An important question that often comes up in regards to surveillance detection is how to handle it when it comes to traveling. We all know that traveling raises various safety and security concerns (ones that should obviously be addressed), but what about high level hostile surveillance? Those of you who have been following my articles might have become used to thinking about surveillance detection in our home country or state (Hopefully), but doesn’t travel make it much more difficult?
For starters, there’s no way around the fact that traveling can indeed be tricky, and that to a certain extent, the answer is Yes, surveillance detection can be much more difficult under these circumstances. No matter how used to travel you might get, or how familiar you become with another country or state, there’s no denying the fact that it’s less familiar than your ‘home turf’, and that this poses some obvious challenges. The good news is that there’s a positive flip-side to all this difficulty because you’re not alone in these challenges. Yes, it’s more difficult to detect surveillance when you’re moving around in less familiar locations (oftentimes in short notice), but it’s also more difficult for a potential hostile entity to conduct surveillance and to plan an attack under those same circumstances. The less routine the activity, the less predictable it will be, and with limited predictive abilities, it’s much harder for a hostile entity to balance their own risk/benefit ratios in order to favor an attack. There are obviously no guarantees to this, but it can mean that some of the least predictable locations and schedules can often produce some of the lowest risk profiles to a traveling VIP, since no one knows where they are, where they’re going, where they’re going to be and when.
Many people think that would-be attackers are only looking to exploit the first vulnerability they find. But a skilled attacker is probably not just going to look for a random vulnerability, and then risk a spontaneous attack (especially when it’s a well protected target). A skilled attacker is a skilled hostile planner, and a skilled hostile planner isn’t just looking for random vulnerabilities, they’re looking for predictable ones.
I’m not saying that nothing bad can happen on unpredictable trips. I’m saying that a well planned attack on a well protected target usually necessitates a level of control that depends on the hostile entity’s predictive abilities. And rather than struggle to predict and control the variables of an unfamiliar environment and travel schedule, hostile planning is most easily achieved in the most familiar environments.
Many people might find it ironic (I don’t), but some of the highest risk profiles are found in the most familiar environments. There’s no irony in this because its the familiarity of the environment and schedule that gives a potential hostile entity their biggest advantage – predictive abilities about their intended target. That’s the reason why office headquarters, homes, commute routes, favorite lunch or dinner spots and children’s schools and afterschool activities are the most important locations for surveillance detection. Since these are some of the most predictable locations, at the most predictable times, they can be more easily surveilled and exploited by a hostile entity – and should therefore be more closely monitored by a surveillance detection contingency.