The Doctrine Of Assorted Targeting An Assassin's Template
Christopher Uchenna Obasi

There are 3 falsehoods in the protection of Very Important Persons (VIPs). The first falsehood revolves around the assumption that VIPs are safe once they have a retinue of bodyguards protecting them. The second falsehood is based on the overreliance on what we may consider as “hard assassination” (assassination involving bullets, bombs and other incendiaries) as a far more potent way of taking out VIPs. The third falsehood deems it sufficient to present the scenario of assassination as one assassin employing one method at a time to take out a VIP. These falsehoods are understandable, but their vanities are confirmed by 3 main realities. The first reality is that no VIP is safe regardless of the amount of personal security he musters. The second reality is that bullets and other incendiaries may be very effective assassination tools but the addition of what we term as “soft assassination” (assassination involving the use of lethal chemicals, poisons and poisonous gases etc.) would make the whole plot more robust, so that if one front collapses, the other front could complete the job. This makes the whole assassination plot quite faster to execute and more confusing for detectives to unravel. The tragedy of a soft assassination is its propensity to implicate an innocent person because the cook who serves the meal at the point in which the victim finally dies could be taken in to answer for the murder, whereas he may not have initiated the chain of death. This is made more possible when the poison is projected from several sources within a given period! The third reality is that a combination of assassins lying in wait to take out a VIP at different points in a target spectrum is the most efficient and professional way of assassinating a VIP; hence, a combination of these realities would bring about a situation in which the VIP is constantly at risk until he is finally eliminated. This culminates in what we can now consider as “assorted targeting.”

Thus, the Doctrine of Assorted Targeting as advanced by this author is the continuous assault on a targeted VIP through the simultaneous exploitation of all times and dimensions available for achieving his assassination until he is finally assassinated. The doctrine is based on the time-honoured observations that no security architecture is devoid of imperfection, and that no security operative is immune to mistakes, regardless of his degree of training. Assorted Targeting may be costly to operate but it has the potential of becoming the most lethal and evasive method of plotting and executing a high profile assassination. The cost of applying this Doctrine is directly proportional to the degree of personal security around the targeted VIP, but the opportunity to cover traces and confuse investigators with several “leads” that mostly lead to nowhere is more possible owing to a large array of assassins working simultaneously on a single target.

Accordingly, if the convoy of a VIP who is riding in an armoured SUV with armour plating thickness of about 6.35 – 7.93mm is marked for ambush, most assault and sniper rifles with muzzle velocities of 700 – 950m/s could take their chances even from a distance of 100m, all factors being conducive. However, if the SUV is armour plated to as much as 30mm for instance, these rifles could be useless as long as the target is in that car, albeit that a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) or the Browning Machine Gun (BMG) could take their chances from short distances especially if they target the SUV’s ballistic glass with several rounds per second. However, if the SUV is upgraded to 75 – 80mm ballistic protection (which is somewhat superfluous), all hopes of taking out the target are still not lost because if the rifles and GPMG or BMG become ineffectual, an anti-tank mine would definitely make an impact. For example, the TM62 anti-tank mine could destroy the M1A1 Abrams battle tank with an average of 450mm armour plating. Therefore, if such anti-tank mine is deployed to engage an 80mm-thick armoured SUV, the result is significant. Furthermore, the pressure wave of the blast initiated by the anti-tank mine could halt the armoured SUV’s movement, shatter its ballistic glasses and predispose the VIP to assault with Self-Loading Rifles (SLRs) and other small arms and light weapons. However, what happens when the VIP gets a hint of the plot and evades the mine by deciding to choose another route? What happens if there are no available mines to lace his route? The Doctrine of Assorted Targeting comes in!

Therefore, plotting the assassination of an intel-affluent VIP would require hard and soft assassination techniques. Consequently, if the VIP is riding in an 80mm-thick armoured SUV where most assault and sniper rifles are useless to confront him in an ambush situation, and where there are no GPMGs or anti-tank mines to exploit the situation, he may as well run into his already bought-over cook or girlfriend armed with a slow poison to begin the gradual process of neutralising him. While the cook or girlfriend or even his bad and disloyal wife are trying their hands on the poison, a sniper cell could be set up a few hundreds of meters opposite his bedroom window. More so, the target would not always be in his fortified SUV. He would definitely alight at some point, so, sniper cells could be set up near his office, favourite restaurant or his regular drive-in where he could roll down his ballistic glass windows to purchase his cherished Popcorn. Additionally, a kidnap cell could be set up near his gate so that when he escapes the ambush, he could run into his gatekeeper who has been bought over to impede the VIP’s quick access to his compound by deliberately delaying the opening of the gates by some minutes, so that the kidnap cell could quickly move in, overpower the VIP’s security details at close range, and grab him alive if they feel like making extra money.  Furthermore, if his SUV is armoured, another cell could be tasked to try his helicopter with an Anti-Aircraft (AA) gun, hoping that it is not armoured. Who knows?! They could be lucky!

Perhaps, the most important source of threat for a VIP is domestic insecurity. In a country like Nigeria, domestic insecurity is readily available for exploitation because VIPs often maltreat their cooks, stewards, drivers, orderlies, security guards and even some family members! So, if the VIP evades anti-tank mines and hand grenades and rifles – all thanks to his extraordinarily armoured SUV, identifying a disgruntled member of his household and buying him over to the other side could become the game changer. In this case, it is logical to dangle a N5,000,000 bait before a steward who hardly earns up to N70,000 as monthly salary, in order to entice him to kill the devil!

What about the personal doctor of a VIP (whether at home or abroad)? Who says he cannot be bought to continually lace the VIP’s injections with slow poisons, predisposing him to death by a gradual, painless but steady process? What about the VIP’s often wayward children who are usually given to a life of drugs and debauchery which they require so much money to maintain? What about the VIP’s love for women and champagne? What about the microphone that he uses to address political rallies? What about the mechanic that services his fleet of cars? What about the greedy bodyguards in his security team? The retinue of security aides that the VIP carries around him is only better for ego-boosting purposes. If a thousand media aides could not prevent a media blunder, a thousand security aides would not prevent a security breach. Worse still, when there are a thousand security aides at work, it is a fertile ground for sabotage.

VIPs who relax in the comfort of their retinue of bodyguards are often the most vulnerable people. As a matter of fact, the more a VIP reposes so much confidence in the ability of his bodyguards to protect him, the more vulnerable he becomes. VIPs who choose to drive themselves in their own convoys understand this principle. You may employ people to protect you, but you should also be ready to protect yourself!

The Doctrine of Assorted Targeting anticipates that nothing can save the VIP who has been marked for assassination. However, the VIP could still improve his personal security and hope that the bad boys do not remember him. It is amusing to see a VIP bestowing so much trust on the bodyguard he pays salaries because he believes that such salaries would buy the bodyguard’s loyalty. The reality is that no salary is enough for any security operative. Security operatives could die any time soon; therefore, they need to secure the future of their families at the shortest possible time. Doing this requires so much money surging into their bank accounts in the very short time they expect to live! 

We know that no amount of personal security can guarantee absolute protection for the VIP; but there is one way that the VIP could improve his personal security so that his confidence is not wasted: The VIP must get those who can die for him to protect him but how can he get people to die for him? He can get people to die for him by giving them something more than money. What is more than money? A life of sacrifice to others is more than money. The VIP should raise an array of people whose lives are beholden to him. He should nurture them over the times, and constantly provide them with life-changing opportunities that improve their livelihoods. Thereafter, he could employ them in his service. This crop of security aides would see their jobs as an opportunity for thanksgiving rather than an opportunity to earn salaries. Therefore, when his imperfect security architecture eventually fails, they would gladly die in his place; or at least, die with him.


The ‘Alternative Viewpoint,’ penned by Flight Lieutenant Christopher Uchenna Obasi (Retired), is a sophisticated weekly column that delves into the complex dimensions of socio-political issues. While it concentrates primarily on the African context, the column also casts a wider analytical net to encompass global affairs. Through incisive commentary and in-depth analysis, it aims to offer alternative perspectives that challenge mainstream narratives and provoke thoughtful discourse on critical matters.

Africa Today News, New York

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