An amok shooter, lone wolf – CEPOL goes on international threat

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24 June 2019

CEPOL’s residential activity 47/2019 Violent attacks against public – amok shootings took place in Zegrze, Poland, from 11 to 14 June 2019. Attacks committed by madmen and so-called lone wolves pose a difficulty for law enforcement forces and intelligence community as they are extremely difficult to detect and defend against. The activity was organised by the Police Training Centre in Legionowo. 26 participants from 20 EU Member States and Turkey attended the course.

Infamous acts of violence from the USA, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and New Zealand exemplify many differences in targets and modus operandi as well as the varieties in the political or ideological background of the perpetrators. Moreover information about violent attacks against public committed by persons referred to as frustrated people, madmen or lone wolves give rise to special social excitement; particularly if children and youth are victims of these actions. During the activity topics were presented by experts from France, Spain, Romania and Poland. Jeremy Menahem, Head of Operational Group of Research and Intervention Brigade from Paris delivered information related to actions and resources to minimise the risk of severe targeted violence and led simulations connected to interventions against active shooter. Krzysztof Liedel, PhD, Director of the Terrorism Research Centre of Collegium Civitas from Warsaw presented information about basic concepts and differences between the terrorist attack and the phenomenon of amok shootings. Moreover, he shared knowledge about actions and resources to minimise the risk of severe targeted violence and inter-institutional cooperation in preventing public violent attacks. Alexandru Dena, firearms forensic expert from Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism – Prosecutor’s Office, Romania, presented information connected to symptoms indicating the possibilities of carrying out the violent attack by a person. Marta Laguno Alvarez from Spanish National Police was talking about characteristics of modus operandi of lone-actor terrorists and violent loner.

The activity manager noted that the practical part of the activity was the most exciting. He said: 'Participants were especially excited about the practical part of the activity – simulations conducted by Jeremy Menahem form BRI. They were taken with his knowledge based on practice and personal experiences.'

The Police Training Centre (PTC), an organiser of the activity, was established in 1990 and was founded based on the four closed down schools. PTC is today one of biggest police schools in Poland. The basic activity of the Centre is the implementation of training and in-service training of police officers and employees of the Police. The educational offer and facilities of the Centre are being constantly developed and modernised. They consist of numerous teaching and training rooms, as well as highly specialist laboratories. PTC organizes other specialized courses on individual demand of the units subordinated to the Ministry of Interior or other civil entities. The Police Training Centre, as the only training unit in the country, implements central in-service training in the following areas: service dogs, water police, bomb – disposal operations, operational technique, specialist training course for instructions of police shooting in anti – terrorist units. The Centre also carries out in-service training that includes the extensive thematic scope of forensic technique and traffic police.

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