Spy Tips on High Security, Covers, Fair Fights, and more
Danger isn’t always obvious. It can be as subtle as a glance from a friendly seeming tourist, a car that slows down at an odd time, or a cop that suddenly seems a little too interested in you
The backbone of most hotel phone systems is secured by nothing more than a door and a cheap lock, which makes them convenient for people who need to make quick, untraceable phone calls.
Just because you can escape from a situation doesn’t mean you should. It’s a risk / reward thing. Sometimes you have to take your chances. Sometimes you have to remember, it’s easier to dodge questions than bullets.
As a spy, you expect to get locked up from time to time. If you’re on the job, you just keep busy until someone negotiates your release. If you’re working alone, you may have to get used to steel bars and baked beans.
In the highest security places, uniforms are for show. The real security doesn’t announce itself with anything but wary looks and shirts loose enough to hide a gun.
Security devices are genuinely one way. They keep people in or keep them out. Most high-security locks are a lot less secure if you come at them backwards.
High status cover I.D.s are rarely effective. Claim to be a big hot, and people get suspicious. Claim to be a big shot’s errand boy, people don’t think twice. Act like you don’t want to be there because you’re tired, you’re underappreciated, or you’re sick, and people tend to trust you even more.
Like a wedding, an armed extraction requires a lot of planning if you want it to go well. And like a wedding, it’s not the sort of thing you want to do twice, which is why you hold a rehearsal before the big day.
Any ambush depends on knowing where your target is going to be and when. Unfortunately, there are times when the only way to put your target in the line of fire is to be there yourself. Those are the times you just have to trust your team and hope everything goes right.
Security levels vary widely for different kinds of vehicles. Garbage trucks, for example, are expensive, but the fact that they’re hard to hide and harder to sell means that you don’t find a lot of garbage truck alarm systems.
In close spaces, a knife’s often more effective than a gun, easier to handle, easier to hide, and, in the right hands, scarier.
The rolling meeting is a popular security measure among high-end criminals. It’s hard for law enforcement to bug, and it’s a lot easier to detect any surveillance. Do it in an armored car with an armed team, it’s not just a secure place, it’s a fortress on wheels. If you’re going to take on that fortress, you’d better have an army.
When an operation depends on clockwork timing and position, you have to do whatever it takes to make sure it comes together.
The principles behind a snatch-and-grab are straightforward. Separate the target from security, then keep the security occupied while the target is acquired. Simple enough, but like anything, it’s all in the execution.
There’s a reason it’s called bullet-resistant glass, not bulletproof. The right bullet will take out any glass.
When you’re trying to hide in the water, fire is your friend. The light turns the surface of the water into a mirror. Then it’s just a matter of finding a place to surface where the fire isn’t consuming all the oxygen.
One of the things covert operatives have to give up is the idea of a fair fight. Spies aren’t trained to fight fair. Spies are trained to win.