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Counter Terror Expo: Supporting the fight against terrorism

Posted By May 5, 2015 No Comments

This article, written by Kirsty McMahon, was originally published by Security News Desk on April 28, 2015.

Counter Terror Expo (CTX), the leading international exhibition and conference, saw the world’s most prominent experts in national security gather at Olympia, London on April 21 to 22.

CTX was once again proven to be a global platform and attracted thousands of buyers and specifiers from government, military, policing, emergency services and private security. The CTX conference programme encouraged debate and discussion and, in light of recent events, highlighted a number of solutions to the most prevalent terrorist risks. The conference was split into four main programme streams: The World Terror Congress, Critical National Infrastructure, Cyber Threat Intelligence and Transport Security Live. The topics raised in the CTX conference were also reflected with solutions evident within four new zones on the exhibition floor: Policing & Special Operations; Advanced Technologies; Transport Security Live; and Cyber Threat Intelligence.

The first World Counter Terror Congress

Proceedings began on Tuesday 21 April at 09:50 with the inaugural World Counter Terror Congress. Issues under the spotlight in this historic session included a Metropolitan Police perspective on terrorism, extremism and the home-grown threat. There was also a focus on understanding and dealing with threats from the Middle East and returnees from conflicts in the region. Mitigation strategies for fourth wave terrorists was the subject of a dedicated session which included the role of UAVs and why, how and when to negotiate with terrorists.

Speakers over the two days included Mark Rowley, Head of Specialist Operations and Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police; Dr Jamie Shea, Deputy ASG, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO, Raffaello Pantuci, Director of International Security Studies, RUSI, Jonathan Powell, CEO, Inter-Mediate and former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair and British Governments chief negotiator on Northern Ireland peace agreement and Dr Brooke Rogers, Reader in Risk & Terror, King’s College London.

Andrew Majoran, General Manager, The Mackenzie Institute, a terrorism think tank in Toronto, Canada, used the Counter Terror Congress to examine the complex issue of radicalisation. “Cooperation at all levels is paramount to the success of countering all forms of violent extremism” he explained, “Both civil society and government must cooperate to ensure violent extremism and radicalisation are being combated from all directions, be it at the law enforcement and intelligence level, or the grassroots and educational level. When it comes to security, civil society and government operating on different levels would be counter-intuitive, and would likely have disastrous results. Cooperation is integral.”

Evidence of this cooperation was apparent on the show floor. The Policing & Special Operations Zone showcased counter terror solutions from the private sector that are currently deployed by law enforcement to protect civilian citizens. Visitors to this area will had an opportunity to see counter terror training company, Caliber-3, an example of private/civil sector and government cooperation. Among its list of clients are SWAT teams from all over the world, law enforcement agencies, global security agencies and large private and public companies. Based in Jerusalem, Israel, the company is fully certified by the Israeli Defence Forces, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Defence, Police Forces, Ministry of Homeland Security, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Critical national infrastructure

The Critical National Infrastructure conference illustrated how best to mitigate the risk to and guarantee the safety and resilience of public buildings, major events spaces, crowded places, and energy, transport, communications and banking infrastructure. It featured a presentation by Thomas Wuchte, Head on Anti-Terrorism Issues, Transnational Threats Department, Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on international efforts in protecting critical energy infrastructure from terrorist attacks. Protecting major events and crowded places was discussed by Alex Eytan B.Arch I.Eng MICE PMP, Member of the Register of Security Engineers and Specialists, Managing Partner, Enspire Solutions Limited. Martin Hendy, Chief Superintendent, Aviation Security, Metropolitan Police Service.

On the show floor, security specialist, Townscape Products Limited, launched a new prestige collection for its PAS 68 hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) CT Blocks. These blocks of Granite, Quartz or Dekton are designed to stop vehicles having a free run up to infrastructure or buildings and enable facilities managers to protect their people and property discreetly and sympathetically to the local environment.

Countering the cyber threat

The Cyber Threat Intelligence conference brought together all those who must prevent or prepare for cyber terrorism or cyber-crime. Speakers included David Raw, Deputy Director, Director, Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA) whose subject was the UK’s cyber security strategy; Andy Archibald, Deputy Director, National Cyber Crime Unit, National Crime Agency gave the UK perspective on responding to cyber crime; and Steve Durbin, Managing Director, Information Security Forum, provided a vision of future cyber security threats to business.

Cyber terror solutions were evident in the exhibition. In the Cyber Threat Intelligence Zone, iStorage, a leading specialist in portable data storage and digital encryption, officially launched a super speed, high-performance USB 3.0 drive with hardware encryption to the UK market. The new datAshur SolidStateDrive encrypts information at rapid speed and encompasses a robust, shock-proof design. It was developed in response to a growing demand for vast capacity and high-performance USB drives that allowed the secure and easy portability of confidential data.

Transport security

Finally, Transport Security Live brought together the key stakeholders from UK and international governments and security organisations, aviation, rail, secure transport, supply chain and major events sectors to provide a guide to best practice in transport security. It also offered an opportunity to unveil new developments in transport security. Key addresses were given from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, and industry players such as Boeing. The Transport Security Live Zone also showcased relevant transport security solutions.

The Advanced Technology Zone displayed solutions across the spectrum of threats discussed in the conference streams. Among exhibiting companies, Morse Watchmans showcased its portfolio of key control and asset management systems, offering organisations of all sizes a full range of choices to access the benefits of managed key control. Among its products on display was the KeyWatcher Touch enterprise key control and management system.

Hear from exhibitors

Todd Sothcott, Business Manager – UK & Overseas, Chemring:
“The primary reason for Chemring being at Counter Terror is to showcase our vehicle scanning product and two or three new products we’ve brought to market like our handheld chemical detection device and bomb detection devices. We’re quite loyal to this show and we’ve been coming for a number of years. It’s a good show for us, it’s probably our premier show with regards to anti-terror products.

“Outside of cyber, one of the key issues we heard about at the show concerns threats on the vehicle and scanning side, discovering anomalies or people underneath vehicles across borders and in and out of prisons. Airport security is currently a big sector for us, and that’s more about the speed of throughput.”

Gary McManus, Project Manager Metropolitan Police:
“At this year’s event we’ve highlighted the work the Metropolitan Police does around counterfeits and forgeries, and showing that the range of documentation that’s acceptable in the UK as ID that’s exploited by criminals to open bank accounts, pay mortgages, and claim benefits etc. CTX brings together a lot of people form different walks of life, so the networking opportunities here are amazing.”

Jean-Phillippe Deby, Business Development Director – EMEA, Genetec:
“It’s been great to see our existing customers, but there’s been some new customers popping in too. We’re not at the stage where we’re 100% known in the UK, but as this is predominantly a UK show it’s a nice balance between old and new for us this year. What we’ve seen attracting a lot of attention at this show is body worn camera technology, and we have one of our partners on the booth called Vidcie. The key theme seems to be around how to master the monster, because you have a lot of police forces using these cameras now, so how do you administrate all of the information from that, how do you make sure the evidence stands up in court, how can you associate that evidence with other types of evidence? It’s about how you can make the evidence usable, you can’t just have it on a hard disc somewhere, and that’s somewhere we can help a lot.

“At this year’s event we’ve also been showcasing Security Centre, which is like a Swiss army knife solution. We’ve showcased a feature called Federation, which allows police departments to build up bigger systems by providing the ability to associate themselves with other systems such as football stadiums, shopping malls and road authorities. It’s all about balancing out the benefit of consolidating systems while maintaining the control footage.”