The assassination attempt on Shinzo Abe – a triple fiasco

A Neokohn főmunkatársa, Izraelben élő biztonságpolitikai szakértő.

A few hours after the fatal attack, there was very little off of which one could analyze the tragic event. At first glance, however, it seems that it is not an unfortunate confluence of events, but rather that the entire approach to Abe’s personal security had collapsed. Commentary by Robert C. Castel.

  1. The intelligence level – Don’t give the intelligence agencies absolution too soon and don’t accept the reflexive „lone wolf” excuse. By his own admission, the perpetrator had been preparing for the assassination for months. The homemade explosive devices and weapons found in his apartment suggest that he had been gathering information and acquiring equipment. These activities usually leave traces in both cyber and physical space. The bomber’s religious motivation for committing the act may also have linked him to extremist individuals or groups who are likely to be covered by intelligence.

The assassination attempt on Abe is primarily an intelligence fiasco.

  1. The operational level – Judging from the pictures and videos, the experts in charge of Abe’s protection were working on the basis of a long-outdated doctrine. A train station cannot be considered a safe environment, and the public had not undergone any screening. The „containment” of personnel was too loose for the circumstances and no physical aids were used to enhance security, such as a podium.

The fact that the assassin managed to break through the static „box,” the ring of bodyguards, and get within a few feet of Abe is a colossal personnel security failure.

The fact that the assassin managed to fire the SECOND shot is a testament to the bodyguards’ marksmanship. After all, we are not surprised that no ballistic or other sort of protection equipment were recovered. Abe’s injuries also make it highly likely that he was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

The vest is known to be the main cause of clashes between the person being protected and the professional charged with protecting them. This time, the price of compromise was paid in blood.

  1. The medical level – Abe’s death was caused by blood loss. The question arises, what were the medical means that the professionals in charge of Abe’s safety deemed sufficient? Based on decades of experience, specialized medical trauma staff and blood rations available on-site are essential requirements. Judging by the failings at the operational level, there is no reason to believe that the medical professionals acted any more prudently.

Beyond being a personal tragedy, this is a tragedy at the national level. The only way to guarantee the security of a state is to ensure the security of its key political decision-makers.

Analysis is a continuation of propaganda by other means

The real challenge is not in processing the mass of data, but in being able to identify the most salient patterns behind the camouflage of the information flow.