Jihad: More Than an Eight Second Ride

Viewpoints on the Global War on Terror from a Home on the Range.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Katrina Failure pt. II

Some more detail on the failure of our response to Katrina:

The United States is unprepared to implement an appropriate medical response to a large-scale disaster with mass casualties, according to an internal Homeland Security Department review completed in January.

“The nation’s medical leadership works in isolation, its medical response capability is fragmented and ill-prepared to deal with a mass casualty event and ... DHS lacks an adequate medical support capability for its field operating units,” says the report.

The report, “Medical Readiness Responsibilities and Capabilities: A Strategy for Realigning and Strengthening the Federal Medical Response,” warns that there has been insufficient planning for a surge of patients from a disaster like a biological or nuclear attack, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

The document calls for formation of a uniformed medical reserve corps modeled on the National Guard, according to AP.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was reorganizing his agency in response to the report when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, agency officials said. Chertoff created the position of chief medical officer to spearhead preparedness, they added.

“I thought it (the report) was a great place to start,” said Jeffrey Runge, the new chief medical officer.

However, the report’s author, surgeon Jeffrey Lowell, said the agency has not made adequate changes. Lowell added that the current system of volunteer medical teams was “pretty much shot” when called upon to respond to more than one disaster at a time (Cheryl Wittenauer, Associated Press/SuburbanChicagoNews.com, Sept. 26).[This arrangement from the NTI: Global Security Newswire]


Then there is this - Hurricane Poses Tough Questions about Future Disasters, from the Khaleej Times.
The world is watching us - We're America, that great mythological state (which is the same thing that makes us the jihadist/califist's enemy) - and they see how we have failed. Our enemy see's how we have failed. Its in his newspapers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Going to "School"

Something else from that Guardian Article I just linked below -

Roadside bombs account for most of the lives lost, and the size and design of the explosions has led investigators to conclude that the insurgents are learning bombmaking methods from other terrorist organisations.

Yesterday's New York Times reported that the techniques used by Hezbollah in Lebanon were increasingly being seen in roadside bombs in Iraq.

An unnamed senior American commander quoted by the paper said bombs using shaped charges closely matched the bombs that Hezbollah used against Israel.

"Our assessment is that they are probably going off to 'school' to learn how to make bombs that can destroy armoured vehicles," he said.


They arent going off to "school" - school has come to them. Not recently either - The knowledge already exists within terrorist networks, and has for years. The Afghan/Russian war produced a vast amount of knowledge on fighting armorer vehicles from a guerrilla/insurgent perspective. The information was actually codified in one of the volumes of the now infamous 11-volume "Encyclopedia of Jihad".
Hezbollah's lessons techniques and lessons learned can easily be expected to have been exported just as much, and just as well, as anything from the Afghan mujahideen/Al Qaeda.
The few foreigners in Iraq are probably actively importing this knowledge, and disseminating it for further spread, and probably have been since the start of the insurgency.
They havent just suddenly learned how to build bombs that can defeat armor. No one has suddenly opened a "school" for it. The entire theater is a school, and every theater since the late 1980's has been one as well.

Juba

From The Guardian: Elusive Sniper Saps US Morale in Baghdad
Reports suggest this "Juba" character has previously operated elsewhere, including Al Anbar and Kirkut.

Hopefully one of our snipers can get the drop on him soon. I'd say hang quarters of him around Baghdad if we do, but I'd hate to give them any more martyrs. Although they certainly dont need any more living hero's either.



Monday, September 26, 2005

"A Good Article"

Often on the internet boards and email lists, and in "real life" conversations, someone will pass along an article about the WoT (War on Terror) that they'll call "good" or "great".
I've noticed that usually when this happens the article they pass along will be fairly complimentary to the politics and viewpoints of the person applying the tag, and say things that support their ideas about the WoT or make them feel good in some fashion. Left wing or right wing, I'm seeing this happen all over the place - if the article is agreeable to, if not downright cozy and comfortable with, Reader A's political ideas and opinions when he or she passes it along to Readers B and C, it will be called a "good", "great" or "excellent" article.
Thats fine, everyone is entitled to their ideas and opinions and has a right to share them - But, all too often (especially on the internet boards) I see people confusing opinion articles (that "great" article) with strong intelligence.
The MSM (Main Stream Media for anyone not deep enough into the "blogosphere" to know that) writes and talks a lot about the WoT, but very rarely does any of it begin to approach valuable intelligence. The MSM, whether its Fox, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, the BBC, or Al Jazeera (the latter two occasionally reporting something of value, not just repeating someone else - particularly Al Jazeera, being as close to the "action" as they are) are in the business of "InfoTainment" - entertaining people through information. Unfortunately real news, happenings and events that are actually valuable to know about, particularly open-source intel valuable, are not entertaining. They are often boring, or uncomfortable. And everyone who's ever tried to sell other people entertainment knows that if there is one thing it cannot be, that is uncomfortable.
Maybe a little, but only just a little - the dirty kinky fetish everyone can agree is "nasty" but no one can stop watching, little tingles of excitement radiationg through their mind. But truly uncomfortable? No. If it makes the viewer uncomfortable, they will change the channel. If it makes the reader uncomfortable, they will buy another newspaper.
The media is extremely rarely an intel source - and almost as rarely do they deliver real honesty in reporting. It always has a spin, right or left, because thats what keeps people watching, being comfortable with that is presented to them.
And thats one thing good intel is definately not; always comfortable. Facts are not political, and have no agenda, they simply are what they are and thats not something most people can swallow easily.
However, if you want any particularly "good" idea of what is actually going on, where we're winning, where we're losing, you cant be that way - comfort shouldnt be part of it. Just because something doesnt comfortably mesh with the ideology of your political party doesnt mean its wrong.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Iraq Insurgency - Not Foreign

The 'myth' of Iraq's Foreign Fighters

The idea that a vast majority of the insurgents in Iraq are Iraqi's has been kicked around before, mostly out of the public eye, and I think its right.
The scary thing is going to be the amount of experienced "jihadists" who come out of the Iraq conflict. Theres concern over the few foreign fighters exporting their lessons learned but the Iraqi fighters who are becoming more and more aligned with jihadist causes (not just Iraqi causes) and gaining invaluable battle experience are going to bring a level of training (the best kind, through experience) and skill to the table that hasnt been seen in the current generations since the vetrans of the Afghan/Russian war.

Marines: Fighting Insurgencies of the Future

Marines Probing New Ways to Fight Future Insurgencies

Among those threats are organizations such as Al Qaeda, which employ terrorist tactics but also embody many of the characteristics of an insurgency, according to one Marine strategist.

Al Qaeda’s transnational networking and a multi-ethnic constituency has the makings of a “spiritually based insurgency that is somewhat different than the Maoist people’s war model, which underwrites most counterinsurgency doctrine,” wrote Marine Lt. Col. Michael F. Morris in a March 2005 research paper at the U.S. Army War College.

The dangers Al Qaeda pose flow from its willingness to employ weapons of mass destruction, its global reach and its focus on targeting America, Morris noted. But, more importantly, Al Qaeda’s strength lies in its “revolutionary and expansionist ideology.”

The size of Osama bin Laden’s organization, its political goals, and its enduring relationship with a fundamentalist Islamic social movement, Morris added, “provide strong evidence that Al Qaeda is not a terrorist group but an insurgency.”

This form of insurgency challenges the Pentagon’s traditional approach to planning wars, Morris argued. Al Qaeda is engaging in a “somewhat leisurely paced guerrilla war,” which makes it difficult for U.S. planners to develop a strategic response. “Long term success for the United States will require support for true political reform, a revolutionary cause in itself, among autocratic Islamic governments.”

Jamestown Terrorism Monitor Turns its Eye on Italy

Terrorism Monitor - Special Issue on Italy (Acrobat Reader required to view - Get It)

With the upcoming Olympics in Turin, and repeated threats from Al Qaeda against Italy for its support of the Iraq war, the Jamestown Foundation has released a special issue of the Terrorism Monitor focusing on the imminence of attacks in Italy.

FBI Missing the Latest Trend in Terrorism

http://www.intelligencesummit.org/news/JohnLoftus/JL091905.php

John Robb has been saying this for months, at Global Guerrillas.

Anti-Porn Task Force Weakens National Security

FBI Forms Anti-Porn Squad

So, the FBI is taking active agents off other cases, taking money that could be applied elsewhere to real dangers to American citizens, and putting it towards the task of investigating and prosecuting everyday American’s for looking at certain types of pornography.
Does this bother anyone else? I hope so.
Now, I certainly don’t like a lot of the things that seem to do it for other people. BBW Bondage II or Pony Perversions IV may not be most peoples cup of tea, but is it a threat to the security of our nation and her citizens?
No.
Its legislating morality, and wasting the resources of law enforcement on enforcing Conservative Christian viewpoints on American citizens.
This type of thing weakens our nations security, and it weakens the citizens faith in their law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It also makes us look like fools to everyone abroad, including our enemies. After the dismal failure of Hurricane Katrina, do we really need to be disabusing the citizens of their pretty faiths and making ourselves the running joke of our enemies even further?

Even our law enforcement is forced to laugh at their handlers over this -
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Katrina Failure

As a first responder with incident command system and major incident response training (albeit focused on terrorism, but the discipline crosses into disaster response too), I watched in horror as the response to Katrina flopped, floundered and fell hard on so many occasions early on.
I admit, I was surprised. I had bought the whole package hook, line and sinker - After 9/11 we'd spent billions on grant funding through Homeland Security to get training and equipment to every police, fire and emergency rescue department from Anchorage, Alaska to Zap, North Dakota. I've got the Standardized Equipment List, I've looked at the new gear, I've seen the shiny new HazMat trucks, and I've trained in the supposed "system" for immediate response to major events. They put it out there, I looked at it and I believed, because, well, how could I not? I am a cynic and pessimist, but how could I not believe that we weren't doing this right? We had every reason to get it right, and we had all the bright shiny new toys to make it look like we were doing it. I should have known better.
In the first major event we've faced as a nation, as responders, since 9/11, the system failed miserably.
It took at least 24 hours after the levee's broke in New Orleans to raise the alarm within FEMA or the Department of Homeland Security.
DHS didn't give the disaster the designation of "incident of national significance", a designation that in the new systems allows resources to be freed up for response, for 36 hours.
It took two days for a military task force to respond, when the DoD is the only agency that has the resources and manpower to effectively mobilize and transport the needed personnel, equipment and goods to mount an effective response to this scale of disaster.
And the failure didn't begin there - Local officials at all levels and from NOLA to Biloxi delayed evacuation orders, or preparation of local response efforts for critical hours, for unknowable reasons.
The NOLA levees failed before the hurricane made landfall, and it took far too long for any sort of response to happen, much less an organized federal one. And yet, the federal level is supposed to be the head of the chain, the over-brain of some sort of hydra of responders. But no one knew anything. Communication was non-existent, and it took hours to get accurate reports of damage back to local authorities, much less on up the chain to state or federal - because there was no chain. Everyone sat there, on their thumbs, and watched the 'cane make landfall when money had already been freed up to respond, then waited a little more while everything went to hell, and then started trying to play catch up.
In the days that followed the man charged with directing FEMA, the supposed god-brain of the ICS, was thrown to the wolves as the fool he is and resigned for his mismanagement (a pattern he started when he ran the International Arabian Horse Association into bankruptcy and near non-existence a few years back. I've been involved with horses all my life, and horse people and horse organizations - its simply not that hard a job, and it takes a lot of effort to do that to a horse organization). Unfortunately for Michael Brown, although he sewed what he ended up reaping, he was made to suffer for more sins than his own. The entire system and the people behind it failed, and only one of them got canc'ed.The same people are still in the same places to make the same mistakes.
And what does this mean for terrorism?
It means we are as un-prepared to respond to a major attack as we were on September 10th, 2001. The added money, new structure, and increased levels of command structure may actually make the entire system less able to respond than it was back then.
Not only do we have this weakness, but we have exposed it to the entire world in the most public way possible. It should be embarrassing, but the damage done by it is so much greater than a few red faces that a little shame pales in comparison.

Amerithrax Investigation Slowing - New Report

Thanks to the NTI Global Security Newswire I came across this Washington Post article on the joint FBI/Postal Inspectors investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001, Little Progress In FBI Probe of Anthrax Attacks.

FBI agents and United States Postal Service inspectors are running out of leads in their investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people and contaminated 17 post offices, the Washington Post reported today (see GSN, July 29).

The agencies have issued more than 5,000 subpoenas, conducted more than 8,000 interviews on four continents and performed dozens of searches at homes, laboratories and other sites. Investigators went twice to Afghanistan following tips that failed to pan out, according to law enforcement sources.

In 2003, the FBI spent $250,000 to drain a pond in Maryland to look for potential evidence. They found nothing of use, authorities said.

Law enforcement official said the investigation, known as Amerithrax, needs a break.

The FBI has lowered the number of agents dedicated to the case from 31 to 21 over the last year, while the number of Postal Service investigators has gone from 13 to nine. A $2.5 million reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction remains unclaimed, the Post reported.

“This globe-spanning investigation remains intensely active and broadly focused,” said FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman. “The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service remain steadfastly committed to the 22 victims of the attacks and to bring to justice those responsible.”

Law enforcement officials are taking inventory in a report that will review the investigation to this point. The report is expected to address investigators’ primary theory: that a U.S. scientist with access to anthrax was behind the mailings, according to authorities.

It also should include the names of people deemed “persons of interest” during the investigation and new scientific tests on the anthrax strain. While the laboratory of origin has not been identified, attention has been paid to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick.

Investigations in high-profile, complex cases can last for years, law enforcement officials said.

“It doesn't sound like they're close to cracking the case,” said Eric Holder, deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration (Allen Lengel, Washington Post, Sept. 16).


I am still frightened by the fact that an American, or group of Americans, working at high levels in a top notch bio-weapons lab decided that post 9-11 was the perfect time to attack their own country, and has still not been caught. This person, or group, still poses a very real threat. Maybe not with anthrax but if they have or had access to the anthrax they did, the list of what else they could have had access to is a virtual cornucopia of bio-nastiness that could make Anthrax look like a skin rash.
And the particular strain and milling of anthrax used in the 2001 attacks was no particularly pleasant or lowgrade thing. It certainly wasnt the simple sort that pundits have screeched and squaked could be cooked up in the trunk of Abu Bin Hadji's used Volvo in the parking lot at CalTech.
To paraphrase from Malcolm Nance, author of the Terrorist Recognition Handbook - It was of the Ames strain, believed to have originated in U.S. BioWeapons stockpiles, but it had been milled to a level never before seen in either the U.S. or Russian bioweapons programs, 1.2 Trillion (with a T) Spores per Gram. It also used a proprietary U.S. developed Silica coating method. It was probably the finest anthrax ever produced, and there are probably only a few people in the world who could have produced this, and they couldnt have done it alone. The equipment needed would be of the type found only in the best labs here in the U.S.
Not only was this anthrax of truly a superior quality, but the attacks on the Senate were deliberately intended to be deadly. This wasnt someone trying to send his message to get more funding for vaciine research, as is commonly thought. If it was he could have sent less than a couple million spores, in ten envelopes, to far less important people than the Senate and done his job. As it was a combined 2.4 Trillion spores in two envelopes were mailed to the senate, with the easy possibility of killing every senator and their respective staffs.
Nance has said in internet posts that the person/people behind this are probably far-right extremists, who targetted an at the time Democratic majority senate without concern over non-"Liberal" victims, and also targetted major "Liberal Media", but not conservative media such as Fox or the Washington post. Seems a very plausible theory to me.
Whoever is behind this, whichever American(s) with severely misplaced values and loyalties, is still out there. They probably still have access to horrors beyond our scope of imagining, and they may well still have plans to use them. Their targets may remain their chosen "liberal enemy", but they have already proven that anyone (and everyone) else is just collateral damage. If this doesnt scare you, please share some of your barbituates and vodka with the rest of the class.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

FARC Bombings Target Power Grid

Attacks deliberately targetted major towers, high voltage transmission lines not backyard utility poles.
If you want to learn more about this type of infrastructure attack, and the temporary autonomous zones it creates or reinforces, look to the links at right and go visit John Robb's Global Guerrillas.

Tribes...

An excellent essay from Eject! Eject! Eject!
I'm not a fan of Grossman or his work, he turned me off in a big way with his academic dishonesty in On Killing, and would actually like that essay better if the aurhor just stuck to "Pink" vs. "Grey" - but, the core idea is all the same, and its excellent.
This has both nothing to do with terrorism, and a lot to do with terrorism. "Pink" attitudes make a lot of terrorism possible.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

John Holschen's Al Qaeda Training Tape Review

The below is a review of one of the Al Qaeda training tapes by John Holschen, director of InSights Training Center, one of the premier tactical training schools in the nation.

John Holschen
07 August 2002

Al Qaeda Training Tape Review


The following document is a review and analysis of an Al Qaeda tape that I wrote in May 2002. The original version of this document was posted to our instructor development group on 20 May, 2002. The final version was posted to the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and the InSights Training Center discussion groups on 5 June, 2002. My objective is to encourage the widest possible distribution and discussion of this information among those that may benefit from it.

This analysis has been quoted in current and/or pending editions of: “World Net Daily” http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28819; “Strategy Page” http://www.strategypage.com/articles/tapes/default.asp; “The Tactical Edge”, the Journal of the National Tactical Officers Association; “The Trainer”, the Journal of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and in several state and federal law enforcement intelligence bulletins.

Shortly after the initial distribution of this document I was contacted by a number of federal, state and local governmental agencies who asked permission to use my work in various intelligence and training products. In each case, I gave the requested permission with the condition that attribution (including my contact information) be included whenever my material was used.

I have three primary reasons for making this request:
1. To insure that the information has maximum value to the analysts and end-users, it is necessary to identify the source of the information in some fashion. Without this identification, information becomes distorted as it passes through the intelligence cycle of one agency and is then forwarded to a second or a third agency. It quickly becomes impossible to determine if the intelligence bulletin you have just received is new information or a product that is referring to something that you have already seen.
2. I would like to be available to the consumers of this information if they have any questions or comments about my analysis (and of what constitutes an effective response to the threat.)
3. I believe that an ethical man should acknowledge the work of another when making use of it. Whether through intellectual or physical efforts, the expenditure of a mans' energy is of value. He can choose to sell that value to an employer for a wage, or he can choose to sell the products of his labor. If he should choose, in the interest of the common good; to give freely either his time, energy or products it is inappropriate for another man to pass on those efforts as his own.

It has been brought to my attention that there are a number of un-attributed and/or mis-attributed copies of my analysis being circulated. If you have received a copy of this document without the copyright and attribution information, (or if you have forwarded such a document); I would greatly appreciate your help in informing the sender (or receiver) of the actual source of this work. Please forward this correspondence to anyone who may have received an un-attributed or mis-attributed copy of my “Al Qaeda Training Tape Review”.

Thank you,

Stay Safe, Stay Vigilant

John Holschen
Insights Training Center, Inc
jholschen@insightstraining.com


05 June, 2002,
By John Holschen, InSights Training Center.

I recently had the opportunity to conduct a detailed review of a captured Al Qaeda training tape.

My impressions:

The tape was apparently produced for Al Qaeda internal use and did not appear to be an external propaganda production.

The tape showed Al Qaeda operatives engaging in a number of training exercises including small arms firing ranges, live-fire room entry, and numerous mixed live-fire/role-player type of scenarios.

Scenarios included: Assassinations, Kidnappings, Bombings, and Small unit raids on various types of targets. The training depicted in these scenarios was clearly for export according to an intelligence expert that commented on the tape. "None of these training scenarios depicts the type of fighting that Al Qaeda engages in within Afghanistan."

Detailed planning, diagramming and walk-through's followed by live-fire exercises were the norm.

There were many role-playing, scenario type training exercises.

The role players made aggressive moves simulating resistance at various points throughout the scenarios. All such resistance was met with immediate and brutal countermeasures by the terrorists. There was no presumed compliance on the part of the terrorists.

The effort to produce detail and realism in training was impressive.

These people are using extremely effective training methods!


The following actions were seen REPEATEDLY and ROUTINELY throughout the training exercises:

1. Use of standard military small unit tactics with multiple elements. (Assault, Security and Support elements)

2. Coordination with sub-elements via hand-held FM radios.

3. Use of pick-up trucks by the assault element to conduct raids/assassinations (shooters concealed in bed of truck).
4. Use of Motorcycles by the security element (as well as in the historical role as a shooting platform for drive by shootings/assassinations.)

5. Use of explosives upon withdrawal from the objective.

6. Use of vehicle horn to signal withdrawal (and initiation of explosives.)

7. Detailed planning and rehearsal of all actions.

8. Exercise of prisoner handling procedures. From initial contact, to search and control, to execution of prisoners. Role players could be heard begging (in English) not to be killed. Terrorists practiced commands in English also.

9. Multiple man room entries. Typically one or two, 2-man teams that assumed a back to back position near the center of the room.

10. Distraction devices used prior to room entry. These were fuse-lit devices (possibly improvised for training?)

11. Multiple breach points into structures and into individual rooms.

12. All scenarios were practiced live-fire; including those that involved role players. Paper targets and role players were interspersed in the same scenarios. (The terrorists showed good muzzle awareness and control.)


The weapons handling was NOT haphazard. All terrorist operatives carried and fired their weapons using the same techniques.

Some specific weapons handling idiosyncrasies are:

1. Handguns were carried in high ready.

2. Long guns (AK variants) were carried and fired rotated 90 degrees (ejection port up)

Specific scenarios included:

1. Targeting of law enforcement officers in ambush/assassinations. Faked disabled vehicle with shooters concealed in trunk of car or bed of truck. When the officer stops his vehicle behind the “disabled vehicle” the assault is initiated by the driver blowing the vehicle horn. Target was first engaged with rifle fire from the vehicle, terrorists then debussed to administer “coup de grace” at close range. An explosive device was thrown into the LE vehicle on exfiltration. This was one of a number of scenarios that were shown first as a diagram and explanation, then progressing to dry fire walk through and finally to a live-fire exercise. Target location was shown as a 6 lane divided highway with the terrorist vehicle located just prior to the exit/cloverleaf (to allow multiple exfiltration routes and security overview.) There aren't any such highways in Afghanistan and damn few in the Middle East. In one iteration of this scenario the security/overwatch element was exercised firing on possible responding LEOs.

2. Residential assassination. Innocuous looking person (weapon concealed) knocks on door of residence. Stands in view of peephole and answers questions from resident through closed door. When the resident opens his door the terrorist draws and fires, emptying his weapon into the victim.

3. Assassination on golf course. Target was on the green (at the pin/flag.) A Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) was fired at a vehicle adjacent to the green (VIP security element?) to initiate the hit. The target was then engaged with rifle fire.

4. Two and four-man live-fire room entry (2-man back to back technique) with target discrimination (shoot/no shoot targets).

5. Raid on compound (Kidnapping). One person taken. Initiation was when the Guard Shack was taken out with grenades. The primary target building was engaged with an RPG. Primary target building was entered through multiple breach points (through explosive breach of wall and through windows.) Exfiltration was by truck with motorcycle security element in overwatch positions.

6. Drive up kidnapping of target walking down the street.

7. Use of tunnels/storm drains/sewers for infiltration and exfiltration during raids.

8. Rappelling from roof of building to make entry on upper floors was shown on more than one occasion.

9. Motorcycle drive-by target practice. Shooter stands up on rear pegs and extends arms over driver. Excellent muzzle awareness and control.

10. Grenades thrown into second story windows by motorcycle drive-bys.

11. Attack on a VIP convoy as it was departing a venue. This attack was preceded by a
pedestrian stepping in front of one of the vehicles in the VIP motorcade and faking being struck by the vehicle. When the motorcade paused to deal with the “injured” pedestrian the attack was initiated. (In another segment the terrorist where shown studying vehicle-mounted protective detail procedures.)


MULTIPLE SCENARIOS/EXERCISES involved raids on buildings with a large number of occupants (school or office building?)


These raids followed a standard pattern:

1. Covert/surreptitious entry into the building and movement to initial points.
(Rifles hidden on persons and in bags/cases carried into building.)

2. Initiation with extreme violence of action. Any resisters are shot.

3. Immediate positive control and search of prisoners. Any resisters, or anyone they don’t like the look of, are shot.

4. Segregation of prisoners into manageable groups. (Explosives were displayed to gain psychological dominance over prisoners.)

5. Movement of selected prisoners in small groups to the roof where terrorists posture and make statements for the press/cameras.

6. Prisoners executed one-by-one in front of the press/cameras.

7. All scenarios involving prisoners ended in the execution of the prisoners, and none included a plan for exfiltration of the terrorists. They plan to kill the prisoners and to die in place.


The major take home lesson here is that although the enemy is known to be seeking the ability and opportunity to use weapons of mass destruction, and of an unconventional nature, such as hijacked airliners; they are also spending a lot of time training to carry
out attacks the old-fashioned way – attacks executed by small groups of dedicated personnel equipped with little more than small arms.

There is information to the effect that the “perfect day” as seen by Al Qaeda would combine attacks designed to produce the maximum number of casualties with attacks that would give them the opportunity to get “face time” on the news channels to deliver their rhetoric. For maximum effect these attacks would take place nearly simultaneously at multiple geographically separate locations.

We need to address, in training and in personal preparation, the differences between a typical criminal victimization and a terrorist incident in terms of early recognition and appropriate response. I.E. The typical bank robbery vs. finding yourself in the middle of a terrorist attack on a “financial institution” (as per the recent FBI warning.)

If you find yourself in the middle of one of these attacks, there will not be time for the SWAT team to intervene on your behalf. Compliance will buy you only a very little time. If you are identified as a potential problem to the terrorists you will be shot! (They are training to spot Law Enforcement, Security, and Corrections Officers as well as armed citizens.) If by feigned compliance, you make it through the first cut, you can expect to be physically restrained and then controlled with threats to the rest of your group and to the other groups. "We will blow up the women and children in the next room if any of you do not do exactly as we say!" Your ultimate fate, if you do not resist, is to be ritually executed in front of the television cameras.

In my opinion the best time to act is most likely to be at the initiation of the attack. Once the terrorists are consolidating on the objective it will be very difficult to take effective action. You must plan on providing effective resistance at the first opportunity! Shoot, move and communicate. Seek cover; use your weapon as required. Attempt to acquire a better weapon system at the first opportunity (do you know how to place an AK into operation?)

Keep in mind that before any terrorist action there are many opportunities to interrupt their cycle by detecting their pre-mission activities. This is where we all can be of assistance. Pay attention to what is going on around you as you go about your daily business. Investigate and report any unusual or suspicious activity that you observe (note vehicle make and model, license plate number, personnel descriptions etc.)

To answer some common questions about the video:
1. I do not have a copy of the video.
2. The video is in possession of the appropriate agencies at the federal level and will hopefully be distributed via that route in the not-to-distant future.
3. The source of the video is not making it directly available to ANYONE at this time.
4. The video that I reviewed was not shown on CNN.
5. The CNN video segment on “Training” showed AQ operators that were executing far less sophisticated attacks, with a considerably lower standard of performance. Like watching a High School football team compared to an NFL team. (This is consistent with how Al Qaeda selects and trains it operators.)


John Holschen
Insights Training Center, Inc
jholschen@insightstraining.com