Biggest Security Incidents of 2017

Biggest Security Incidents of 2017

As we look back on these security events, think of how we can move forward to predict and prevent incidents like this in the future.

Like most industries, security saw some common trends throughout 2017. Many of the tragic incidents this year fell into one of three categories. As we look back on these security events, think of how we can move forward to predict and prevent incidents like this in the future.

Mass Shootings

Two of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history occurred in 2017. On Oct. 1, a gunman opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel down onto the crowd at an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. The gunman killed 58 people and himself, and wounded more than 500 others. The Mandalay Bay attack is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States.

A month later, on Nov. 5, a gunman opened fire onto the congregation during a service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Of the small congregation, 26 people were killed and 20 others were injured. It was later found that the gunman should not have been able to legally acquire a firearm due to a domestic violence conviction during his time in the United States Air Force. The incident raised concerns about similar attacks on “soft targets” such as houses of worship.

Vehicle Attacks

The trend of vehicular attacks from 2016 continued in 2017, with multiple instances worldwide. At least 13 people were killed and about 100 were injured on August 17 when a van plowed through a crowd of people in Barcelona, Spain. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by ISIS.

Eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured in New York when a man in a rented pickup truck drove down a busy bicycle path. Authorities found a note near the truck claiming that the attack was made in the name of ISIS.

In response to these and other attacks, many public spaces and events added heavy barriers and roadblocks to their security measures. The purpose of the barriers is to prevent vehicles from being able to drive into pedestrian areas to cause harm.

Bombing Attacks

Bombing attacks were committed by terrorists around the world in 2017. On May 22, a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device packed with nuts and bolts to act as shrapnel in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom. The attack occurred after a concert that was attended by 14,200 people, and 22 people were killed. It was the deadliest attack in the United Kingdom since the July 7, 2005 London bombings.

On Dec. 11, a man wearing a homemade pipe bomb set off his explosive in a busy subway walkway below the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. The device that detonated was a foot-long pipe containing black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws, and was attached to the suspect with Velcro and zip ties. Authorities said the suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS and had at least two devices. No one was killed in the attempted suicide bombing, but three people sustained minor injuries.

As a result of the attempted transportation-related bombing, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged the TSA to expedite rollout of their new suicide-vest-detecting tech. The explosive screening system detects potential threats by identifying any metallic or non-metallic objects that block the naturally occurring emissions from a person’s body and triggers an alarm if a person carrying or wearing a person-borne improvised explosive device passes by it. 

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  • Security Today Magazine - July/August 2018

    July/August 2018

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