You can contact me at rogercdavies(atsquiggle)  If you have a comment and the system won't let you post it, ping me using the @ for (atsquiggle)

This blog has evolved into a review of historical and modern explosive devices, and responses to them. Links are drawn between historical activity and similar activity in the world today. Mostly I focus on what are now called IEDs but I have a loose personal definition of that and wilingly stray into discussions of more traditional munitions, the science and technology behind them, tactical employment and EOD responses. Sometimes it's just about interesting people in one form or another. Comment is welcome and encouraged but I do monitor it and reserve the right to delete inappropriate stuff. Guest posts are always welcome. Avoid any stuff that makes the enemy's job easier for them.

A note on moral perspectives. Throughout this blog there are descriptions of all sorts of people using IEDs, explosives, or suffering the consequences. Some of the people using IEDs are thought of as heroes by some and terrorists by others. One person's good guy fighting for a cause is another person's evil demon.  It's complicated, and history adds another series of filters too. All of us too live in a narrative made up around however we were brought up, what we were taught and what we learned along the way, rightly or wrongly. So if you sense moral ambivalence, one way or the other, well, I'm guilty and I'm not perfect.  By and large though, I have unapologetic sympathy for those dealing with the devices, whether they be soldiers, cops, or whatever, even those who are part of Nazi or other nasty regimes. That's the cool thing about EOD techs - we don't really care who the enemy is.


Entries in targets (1)


Hotels as terrorist targets

One of the things that shouldn’t surprise us, but somehow always does, is the militant jihadi focus on particular targets like hotels. Very often hotels are the preferred and prevalent target for VBIEDs and suicide bombers. Here’s a quick “off the top of my head” list

  • Marriott Islamabad
  • Pearl Continental Peshawar
  • Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai
  • Oberoi Hotel Mumbai
  • JW Marriott Indonesia
  • Sheraton Hotel Karachi
  • Paradise Hotel Kenya
  • Hilton Taba Hotel, Egypt
  • CS Pattani Hotel, Thailand
  • Radisson Hotel, Amman Jordan
  • Hyatt Hotel, Amman Jordan
  • Palestine Hotel Baghdad

All the above have been attacked to varying degrees over the past few years – it is clear hotels are a tempting target for your average jihadi terrorist. I’m sure my friends at HMS could add to the list even more.

So, the first question is – why hotels? I think there are several reasons:

  • Population density
  • Symbol of western ownership/economy
  • Very often in developing countries, hotels are a focus for local politics and international visitors – journalists, aid workers, visiting politicians
  • Security is always tricky – hotels don’t want to intimidate guests but they want to be secure – getting the balance right is very difficult. How much is the average hotel guard paid?

Second question – what can first responders do? I think there are several things:

  • Visit hotels if for nothing else to recce your command post should an incident occur. Get the detail you need – gas mains, electrical power, shelter from VBIEDs, range to entry point or other possible target area. What's ROV access like at the gate?
  • Talk to the hotel about their security plans and emergency plans. The terrorists appear to have worked out how to open the gates – have you?
  • Encourage hotel management to take the threat seriously.

Plenty to think about, take a look at the hotels in your city and see if they are vulnerable or not. You might be surprised at their level of security.