In a book I just recently finished entitled 13 Hours in Benghazi, (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) on pp. 207-210 one of the GRS Security Operators talks about how when the initial attack started on the CIA Annex from the various armed militia groups, it started very casually, first a car pulls up across the street, then another, then foot traffic starts appearing, then before you know it you have a small mob moving toward your position with seemingly hostile intent. (Keep in mind the operators ROE stated they could not open fire because (A) They were not sure if these guys were friendly militia, (ie the 17th February militia) and (B) They had not been fired upon yet.
As the operator called out what he saw, ne noted “These guys are not moving normally, they are moving TACTICALLY.” He noted they were moving from “bush to bush” or “cover to cover”. Point being, they were not moving like a typical civilian would move, they were moving with suspicious intent.
Moving on from how a person actually MOVES to specific movements with our hands in Law Enforcement speak is called “Furtive Movements”, with the definition being: “Characterized by, acting with, or suggesting stealth or a desire to avoid discovery; surreptitious”. Massad Ayoob comments on it HERE.
These two subjects, both TACTICAL and FURTIVE movement is something the CO needs to study very closely, as this type of behavior, though common to all criminals (and terrorist) can take on many forms. Some trainers may call this “Pre-assaultive”, “Pre-Attack” or “Threat Recognition” type behavior, or the things (or clues) a bad guy does before he commits a crime. Again, Ayoob comments on the basics HERE, while Police-One Mag has a more in-depth study of recognizing “telegraphed” cues HERE.
The one cue behavior that seems to cross all “criminal” boundaries, whether it be a strong-arm robber or a terrorist, is SCANNING. Now the counter-terror definition to this behavior can be called “Surveillance”, but they are essentially the same thing, just done at different times. See that definition HERE.
I know one thing that is a dead give away with this behavior is an excessive amount of picture-taking or recording with a camera. Maybe a certain building, tourist site, transportation hub, etc. Terrorist in the past few years have attempted to bypass suspicion by replacing the conventional camera with a smaller hidden camera in a bag or even a micro-cam on the button of a shirt. Even still with this covert technology, their general behavior will still be a cue for somebody who is paying attention.
Stay Aware, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!
I could not end this post without a memorial to all the BRAVE men who died at the Benghazi U.S. Diplomatic Compound and the C.I.A Annex on 9/11/12: J. Christopher Stevens (U.S. Ambassador to Libya), Sean Smith (Information Officer), Glen Doherty (U.S. Navy Seal and GRS Security Contractor) and Tyrone S. Woods (U.S. Navy Seal and GRS Security Contractor)
May your memory never be forgotten and I fervently Pray that those RESPONSIBLE for your DEATHS, both here in the U.S. and in Libya, be brought to Justice Soon.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!