture in two Toyota Corollas and stopped his vehicle at around 11 pm. His captors released him ten days later on March 26 near the same area. Kidnapping for ransom gangs are highly active across Nigeria and typically release their hostages after receiving a ransom in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.


March 12, 2024: Lukoil announced that one of its Vice presidents had died by suicide, marking the fourth sudden death of a Lukoil executive over the past two years. Russian media reported that the VP had complained of headaches and had requested medication before going into his office. After employees were unable to contact him for several hours, they entered his office, where they found him hanged to death. The executive was 53 years old and had worked at Lukoil for more than 30 years. Dozens of prominent Russian business and political figures have died suspicious deaths since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.


March 14, 2024: Federal agents have identified a Serbian man whom they allege conducted over 100 swatting calls, including attempts targeting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, CISA Director Jen Easterly, and other senior Biden administration officials. Authorities accuse the suspect of conducting the swatting calls over Christmastime. U.S. Secret Service and FBI agents participated in a search of the suspect’s residence in Serbia, where they confiscated computers and other electronic devices.  One of the swatting victims on Christmas Day, Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY), confirmed that his office was informed that a “foreign national living overseas” had been suspected in relation to the incident.


March 13, 2024: Spanish police announced the arrest of six gang members who specifically targeted the homes of professional football players in upscale Madrid residential areas. Authorities said the group selected their victims and planned their robberies by studying images of the homes posted by the players, their families, and friends on social media. Police charged the gang members for conducting at least eight robberies stealing hundreds of thousands of euros in cash and valuables since 2022. During the arrests, officers seized 10 watches, several items of jewelry, €3,300 in cash, and two air guns. Authorities accused the gang of trying to sell the stolen goods on the black market.


March 6, 2024: A Russian missile struck “several hundred feet” from where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. However, it appears that the proximity of the strike to the leaders was a coincidence, as Russia regularly targets Ukraine’s Black Sea port facilities. Moscow claimed that it was targeting a Sea Drone base that Ukraine has used to target Russia’s Black Sea fleet. President Zelenskyy had shown the Greek prime minister around port facilities in Odesa and had entered a vehicle to depart. As they were preparing to leave, local air raid sirens sounded followed shortly by a missile strike against the port. Ukrainian sources told ABC News that this was the closest a Russian strike had ever come to President Zelenskyy behind the front lines of the conflict.

United Kingdom

March 6, 2024: Conservative MP for Morely and Outwood, Andrea Jenkyns, shared a racist email she received accusing her of being a “posh white slut.” The letter went on to imply that her son was getting molested by his “black and brown nannies,” and that he “might get raped by a refugee.” It concluded by expressing the hope that “Hamas comes for you lot.” Jenkyns shared the message on her social media.  The email is the latest in the series of threats received by politicians recently as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned that political extremism was damaging Britain’s democracy.

March 19, 2024: Two Just Stop Oil supporters disrupted an event featuring the UK’s Shadow Attorney General, Emily Thornberry, at the Institute for Government. The protesters criticized Thornberry for ignoring a letter the group had sent to her last week demanding she leave the Labour Party if they failed to revoke oil licenses granted since 2021. The protesters also threw orange confetti and began shouting their demands at the assembly. The pair was then escorted off the premises and Thornberry continued her remarks, saying she had become “hardened” to regular protests over the environment and Gaza.

March 21, 2024: A court sentenced an Ipswich man to 12 weeks in prison and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment plan for making a series of threatening phone calls to London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The man told police that he was “very drunk” when they arrested him on February 24 for making a series of threats against the mayor, including saying that he was “going to get shot in the head.” The threats come as London’s first Muslim mayor faces an increase in threats from both white nationalists and radical Islamists.

March 21, 2024: UK news outlet Channel 4 reported that at least 255 prominent British women have been victimized by deepfake pornography. The investigation found that British female actors, TV stars, musicians, YouTubers, and journalists had been targeted with online deepfake pornography. Analysis of the most popular deepfake sites identified content targeting nearly 4,000 well-known individuals. The investigation also found that 143,733 deepfake videos were uploaded to the internet during the first nine months of 2023 and that the 40 most visited deepfake pornographic websites had accumulated 4.2 billion total views. The proliferation of AI imagery generation technology is likely to dramatically increase the volume of deepfake pornography available online and it is likely to disproportionately impact female celebrities.

March 29, 2024: An Iranian journalist, Pouria Zeraati, was attacked with a knife outside his house in London. Zeraati had spotted two suspicious persons loitering near his car immediately before the attack. One of the men restrained him as he tried to enter the vehicle while another stabbed him several times. The assailants quickly fled the scene afterward. UK authorities identified three suspects linked to the crime but believe that they fled the country within hours of the attack. Zeraati and his employer are vocal critics of the Iranian regime and have employer received threats in the past. Tehran denied any involvement in the attack.