The special services division of the National Security Bureau (NSB) has ordered multiple sets of counter-sniping equipment from the US to boost security for January’s presidential election, according to a government official who wished to remain anonymous.
When it comes to security during the presidential campaign, “gunshots are what we worry about most,” said the source, adding that if a presidential candidate or important figures were shot and wounded or killed, it could result in political turmoil
In a previous report to the Legislative Yuan, the bureau said that investigations in recent years found that more than 1,000 people in the nation posed a security concern, adding that more than a few were inclined toward radical action.
In the same report, the bureau said that it has compiled a list of 52 suspected terrorists who are now abroad, adding that the National Immigration Agency has blacklisted every individual on the list, barring their entry into the nation in accordance with the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法).
While domestic security threats and terrorist individuals abroad might not use guns to target presidential candidates, the bureau said that it must be ready for anything.
Anti-sniper duty worldwide consists of the equipment needed to counter snipers and to detect gunshots, the official said.
The the detection equipment could pinpoint the source of gunfire within seconds so countermeasures could be taken to prevent further shooting, the official added.
Other countermethods include setting up back sights on potential sniper perches, the official said.
The US equipment would replace the French-made PILAR gunfire detection systems now being used, the official said.
The bureau hopes to have its new equipment ready for display in the middle of November at the conclusion of training for the presidential candidate protection teams.
The bureau has also made several improvements to the fleet of trucks that are used to ferry presidential candidates as they stump.
The trucks, which had long been bullet-resistant, still required candidates to stand in the cargo space of the truck, the official said.
The upgrades include speakers that hang outside the truck, allowing the candidates to make their speeches safely from inside the trucks, the official said.
The trucks would also be put on display in November, the official said.
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