Spy Tips on Floor Safes, Hiding, Perfect Stories, and more…
Spies spend a lot of time traveling, but they usually don’t end up in the most desirable destinations. You’re much more likely to find yourself visiting a rebel camp in the Philippine jungle or a hidden bunker in the mountains of Pakistan than lounging beach-side in the Bahamas. But even when you do find yourself in a vacation paradise, it’s still all about business.
Like magicians, pickpockets rely on misdirection. Whether you’re pulling keys out of a pocket or a rabbit out of a hat, It’s all about big distractions.
Spies don’t always have a choice of hiding places. Sometimes it comes down to taking what’s available. But if you have to hide in something that’s designed to be airtight, you better hope the danger passes before you run out of oxygen.
Your first approach being successful. You have to be ready to change tactics on the fly. Spies learn to make lightning-fast observations and connect the dots just as quickly. Little things like a family photo with no father and a missing wedding ring can tell you all you need to know about a target’s soft spot. Or better yet, their sore spot.
In a hostage crisis, First contact with the police is critical. One wrong word from a hostage-taker can be the difference between the start of negotiations or the start of an armed assault.
When interrogators hear a story without any holes, they know someone’s lying. Only people who are afraid of getting caught take the time to rehearse every detail and anticipate every question. The same holds true for accounting. Perfect books are like perfect alibis, it confirms you’re dealing with a liar. But there’s no way to prove it.
In a hostage situation, It’s standard procedure for police to run cellphone jammers and commandeer all the phone lines in your location. To make a call without a police operator, you need to access a line they’re not listening on. It’s a lot like stealing cable from your neighbor. If you can access a common wall and stretch the conduit, you can connect your phone to the unmonitored line next door.
Making a cold approach to a scam artist is never ideal. They tend to assume that a stranger showing up out of the blue is either a cop or someone they’ve ripped off. Either way, you have to be ready for them to run. Fortunately, tactical support can make a foot chase much more civilized. Instead of relying on speed and endurance, all you need is a distraction and good timing.
Floor safes are virtually impenetrable as long as they’re in the floor. If you don’t have a jackhammer to pry one out, you need to get creative. Homemade shape charges will do the trick, but if you want to avoid turning a standoff into a full-scale breach, you’d better have a way to muffle the blast. Once a floor safe is out of the floor, it offers about as much protection as a piggy bank.
Spies are trained to follow certain procedures when holding someone at gunpoint. Stand out of arm’s reach, keep your weight on your back foot, and never take your eye off the target. Unless you want your weapon taken. Then you do exactly the opposite.
Spies don’t always make decisions based on training, experience, or potential success of a mission. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of doing what you think is right, even if it means putting your fate in the hands of a stranger.
Fresh-painted walls and steam-cleaned carpets are great if you’re a realtor showing a vacant apartment. If you’re a spy hoping to find a clue, there’s nothing worse than a sparkling-clean home. If you can’t even find spare change in the sofa, chances are you won’t find anything at all.
Every precaution you take to make something more secure also makes it less accessible. Concealing a high-density tape cartridge behind drywall is a great way to keep it from being found. But if you ever have to leave in a hurry, you can’t expect to take it with you.