“Surveillance must be conducted up to the time of the attack” – Carlos Marighella

Since the mid-sixties, Carlos Marighella’s book “The Mini-Manual of The Urban Guerrilla” has been a must-read for terrorist groups throughout the world.  The manual is the platform for Al Qaeda’s and Bin Laden’s training manuals.

From Wikipedia

“Unlike Che Guevara, who proposed guerrilla activity in the countryside, Marighela’s theories on urban guerrilla warfare envisaged cities as the source of rebellion. As an advocate of urban guerrilla warfare as means to neutralize and defeat political institutions in order to effect radical social change, Marighella’s work was the latest tome in the small library of revolutionary political literature in the 20th century.”

The popularity of Marighella’s manual comes from the clear and easy to follow the description of the attack planning process, which emphasizes the importance of pre-attack surveillance.”

Marighella describes the ingredients necessary for a successful ambush.  Taken from his book they are:

  1. Surprise
  2. Better knowledge of the terrain
  3. Greater mobility and speed than the enemy
  4. Total command of the situation.

Carlos states that for an ambush (including vehicle ambush) to be successful the attackers must have all four ingredients working for them.  “And to have all four working for you, surveillance must be conducted up to the time of the attack.” Those are his words – not mine.

The good news is that we have their pre-attack planning process in detail – the bad news is that over the years many tend to ignore it.

Understanding how, when and where an attacker is likely to conduct surveillance as well as how to plan, manage and conduct effective surveillance detection operations is an essential tool for security providers.  Consider a Surveillance Detection training program on your list of to do’s. To be effective, the training program must include the above subjects and supply you with hands-on experience.

If all, or part of your duties require, providing personal protection, I would suggest reading the book. If you Google his name, you will find many sights selling it or as a free download. Amazon will gift wrap for you.  The Book

Ironic that Carlos was killed in a vehicle ambush

A note – In my opinion detecting surveillance does not get the attention it should.  Simply said – history has shown that in many situations surveillance detection is not just the best protection; it may be the only protection.
There are some good books on awareness and surveillance.

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