The old saying of “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” is a concept that has been damaging in many ways for decades, and more so when we don’t take lessons learnt from incidents there. The latest mass shooting, which was considered the greatest mass shooting in modern US history occurred Sunday October 1st, when Stephen Paddock, a past middle age, white male American, opened fire on a concert crowd from the 32nd floor of a hotel. The rifles were prepared (over 10 of them), and a hammer has been suspected of use in breaking the glass to begin. The attack was planned, motivation is still mystery as the gunman shot himself dead when the SWAT team was assaulting. What we need to take away from this mainly, especially in the context of Trinidad and other countries not prepared for this is motioning and response preparation.

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People trying to escape concert shooting in Las Vegas

First a possible motive that must be dismissed is claims by radicals with no evidence to that effect. ISIS has claimed responsibility in the hope of inspiring random acts of terror in the future, but there is no link. The shooting in Las Vegas which left 58+ dead and over 500 injured has no indication of being a terrorist action and seems to be linked with no organization or cause. His brother and other loved ones confirmed his lack of involvement in any external or internal radical movements, and nothing at the scene indicated anything different. There has been a recent trend of organizations randomly claiming responsibility of calamities, which is part of a blind yet mass push of propaganda for further international recognition and to continue to indoctrinate/inspire their current membership. This is perpetuated by fake news sites that run with the stories in order to get ‘clicks’ to bring in ad money. In an age where terrorism in one form or the other has become a day to day reality for many countries worldwide, we must continue to separate legitimate acts of terror, from non terror related massacres, in the hopes of properly combating both types of threats.

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Sheriff’s Dept. responds to shooting

Does this now mean that a terrorist organization is incapable of a similar attack or worse? Certainly not, and certainly not for those who would be inspired by the propaganda. There is too much uncertainty in the wake of this as to our vulnerability. Hindsight being 20/20 vs being realistic about how to prevent this would indicate that practically, it is everyone’s responsibility to report strange behaviour, but were it does not appear out of the ordinary (as in this case), this is little that can be done past being vigilant as usual and prepared. One experienced Law Enforcement Analyst from the US commented on the efficiency of the law enforcement response, saying that it’s not widespread to be trained in identifying and following through so quickly in such a situation (mainly due to the difficulty in estimating the root of the threat in such a large building). Apparently even in Las Vegas this not a standardized part of training, exposing the ugly reality that law enforcement officers are human, and have limits of their capabilities and budgeting.

Photo from: Trinidad and Tobago express

Guns and ammo seized by Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

In a country as small as Trinidad however, where the tallest building is 27 stories (98m), there is a lot we can do to prepare in case of a similar instance. This is a renewed call personally for dedicated SWAT teams trained for specific areas of interest (especially high risk Government buildings and international business estates), along with general training for all law enforcement to be ready to contain such a threat to the level of reducing panic and mistakes that may cost more civilian lives. Mitigation, control of area, tactical response are the key words here, but all must be focused and objectives clear for all involved. Until we focus more on what is possible and increasingly likely in a world of rapidly evolving threats, and dynamic responses to them, we will continue to be sitting ducks. With a gang situation in Trinidad which more resembles terrorist cells in arms caches and brutality than traditional gangs, there is a ticking time bomb of mass terror we are just sitting on, and perhaps may go off with an actual one in the near future.

Paul-Daniel Nahous
US Certified Anti-Terrorism Officer
Israeli Tactical Counter Terror Instructor
US Certified Homeland Security
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The Continuous Crime…

Posted: July 1, 2017 in Uncategorized


A Babysitter and child with their throat slit, a Chinese national stands up to be shot down, and an honest prominent businessman kidnapped. Soulless murders, displays of violence to resistance, and the sparking of the high rate kidnapping industry once again. This is the state we have reached, and these events, while happening in isolation paint a grim picture of the path we are already far down.

A 56 year old baby sitter and a 13 year old child were tied up and had their throats slit, the boy’s mother weeping uncontrollably. It is suspected to be a ‘normal’ and random robbery, however it is suspected that the woman was tortured and raped, and the boy’s throat was slit so violently that the vertebrate of his spinal column was damaged. Imagine coming home to find out that was the fate of your family member. One man commented they had to have been high on something to watch these innocent persons and slice them ear to ear, another said they must have been possessed. The more rational answer would be that those saying that are out of touch with the mentality and M.O. of the young criminal element.

Ricky Garcia (former Councillor for a Burgess in Diego Martin) commented once that the boys he sees on the ground now have “dolly eyes,” i.e. the soulless and void of emotion that eyes of a doll have. The lines of conscience are non existent as half of them believe what they do is right, and the other half don’t care either way as they do what they want, when they want. At best the bahaviour is A-moral, at worst (and most times the case) plain out malicious and evil in nature. Where does this leave us? With no resolve and another pair of innocent dying in vain.

The Chinese have been recent targets of the perpetual crime spree that has become normal everyday life in Trinidad and Tobago. As much as the rhetoric of the Chinese mafia seems like the whimsical cop out explanation, the reality is that they are being affected by the same low life daily crime that affects the rest of the population. In some regard now they are probably more targeted than most others as Chinese business persons due to heavy cash on hand and late closing hours seem to be primary targets. One Chinese woman who was fed up being robbed and intimidated by criminals stood up, and for her bravery out of total frustration she was rewarded with a gunshot and the end of her life. Again seemingly in vain, and possibly giving the criminals a sense of empowerment.

A prominent businessman was kidnapped this week and a ransom of $270 000 was paid for his release. A small group of criminals have made more money this month than most of us will make in 3-5 years of work. A single man there just got what your yearly salary is for one “wuk.” Let that sink in. Worse yet is what this could indicate for Trinidad and Tobago’s crime situation as every criminal, big and small, have been reminded that crime does pay, and it pays big, depending on how brutal and swift you are. Micheal Aboud (Chairman of Amalgamated Security Services Limited) said years ago about the danger of “copy cats” who are less seasoned criminals that would tend to go wild at news like this and have even less regard for the life and health of their kidnapped victims, in some cases seeing rape and torture as a normal thing to do given their power in the situation.

Take all of the above and add the fact that today we have possibly 100 + small gangs, a few “mega gangs” with hundreds of members each. Add to that enough guns and ammo to arm even the smallest child among them, and we can see that these 3 incidents that took place less than 24 hours apart are just the tip of the iceberg. Our sweet TnT has become a sweet haven for those who do wrong, a constant place of fear for those who want to live in peace, and a place of indifference to those who Jammin’ still…

Trumping a Nation

Posted: November 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

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The year in US Politics, and certainly the remainder of this year is going to be one to remember for a long time to come. Whether a drastic turning point, or a blip in the radar of time, many of us will be turning back asking the proverbial “What the hell?” While the media plays on the outrageous nature of Trump’s golden headlines in substitute for engaging stories, we are faced with 2 dilemmas manipulating the U.S.A.; the media, and the voters.

07To address the easier one here first, the media will run what is selling papers and online hits. Some accuse it of being a liberal agenda, and while there is always the “agenda” factor, I believe it to be above all business as usual (i.e. sell sell sell). If your  customers want burgers but you insist on stocking steak, either buy some minced beef or close up shop. Racism sells, violence sells, ignorance to the highest order sells. It’s the same concept that has the dozens of blogs now with hundreds of thousands of hits reporting on “daily news” and “historical facts,” when in fact it’s sensationalist, un-vetted tabloid dribble, but I digress. This brings me into a substantial consideration of the Trump campaign. Is this all deliberate?

Trump CardsMany are left in shock of Trump’s statements, wondering how someone so apparently stupid and ignorant could have gotten this far in the race. And that is my whole point here, is he that stupid, or is he that smart? How could such an unimpressive and to a large extent ridiculous candidate have gotten the nomination (and by the margin he did), and why the hell are we still even talking about him? This could well be a case of “no publicity is bad publicity” media plan. The Trump name has been kept alive in this campaign by pseudo-scandals and puff pieces on rallies. As the noise dies down, a tweet or other overt means of communication is used to get out a statement that will have the public gasp at the ludicrousy of it. Any doubt in my mind that this is the plan is usually settled by this very notion: we are still talking and reading about him almost daily…

Onto now the Trump supporter. The stereotypical Blue collar hick by day, KKK by night that they are pegged as, is a major part of the problem of why there is such a large portion of the population that supports Trump and similar characters (if any exist). In the similar trend of prejudice being a one way street, we’ll get the sarcasm out of the way and just say now that a black man isn’t to be harmed no matter what the circumstance or criminal conduct, and that a white man is only to be harmed in a similar situation if it isn’t by police. The hierarchy of broad brush prejudice goes something like that nowadays. The lack of understanding and communication and similarly shamming of large pockets of society by more “progressive” groups and leaders alike has essentially ostracized the former and made them cling to whatever they see as a different way. Many would prefer to break the system than to continue feeling ignored and oppressed by it. Sound familiar historically?

hillaryclinton-scandals-vs-donaldtrump-attrib-afbranco-comicallyincorrect-051716The wave of new neo-liberalism and leaders that try to open dialogue so much about modern ideals that they ironically close off communication with those who think differently, or are simply unsure of the changes around them. This has left those groups of thinkers in the dust and in the same boat with those who refuse to think alike (although there are those who push the same mindless rhetoric on both sides of the fence). It now ends up being less of a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and more of “the enemy of me must be my enemy’s friend!” So what are we left with sociologically? Only the groups who are polarized on either end speaking out and fueling the fear and ignorance that is now dividing chunks of America like never before. Similar to 2008 where to oppose Obama meant you were labeled as a racist, if you mention Trump as you preferred choice you are labeled the same. If you still doubt the seriousness of this division and are sitting down thinking that only the most buck toothed hillbilly make up the entirety of Trump supporters, take another look at the actual poles. Elections aren’t decided by Twitter and Blog opinions (such as this fantabulous one), they are decided by votes, some choose to speak with their voting hand and not say a word.

Since I’ve used up  my usual word limit and with the interest of keeping this article within it’s scope, I’ll just say this about Hillary Clinton: Classified E-mails, State Department Nazism, Clinton Foundation funding. Given the current electoral situation, no matter who wins and for what reasons, America will still lose overall for the next 2 terms.

Terror Watch T&T

Posted: August 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Terrorism needs to be understood on 2 levels, international and local. The US Department of Defense defines it as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies.” Locally by definition we have terrorism running rampant in the form of Gang Terrorism. We also have the more conventional terrorism in terms of what we see in media; however Trinidad and Tobago better serves as a support services to the larger cells, mainly in the area of manpower recruiting and public relations. Trinidadians have been leaving to join the terrorist organization ISIS in groups both small and large, some for misplaced ideological beliefs, some from social displacement, and other for the promise of the spoils of war (wealth and women).

With drives these individuals may be cut and dry in most cases, but it doesn’t mean tackling the problem will be any less complex than with international standards of counter-terrorism operations. Tackling the problem from the roots requires as much socio-political intervention as cleansing a gang stronghold, but with the added difficulty of uncovering local undercover recruiters and facilitators. This challenge is compounded by the fact that at any given time and for any given reason someone once furnished with the adequate info can jump on a plane with little more than air fare and the clothes on their back, and become an ISIS fighter. Intelligence gathering and insertion of covert operatives in key areas of interests to not only detect but also to supplant extremists influences from communities are the tools to win the battle on this front, denying extremists their much desired human resource.

Terror Arrests_1457726465789_3188898_ver1.0_1280_720When taken into these terrorist organizations persons are indoctrinated into a cocoon of extremist violence, resembling the beliefs of a faith only in decorative fashion. They are trained, and some who survive return battle hardened with experience that one can only gain abroad and in a warzone. Those who are caught in transit/planning and then deported or return after training is where the real danger lies. Those who return unskilled pose a danger to in being willing to either join local criminal organizations or work in support of the terrorist organizations as becoming part of a domestic cell to recruit on their behalf. This bid to prove themselves creates an additional local gang resource. Even more troubling are those who return with skills in shooting, bombing, kidnapping, and sabotage. This leaves us to wonder what to do with those who are being sent back to us as well as those who are returning on their own alike.

A person is entitled to citizenship of most states worldwide through either Jus soli (‘right of the soil’) or Jus sanguinis (‘right of the blood’). Either way, a person cannot become stateless by being denied by their own state in our case. Those being sent back are our responsibility, and calling for them to be barred from entry breaches not only conventions of international law, but in all practicality leaves the deporting nation with little other choice but to send them back in most cases. This raises the question of what to do with terrorist accused when they return. Some have merely been sent back as suspected persons with terrorist interest, and have broken no laws, thus do not then fall under the remit of the state to prosecute. Given this however the state does have mechanism and laws by which these deportees can be monitored. The state in recent times has dropped the ball on these issues and in either a genuine effort to rectify, or a rash move to save face, applied provisions of the Terrorism Act to freeze assets of those said deportees. This is a case of political praise but operational shooting in the foot of those decision makers. By freezing banking assets they signal all involved that the person is being monitored and future operations by the potential terrorist now will be funded in cash and other means when needed. This not only severely limits the avenues for monitoring with evidence domestically, but also hampers international investigations as before the money transfers could have been tracked back as near as the source as possible in the cases of organizations like ISIS and other private sympathizers bankrolling recruiters.

1111Terrorist-School For those who return with specialized training, the risk is even greater. These are individuals who can not only recruit by selling their ‘heroism,’ but are capable of pre-training fighters to be shipped off and lend to the global problem in a quicker fashion. There is the sleeper cell type threat too that these persons with their knowledge and can one day be used on a whim or as part of a coordinated attack to wreak havoc on our country, especially where bombing and assassination are concerned. Then there is the all too present factor of these individuals working for gangs, providing services for operations as well as training which if not curtailed could see gang dominance brought to a whole other level. Dealing with this set is more clear cut but more deadly. They need to be monitored through intelligence gathering, but National Security through its law enforcement function would need to train (beforehand) and deploy  specialized units to deal with these specific threats, dangers, and tactics. In terms of the law, it is long overdue to be expanded to levy heavier punishments and more wide reaching authority in detaining accused terrorist with the adequate evidence.
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We face a situation that is quickly becoming out of hand and can only get worse if left to its natural devices. The stage now is to depend on ad hoc intelligence gathering, and slightly more skilled law enforcement to do a job that is out of their scope of expertise in the grand scheme of things. Trinidad and Tobago is faced now with the choice of moving towards a Homeland Security System of operations to defend ourselves and lend to the global war on terror, or become a regional base for pro-terrorist support.

Paul-Daniel Nahous BSc, CHS-I, ATO
Certified Anti-Terrorism Officer
Combat Specialist

This is going to be short, sweet, and to the point to clear up the various misconceptions and plain out STUPID and seemingly Functionally illiterate ‘researched’ statuses. Dr. Google, and Professor youtube, along with their students are going to have to take a backseat for this one.
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LIDAR vs RADAR
The public has been bombarded with images recently of the new traffic enforcement measures being implemented by the TTPS via the LIDAR speed gun system. First of all LIDAR is NOT Radar. The following outlines the differences, however I’ll sum it up here: LIDAR uses lazer technology as opposed to Radar tech. Meaning LIDAR is superior in readings and precision. Much less room for error.
http://www.lasertech.com/blogs/Traffic-Safety/post/2013/05/15/Difference-Between-Radar-and-Lidar-Explained.aspx

Quality of Units
A number of popular FB pages have been gathering support making fun of out TTPS and the systems purchased because it looks out of date, when they put pictures of US law enforcement using radar guns next to them. The 6 units the TTPS are using are TRU CAM LIDAR systems, which are WAY more advanced than the radar guns some US agencies still use due to budgetary restrictions. Ours are more precise and have a camera system built in. Believe it or not, a lot of small police and sheriff departments in the US struggle more for funding than we do locally, with monies having to be approved by their individual city/town councils.

Cost of Units
All the sudden internet subject matter experts seem are seeming to have field day posting pictures of their thesis like research, and showing their advanced technological presentation knowhow by screen -shotting their unquestionable findings. The units that cost under 100USD that they have graciously drawn our attention to are cheap and ineffective bushell Radar guns. The advanced LIDAR guns which the TTPS has acquired essentially a test batch of costs 4000-5000USD via LIDAR retail agents.

$14 Million Dollar cost
The $14 Million dollar cost for 50 Units, which is being spread like wildfire to show corruption in the current government is a moot point at best, and blatant, willful propaganda at worst (and most prevalent). NO MONEY WAS PAID AND NONE WERE BOUGHT. The previous government under with Steven Cadiz approved a $14 Budget for the purchase of 400 speed guns, which was then reduced to 50 (much to the excitement of his Arrive Alive buddies who specialize on regulation by vaps and feelings). Tenders came in, but the process was halted. The TTPS on a separate speed (no pun intended) arranged the use of the 6 guns close to cost price.

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Personal opinion (just for good measure and because I like to talk out a topic):
This is a classic example of Trinidad and Tobago being caught in a legislative and administrative time warp. First of all, speed guns should have been introduced years ago, and now that they are finally ready to go legally, we find the law outdated and to the determent of society. The speed limit should have been researched and be changed BEFORE the introduction of lidar guns. This new arrangement is based on ancient limits and arbitrary law when motor vehicles were not as widely used cross country, and when their safety features were significantly in want.

That being said I DO NOT agree with this move in the manner it is being implemented and see it as a revenue trap for those unlucky to be caught driving over 80kph (by the total of 6 radar guns being used), and a total farce as far as enforcing road rules to prevent accidents. If you want to prevent accidents, have the limit re-assessed, raised to something modern and up to date, and buy more lidar guns to enforce harshly the new law. On top of that watch for those driving totally reckless as they cause accidents at any speed, fatal and otherwise.

Some food for thought to those putting this in place, if a vehicle is going ridiculously over the speed limit, would the police give chase knowing they wouldn’t catch and put additional lives in danger? If so, would it then be a case where the new diving norm dictates to drive either under the limit or ridiculous over it to avoid being caught?

 

This is what happens when we introduce First world technology, and pair it with Third world thinking….

The Dark Knight in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice:

olxnfypzdjyrvz2kyv8kBen Affleck gave us a Batman that we have never before seen on the big screen but stayed for the most part true to the Frank Miller graphic novel. This gritty, darker knight that we saw, from his persona to his costume is as real as it gets when it comes to a Bruce Wayne who has pulled back on crime fighting, only to be dragged back in by Gotham’s re surge of violent organized crime and his own personal demons. This seems to only measure as half true indicated by his apparent age bracket of being less than retirement, but still old enough to justify his current image. While this is not apparent in the film to anyone who wasn’t exposed to the comic, given the lack of true character development this slips by (however this could branch out into a separate movie entirely). His fighting style and general disposition hint that he has become jaded, but not so much so to let it overtake him. Collateral damage at times he accepted without a second thought or regret, however only when in pursuit of matters involving Superman.

It can be said much to the fans dismay that he was overly emotional, and allowed his tunnel vision in the film to be manipulated by a whim and a thought of his own, paired by prodding from Luther. The film even nodded to the very ole school portrayal of Batman as a master detective, yet he was fooled so easily it seems. What could have clouded the ultimate DC tactician to the point of blind rage and obsession (well obsession isn’t much of a stretch but still)? It was a point of sympathy border lining humour how many times we saw Thomas and Martha Wayne being killed and Bruce’s subsequent trauma in this film alone. This though brings it together in either subtle genius or subconscious screenwriting, especially with the epic opening.

thumb-350-489335Superman was to Batman a metaphor for the Gun that killed his parents (particular focus being placed on the gun in every scene of their murders). In the opening he held a little girl closely as Superman and the Kryptonians’ battle claimed the life of her mother (as well as other Wayne Enterprises employees). Bruce looked on helplessly but the rage in his eyes was clear. His obsession and blindness in his quest to combat the “threat” of Superman has a rational basis but a personal overtone. Just as when he was a kid and helplessly watched his parents being killed, he watched Superman as the same gun but being held to mankind. This was the ultimate personification of his trauma, and the ultimate redemption from the feeling of helplessness. This extended beyond simply killing Superman but showing himself that Superman could be defeated, that he was not a helpless little boy anymore.

This goes to explain the criticism some have thrown on Batman’s sudden emotional shift when hearing the name of his mother from Superman’s lips and then subsequently rushing to her rescue her. This scene justifies this theory further as the shock of hearing her name from him shows just how close to the surface this issue was in his reaction as a ‘hero’ during the whole dilemma. His rush to her aid as well without a second thought and ferocity in her rescue again cements what his true mission is. His team up with Superman to fight Doomsday ended up being the cliché ‘Heroes unite’ motif, and it is yet to be seen how burying Superman has affected frankmiller-asbar-child-01him burying his trauma.

A Host of Errors

Posted: February 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

Legal or illegal? Abuse or Procedure? Analyzing Inspector Alexander’s arrest of Ian Alleyne.