What could have been done to prevent a mall attack like Nairobi?
It’s not necessarily that we need “More” security, We need smarter security practices. This means far better training for security professionals. There are great tools and gadgets that enhance security, but at the end of the day, It’s the human factor that will detect or deter an attack like the one in Nairobi Kenya. The Westgate mall was a natural target for Al Shabaab. The nation of Kenya and the terrorists had a long history between them. The mall should have started with acknowledging that the venue was likely a high value target. Kenyan forces with western support defeated Al Shabaab in Somalia. There should have been a recognition that a venue in Kenya that drew large crowds and was frequented by foreign tourists would be a natural target. The security posture did not adequately reflect or address this reality. Conducting a thorough threat assessment which looks at who would want to target the venue and what type of access/capability would they have if they chose to act is the key first step in preventing this type of attack. Once you have identified potential threats, you begin your risk mitigation strategy. Malls and other venues are designed for the free flow of large amounts of pedestrian traffic. Entry/exit points are not strictly enforced because the mall is designed to invite people in rather than turn them away. Once inside, most of your retail shops are single entry/exit points to funnel people in to natural choke points so that they maximize the amount of time that the shoppers eyes are on the retailers wares.