Offline swanson

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« on: November 11, 2008, 06:32:48 AM »

The following is yet another review of some common concepts that have been well documented by others. Still, I think what follows is an integral piece of knowledge to add to your survival and security framework and bears importance for review…

To be effective at maintaining your footing as a “Grey Man”, you need to make a study of your enemy and how he selects his targets.

The more you can grasp about the nature of your enemy and his tactics, techniques, and procedures, the better off you will be to thwart his activities and become “deselected” as a target.

Being “deselected” as a target is the whole point of taking the Grey Man approach in the first place.

It’s not enough to just practice being low profile; you have to be able to see trouble coming as well.


There is often a process that your enemy conducts to choose his target for surveillance or victimization whether his interest leads to casual violence, some form of petty victimization, or something more.

Often, there will be an interview process where your enemy sizes you up as a target from amongst several choices. For the Grey Man, this process is an opportunity to see his enemy at work and extricate himself from the process immediately.

Here’s how the interview process works in general. The criminal or terrorist actor will:

•   Display his intent by actively hunting for a victim. Intent is displayed as a by-product of the aggression that accompanies the hunt.
•   Select the softest target by assessing the weaknesses you display through your appearance, mannerisms, and personal bearing <or lack thereof>.
•   Take up a posture or position that will enhance his leverage or advantage over a target and use surprise as the central theme of his ambush.
•   Then attack at your weakest moment.
•   Then insure his pay-off through the use of overwhelming force and conveniently break contact afterwards.
•   Then retire from the scene to assess and prepare for the next “interview”.

The Grey Man can interrupt this process at any time if he is looking for it in his environment. Watch for criminal or terrorist actors using the interview process.


In relation to the interview concept outlined above, C.A.R.V.E.R. is an analysis process and/or methodology used in the law enforcement and military community to outline how an enemy will assess a target for its value and pay-off. This is another useful concept to adapt and add to your tool box for use as a “Grey Man”…

So, here are the questions, more or less, that a terrorist or criminal will be looking to answer when choosing a target:

C- CRITICALITY. Criticality relates to the targets value for attack. Is the intended target hard or soft? Does the target warrant further examination for exploitation or should we move on to an easier target?

A- ACCESSIBILITY. How easy is it for me to get to the target, execute my intended actions, and withdraw?

R- RECUPERABILITY. How long will it take for the target to recover from my actions or attack?

V- VULNERABIILITY. Were the most vulnerable parts of the intended target exploited for the greatest effect?

E- EFFECT. What are the possible outcomes or effects of the action or attack?

R- RECOGNIZABILITY. Is the intended target recognizable under most conditions so if chosen for exploitation, it will remain the clear focus of the objective?

Use the C.A.R.V.E.R. model to help you examine your own vulnerabilities and make your own personal risk management a bit easier to war game.

The Grey Man is always looking to be "deselected" as a target. Take a look at yourself through the eyes of your enemy and act on what you see accordingly.


The Grey Man is always on the watch.

The criminal or terrorist actor will produce cues and useful indicators as he goes about his business of exploitation and victimization. It is important to watch out for these on a regular basis because the cues and indicators may well lend you a specific warning of an impending attack.

Here are some of the most universal cues and indicators that are used by the “bad guys” that the Grey man might identify or encounter:

•   Target glancing; someone taking more than a passing interest in you.
•   Any second pass or continued sighting of a person or vehicle during your travels.
•   Strangers initiating any physical or verbal contact or exchange; it may be a set-up.
•   Any change in a Peron’s casual behavior, mannerisms, or “status” as you approach or move by.

can you add anymore cues or indicators to the list from your own experiences?

O.K., review it all again...

I have covered a lot in this thread. I hope it makes enough sense and the concepts don’t confuse each other. 

Knowing how your enemy chooses his targets and assesses them is crucial to your survival and might help you manage or extricate yourself from trouble in the future if you can apply these concepts in advance.

Please, add these to your “Grey man” concept tool box if they work for you…