Intelligence agency trains retail staff

Safety course teaches managers how to identify suspicious behaviour as a means to prevent terror attacks like this week’s tragic Kenyan mall attack

Around 700 shop managers in Copenhagen and Aarhus have been trained by the domestic intelligence agency PET to help identify potential terrorists.

According to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, the programme was offered in collaboration with Trygfonden, a charity that promotes public safety.

The goal of the classes was to prevent attacks similar to the one which claimed the lives of at least 60 people at a Nairobi mall this weekend.

READ MORE: Danish woman dodges Kenyan terror

“People need to take responsibility when things happen around them,” Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen, a terrorism expert and the head of PET's department of preventative security, told Jyllands-Posten. “We teach people what to look out for when situations deviate from normal. For example if people are taking photographs of infrastructure or emergency exits. There is normally a good explanation so the next step is to find out why the people are taking the photographs.”

Dalgaard-Nielsen said the purpose of the training was to improve security, not scare employees.

READ MORE: 40 Danes trained by al-Shabaab

The classes also gave shop managers instruction on how to make emergency plans so that their staff knows how to behave in the event of an attack.

“If shots are fired, they need to know who should make a phone call and who should speak to the rest of the staff and customers. If there is a bomb, we know that many people get injured by flying glass and that can be prevented by installing security film on the windows,” Dalgaard-Nielsen said.