The frightening reality remains that we have a border that is wide-open, and many foreigners are entering the continental United States illegally. Especially in the wake of foreign events, the threat of terrorist activity committed by expatriates is significantly elevated. This terror threat may likely look very different than the domestic forms that typically fall into the active shooter paradigm that we have, unfortunately, seen more and more of. The truth is such attacks that derive from the domestic population of citizens tend to be similar no matter the racial or religious affiliation of the perpetrator.
Statistics also show that such acts of mass killing are startlingly consistent in the demographics that commit them; essentially, all ethnicity groups and religious groups contribute to the active shooter phenomena in a percentage that mirrors that group’s overall population percentage. The sad news is that this threat has, indeed, escalated in the past decade. The comparatively good news is that no particular demographic contributes excessively to it, but, rather, there seems to be a consistent anomaly that emerges from all demographics that carry out such horrible crimes. The active killer threat has become a universal issue within the United States.
All of this is to say the threat of terrorism by foreign actors will likely be quite different than the typical paradigm of mass murder committed by the domestic active shooter. The reality is that sleeper cells are within our borders, and the inept handling of such foreign threats is a hallmark of the current political administration. The likelihood of any such cell activating and carrying out a terror strike is high, but the particulars of such is, of course, as of now, up for conjecture and speculation. We can, however, learn from Europe and Asia what such activity might look like. Bear in mind that we might still be more likely to see the domestic active shooter model played out by bad actors who claim inspiration from international events, and this will likely look like the typical paradigm. However, a true terror cell attack is more likely to exhibit traits we have seen elsewhere, which are more difficult to interdict for the lone armed citizen with a handgun.
The first lesson to learn from terror attacks committed in Europe and Asia is the reality that there will likely be multiple assailants at any given location of attack. Think of the Paris attacks in 2015, which saw seven assailants attack multiple locations, killing 130 people, 90 of whom were killed at the Bataclan Theater alone by three gunmen with AK47 rifles. Explosives were also used at different locations of the attack. Another example that comes to mind is the terror attack on Mumbi, India, in 2008. This event witnessed ten gunmen hit multiple targets in the city, resulting in the death of 174 people.
Such a coordinated attack on an American city by multiple long-gun armed killers with explosives is hardly difficult to envision, considering the fact that eight million illegals have entered the United States in the past three years alone, and many of the comparatively few who are intercepted have been individuals on the terrorist watch list. While armed citizens, armed only with a pistol, have successfully neutralized active killers with long guns on many occasions, such incidents have typically involved a single killer. Multiple long-gun armed terrorists in a given location becomes a much more difficult fight. In such a scenario, the armed citizen is unlikely to prevail in a head-on fight, and is much more likely to survive by simply fleeing the scene, shooting only the hostiles that might be in the way of egress.
Use of Explosives
A very scary trend seen internationally that remains unusual domestically is the use of explosives in such attacks. This possibility greatly raises the stakes. The armed citizen stands a good chance of being able to escape such a situation, even if there are multiple assailants, through good tactics and pistol skills, but explosives make the entire threat much more severe. An attacker, or multiple attackers, may be wearing explosives. Consider that, even if the assailant is down, they may still be an active threat if they still have the opportunity to detonate the explosive they are wearing. While it is brutal business to discuss, such a threat may be best dealt with through headshots to truly neutralize. Also, it is likely prudent to immediately run and gain space away from such an assailant, even if they have been downed by gunfire.
Also, consider this: there have been incidents in foreign countries where terrorists have used gunfire within a crowded public space to simply push the crowd outside to the most likely point of congregation, usually the parking lot. There, within vehicles, explosives have been planted, and when the crowd emerges from the building, the explosives are detonated. With this in mind, it is prudent to have a plan among your family members that, should violence erupt when in any given public space, the family meeting spot will be somewhere other than adjacent to, or in close proximity to, the attack. Have a plan to meet at “the restaurant way over there across the highway” rather than at the car in the parking lot.
Less Likely to Self-Terminate When Confronted
Many domestic mass killers have committed suicide as soon as armed resistance materializes. Often, such killers off themselves after the damage has been done but before they can be apprehended or killed by authorities or armed citizens at the scene. Based on international experience, we can’t expect the same from terrorists. Rather, such attackers will absolutely fight to the death against any armed resistance that materializes, or, if they commit suicide, it will be through detonating a worn explosive device. This is an important and sobering consideration. There will be no scaring such a threat off with gunfire, and if they do self-terminate, it is likely to be through an even more dangerous means to all around.
These are the sad considerations we now face in our nation as a direct result of inept, or, likely, intentional, neglect of our national security and border. We now reap the consequences. Stay armed and alert.