Behind Enemy Minds

We gaan Behind Enemy Minds


Behind enemy minds: from sight to insight

Behind Enemy Minds is an integrated concept that combines observation, perspective-taking, interpretation, and purposeful action in order to add an extra layer of security to sites, to actively prevent crime, and to successfully disrupt ongoing attacks or steps in a criminal planning cycle. It is based on the validated theories of predictive profiling and red teaming, but we built on it with additional scientific and empiric insights and shaped it into a practical, teachable technique.

Predictive profiling is a proactive approach that attempts to avert or neutralize possible threats based on thorough observations. When we observe more extensively and in more detail, we can interpret and understand more correctly. This way we can follow the line of thought of terrorists, criminals, predators, or basically any organized enemy that attacks our community.

As members of a police organization, we were tasked to introduce predictive profiling into the skillset of our colleagues. The way we expanded on the initial premise is twofold.

Firstly, we devised a method we call outerviewing to search for the enemies around us. Outerviewing is a ready-to-use tool that allows you to thoroughly and systematically scan the environment using wide-screen observation linked to the reticular activating system with emphasis on objective reporting. Through a two-step taxation end-users can detect persons of interest by observing non-verbal elements of human behavior and the effects of the limbic system in combination with directed stimuli to provoke reactions. The goal is to access the thoughts, emotions and intentions of an enemy relative to its target. The final step in the outerviewing is interpretation, threat assessment, and interpellation

Secondly, we turned the focus inward and search for the enemy within our own thinking, our own organization and our own strategies. We must learn to screen ourselves and our colleagues, assess our procedures and dispositions, and reveal every flaw in our workings. Because that's exactly what the enemy does. They scan our strengths but focus on the weakest links. They perceive buildings and sites as opportunities and see people and objects as targets. We need to experience the same feelings of excitement, agitation, and fear as the enemy does when preparing for the attack. Only then we can fully understand his state of mind and clearly see what he sees (opportunities and targets), and to successfully anticipate his next steps. Only then we can obstruct, hinder and counter his plans by introducing thresholds and interferences. From sight to insight.

About the authors/presenters

Kim Covent

Police Adviser Kim Covent has experience in the field of communication and policy. She combined her Bachelor's in Education and Journalism to graft courses on observation skills, non-verbal communication, theory of mind, empathy, embedded in an integrated approach of gamification, introspection and insight.

Frederik Van Belle

Chief commissioner of Police and Criminologist Frederik Van Belle currently works as an adviser to the chief of the local police of Ghent in the context of organization management (CP3) and risk management and from this capacity provides support and development to optimize the active and passive safety and security of (police) sites, dispositions and events.

They are the creators of the Outerviewing techniques and tactics. They teach and advise first-line police officers in spotting and understanding deviant behavior. Furthermore they assist and support their colleagues concerning non-verbal behavior when conducting interrogations and negotiations.


On June 5, 6, and 7th 2019 we organized three days of intensive training together in Ghent. We tried to put together an interactive course in which our tools and user opportunities were explained and translated into practical exercises and observation moments.

You can download the various documents, presentations, and our evaluation :