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Serious Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Lead for SBRC, David MacCrimmon, issues a warning to the business community to stay alert following recent activity.

David MacCrimmon, seconded Police Scotland officer.

Friday the 25th September saw a bladed weapon attack near to the former HQ of Charlie Hebdo, which itself was the scene of a terrorist attack in 2015.

It was reported that two persons were stabbed and two persons were arrested by police, with a machete recovered from near the scene.

French media said the ‘main suspect’ was from Pakistan and the second person arrested was from Algeria. A further seven arrests were made by French Counter Terror Police.

High-profile attacks

The attack comes as a high-profile trial is under way in Paris of 14 people accused of helping two jihadists carry out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

Charlie Hebdo, which has since moved its office to another location, had marked the start of the trial by reprinting controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked protests in several Muslim countries.

In response al-Qaeda renewed its threat to the magazine.

According to French Police, the main suspect apparently believed the magazine’s offices were still there, and reportedly linked his actions to the magazine’s recent republication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

More arrests made

This week it was reported Europol collaborated with the Spanish Guardia Civil in arresting an Algerian national on 30 September suspected of allegedly supporting the so-called Islamic State.

The suspect was under investigation for online consumption of propaganda and forgery of identification documents. He was also found in possession of explosive and weapon manuals.

“A stark reminder”

Groups like al-Qaeda don’t have short term memories, and those who follow their ideology or are radicalised will be the same.

It is a stark reminder that attacks of this nature can and do still happen, despite it being quiet of late, and with other stories being in the media spotlight, as such we should not drop our guard or let complacency set in.

It’s the same with the Extreme Right Wing. During lockdown we have heard no reports of what this group have been up to, there have been no marches or demonstrations or parades, but they will still be meeting in secret and it may only be a matter of time before they raise their image again.

As things start to slowly get back to normal, we will have major sporting events and gigs which generate crowds and offer a terrorist an easy target. So, what can you do as a business?

Look to enhance you and your team’s response to any suspicious behaviour. Invest in staff training with ACT Awareness sessions, and SCaN (See Check and Notify) both of which can be delivered by us at SBRC, over a webinar.

You can also get your staff to enrol in and complete the ACT eLearning, 45 minutes that could save a life, on the link here.

Arrange an ACT Awareness session with SBRC

In any case get in touch with us if you want to have a webinar session cover the ACT Awareness core content which includes SCaN, and if you wish we can go over the individual modules in more depth with you and your teams.

For more information on ACT Awareness, contact [email protected]