Security service briefs potential terrorism targets in Latvia

Latvia's State Security Service (VDD) says it held a seminar last week aimed at making potential terrorism targets aware of risks and how to ameliorate them, the VDD said in a news release.

"VDD regularly organizes such seminars for representatives of both state and private sector terrorism risk objects. The purpose of these seminars is to ensure the awareness of facility personnel of the measures to be taken to reduce the risks of terrorism and correct actions in the event of a potential terrorism threat or an actual terrorist act," it said.

At the seminar held in Riga on Friday, October 20, VDD’s counterterrorism experts provided representatives of facilities with information about the current trends in terrorism threats in Europe and the system of terrorism threat levels created in Latvia.

The participants of the seminar were briefed on the elements and influencing factors of the physical security of objects of mass gatherings, as well as the correct actions in the event of a terrorism threat. Participants were also informed about the necessary action if a bomb threat was received in an e-mail or in another way.

The seminar was attended by representatives of Latvia's largest shopping centers, entertainment and culture facilities, as well as representatives of companies providing security services for such facilities. In total, representatives of 27 objects participated in the seminar.

This year, VDD has already organized nine informative seminars for personnel of terrorism risk objects. Eight of them were organized for the personnel of critical infrastructure objects, the last of which took place on 12 October. Another was organized on 6 March this year for the staff of a specific object of mass gathering, which was unspecified in the release but may have been this year's Song and Dance Festival in July, which passed without incident.

In addition, the counterterrorism experts of the Service inspected a total of 70 terrorism risk objects, of which 48 were objects of critical infrastructure, while 22 were objects of mass gathering. The terrorism threat level in Latvia currently is low.

The State Security Service (VDD) is one of the three Latvian Security and Intelligence Services besides the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) and Defence Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD).

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