Army vet, retired national security, counterterrorism, intelligence and law enforcement senior executive, EMT, instructor, learner and world traveler.
To mitigate the risk of terrorism when traveling, it is important to be low key and not flash wealth or wear expensive clothing or jewelry with obvious American labels. Additionally, being aware of your surroundings and who is around you will help to ensure a safer experience. Transcript: "So the question is, what have been the most effective strategies for mitigating terrorism in the travel industry? Boy, that's a tough question because the travel industry covers so many different things. You have travel by land, you have travel by sea, and then travel by air. With each of those, the vulnerabilities are a little bit different, but I would say that your choice of the word mitigating is a good one because you're not going to eliminate the risk of terrorism. You can be a very secure facility and still be targeted by terrorists if they want to get at the place where you are staying or visiting. So I would say in general when you're traveling, a lot of it has to do with being low-key. For instance, I tend to not wear any American brands. I buy clothing overseas that looks like it fits in. If I'm traveling in Asia, I tend to wear a lot of clothing that either has no obvious American labels on it or is clothing that I've actually bought in that part of the world. The same thing goes with flashing wealth. There's a fine line sometimes between criminals and terrorists, but you can mark yourself as a victim if you're wearing a Rolex or a very, very expensive watch or obvious jewelry. But I would say really the biggest thing that you could do when traveling, and this goes for travel by sea, land, or air, is making sure that you are aware of your surroundings. It's very easy when you're on vacation to kind of have a fairly relaxed attitude, but if you are aware of your surroundings, not hypervigilant, but just being aware of what is around you and who is around you, that will go a long way towards helping your safety out and maybe stopping something before it becomes a problem for you."
I went to university to get a degree in Russian and Soviet area studies, but when the Soviet Union collapsed I had to pivot. I became a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). I held various supervisory assignments, then eventually moved into intelligence work. I also created my own company, S3 Global Consulting, where I do counterterrorism work, media work, training, and teaching, as well as travel to about 75 countries. I'm also a semi-professional writer who writes articles about military-related subjects and public safety topics. Transcript: "So, a little bit about myself in 120 seconds. I went to the University of Arizona in Tucson to get my undergraduate degree in Russian and Soviet area studies, but around the time I was getting ready to graduate, the Soviet Union collapsed. So I had to kind of reshuffle what I wanted to do for a job. I ended up as a federal agent in 1990 with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, commonly known as ATF. And I started out in Los Angeles as an arson explosives agent, did a number of supervisory assignments, became a senior executive eventually in the Atlanta Field Division, and then the St. Paul, Minnesota divisions, became ATF's Deputy Assistant Director for Intelligence, the number two person for intelligence in ATF. And then finally, my last four years, I was at the FBI's Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center or TDAC, where I was the deputy director and ended up as the acting director. I formed my own company called S3 Global Consulting, where I do counterterrorism work, media work, training and teaching, a lot of overseas assignments. I really do enjoy overseas work and travel in general. I've been to about 75 countries and that's a passion of mine. I also enjoy writing a lot. I'm a kind of semi-professional writer and tend to write articles about military related subjects and public safety things. So that in a nutshell tells you a little about me. I look forward to answering your questions. Thank you very much."