Cloaking Strategy Gone Wrong

A word of caution to security practitioners operating in trouble spots; be careful what cover stories you use. The ruse may carry more risk than just taking proper precautions.  I get the part of passing off as a neutral person, but before adopting a strategy like this think of the long term consequences to journalists every.  Despots and murderers don’t need more excuses to accuse journalists of being spies and such.  Having said that, I think everyone should adopt all necessary measures to stay safe, but not at the expense of other vulnerable professionals else down the chain.

Two French Security Advisers Abducted in Somalia

By Edward Cody

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PARIS, July 14 — Two French security advisers posing as journalists were abducted from their hotel in Mogadishu on Tuesday by Somali gunmen, according to the Foreign Ministry and reports from the chaotic Somali capital.

The Foreign Ministry did not identify the two men or specify which branch of the French government had dispatched them to Somalia. But it said in an announcement that they were in Mogadishu on “an official mission” to assist the Western-backed government of President Sharif Ahmed in “security matters.”

A senior official in Ahmed’s government told Agence France-Presse, the main French news agency, that the two men had arrived in Mogadishu nine days ago, invited by the Somali Defense Ministry to train “their counterparts in Somali intelligence agencies.”

The men were staying at the Hotel Sahafi International, which over the years has gained a reputation as headquarters for foreign correspondents covering the violence that has ripped Somalia apart. In more recent times, however, few Western journalists have ventured into Mogadishu, where the official police and army are weak, heavily armed factions often rule the streets and kidnapping is a constant danger….


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