THE TORCHSTONE WATCH

THE TORCHSTONE WATCH

Managing Risk in an Increasingly Complex World

ABOUT

TorchStone publishes The Watch to assist our readers in proactively managing risk—whether personal, professional, or organizational—in an increasingly insecure world. The featured articles, blog posts, and expert interviews address vulnerabilities and issues we have frequently encountered while safeguarding high profile individuals, wealthy families, multinational corporations, and international sporting events across six continents. Now, more than ever, security seems to be a precious commodity. Our goal is to give you more of it through The TorchStone Watch.

SPOTLIGHT ISSUE

Keeping the Threat of Terrorism in Context TorchStone

Keeping the Threat of Terrorism in Context

By TorchStone VP, Scott Stewart

The threat posed by domestic violent extremists is real, but that it is important to place the threat in the proper context. Historical and tactical context is critical in assessing threats because it is what allows us to understand what a threat is, and just as importantly—what it is not. Because of recent Department of Homeland Security warnings, it seems an appropriate time to discuss the closely related phenomena of terrorism and terror, in an effort to place them both into context.

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ARTICLES

Mitigating Knife Attack TorchStone

Mitigating Knife Attacks

A man in Würzburg Germany, launched a knife attack against a crowd, killing 3 women and wounding numerous others. This attack comes in the wake of knife attacks against police officers in France in April and May. There have also been several knife attacks in the UK in recent years, including attacks in June and December 2020. These incidents highlight that knife attacks remain a popular terrorist tactic. This merits a closer look at edged weapon attacks, strategies to avoid them, and ways in which potential targets can protect themselves against such attacks.

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Protect Yourself From a Fire - Fire Exit - TorchStone

How To Protect Yourself from Fire While Traveling

Fire is a killer. To be more specific, inhaling smoke created by fires causes most fire-related deaths. Globally, far more people die in fires than are killed in criminal or terrorist attacks. We have also seen terrorists and criminals use fire as a weapon to deadly effect. Whether the result of an accidental or natural wildfire, or an intentional manmade disaster, fire is deadly. Performing a hotel safety check, having some easy-to-carry items, and knowing what to do in case of a fire will give you the best preparation to survive.

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Everyday Carry - TorchStone

Scott Stewart’s Everyday Carry

In a recent podcast interview, my friend Fred Burton asked me to describe my everyday carry. It is a question I’ve been asked repeatedly over the years, and I thought it would be worth expanding on the topic here in the TorchStone Watch. In the end, what I carry is only one point of reference and is based on my situation and personal preferences. If I was still actively working executive protection details, or working in a war zone overseas, my everyday carry would be different. But my hope is that this discussion will provide you with an opportunity to think about what you could (and should) carry with you every day to help keep yourself and others safe.

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Terrorism and the Democratization of Media

Terrorism and the Democratization of Media

Organized jihadist groups and White Supremacist groups have put a great deal of effort into propaganda and online recruitment. However, they are not alone in their ability to recruit and mobilize. The same factors that have allowed terrorist groups to become their own media have also permitted individual attackers to have an outsized influence in radicalizing and operationalizing others to their extremist causes. The democratization of the media—the rise of the internet and social media—has allowed individual terrorists to create their own propaganda.

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BLOG

Virus Be Damned: Tokyo’s Games Must Go On

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, was originally postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while Japan’s medical community still has concerns that the Olympics may be a superspreader event and among strong public opposition, the Tokyo Summer Games will begin this July. Howard Snyder, TorchStone’s Asia Specialist, details the pressures behind the decision to give the 2020 Summer Games the green light in Asia Times’ Virus be damned: Tokyo’s Games must go on.

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Premier Sports Network partners with TorchStone Global to protect athletes from rising security threats

Premier Sports Network is a private networking platform exclusively for sports professionals that ensures professional athletes receive needed support of their personal lives. Professional athletes around the globe and their families are increasingly targets of crime, racial attacks, or social media abuse. TorchStone Global’s partnering with PSN allows sports leagues to provide the highest quality protection for their players as well as full advantage of TorchStone’s extensive experience and proactive risk management approach. 

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TorchStone’s Scott Stewart’s work in the field of protective intelligence honored

Protective Intelligence Honors “men and women whose remarkable vision, insight, courage and leadership have kept countless lives safe and are influencing an industry shift to a proactive, always-on physical security approach in the public and private sectors.” — Fred Burton, Executive Director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence

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Narcotica podcast discusses Mexico’s rise as a narco state with TorchStone’s Scott Stewart

During the height of the drug war’s surge under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Scott was assigned to protect a Colombian judge who had signed an arrest warrant for Pablo Escobar. In 1993 he traveled to Bogota to help the Colombian government investigate a car bombing at a school supply market. Scott provides boots-on-the-ground insight and analysis to America’s “forever war” on drugs.

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Beijing braces for perfect storm of Olympic woes

Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games will take place not only under the shadow of Covid-19, but as the most politically charged Olympics since the 1936 Berlin Games in Nazi Germany. And under what circumstances can the Games even be held? Will they serve as a beacon of hope after two years of the worst pandemic the world has seen since 1918? This article takes a look at Beijing 2022’s prospects, security concerns, implications for major stakeholders, and risks associated with the event and beyond.

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