Israeli terrorism expert weighs in on Las Vegas hotel security
By: Patrick Walker
Las Vegas Now
LAS VEGAS – In the wake of the Las Vegas’ mass shooting, the question of security is front and center.
One terrorism expert has some suggestions based on over three decades of fighting terrorism as a member of the Israeli Defense Force.
Colonel Amir Goren spent more than 30 years in the most elite units of the Israeli Defense Forces. As an internationally-known anti-terror and security expert, he has a blunt assessment of how Las Vegas hotels rank as targets.
Reporter Patrick Walker: “Do you believe that our hotels are, from what you’ve seen, are they prepared to deal with this again?”
Col. Amir Goren: “In this moment, no. Absolutely not.”
Reporter Patrick Walker: “But you believe they can get there?”
Col. Amir Goren: “Of course, absolutely, yes.”
Las Vegas is seen by many as a place to escape reality for the weekend. A place to let loose but also maintain a modicum of privacy.
Goren says that’s part of what allowed Stephen Paddock to prepare for his shooting spree. He said, there are things Paddock may have done that could have been noticed.
“If he goes several times to the garage with his same luggage, or with the big suitcase, and a heavy suitcase, you should look at it to see if it’s a threat or not. And, you should check it.”
Goren says it all boils down to this argument for hotels — what’s the right balance of safety versus privacy measures?
He suggests a two-pronged approach.
First, guests and luggage subject to x-ray and metal detector inspection. Second, security teams trained and equipped as first responders who are able to take out a threat in the moments before police arrive.
Reporter Patrick Walker: “These sound like people who could be, perhaps, military veterans or somebody that has extensive training already?”
Col. Amir Goren: “Absolutely right, we have a lot of, plenty of veterans, great American veterans in this country, why do we not use them?”
One thing is clear, some type of changes are coming. To what degree remains to be seen.
Reporter Patrick Walker: “In your opinion, can you ever really prevent a tragedy like this from happening?”
Col. Amir Goren: “You know, never. You won’t have 100 percent, never, but you should do all the action, all the preparation, to minimize the attack or the threat.”
Goren is inviting the Strip security chiefs to a security seminar at the end of the month.
His Nevada-based company Agoge Academy consults for a number of airlines and companies worldwide.