IRAQ BG HOSTAGES
Four British bodyguards working in Iraq have been taken hostage from the ministry of finance in Iraq. The bodyguards were visiting the ministry with their client when at least twelve police cars and thirty police officers arrived and entered the building, asking where the foreigners were. No shots were fired and the bodyguards, believing these to be real Iraqi police officers, left with them. It now appears these were insurgents dressed as police and using real police cars. Special forces from both the UK and USA are trying to locate the hostages and bring about their release.
Working in Iraq is getting harder and more dangerous for the thousands of bodyguards and private military contractors; it is hard to tell who are the bad guys and who are the good. It has been known for a long time that insurgents had infiltrated the Iraqi police service, thereby bringing about distrust between the private contractors and the official Iraqi Police and army.
Let us all hope that they are returned safely; four bottles of Scotch sit on my desk waiting for them.
For those of you who work on the circuit it seems we are about to be licensed if we work in surveillance. Many companies are gearing up to run SIA approved surveillance courses. I think this is a good thing. At last we can teach a whole group of people the right way to follow someone on foot and in a car. There have not been many courses around prior to the new licensing coming in and it's about time surveillance operatives were taught hand signals and the right way to follow someone in a car. I have worked with many surveillance teams and am astonished at the differences between those taught by the armed forces, those taught by the police and the many who have had no training at all.
ON LINE DATING
The new craze for over worked and no time people is on line dating; there are many sites where you can meet the man/woman of your dreams. (Not found him yet.) But be aware to whom and what information you are giving out. Be safe and use an email account such as hotmail; that way your home address cannot be traced. Use a pay as you go mobile phone instead of your usual contract one and never give your home telephone number. If you do agree to meet, then make sure it is in a public place preferably in the day time. Tell someone where you are going and whom you are meeting. Arrange to call a friend within two hours of the meeting so they know you are ok. And don't lie before you meet them. I had a friend, an American marine who arranged to meet a woman whom he had met on line. He was very fussy and specifically asked if she was a large lady as he only liked really skinny women. She said she was normal build for her height.He met her in a restaurant and, upon seeing that she was clinically obese, walked out in disgust.Now there is nothing wrong with being large, some people prefer the larger build; but it's no good saying you are what you're not, it will end in tears. Be safe and keep your wits about you on the first date; again do not give out your personal information if you do not want to see the person again.
Remember that the odd characters in the world also date on line, as do the rapists and murderers, so be aware what you are saying and to whom.
Peter Bleksley's book '10 Most Wanted' has just been published in paperback; it focuses on unsolved murders in the United States. Peter has attempted to look at the evidence and see if there is anything that the police may have missed. You may find some of the glaring errors the police have made disturbing - you may even hold a vital clue that could solve one of the murders. Published by Blake / ISBN 978-1-84454-406-6.
AN APOLOGY: PETER UTAL AND VICTOR UTAL
In a recent article I published a story about Peter and Victor Utal. I made a number of allegations about them both of which I now accept were completely untrue. I apologise unreservedly to Victor and Peter for any embarassment this may have caused them.
Until next month stay safe