Movers and Shakers
security expert ‘sleeping well’
- by Lou Filardo
recent weeks terrorists have had three fat targets to strike, and
each time they took a pass. The Democratic convention in Boston,
the Olympics in Greece and the Republican convention in New York
City were all conducted without a shot being fired by people with
an extreme political agenda. The terrorists’ decision to not
strike during any of these three opportunities tells Peter Maheu
that they are "either disorganized or they’re planning
something real big."
fact that there were no attacks "tells us our offensive is
keeping them in the caves," Maheu said. "It’s hard
to plan an operation when you’re running around in a cave."
the managing partner of Global Intelligence Network, operates out
of offices in Las Vegas. He describes his company as a private investigative
firm specializing in due diligence investigations for gaming regulatory
compliance and business development.
62, has an extensive career in law enforcement including stints
as a patrol officer and detective in the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department
and as the chief administrative officer in the Pima County (Tucson)
Attorney’s Office from 1978 to 1982.
1982, he started a trademark protective service company in Los Angeles
that specialized in internal theft and protecting the copyrights
and trademarks of major merchandisers.
has been with Global Intelligence Network since November 1997, but
he worked in Las Vegas earlier in his life. In 1964 he started work
as an administrator for the gaming interests and other Nevada enterprises
belonging to Howard Hughes. In the seven years that he had the job,
Maheu says he never saw Hughes. His father, Robert Maheu, was Howard
Hughes right-hand man for more than a decade.
Intelligence Network’s prime function is to provide businesses
with mystery shoppers who give them reports on how customers are
treated by the company’s employees. Mystery shoppers are employed
by casinos, hotels, high-end restaurants, banks, golf courses, and
fast food joints. Global Intelligence has 160 employees according
to Maheu, with 15 of them working fulltime and the rest employed
as mystery shoppers whenever needed.
says his business is doing fine and the reason has more to do with
the expansion of gaming around the country and the world than the
rise in terrorism. One of the services Global Intelligence offers
involves doing background checks on people. The cost of the checks
range from as low as $500 to as much as $75,000 and can be done
as quickly as overnight on somebody living in, say, Japan.
other major function of Global Intelligence is to perform due diligence
investigations for gaming companies and regulatory compliance investigations
to see that companies meet the criteria of gaming regulators.
Intelligence has other concerns including computer-assisted crimes.
Maheu says that the FBI and CIA claim that by 2010, "Russian
and Asian criminal elements will be able to hack into any computer
system in the U.S.," unless major steps are taken to prevent
those intrusions. He says computer security is an issue not only
for the security forces of the U.S. but also the casino industry.
said another emerging criminal activity is money laundering. He
says a Russian crime family owns four smart card companies and "if
somebody wants to transport $100 million, (instead of trying to
physically carry that amount) you do it with the swipe of a card
and smart card crime can’t be traced."
said Global Intelligence recently did a water threat assessment
for terrorism and determined that the threat level is not high.
However, "any major tourist location has a higher threat level
than a non-tourist destination," he says, and "that doesn’t
preclude the possibility of (a terrorist) strapping on a bomb and
walking through a building" anywhere in the U.S.
terms of identifying possible terrorist targets, Maheu said "since
I’ve never been a terrorist I don’t have any real ability
to predict what target they are likely to strike. I don’t
pretend to be a prophet."
suggests that one way to prevent an attack is to keep after the
terrorists on a world scale. "You can’t pretend that
they’re not around," he said, adding that he thinks city
and county officials "are doing a pretty good job" in
the area of terrorism, but would like to see more sharing of information.
said he thinks the ranks of the terrorists, especially among those
in command positions, have been thinned considerably by the U.S.’s
military efforts in the Middle East, and they may be trying to regroup
and rebuild in the wake of their losses.
any event, Maheu says he is not kept awake at night by the prospect
of another 9/11 attack. Instead, in his off hours, he enjoys spending
time with his grandkids, boating and fishing, "and (playing)
a little golf, badly."