THE MAGAZINE

Terrorism and Personal Security: Reduce Your Chances of Becoming a Target

By Ralph “R.C.” Miles, CPP

***** Terrorism and Personal Security: Reduce Your Chances of Becoming a Target. By William M. Epps; published by the Thomson South-West Education, www.thomsonedu.com (Web); 240 pages; $29.95.

If you want advice on staying safe while abroad, who better to ask than a former operations officer with the CIA who helped the agency enhance its course on personal safety? Author William Epps, who also served as a senior instructor in the agency’s counterterrorism section, has collected a career’s worth of wisdom on how overseas travelers, expatriates, and others can protect themselves in foreign lands.

In an organized, logical fashion, the book leads the reader from an overview of risks to practical recommendations for personal safety. It also discusses methods for handling extreme scenarios such as kidnappings and bombings. Epps’s direct, clean writing style enhances the easy-to-follow format, allowing readers to easily absorb the material.

Real-life examples are rare in guides to personal safety, which is unfortunate since such examples provide the most telling details. Epps understands this, and he uses ample case studies to both reinforce and expound on his advice. The case studies provide enough background material without being too specific to pertain to a general readership.

The recommendations themselves are time-tested and effective. In one chapter, for instance, the text explains how travelers can make the most of their limited amount of time in one place to conduct surveillance that will clue them in to an impending attack.

A chronology of terrorist incidents and background statistics on terrorism are valuable additions to the work. Along with the plentiful recommendations, that’s a potent package.


Reviewer: Ralph “R.C.” Miles, CPP, has more than 20 years of military and private-sector security experience. He is currently responsible for conducting risk assessments and pretravel briefings for employees traveling on company business throughout the world. He has provided hundreds of such briefings and has provided protective services for employees and executives traveling to such locations as Iraq and the Palestinian West Bank. He is a member of ASIS International.

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