Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pope Attacked...Again

Another attack on Pope Benedict XVI has Vatican security officials reviewing their policies and procedures.

The latest incident happened while the pontiff was leading a Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's Basilica. An Italian woman allegedly jumped over a barricade and knocked the 82-year-old Pope and a Cardinal to the ground. Luckily, the Pope was uninjured, and the Cardinal only slightly.

While this blog entry isn't intended to question those specifically tasked with the protection of the Pope, I have to wonder how someone who had committed a nearly identical act exactly one year prior would be allowed into a position where she could attempt it again. With the information available at this time, it would seem, at the very least, a breakdown occurred in the protective intelligence phase.

Generically speaking, protective intelligence agents should constantly maintain a file of those who have demonstrated an abnormal interest in, threatened or actually attacked their protectee. Such a file should include descriptions, photographs, known vehicles, and the known whereabouts (when possible) of the suspect. This information should be disseminated to all security personnel so they can work to prevent the subject from gaining access to the protectee.