The terrorist attacks on the night of 13 November 2015 at the Stade de France and the Bataclan Theater on in France showed that even small terror cells and “lone wolfs” can strike major national and international sporting and entertainment events. Beginning with the attacks on the Athlete’s Village at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany through today, terrorists are evolving their methods and tactics to strike large crowds of spectators and gain an audience for their organizations and ideology. Countries that host large spectator sports and entertainment events like the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup tournament, the NFL Super Bowl, and Boston Marathon must prioritize risks and allocate scarce resources to protect people attending large spectator events. Event hosts and venue owners are faced with the challenge of providing a smooth-running and successful event while keeping event participants and spectators safe and secure from terrorism. Thus, a partnership was formed between NCS4 and ICT to address these safety and security challenges.
NCS4 AND ICT
In 2017, the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and the University Southern Mississippi's USA, National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster international cooperation in education, training, research, and thought leadership in counter-terrorism. Given the respective knowledge of each institution, ICT and NCS4 are developing a series of educational products about terrorism and counter-terrorism that will benefit law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies around the world who are dealing with threats to sports safety and security. The institutions will focus on development of joint training programs and addressing needs of industry and counterterrorism and sports safety and security professions.
JOINT TRAINING PROGRAMS
ICT and NCS4 are currently developing a 3.5-day pilot course for senior leaders and managers. The inaugural course is planned for 12-15 July 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky (USA). The course will be taught by subject matter experts in international counterterrorism and sport safety and security from ICT and NCS4. The course is a scenario-based practicum, teaching participants about terrorism, how terrorism is evolving, the challenges of counterterrorism, and how to mitigate the risks posed by terrorism through operations planning and protective measures. This unique course will use a Red Team to foster understanding about how terrorists plan, and will allow participants to use an actual professional or collegiate sports event and venue to evaluate their own plans.
Founded in 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi, supports the advancement of sport safety and security through training, professional development, academic programs and research. NCS4 collaborates with professional leagues, open access events, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies. It is a critical resource for sport venue managers, event managers, first responders, and other key stakeholders.
Founded in 1996, the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) is one of the leading academic institutes for counter-terrorism in the world, facilitating international cooperation in the global struggle against terrorism. ICT is an independent think tank providing expertise in terrorism, counter-terrorism, homeland security, threat vulnerability, risk assessment, intelligence analysis, national security and defense policy. ICT also serves as a joint forum for international policymakers and scholars to share information and expertise through research papers, situation reports and academic publications for worldwide distribution. A number of international seminars, workshops and conferences are organized monthly by ICT to discuss and educate on global and regional issues of security, defense, and public policy in order to better facilitate the exchange of perspectives, information and proposals for policy action. Finally, ICT administers the largest public domain research database on the Internet encompassing global terrorist attacks, terrorist organizations and activists in addition to statistical reports.