Afghanistan is still a war-zone no matter what you see on CNN and BBC. Civilian Corporate Executive Protection (CXP) teams and their clients should avoid all non-essential travel to this location. However, if CXP teams and their clients have pressing and essential business activities in Afghanistan the following advice should be taken.
Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as the whole country is extremely volatile and unpredictable. Taliban threats in Kabul include almost daily firefights, suicide bomb attacks, rockets, improvised explosive devices and ambushes bodyguards in London on the main road leading to Kabul International airport. Fake checkpoints are often set up in order to commit attacks. Weapons are easily available.
CXP teams and clients should avoid all public areas heavily frequented by Westerners to include hotels, restaurants, shops and marketplaces. Low-profile but well-armored vehicles should be used for both client and CXP team protection against roadside bomb explosions. United Nation facilities should be avoid when possible, due to the recent suicide bombers attacks on UN guesthouse in Kabul, killing 12 people, including six UN workers.
CXP teams and their clients should further avoid all foreign embassies in Kabul, Afghanistan. This is due to the recent suicide bomber attack that killed 17 and injured 80 outside the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital. Also, avoid all NATO facilities as the Taliban have been targeting them with a recent suicide bomber attack of the NATO headquarters, in the diplomatic district of Wazir Akhbar Khan, in Kabul, killing 7 people and injuring 90.
Western clients and CXP team members are at an extreme risk of being kidnapped throughout Afghanistan. Numerous Westerners, including security contractors, have been kidnapped and in some cases killed. Several organizations are behind these kidnappings, among them terrorists and criminal gangs. Kidnapping for ransom has become a very lucrative market.
Avoid crowded environments, do not travel at night, use armored vehicles and bullet-resistant vest to protect check and torso against lethal bullet wounds. In Kabul, Afghanistan, set no patterns, patterns draw unwanted attention. CXP team must keep their guard-up at all times. When authorized to due so be armed to the teeth, because usually in Afghanistan CXP teams are out numbered, out muscled and out gunned. Keep safe and stay out of harm’s way.