Written by: Greg Ellifritz
After last Saturday’s terrorist attack in London, numerous authors have created useful articles about the event, avoiding such an attack, and the nature of terrorism itself. I was going to add all these articles to my Weekend Knowledge Dump, but they grew so numerous that I decided to make them a post of their own.
Below is a collection of some of the best information written about the terrorist attacks. Every article is worthy of your attention if you want to truly understand and prevent this type of attack in the future.
London’s vehicle attack was not the first such terrorist event of its kind. Here is a list of all of the other vehicle terrorist attacks since the year 2000.
If the last article surprised you, wait until you click on this map. This is a list of all worldwide terrorist attacks this calendar year.
I realize that this site is known for tabloid journalism. With that said, this article is worth a read. It contains quite a few eyewitness accounts about last Saturday’s London vehicle/knife attack.
The one thing that struck me from the article is the fact that a whole lot of people threw things at the terrorists. Chairs, shot glasses, beer mugs, and anything else people could get their hands on were thrown at the terrorists.
None of the thrown objects stopped the attack or even slowed its progression. The terrorists shrugged off the thrown objects and continued to kill.
Keep this in mind when you hear an “expert” in the active killer response training field advocating throwing objects at a terrorist or spree killer. It just doesn’t work.
Unless you have a coordinated effort from a trained team utilizing thrown objects as a temporary distraction to facilitate someone’s attempt to close the distance and kill the attacker, I wouldn’t recommend throwing things at terrorists.
Have you altered your carry gun choice after seeing this terrorist attack? Jeff Gonzales thinks you should probably reconsider.
“You live in a time of war and you will either deny it and hope you are not selected by the next jihadist, or you accept reality and prepare to meet him.
That is all. There are no secret techniques to defend against the knife by physically frail and empty handed males. It takes violence and weapons. And in that order.”
Gabe’s piece The Real Solution to Vehicle Borne Jihadist Attacks is worth reading as well.
The author’s advice is the standard recommendation for defending against grenade attacks. I’m not sure it’s the best move for suicide bombs. Recent studies suggest that there is a 100% mortality rate for those victims closer than five meters to the bomb. The maneuver suggested by the author would help protect against shrapnel, but will not protect you from the bomb’s blast pressure wave. Grenades have a weaker blast pressure wave, thus his suggested position is more useful for that type of attack.
His suggested positioning may be useful if you are outside the danger of the blast pressure wave (about 50 feet for a 20lb suicide bomb). It won’t help if you are close to the bomb.
Good information from Breach bang Clear about terrorist vehicle ramming attacks.
I’ve written quite a lot about active killers combining explosives with gunfire to rack up higher body counts. It appears that the London attackers also planned to use “petrol bombs” but either forgot about them or were not given the time to utilize them. These sound more like Molotav Cocktails than actual bombs, but they are dangerous nonetheless.
Two points here:
- Don’t approach the terrorists’ car after this type of ramming attack. It’s very easy to hide a secondary explosive device in the vehicle, designed to blow up first responders or people attempting to aid the victims.
- If you are a first responder, are you prepared to deal the threat of fire used as a weapon? It was present in this attack. Many recent protestors have used fire bombs as well. I carry spare fire extinguishers in my duty bag and in my personal car just for this purpose.
“I guess the lesson is that if you are going to fight to try and save others, or to save yourself, fight like a cornered rat because that, essentially, will be the situation. But also note that, while the people who fought back were able to save lives and drive the attackers away, they were not able to stop the attackers. Rather, that required people (in this case, police) with guns.”
Video of the terrorists attacking one of the victims and being killed by police.