anti-terrorism training

How To Survive A Mall Shooting

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you might have heard about the threat by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab against a particular “family” of shopping malls (blogged about this Sunday). The more I thought about the potential for a mall shooting, the more I wondered if there was anything out in cyberspace that might assist readers in surviving an active shooter situation within this type of environment. Enter SPIKE’s TV series Surviving Disaster from a couple of years back (blogged about here). In particular, the episode entitled “Mall Shooting.” For those of you who’ve never heard of the television series, from the SPIKE website:

What will you do when disaster strikes? Spike TV’s new original series Surviving Disaster, led by Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, vividly takes viewers through catastrophic scenarios and arms them with the knowledge needed to survive the unthinkable. Courtley tackles worst-case scenarios and equips viewers with the practical information needed to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Whether the threat is natural or man-made or on a national or personal level, Courtley speaks directly to the viewers and guides them through a comprehensive, step-by-step process to not only survive the big picture disaster, but endure the many dangerous obstacles that may occur within each catastrophic event. While leading viewers out of danger, Courtley not only provides helpful tips and hands-on instruction, but swiftly points out common misconceptions and fatal mistakes. Unlike any other series, Surviving Disaster may actually save lives by providing actions that anyone can perform.

If Cade Courtley looks familiar, it may be that you recognize him from another survival TV series called America Unplugged that recently aired on the New Berlin, Wisconsin-based TV network The Sportsman Channel (blogged about here– good stuff). Or it could be from a different project of his.


“Who is Cade Courtley?”
YouTube Video

Getting back to Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” from the SPIKE website:

A highly trained terrorist cell takes over a crowded mall in a military style siege. Navy SEAL Cade Courtley shows you how to survive a firefight using SEAL Team tactics and take on this well armed enemy by constructing improvised weapons, smoke bombs and night vision gear.

It’s been a few years since I watched the 42-minute production. But I think it still has a lot to offer should readers ever find themselves in a similar predicament. For example, I jotted down the following from the first part of “Mall Shooting,” after the terrorists had commenced their attack:

• Don’t play dead
• Spread out
• Priority is to clear the “kill zone” as fast as possible
• Move away from the kill zone, from cover to cover, avoiding mere concealment if possible
• If no clear exit nearby, escape through the back of a store to the fire-escape hallways
• If the exits from the hallways are blocked/booby-trapped, search for a different escape route from the mall, utilizing those “you are here” maps if necessary
• One possible exit could be the loading dock area, which might be difficult for the terrorists to seal off and a potentially-good spot for law enforcement/other rescuers to gain entry into the facility

Now, some of this might sound “basic” to a number of readers. However, Courtley did cover more “advanced” topics like:

• Individual/group movement (keep at least a foot off of walls because bullets could ricochet down their length)
• Obtaining makeshift weapons and gear from within the mall
• Ambushing terrorists
• Operating an AK-type rifle acquired from the bad guys
• Constructing a makeshift silencer for the captured firearm

There’s plenty more material in Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” which you can view in its entirety over on the SPIKE website here.

Personally, I hope readers never have to utilize this information. That being said, I’m real glad SPIKE TV and Cade Courtley put it out there for the general public.

Know of other “how to survive a mall shooting” resources? Feel free to share it with everyone via the comment section.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Courtley’s SEAL survival guide…

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Anti-Terrorism Training For Civilians

I’ve been thinking about the “routine military training exercise” that’s been going on this week in the Chicagoland area and which I surmised could be related to counterterrorism. But what about civilians? Is there anti-terrorism training available to the rest of us? And is it something even worth contemplating?

I remember an article I read some time ago by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote in the November/December 2004 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine:

We are a nation of hundreds of million of citizens, equipped with only a few hundred thousand police officers. Clearly, the cops can’t be everywhere at once. Obviously, any citizen should report suspicious behavior. That’s not paranoia or fascism; under the circumstances, it’s just common sense.

No, citizens won’t spot a guy in a kafiyeh setting the timer on a small nuclear device. However, citizens do spot smaller things that can have a bearing. 9/11 suicide squad leader Mohammed Atta allegedly got into a road rage incident en route to the original airport from which he flew to Boston to transfer onto the fateful flight that terminated at the Twin Towers. If a cell phone call to police had summoned authorities in time, the course of history might have been changed.

Now, if a man carrying a boxcutter and intending to slash throats, commit mass murder, and die himself that day should find himself embroiled in a shouting match with an angry motorist who appears about to call people who can “come and take him away,” he is not likely to just drive off. This is yet another reason for competent, responsible people to consider going armed.

Ayoob, who also authors the blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website, added:

Self-reliant people prepare for storms even if there haven’t been any for a while. There hasn’t been a real storm on these shores since 9/11 at this writing, but the storm warnings are clear and urgent.

The Federal government is preparing for the next wave of attacks. So is local law enforcement.

This means that the rest of America needs to prepare for it, too.

So for Ayoob, who argued that an armed American public is an effective counter to terrorism, civilian anti-terrorism training definitely has value.

But where does one go to receive counterterrorism training?

Using Google I stumbled upon one school right off the bat- Crisis Response International (CRI). From their website:

C.R.I. is a Las Vegas, Nevada based company. We are owned and operated by Doron Benbenisty, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. We have been operating for over 10 years in the United States and trained thousands of U.S. personnel and first responders in Counter Terrorism techniques. We are open to CIVILIAN, as well as Law Enforcement and Military personnel.

“CIVILIAN.” Now we’re getting somewhere.

While CRI’s bread-and-butter courses are Body Guard PSD, Professional Tactical Driver, Krav-Haganah, Surveillance Operator, and Transportation Marshall, anti-terrorism training open to civilians includes Active Shooter/Workplace Violence, Counter Kidnapping, and Counter Suicide Bomber/V.B.I.E.D. (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device). “Average Joes” are invited to participate in the Active Shooter/Workplace Violence and Counter Kidnapping classes. From the CRI website:

Active Shooter/Workplace Violence:

Duration: 3 days Other Active Shooter courses are various lengths and costs.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Active Shooter – The Israeli Method

Course Summary: This is our Main 3 day course, which is open to all. This course is one of the most successful and useful courses that we instructed in Israel, mainly to school staff, teachers and students. Students, Consumers, Office Workers, Restaurant and Nightclub employees that operate a large portion of their lives in a workplace environment can suddenly find themselves in very dangerous situations involving a determined and most likely suicidal Active Shooter. We have developed this primary course to assist personnel in dealing with this reality.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into THREE main modules:

Active Shooter Analysis
Defensive Tactics
Tactical Medicine
Tactical Shooting

Then there’s Counter Kidnapping:

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course Summary: This course will teach you how to survive a kidnapping, carjacking, hijacking and other abduction attempts. This is the only training course in the world that can help prepare you to survive a kidnapping or abduction situation. In this course, the trainees will be exposed to sophisticated kidnapping techniques that are being used by criminal and terrorist organizations all over the world.

Who needs this course? Soldiers in high-risk zones, police officers, government special agents, populations that live in high-risk zones, journalists, wealthy or famous people, entertainers, business people, humanitarian workers, travelers, pilots and flight crew, ship crew, professional drivers, civilians and others. During the course the students will be abducted and kidnapped in various methods and will learn how to survive the situation.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into FOUR main modules:

Kidnapping & Counter Kidnapping Techniques
Defensive Tactics, Weapons Retention & Disarmament
Escape from Captivity
Tactical Shooting (air soft in the studio)

And for civilian first responders, there’s Counter Suicide Bomber/V.B.I.E.D.:

Duration: 4 days

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course Summary: CRI is the first and only school in the world that offers the most complete and effective counter-suicide bombing and car bomb training that relies on combat experience from Israel. We offer an extensive training course that covers intelligence, intervention and deterrence, which includes realistic exercises.

CRI’s instructors have created and offered this type of training in Israel since 1996 to transportation companies, police and the armed forces. This type of training is offered only to members of allied countries of the U.S. and Israel. Acceptable trainees for this course are Law Enforcement First Responders, SWAT, Non-Swat, Federal and Military personnel. This course is a fully tactical course that covers suicide bombers, car bombs, booby trapped vehicles and IED’s 360 degrees.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into FOUR main modules:

Mindset of the Bombers
Suicide Bombers, Car Bombs & IED’s
Defensive Tactics
Tactical Medicine

Video GamesE3 2012Military Tech

“AOTS Goes to Anti-Terrorism School”
G4TV.com Video

Interesting. Well, at least we know there is anti-terrorism training available for us civilians.

Anyone know of other anti-terrorism instruction that’s out there?

Source:

Ayoob, Massad. “Armed civilians can help fight terrorism.” Backwoods Home Magazine. November/December 2004. (http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob90.html). 19 Apr. 2012.

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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