Terrorism constantly evolves. How do you keep pace and mitigate its threats?
We are living in an era where civilians are beset not just by the heightened visibility of terror groups but also by the increased frequency of their violent acts against innocent lives. 2017 bore numerous manifestations of this new world order, around the globe and within our shores. As President Rodrigo Duterte cautioned Filipinos following the close of the months-long Marawi Siege, “No nation has escaped from the clutches of the evil of the ISIS. It’s an ideology that is dedicated to just kill human beings and destroy the places whatever… of what kind, heritage and all… we do not know…” The President likewise warned of living in a time where terrorism is everywhere, and so citizens must be prepared for any eventuality.
This is the rationale that propels the Asset Protection Lecture Series on Terrorism Matters, to be held on 12 – 13 December 2017 in Manila, Philippines. This event—presented by SecurityMattersTM, in partnership with Ace And Associates Risk Management, Inc.—serves as a critical learning platform for the country’s key stakeholders tasked to tackle terrorism. With 2017—a banner year of terror events—coming to a close, the lessons learned from all our encounters with terrorism are still fresh on everyone’s minds; it is incumbent upon security practitioners to be prepared for and stay on top of the graver challenges they face, through the comprehensive and well-informed discussions from field experts and top resource persons that this lecture series will provide for all its attendees.
The constancy of the threats terrorism poses, and of the ideologies in whose name it is being waged, compels individuals and communities—and especially security professionals responsible for the protection and preservation of lives and physical assets—to remain vigilant. The very bedrock of this vigilance is knowledge: Who the enemies of states and of innocent lives are, how they operate, what their methods are, and how to stand against them.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. We are here to help.
This edition of the APLS involves a two-pronged approach to Terrorism Matters: The specific workings of a terrorist group, and the larger context in which these terrorists are operating. Using this approach, the APLS will be able to provide students with a critical overview of how to anticipate and prepare for possible terror events, including assessing possible vulnerabilities in existing security frameworks; and how to respond to terror incidents should they come to pass, as well as the restoration of normalcy in the aftermath.
Day 1: Insight Into ISIS Weaponry and IED Workshop
The Insight Into ISIS Weaponry and IED Workshop will be held on the first day, and will provide students with a more in-depth and hands-on understanding of ISIS capabilities and why it has been the biggest threat to global security we have witnessed in this century.
In a recent development within terror networks, a huge number of foreign fighters that have been fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria have returned to their countries of origin. These fighters are now focused on training others, presenting a real danger to security within our homeland: Islamic State militants are seeking an opportunity to establish a stronghold in the Philippines, from where they can expand to the rest of Southeast Asia.
This workshop by MAC7 covers a fundamental approach to understanding the threats posed by ISIS, Islamic militant groups, and followers inspired by their actions. It will be conducted by George McKerrow—an expert who has seen ISIS firsthand in Iraq and Syria, and who knows how they operate and what to expect if we sit back and allow them to create a caliphate in the Philippines. Participants will leave this workshop with a more in-depth understanding of ISIS capabilities, especially the weaponry they use.
From its inception, ISIS has demonstrated its effectiveness to produce mass quantities of IEDs and weaponry throughout Iraq and Syria. Unique and sophisticated weapon delivery platforms have emerged and continue to evolve. MAC 7’s ISIS Weaponry and IED Workshop structure will comprehensively cover both basic and advanced subjects surrounding this topic: Students will take a hands-on approach to learning, exposing them to various forms of ISIS-inspired devices and methods of construction. Interaction with examples of realistic IEDs is key to understanding the fundamental approach to device construction and methodology.
Day 2: Terrorism Matters Forum
The Terrorism Matters Forum will be held on the second day, and will involve discussions on the current state of terrorism in the Philippines, with a focus on the Maute Group in Marawi City, the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Sulu Archipelago, as well as analysis of the potential of the New People’s Army to be a viable terror group.
Drawing primarily on local contexts and applications, this forum will also discuss tactics, techniques, and procedures employed in recent terror events in the Philippines—and, thus, will lend students with a more comprehensive knowledge on how to avert any redundancies. Speakers—top practitioners, key resource persons, and experts in their respective fields—will also be reviewing and discussing the lessons learned from the recently concluded Marawi Siege: Tactics, techniques, and procedures that were employed in the defense and subsequent liberation of Marawi City from terror elements.
Discussions will also explore the possible trajectories of various terrorist groups movements in the country and their impact on businesses and on the political situation. And, with the analysis of probable futures of a Philippines in the grip of terrorism comes suggested methods to subvert these terror networks.
Among the speakers for the Terrorism Matters Forum are: Col. Juvy Max Uy, (INF) PA., the Commander of the Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade and Joint Task Force Basilan, one of the lead military operations against Abu Sayyaf terrorists and other militants in Mindanao; Dr. Rommel C. Banlaoi, the Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) and the Director of the Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies (CINSS); and Col. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., (INF) PA., the Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force Ranao, which was key to the liberation of Marawi City from the siege of the Maute Group and its allies, and which is now the AFP task force in charge of the rehabilitation of the city.