Beslan

Project Prepper, Part 45: Top 3 Threat Priorities

“As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with ‘prepping’ via a sustained ‘hands-on’ program of learning and doing, which I’ll call ‘Project Prepper.’

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you…”

Survival And Prosperity, “Project Prepper, Part 1: It Begins,” October 24, 2012

This week’s “Project Prepper” post is going to be a little different. While I’m currently working on a number of projects related to fulfilling seven “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast):

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

Today I’m going to talk about threat priorities. As a forty-something homeowner residing with my girlfriend in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2016, “I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones).” Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog about them frequently. But from my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well.

Financial crisis. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity and its predecessor know I’ve been on the lookout for coming “tough times” for some years now. From this blog’s “About” page:

Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. He has been credited with calling last decade’s housing bubble and subsequent bust, the 2008 global economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” as a result of his work on this project. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Fox News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com article as a result of his work with the blog.

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2007, I’ve stood by and watched as the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis was quickly followed by carnage on Wall Street in the autumn of 2008 and a “Great Recession.” I also observed how the Washington politicians and the Fed responded by “papering up” the mess with massive government and central bank intervention. But as everyone knows, you can only “kick the can down the road” so far. And my concern is that the road is rapidly coming to an end. Visit this blog often enough and you might get that sense as well.

Consequently, I’ve come to believe that the U.S. financial crash I still see headed our way won’t be like an airplane that suffers a sudden, catastrophic failure and plummets back to Earth like a rock. Rather, taking into account the abilities of the federal government and central bank to keep the aircraft aloft for quite some time, the crash may be more akin to a slow- yet-unavoidable descent into the ground. At which point, Americans might be left pondering what had happened to them, just like Argentines did after their economy crapped out in the early 2000s after prosperous times.

Making matters worse is the fact that I still reside in Cook County and Illinois, whose financial troubles are well-publicized. While I’ve left Chicago, I still haven’t made Wisconsin my permanent home address.

When the “balloon goes up” locally and nationally, I suspect everyday living is going to get particularly gritty around these parts.

As terrorism is concerned, post-9/11 I found myself working in the public safety field. As part of my duties at a local fire department, I catalogued potential terrorist targets in the area in the hunt for money to upgrade the agency’s response capabilities. It was my belief that the threat was real then, and it remains so today. Even more so in 2016, as U.S. border security is quite suspect at a time when those who would wish to harm the “homeland” continually make their operational capabilities and future desires for wreaking death and destruction known.


“Border Patrol Admits US Citizenship Doesn’t Matter”
YouTube Video

Like I’ve repeatedly said before on this blog, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the United States suffers terror attacks possibly resembling what occurred in Beslan (Russia) in 2004, Mumbai (India) in 2008, and more recently in Paris and Brussels. And a terrorist strike rivaling or even surpassing the carnage of September 11, 2011, is not out of the question as far as I’m concerned. New jihadists continue to replace their fallen predecessors in this “War on Terror,” and the religious duty of killing “infidels” remains the same. On May 6, 2011, I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al-Qaeda Connection, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These days, the Islamic State has stolen the headlines from Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. But such religious fanaticism as a whole remains a top concern for me.

Severe weather, financial crisis, and terrorism are natural and man-made threats that register the most on my radar. But this doesn’t mean I discount other potential dangers to life and property either (pandemic, severe space weather, and war would probably be the next three on the list). As such, an “all-hazards” approach is emphasized in my “Project Prepper” activities.

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

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RAND Corporation: ‘Mumbai-Style Attack Is Conceivable In The United States’

Last Thursday I blogged about the nonprofit global policy think tank RAND Corporation and their briefing of a U.S. House committee on July 18 regarding the threat Al-Qaeda poses to the United States.

I came across the RAND Corporation again when I stumbled on a recent article by Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President, on the U.S. News & World Report website. The former Green Beret captain served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND and is the author of numerous books, reports, and articles on terrorism-related topics. So the man’s got “street cred” when it comes to discussing terrorism. Jenkins wrote on July 10:

Recently, I was asked to prepare testimony for a congressional hearing examining the possibility that an armed terrorist attack – similar to the 2008 attack that killed 162 people in Mumbai – could happen in the United States…

In Mumbai, there were 10 terrorists, armed with assault rifles, pistols, grenades and improvised explosives. They carried out coordinated attacks across the city, paralyzing a metropolis of 14 million people for 60 hours while mesmerizing the world’s media. It was a complex operation and likely the culmination of months of training.

Jenkins went on to point out a number of challenges to planning, mobilizing, and carrying out a Mumbai-style attack in the United States. Still, he concluded:

A Mumbai-style attack is conceivable in the United States, though probably not anywhere near the same scale.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I just got done digging up his testimony that was submitted before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on June 12. “The Threat of a Mumbai-Style Terrorist Attack in the United States” is an incredibly interesting and informative read, especially as I, too, believe a Mumbai-style attack in America is possible. There are others who also share this view. I blogged back on April 28, 2011:

Should we as Americans be concerned with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack happening on our shores? Definitely, according to chatter picked up by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote yesterday in his blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website that:

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosive.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

An “American Mumbai?” It’s possible. Some might even argue probable.

You can read Brian Michael Jenkins’ testimony to that House committee on the RAND website here.

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

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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 Asia, Europe, Military, Preparedness, Public Safety, Religion, Self-Defense, Terrorism, War Comments Off on RAND Corporation: ‘Mumbai-Style Attack Is Conceivable In The United States’

Major U.S. Cities Train For Mumbai-Style Terror Attack

Thankfully, the news from Chicago isn’t all that bad today. Apparently, the city’s been training to respond to a terror attack similar to what took place in Mumbai, India, where members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization, attacked the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and other sites in the city formerly known as Bombay between November 26 and November 29, 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308. From The Economic Times (India) website earlier today:

Washington: Learning a lesson from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, several American security and intelligence agencies have conducted a series of workshops in six major US cities to tackle such terror strikes, US Homeland Security department has said.

The information on preparations made to prevent Mumbai-type terrorist attacks has been provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its annual budgetary proposals to the Congress.

“To address the current threat environment, FEMA partnered with the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the National Counter-terrorism Center, and the Department of Justice/ Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct in six major cities across the country a series of workshops focused on response to a Mumbai-style terror attack,” it said.

While names of the cities have not been released, reports in the past have indicated them to include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.

I’ve discussed a Mumbai-style attack taking place on our shores before, most notably back on April 28 of last year, when I wrote:

Should we as Americans be concerned with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack happening on our shores? Definitely, according to chatter picked up by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote yesterday in his blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website that:

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosives.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The head of the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG) also talked about the Mumbai attack last summer. He wrote in his blog on June 13, 2010:

There have been indications that America’s enemies intend multiple terrorist attacks in this country, patterned after the 11/26-29/07 incident in Mumbai, India that left 168 civilians and authorities dead, and 308 wounded. It was perpetrated by ten members of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba group, armed with explosives and automatic rifles. Only one of the terrorists survived.

Note that some of the responding police in India were unarmed, and some others were equipped with hastily-issued WWI technology Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles, and cartridges issued by the handful. They were poorly trained by American standards. By contrast, American police have gone heavily to coordinated “active shooter response” training since the Columbine tragedy more than a decade ago, and AR15-type patrol rifles are widely distributed. US law enforcement can be expected to respond much more swiftly and effectively to a Mumbai-style incident.

In India, the citizens were effectively unarmed and helpless against the ten terrorists who slaughtered them at will. Armed Americans are likely to respond differently, particularly in the Southwest where there are indications that such potential terrorists have already crossed the border, and may “stage” near it. In Southern Arizona recently, it became apparent to me that more ranchers and even townsfolk are now storing rifles in their cars, and carrying handguns routinely. They can be expected to shoot back, an assessment that comes not from this writer’s guesswork, but from history…

An American Mumbai? Yes, it could happen, and seems more likely than ever based on recent intelligence projections. If it does occur, look for a MUCH faster and more decisive response by American police than those of India…and if it happens near the Arizona or Texas border, look for bullets from armed citizens’ hunting and defense rifles in the bodies of at least some of the dead terrorists.

If an American Mumbai occurs, I’m guessing it will go down in a high-profile, internationally-known city whose residents/workers are likely to be unarmed and incapable of defending themselves against rampaging terrorists with automatic weapons- like my hometown of Chicago.

Still, it doesn’t hurt for Americans outside of the “Windy City” to prepare for such an event. Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

More later.

Sources:

“US prepares six mega cities against Mumbai-type attacks.” EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com. 14 Feb. 2012. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/us-prepares-six-mega-cities-against-mumbai-type-attacks/articleshow/11885599.cms). 14 Feb. 2012.

Ayoob, Massad. “Sobering Knowledge From Cops.” BackwoodsHome.com. 27 Apr. 2011. (http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2011/04/27/sobering-knowledge-from-cops/). 28 Apr. 2011.

Ayoob, Massad. “An American Mumbai?” BackwoodsHome.com. 13 June 2010. (http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2010/06/13/an-american-mumbai/). 28 Apr. 2011.

Suarez, Gabriel. “The Coming Jihad… in America.” WarriorTalkNews.com. 6 May. 2010. (http://www.warriortalknews.com/2010/05/the-coming-jihadin-the-usa-.html). 28 Apr. 2011.

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 Ammunition, Asia, Firearms, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Terrorism Comments Off on Major U.S. Cities Train For Mumbai-Style Terror Attack

Beware A Beslan-Style Attack Against U.S. Schools

On Monday, I finished reading a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent C.J. Chivers entitled The Gun, which discusses the origins and global impact of the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or AK-47, assault rifle. Interesting book for Kalashnikov fans and users of the platform, but potentially infuriating to supporters of the “black rifle,” or M-16 assault rifle, who insist the firearm’s initial shortcomings were exaggerated. The former Marine captain wrote:

The early M-16 and its ammunition formed a combination not ready for war. They were a flawed pair emerging from a flawed development history. Prone to malfunction, they were forced into troops’ hands through a clash of wills and egos in Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara’s Pentagon. Instead of a thoughtful progression from prototype to general-issue arm, the M-16s journey was marked by salesmanship, sham science, cover-ups, chicanery, incompetence, and no small amount of dishonesty by a gun manufacturer and senior American military officers. Its introduction to war was briefly heralded as a triumph of private industry and perceptive management, but swiftly became a monument to the hazards of hubris and the perils of rushing, and a study in military management gone awry.

Ouch. Anyway, while digging up more info on Chivers, I discovered that the New York Times senior writer received a National Magazine Award for his Esquire magazine piece on the Beslan, Russia, hostage-taking incident that took place in September 2004. On September 1, 2004, armed terrorists took more than 1,100 people hostage- including 777 children- at School Number One in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia. On the third day of the crisis, Russian security forces stormed the school and defeated the terrorists. 334 hostages, including 186 children, died in the event, and hundreds more were injured.

While some Pollyannas may think the “war on terror” is over now that Osama bin Laden is dead, realists in the counter-terrorism community continue to warn of potential terrorist attacks being launched against American interests here and abroad. Such strikes may even be expedited now as the result of the Al-Qaeda leader’s demise. Concerning terrorist acts being directed against the general public in the United States, Al-Qaeda “sleeper cells” may already be on the prowl within our borders. Richard A. Clarke, a counter-terrorism “czar” in the Clinton and both Bush administrations, wrote in the New York Times back on August 14, 2005:

Are there such sleeper cells here? An F.B.I. analysis, reported earlier this year, said that ”efforts to date have not revealed evidence of concealed cells . . . acting as sleepers.” Agonizing over the possibility that his agents had missed something, the F.B.I.’s director, Robert Mueller, admitted to being ”very concerned about what we are not seeing.” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, however, said that U.S. agencies ”are very active and aggressive in pursuing these cells,” adding, ”We’re continuing to conduct active investigations of other cells.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Someone doesn’t seem to be on the same page here.

In addition, Abdul Hameed Bakier of the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank The Jamestown Foundation (former chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer is a senior fellow with Jamestown) pointed out more indications these cells might exist. Bakier wrote on January 15, 2008:

A 2005 FBI report stated that the agency had been unable to find conclusive evidence of the existence of such cells (ABC News, March 9, 2005), though comments on jihadi websites suggest that they exist. The militants are aware of the FBI’s concern about sleeper cells in the United States; each time pertinent information is released in U.S. media, jihadi posters write comments and prayers for the success of those cells.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Even if sleeper cells don’t exist, how hard would it really be for an Al-Qaeda “strike force” to enter the United States across either of our borders. I used to handle immigration matters for a former U.S. Senator, and heard countless stories of how people got into the country illegally (“I followed a hiking trail that began on the Canadian side of the border, and the trail ended on the United States side, where I called a buddy to pick me up.”). I mean, if John Q. Alien can do it…

Regardless, if Al-Qaeda operatives are given the green light to carry out terrorist strikes against the U.S., despite all the homeland security measures put in place after 9/11, these individuals will still have a cornucopia of available targets to attack.

And no where is our soft underbelly more exposed than with the schools.

While a number of schools and districts have been proactive in planning and preparing for events ranging from the armed intruder to large scale man-made and natural disasters (funding and assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Education and other entities have helped significantly), exceptions abound. And such shortcomings make a Beslan-style hostage taking event attractive to terrorists wanting to strike at the heart of America with minimum initial fuss. Consider the following from Chivers’ Beslan piece, and the extent to which the terrorists caught the Russians off-guard:

The terrorists seemed to be everywhere. Zalina saw a man in a mask sprinting with a rifle. Then another. And a third. Many students in the formation had their backs to the advancing gunmen, but one side did not, and as Zalina sat confused, those students broke and ran. The formation disintegrated. Scores of balloons floated skyward as children released them. A cultivated sense of order became bedlam…

For many other hostages, recognition came slowly. Aida Archegova thought she was in a counterterrorism drill. Beslan is roughly 950 miles south of Moscow, in a zone destabilized by the Chechen wars. Police actions were part of life. “Is it exercises?” she asked a terrorist as he bounded past.

He stopped. “What are you, a fool?” he said.

Along with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack that I discussed back on April 28, the potential for a Beslan-type incident taking place on American soil should be taken seriously by the authorities and general public. Especially as these assaults have proved to be a success for the terrorists. If each of these worked once before, wouldn’t it make sense that the bad guys would be giving serious consideration to carrying out similar operations again?

You can read C.J. Chivers riveting Beslan piece on the Esquire website here. Be advised that it’s pretty graphic.

Sources:

Chivers, C.J. The Gun. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Clarke, Richard A. “Finding the Sleeper Cells.” New York Times. 14 Aug. 2005. (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/14/magazine/WLN111054.html). 25 May 2011.

Bakier, Abdul Hameed. “The “Lone Wolf” and al-Qaeda Sleeper Cells in the United States.” Terrorism Focus (The Jamestown Foundation). 15 Jan. 2008. (http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=4653&tx_ttnews[backPid]=246&no_cache=1). 25 May 2011.

Chivers, C.J. “The School.” Esquire. 14 Mar. 2007. (http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0606BESLAN_140). 25 May 2011.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Education, Europe, Firearms, Government, Main Street, Public Safety, Terrorism, War Comments Off on Beware A Beslan-Style Attack Against U.S. Schools

Terrorism Coming To Chicago?

After receiving today’s marching orders at their place of employment, a number of Chicagoans are settling down at their desks this morning and reading on the Chicago Tribune website:

Some of the first information gleaned from Osama bin Laden’s compound indicates al-Qaida considered attacking U.S. trains on the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. But counterterrorism officials say they believe the planning never got beyond the initial phase and have no recent intelligence pointing to an active plot for such an attack.

As of February 2010, the terror organization was considering plans to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. CNN reports that al-Qaida was particularly interested in striking Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Sounds like Chicago’s Al-Qaeda’s kind of town, right?

Probably even more so these days as Illinois lawmakers just got finished shooting down (pun intended) a concealed-carry bill (more about that in a different post).

Think about it. The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before the United States becomes the target of a Beslan or Mumbai-style operation, in which well-armed, well-trained terrorists massacre civilians with automatic weapons and explosives. So why would a terrorist attempt something like this in Dallas, for example, where a wall of lead would almost certainly greet them- and not initially from the cops- once they got that party started, when they can visit the Windy City and have their way with the unarmed sheep- a good number of whom already gladly waive their right of and responsibility for their self-defense to others, including a police department that has a well-publicized manpower shortage and, as some allege, serious shortcomings when it comes to effectively dealing with a terrorist attack.

It’s possible their might be some improvement on this last point with the new Chicago police superintendent, Garry McCarthy. The Chicago Tribune’s David Heinzmann and Kristen Mack wrote on May 3:

McCarthy arrived in Chicago the day after a U.S. special operations team killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida. The incoming police superintendent has not had a chance to get a detailed assessment of Chicago’s counter-terrorism plans. Although he was only marginally involved in the creation of NYPD’s plan, McCarthy said he knows how it was created.

“It might be the model that local police agencies should pursue,” McCarthy told the Tribune. “(Chicago) should probably have a robust component for counterterrorism.”

Getting back to that AP piece talking about Al-Qaeda threats, the article also stated:

After killing the terror leader and four of his associates, Navy SEALs confiscated a treasure trove of computers, DVDs and documents from the home where U.S. officials believe the al-Qaida chief had been hiding for up to six years.

Other intelligence information gathered at the compound represented a terrorist wish list but has revealed no specific plan so far, a U.S. official said. He said documents indicated a desire to hit the U.S. with large-scale attacks in major cities and on key dates such as anniversaries and holidays. But there was no sign those plans were anything more than ambitions. The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

In the complete article, it’s repeatedly emphasized that potential terrorist strikes never got past the planning stages. Is it just me, or do you also find this hard to believe, considering Al-Qaeda has now had almost a decade since 9/11 to whip up something nasty? I, however, defer to an actual expert (hard to find these days) on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)- where for 6 years he was in charge of the search for Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden- appeared in a Newsmax.TV interview the other day and spoke about bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. On May 3, David A. Patten from Newsmax.com pointed out that Scheuer believes it’s just a matter of time before Muslim extremists attack. Patten wrote:

A revenge attack from al-Qaida against American or Western targets is “certain.” He adds: “They will counterpunch. I’m not sure it’s going to be in the near term though. If they have something they can do that’s on the shelf, they’ll do it. Otherwise, they’ll plan and execute an operation that is of significant size.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

According to the former CIA officer, “significant size” could be something on the scale of 9/11- or larger. On Monday I wrote that Scheuer spoke to Leigh Sales of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation earlier that day about President Obama’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s demise. From that discussion:

LEIGH SALES: Does Al-Qaeda have the capacity to mount anything on the scale of 9/11?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Probably, I think we have to assume they do. The United States has done very little to protect itself here, except for airline things and our borders are completely open except for official crossing points. So it wouldn’t be hard to bring something into the United States to use as a weapon, either through the Canadian border or the Mexican border to the south. So, I think we have to operate on the assumption that the American Government has been pretty derelict in terms of border control. And so if there’s a weapon to be brought in, it’s not that hard to do.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Sources:

“Report: Chicago among U.S. cities in al-Qaida sights.” Associated Press. 6 May 2011. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-report-chicago-among-cities-in-alqaida-sights-20110506,0,748581.story). 6 May 2011.

Heinzmann, David and Mack, Kristen. “9/11 forged Emanuel’s pick for police superintendent.” Chicago Tribune. 3 May 2011. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-03/news/ct-met-top-cop-20110502_1_police-superintendent-police-officer-ground-zero). 6 May 2011.

Patten, David A. “Terror Expert Scheuer: Jihad Revenge is Certain.” Newsmax.com. 3 May 2011. (http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/scheuer-al-qaida-bin/2011/05/03/id/395043). 6 May 2011.

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Friday, May 6th, 2011 Firearms, Gun Rights, Preparedness, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Terrorism, Transportation, War Comments Off on Terrorism Coming To Chicago?

The Next Mumbai-Style Terrorist Attack

A nearly 8-month long travel warning for Americans in Europe will expire on Saturday and not be renewed, the Associated Press reports.

In October, the State Department advised Americans to be wary of a Mumbai-style attack on a European city.

The threat expires–who knows what that means–on Saturday, one day after the Royal Wedding will draw millions to London.

-Aol Travel, April 28, 2011

“Who knows what that means.” Perhaps that means if a terrorist attack similar to what took place in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008, were to occur in a European city, it would most likely take place by tomorrow.

Think the U.S. Department of State and our intelligence agencies might be anticipating a “Royal Surprise” for Friday?

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to expect a Mumbai-style terrorist attack on London tomorrow. After all, the United Kingdom is an American partner in the “war on terror,” the eyes of the world will be trained on the English capital, the bad guys/girls would have had plenty of time to plan for an attack, and that part of Europe has more than its share of Muslim extremists who might be willing to participate in a terrorist strike. From ABC News’ Megan Chuchmach on April 25:

As the Royal Wedding nears and the eyes of the world turn to London this week, a radical Muslim cleric in Britain who plans to protest outside the ceremony tells ABC News the celebrations are a “prime target” for Al Qaeda franchises and wannabe jihadis alike.

Top Al Qaeda operatives Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki are “actively encouraging people to carry out [do-it-yourself] operations]” similar to the attempted attack by alleged ‘Underwear Bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009, says Anjem Choudary in an interview on the current episode of “Brian Ross Investigates.”

“There’s nothing really which is outside of the realm of a possible attack, from biological to nuclear to very high profile events like 9/11,” said Choudary, whose extremist Islam4UK organization was recently banned by the British government under counter-terrorism laws. “So I think it’s a case of all-out war.”

He said there is a “very real possibility” that attackers “will come into [Britain] via the sea or via ports where they can slip under the security.”

While the British have that very-plausible threat to contend with, should we as Americans be concerned with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack happening on our shores? Definitely, according to chatter picked up by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote yesterday in his blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website that:

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosive.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The head of the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG) also talked about the Mumbai attack last summer. He wrote in his blog on June 13, 2010:

There have been indications that America’s enemies intend multiple terrorist attacks in this country, patterned after the 11/26-29/07 incident in Mumbai, India that left 168 civilians and authorities dead, and 308 wounded. It was perpetrated by ten members of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba group, armed with explosives and automatic rifles. Only one of the terrorists survived.

Note that some of the responding police in India were unarmed, and some others were equipped with hastily-issued WWI technology Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles, and cartridges issued by the handful. They were poorly trained by American standards. By contrast, American police have gone heavily to coordinated “active shooter response” training since the Columbine tragedy more than a decade ago, and AR15-type patrol rifles are widely distributed. US law enforcement can be expected to respond much more swiftly and effectively to a Mumbai-style incident.

In India, the citizens were effectively unarmed and helpless against the ten terrorists who slaughtered them at will. Armed Americans are likely to respond differently, particularly in the Southwest where there are indications that such potential terrorists have already crossed the border, and may “stage” near it. In Southern Arizona recently, it became apparent to me that more ranchers and even townsfolk are now storing rifles in their cars, and carrying handguns routinely. They can be expected to shoot back, an assessment that comes not from this writer’s guesswork, but from history…

An American Mumbai? Yes, it could happen, and seems more likely than ever based on recent intelligence projections. If it does occur, look for a MUCH faster and more decisive response by American police than those of India…and if it happens near the Arizona or Texas border, look for bullets from armed citizens’ hunting and defense rifles in the bodies of at least some of the dead terrorists.

If an American Mumbai occurs, I’m guessing it will go down in a high-profile, internationally-known city whose residents/workers are likely to be unarmed and incapable of defending themselves against rampaging terrorists with automatic weapons- like my hometown of Chicago.

Still, it doesn’t hurt for Americans outside of the “Windy City” to prepare for such an event. Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

Sources:

Chuchmach, Megan. “Royal Wedding Attractive Target for Al Qaeda, Says Radical U.K. Cleric.” ABC News. 25 Apr. 2011. (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/anjem-choudary-royal-wedding-attractive-target-al-qaeda/story?id=13451893). 28 Apr. 2011.

Ayoob, Massad. “Sobering Knowledge From Cops.” Massad Ayoob on Guns. 27 Apr. 2011. (http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2011/04/27/sobering-knowledge-from-cops/). 28 Apr. 2011.

Ayoob, Massad. “An American Mumbai?” Massad Ayoob on Guns. 13 June 2010. (http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2010/06/13/an-american-mumbai/). 28 Apr. 2011.

Suarez, Gabriel. “The Coming Jihad… in America.” Warrior Talk News. 6 May. 2010. (http://www.warriortalknews.com/2010/05/the-coming-jihadin-the-usa-.html). 28 Apr. 2011.

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Thursday, April 28th, 2011 Ammunition, Asia, Emergencies, Europe, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Main Street, Mainstream Media, Middle East, Military, Preparedness, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Terrorism, War Comments Off on The Next Mumbai-Style Terrorist Attack
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