Show Preview: Counter Terror Expo 2011

Sport Business News

Counter Terror Expo 2011, the world beating annual event for professionals tasked with the complex role of addressing the challenging terrorist menace, takes place against the backdrop of an increasingly potent threat to public safety.

With the intelligence community signalling an intent or desire amongst extremist groups to target crowded places as well as the international transport network, the two day Counter Terror Expo 2011 event sits at the epicentre of the global effort to disrupt or deter such attacks. Stockholm became the latest European city to be targeted, when a lone extremist set off a car bomb in a busy shopping street minutes before triggering a suicide belt in late December 2010. The perpetrator, Iraqi born Taimur Abdulwahab al Abdaly, had strong connections to the United Kingdom. In some fundamental respects his attack mirrored that of the Pakistan born Time Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, who was captured fleeing the United States scant minutes before his Emirates flight to Dubai took off. A disturbing aspect of both these attacks is that the two men were naturalised citizens in their target countries – Abdulwahab al Abdaly held a Swedish passport whereas Shahzad held an American passport – thus they were able to travel freely. EU Counter–Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, made a prescient call for better sharing of information to stop potentially dangerous travellers in August. What is worrying us the most is extremists entering Europe, people who were born here or who have one of our member states passports, who can therefore slip under the police and intelligence radar, he told the euronews television channel at the time. He added that while Europe has agreements in place for tracking financial transactions, it really must have a similar system in place to collect information on passenger movements. 'Preventing & Combating Global Terrorism – 10 years on from 9/11', is the principal Counter Terror Expo 2011 conference theme exploring many of the issues that these two events have exposed publicly. De Kerchove's comment came in the wake of the US government and others warning citizens of the possibility of terrorist attacks in numerous European countries. Travellers were warned of the threat to transport networks and public spaces and told to be on their guard. The warning has been renewed, albeit in lower key fashion, following receipt of intelligence described as credible from Iraqi government sources in the aftermath of the events in Stockholm. Protection for public spaces and mass transit systems, present the counter–terrorism and law enforcement communities with an enormous challenge. This conundrum has been explored in depth over a long period of time and the risk based approach remains the only operationally viable and publicly acceptable solution, but supported by advanced surveillance and target hardening techniques that enhance safety but don't impede on the every day lives of the public. 'Achieving Homeland Security In The Face Of The Terrorist Threat' is a core Counter Terror Expo 2011 theme examining strategies adopted in the UK and the USA. Other key conference themes focus in on the primary methods adopted to deliver the maximum public protection in public spaces and across the transport networks. The year to date has also been dominated by the near successful attempt by Al–Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to down two cargo flights over the United States eastern seaboard with two powerful Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) concealed in airfreight. Both were being transshipped from the Yemen. The device discovered at East Midlands airport in the United Kingdom had already flown on two cargo aircraft, whilst the one found at Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates had been shipped there as belly–hold cargo on two passenger jets. AQAP has become notorious during the past 18 months, for their audacious left of field attacks primarily against the international transport networks. In attempting to transship powerful explosive devices through the airfreight network, they were exploiting long known weaknesses in the security regime and could very easily have succeeded in their ultimate goal. It is instructive that the device discovered at East Midlands airport, was only identified as a credible and potent threat following a second examination prompted by additional information from overseas. This fact has prompted some searching questions about the effectiveness of regionally deployed explosive detection capability, when faced with carefully packaged and concealed threats. The Counter Terror Expo 2011 EOD & IEDD seminar brings valuable insight to the detection and deactivation and disposal of such dangerous weapons, through major presentations of the latest technologies to counter and contain such threats. At the end of the decade the cyber security issue also gained significant prominence. Wikileaks exposure of a quarter million secret and restricted US diplomatic dispatches, has placed computer security, particularly within governmental and military circles, firmly at the top of the agenda. The series of deeply embarrassing disclosures prompted an allegedly US government inspired but commercial entity driven backlash against the whistle–blower website. This resulted in a mini cyber war, with Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks, against the likes of US headquartered companies such as Amazon, Paypal, Mastercard & Visa, which withdrew services to Wikileaks. Other cyber attacks have also taken place during the past year, including the release of the sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm, which specifically targets certain industrial plant control systems. Computer experts say that Stuxnet is so sophisticated, that it could only have been launched in the wild by a governmental entity. Cyber security has been identified as a first tier threat in the recently published UK National Security Strategy (NSS) and Cyber Security & Electronic Terrorism is a dedicated conference theme at Counter Terror Expo 2011. Extremist attacks against landmarks, public places and transport infrastructure during the course of the year, clearly emphasise the continued need for counter–terrorism vigilance. With state sponsored and hacktivist threats in cyberspace on the ascendency, a new dimension easily exploited by enemies is beginning to emerge. Counter Terror Expo 2011 remains the only international event addressing the key issues facing governments, the intelligence and law enforcement communities, national critical infrastructure operators and business entities. Counter Terror Expo is held annually in the prestigious Grand Hall of the London Olympia Exhibition and Conference Centre, this globally important event brings renowned experts from government, the military, law enforcement and academia together annually to discuss the issues, formulate strategy and direct policy making. The event comprises a high level two–day conference, extensive programme of workshop seminars and a world beating exhibition. Counter Terror Expo 2011 will bring detailed insight into the threats faced and mitigation methods available in dedicated conference streams and highly specialised seminars throughout the event. Conference will question: • What lessons have been learned, a full decade on from the horror of 9/11? • Whether the United States counter terrorism strategy has educated or hindered? • If the intervening European experience and response offers valuable lessons? • What the impact on global business and human rights is? • Whether emerging threat trajectories can be appropriately met? • If we need to re–evaluate methodologies in light of shifting tactics? Counter Terror Expo 2011 delivers highly valued learning opportunities through an extensive programme of focused workshop seminars on:• Information & Communication Systems• External Buildings & Facilities Security• Human Factors & Training• CCTV & Monitoring• Perimeter Protection & Intrusion Detection• Screening & Scanning• EOD & IEDD• Internal Buildings & Facilities Security• Personal Protection Equipment• Surveillance Equipment• CBRNE Detection & Protection• Electro Optic, Thermal Detection and Night Vision EquipmentCounter Terror Expo 2011 is the only event of its kind to deliver meaningful conference debate amongst those who matter within government, the military, law enforcement and academic circles, against the backdrop of an extensive educational programme and supported by world beating technology exhibition by global solution providers. Counter Terror Expo 2011 will be held within the Grand Hall of London Olympia from 19 –20 April 2011. More InformationPlease contact Nicola Greenaway–Fuller on +44 (0) 208 542 9090.

Additional information