The good folks at Buckeye Firearms Association published an outstanding blog piece we republished in the August 2011 issue of GunNews.  We bring the first half to you with a link at the end to the rest of the piece.  It’s MUST READ material for every sheepdog in America.


Lessons from the Terror at Beslan

By Jim Irvine and Alan Wheeler

On June 11, close to 100 individuals attended a conference on terrorism presented by John Giduck. Buckeye Firearms Foundation made seats available to state and local school board members as well as numerous teachers and administrators at no charge because the topics covered are critical to the safety and security of our schools and the children who attend them. We are grateful to those who took the time to attend, and saddened that more did not take this opportunity to learn vital information affecting the children in their care.

Giduck covered the history of terrorist events from Columbine to Virginia Tech to Beslan and Mumbai. Terrorism is about getting attention. Terrorists seek the attention of government, the public or citizens, other nations and often Muslim extremists to further their agenda.

It is critical that the media give the attack extensive coverage. Al Qaeda often attacks four targets at once to ensure success even if one or two attacks are stopped. There are 600 terrorist groups in the world competing for capital and one failure would make it difficult to obtain the money and people needed for the next attack. Al Qaeda does extensive research and planning for each attack to ensure success. Government cannot detect everything, so it is imperative that citizens be aware and alert to signs of reconnaissance by hostile individuals.

They attack democracies to force changes in government. You cannot change the government in areas such as China and North Korea. This is why terrorists do not have as much to gain by attacking China. It only works in a democracy. They study the culture of those they attack. They know their enemy. They attacked Spain just prior to an election causing a change that resulted in troops being pulled out of Afghanistan.

Terrorists of all shapes and sizes, foreign and domestic, fear the resistance of the target population. For this reason, targets on U.S. soil are generally in “Gun Free Zones” where the general public is disarmed. This greatly increases the probability of success and a larger body count. This is a critical lesson that has fallen on the deaf ears of too many elected officials.

There are 4 strategic level attack methods employed by terrorists.

  1. Bombings or Decimation Assaults.They begin and end quickly. They are martyrdom attacks, where the terrorist is there to die, or a Fedayeen attack, where escape is not likely, but possible. The attack is high risk, where surrender is not an option.Examples include active Shooters/killers, Suicide Bombings, Bombings, Arson, Cyber-Terrorism, Biological and Radiological attacks.
  2. Mass Hostage SiegesThe preferred method is taking children and women as this causes greater psychological damage to the entire nation.
  3. Hybrid or Synergistic AssaultThe method contains a combination of both the Decimation Assault and Mass Hostage Siege. 9/11 was an example of this type of attack as hostages were taken on each of the four planes, and the terrorists took control and flew the planes in a suicidal decimation assault on the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
  4. Symphonic Attack (Mumbai, India)A symphonic attack has many different things happening simultaneously. This may involve landmarks, like the hotel Waldorf Astoria which was targeted in 1993, or the G8 summit which was targeted in July of 2006 and was an attempt at a Beslan, Russia style attack. These attacks were thwarted before they happened. The attacks on Mumbai, India were symphonic attacks.

In the United States, we place an extreme value on life. It is hard for many people to understand that others place a high value on killing our innocents. We view one hostage death as a failure, but this naïve perspective places more lives at risk by preventing actions that would stop the killing of many innocents. Russians intentionally shot through (and killed) a child to engage a terrorist who was in the process of killing many more children in Beslan. It is a gut-wrenching decision that a warrior must be prepared to make. We must support our heroes because those in the media will surely condemn them for such fortitude. In a mass hostage siege there are only two guarantees:

  1. There is going to be a battle.
  2. People are going to die.

The trend in mass hostage sieges is to take and control exponentially greater numbers of hostages with fewer terrorists. Terrorists will fortify their position, fight off assaults from law enforcement, and kill hostages. Women and children are the easiest to kill and have the heaviest impact on the target population. “Children are noble targets.”


Read on…

4 thoughts on “Lessons from the Terror at Beslan (warning: graphic)”
  1. The main obstacle to being ready to repel or thwart such attacks is the psycology of the masses – “It caaaan’t happen here… It caaaan’t happen here…” We need to convince people that IT CAN happen here and that WE CAN do something about it. More good guys carrying would go a LONG WAY toward someone being on scene quick enough to DO SOMETHING.

  2. Thank you, Mr. Anderson.

    I’m not sure how much of this is Mr. Giduck’s analysis and how much is universally recognized as fact.


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