The attack on Silvio Berlusconi reveals some weakness in Carabinieri security. First is the importance of distance. Distance equals time in an attack, and there wasn’t much distance between Berlusconi and the attacker on the rope line where he was accosted.
A more important issue is the crowding around the car and the apparent difficulty of getting the protectee into the car safely. A number of questions come to mind—was this an impromptu event? Was any security advance conducted? Was there any screening of the people in the rope-line area waiting to shake hands?
Assuming the statuette that was used as a weapon was non-metallic, it is possible that a screening process would have detected the assailant by sensing his affect. Media reports indicate the subject is mentally ill—were there signs of this illness that could have been observed by an attentive screener? How would the subject have responded to a question about his mood, his reason for being there or his attitude towards the prime minister?
I think the lesson is that effective security is concentric and redundant, relying on anticipation of emergencies and multiple layers of preparation and protection in order to prevent them.