Top terrorist brains are plotting to unleash carnage and bloodshed on the G-8 summit in Kananaskis, hoping world leaders will be among their victims.
And the mastermind behind the evil plotting is right here in Calgary -- and police know all about him.
He is RCMP Supt. Lloyd Hickman, officer in charge of the total security package for the G-8 on site in Kananaskis, who has his own teams of think-tank "terrorist" specialists dreaming up worst-nightmare scenarios that could strike the summit.
He knows a threat could come from anywhere, maybe from the air, or maybe from a giant forest fire set to threaten Kananaskis.
After all, the protection of all the world leaders, the International Protected Persons (IPPs), is his sole responsibility when they are in Kananaskis.
That's where his "terrorist" think-tanks come in.
"We have to make sure we have additional resources to handle every type of eventuality," said Hickman.
"We have planning groups that are scenario-driven, and we test plans against them, and we have many of them."
Hickman's world was filled with desperate foreboding on Sept. 11 as he watched the worst terrorist scenario, something beyond anything his teams had dreamed up, unfold before his eyes.
Hickman was in Kananaskis, attending a joint G-8 summit management meeting, when he watched the hijacked airliners slam into the World Trade Center on TV, and saw the towers crumble.
"There we were, looking at planning the G-8 summit at Kananaskis, and there we are watching our world virtually collapsing on television," he said.
"Everybody wondered how that would affect where we are, and whether we would be going to war."
Emotions crowded Hickman's mind.
As a humanitarian, he prayed.
"We had the same feelings every other Canadian and American and every free-world person had," he said.
"I think, personally I said a little prayer for their families."
As a police officer, his emotions were overwhelming.
"Everybody felt sad, especially police officers and people in the protective services who were at that meeting thought of our fellow police officers," he said.
"To see those buildings go down and know, from the protective side, there would be many lives lost, those police officers running to help when citizens were running out of the area, it really hit home to police officers when they saw that go down."
And as the security boss for the two-day G-8 summit in June, he knew his world had just changed for the worse.
"September 11, I think, brought us to focus more clearly," he said.
"The world changed that day.
"We are now looking at terrorist threats from new perspectives, but whether September 11 would have happened or not we are constantly reviewing what the current potential from any kind of threat is."
Hickman's reality is to see what happened Sept. 11 as a new threat, which his team has to cover.
But planning to combat terrorists is only one responsibility heaped on Hickman's teams.
There will almost certainly be a huge army of protesters out in Kananaskis Country.
Hickman has good news for them.
He has vowed to commit as many resources to enable them to exercise their lawful right to protest as forces he's committing to deal with law-breakers.
"One of the things we've based this total security package on is that we have an obligation to ensure the rights of Canadian citizens to legitimate non-violent protest," he said.
But he has all the force he needs to deal with law-breakers, no matter how many there may be.
Hickman believes deeply that one of the greatest assets in his arsenal is the close working relationship between the RCMP and Calgary city police, who have the responsibility of public order during the summit inside the city.
"In my opinion, having this link with Calgary is a tremendous advantage both for me personally and for the force because we have had such a long-standing working relationship," he said.
Albertans need to remember the RCMP officers on scene in Kananaskis are Albertans themselves, he said.
"We are officers who live here, who camp in Kananaskis, who have a deep respect for Alberta -- this is not somebody foreign who is coming in and then leaving."
As for Hickman, he'll be retiring the minute the summit is wrapped up, and vows within a month he'll be back in Kananaskis, camping in his trailer.
"That's the kind of connection we have with this province and this park and this city, and leaving the park exactly as we found it is a deep-down obligation which our members feel," he said.
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