Attempted Assassination of Ahmed Dogan

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Attempted Assassination of Ahmed Dogan

This last month there was an attempted assassination of Ahmed Dogan, the leader of the Bulgarian Movement for Rights and Freedom.  He was in the process of giving his retirement speech when a man very dramatically approached Dogan from the left while he was at the podium, stuck a small pistol at Dogan’s head and pulled the trigger.

So – what went wrong?  From what I saw on video and from our people who have filled us in on the rest of the story, the answer to the question “What went wrong?” is – everything.

The would-be assailant, Oktai Enimehmedov, was a criminal convicted for both violent crimes and drug crimes. He should have not had access to the pistol.

Oktai had event credentials which allowed him entrance.

Oktai was able to smuggle a pistol and two knives into the event.*

The pistol either misfired or Oktai pulled a Squeaky** and forgot to cock the pistol.

Dogan was left to struggle with Oktai and defend himself without help from security.  Given his limited skill, he did very well and kept the pistol from being pointed at him again.

It was left to the other delegates who subdued Oktai.  Security guards were out of position.  Those who jumped Oktai were not security.  All security at the event were wearing dark blue ties with silver chalk stripes.  Those who first arrived to subdue Oktai were either not wearing this uniform.

Once Oktai was subdued, security failed to stop a few delegates from attacking him.  They took turns doing their imitation of a kicker trying to score a few points from the far side of the field.

Dogan should have been evacuated in case of a second shooter was present, but he was not.

Oktai should have been held by security for the police to pick him up.  Instead he was taken to the police by security.

Those that attacked Oktai should have been given a small medal and than charged for their assault.  Though we understand why they did it, we must rise above the reasonable whys and do better.   No, we must do our best.

Dogan deserved security.

Security for the conference should have vetted those in attendance.  Security should have checked names and ID badges at entry points and at random, and verified against the lists of previously approved delegates. This should be a regular part of conference planning.

The gray men should have been between the front row and the stage with some looking at the stage and some looking at the audience of delegates.  Other gray men should have been on the sides of the stage to stop unwanted incursions.

Secure on-site facilities should have been arranged for in advance. Some police should also be present.  Sometimes you can request the presence of local law enforcement as a “civil stand by”.  If this cannot be arranged, you may need hire a few off duty officers and pay for their time.

Plans, preparation and practice were all missing.

* I once tried to bring in some treats to an American movie theatre and they nabbed me for trying to smuggle in M&M’s.  I had to go put them in my car and eat them après le film. Maybe they need to hire some movie ushers to spot unauthorized gear.

** A Squeaky is the failure of one to cock one’s pistol before attempting to shoot.  The term comes from Lynette “Squeakey” Fromme’s failure to cock her pistol when she tried to shoot Gerald Ford, at the time President of the United States.

This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Barron James Shortt, the Executive Director of the IBA.

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