Warning signs in the personal security or executive protection profession are, of course, very critical – even life saving. At WWP, we’re alert 24/7 for warning signs, both those that seem obvious and conscious, and those that are covert or subconscious even. A threat can come from anywhere, from people you wouldn’t normally suspect, and can occur anytime. They can be small, or what is called a “mass attack,” in which 3 or more people are killed or injured.
The U.S. Secret Service is one of the preeminent protections services in the world. It’s an understatement to say they take warning signs very seriously. The Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center recently released a report identifying trends and warning signs from 27 mass attacks that took place in the U.S. in 2018.
The most prominent warning sign was that the involved perpetrators in almost all 27 incidents had experienced a major stress factor in their lives. And in most of the cases, the individual had communicated either in words or emotional content an alarming or threatening statement(s). In 75% of the mass attacks, someone who knew the perpetrator noticed something that rose to the level of concern.
Another factor was financial stress in their lives, of which 50% of the perpetrators were experiencing.
Most of the individuals used firearms.
Two-thirds of the individuals experienced depression, suicidal thoughts and other psychotic symptoms.