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

TorchStone-Global-Extinction-Rebellion

The Need for Nuance in Protective Intelligence Part 4: Extinction Rebellion

By TorchStone VP, Scott Stewart

Since its inception in the UK in October of 2018, XR has become one of the fastest-growing protest campaigns in the world. As of January 2022, the campaign claims to have enlisted 1199 local groups in 86 countries and has launched disruptive protests in a number of countries. Perhaps their most notable protest was the large-scale efforts to disrupt traffic, light rail, and air transportation in London in April 2019 involving tens of thousands of protesters that resulted in over one thousand arrests. The group decided that a dramatic, apocalyptic, and emotionally powerful narrative emphasizing the catastrophic effect of climate change—in the form of the impending extinction of humanity—would help them mobilize a larger cross-section of people. Hence, their adoption of the name “Extinction Rebellion.”

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ARTICLES

Geography of Corporate Espionage - TorchStone Global

The Geography of Corporate Espionage Threats

In 2017, a Chinese operative sneaked into the Massachusetts-based Medrobotics’ headquarters building. The intruder was accidentally discovered after hours as he attempted to hack into the company’s wireless network, presumably looking for trade secrets regarding new technology for the multi-billion dollar robotic surgery industry. He had traveled to the U.S. from Canada, crossing the border by car. Corporate espionage actors are willing to target the information they desire regardless of where it is. Even efforts to safeguard company laptops and phones through company security policies may not have the intended effect.

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Colin Kahl, American undersecretary of defense for policy

Will Islamic State Khorasan Attack the U.S. Homeland in Six Months?

Headlines generated by Colin Kahl’s testimony give the Islamic State Khorasan Province’s attack capabilities of the United States more credence than has perhaps been demonstrated. While ISK has shown itself to be a capable insurgent force and conduct terrorist attacks within Afghanistan, striking against the U.S. directly is quite another matter. It may not be beyond the scope of possibility, but for ISK, or any other jihadist terrorist group, to have such opportunity or ability would mean many signs were ignored.

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Of Kidnappings, Lions, and Crocodiles - TorchStone Global

Of Kidnappings, Lions, and Crocodiles

400 Mawozo, a kidnapping ring in Haiti, has reportedly kidnapped hundreds of victims over the past few years. Their current victims, 17 expatriate missionaries, are currently being held for a ransom demand of $1 million per hostage. There is hope that they will be released unharmed once the ransom is paid, as 400 Mawozo has done in the past. Given the interest this case has generated, it is an opportune time to discuss kidnapping, methodologies of financially motivated kidnappers, and how to avoid becoming a victim.

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TorchStone-Lessons-from-a-Nuclear-Spy-Case

Lessons From a Nuclear Spy Case

Jonathan Toebbe was an “entrepreneurial” or self-initiated spy motivated by money. He was not targeted and recruited as an agent by the foreign intelligence agency. Instead, he decided himself that he wanted to become a spy, which country he wanted to spy for, and how much he demanded as compensation for his espionage. He approached them. Entrepreneurial spies, who are frequently referred to as “walk-ins” in intelligence parlance, have long proved to be incredibly harmful.

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BLOG

Gauging the Jihadist Movement 20 Years After 9/11

“While much attention has been paid of late to homegrown far-right and far-left extremists, jihadist terrorism has not disappeared—it merely evolved. So, as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it behooves security professionals to take stock of the jihadist movement today, forecast where the movement is headed, and consider the implications of ongoing terrorist activity.”

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Taliban Continues Rapid Offensive in Afghanistan

The Taliban’s rapid push to take over Afghanistan in a matter of days means many remaining organizations should ensure they still have a way to leave the country. While groups that operate generally in the Middle East may not be nearly as impacted, Scott Stewart explains to Security Management what steps such organizations still within Afghanistan should take to diminish their risk of being trapped in-country.

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The Balancing Act Behind Sporting and Entertainment Venues Opening to the Public

As events cautiously open up to the public, security teams are faced with an unforeseen element of protection — personal health and safety. Event security teams are forced to weigh the benefits of increased security measures with the goals of the venue’s event, making it enjoyable, profitable, and well-attended. TSG President Frank Rodman discusses these complexities with the host of The Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence Podcast, Fred Burton.

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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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