Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
Plowing a large vehicle into a dense crowd of innocents is the latest method of destruction used by terrorists — and it’s becoming increasingly common.
Vehicle ramming attacks require little training to execute, and there is the potential for a massive amount of casualties. The fact that few people know how to react to such an attack only compounds the damage these attacks can do.
Unfortunately, you must know what to do — and do it quickly. Often, the decisions you make immediately following the beginning of these events will determine if you live or die.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are three acute human reactions to a crisis situation: fight, flight or freeze.
In many of these terrorist attacks — with the exception of any intended targets — it’s bystanders who freeze that are added to the death toll.
Do not freeze or burrow in — react and move immediately.
If you remember anything from this article, please remember this: When the event begins, YOU MUST MOVE. A moving target is much more difficult to hit than a frozen one.
Of course, there is little time to think when a 10-ton truck is barreling toward you. You must calculate your flight so you don’t turn yourself into a more visible (and attractive) target.
Unlike an active shooter scenario, where targets can be engaged from multiple positions, it is very difficult for 10 tons of truck to make sharp turns and rapidly change its course.
Do everything you can to stay on your feet. As soon as possible, make your movement at a 90-degree angle to the vehicle’s direction of travel (a hard right or left turn). This will give you your best chance of avoiding injury or death.
If you can’t get out of the path of destruction:
- Get behind something that can take the full force of a ramming vehicle, like sturdy concrete pillars, for example.
- Find a sunken stairwell. The vehicle will travel across it and not down into it.
- Climb to an area above the carnage — like a balcony. You can also utilize fire escapes to climb to safety.
Your flight must be for the purpose of getting clear of danger — or “off the X” — while avoiding flagging your position. Usually, you’ll instinctively move away from the site of the attack and preferably in a direction opposite or opposing the vehicle’s course of travel.
This is a very hazardous option, but one that could save lives. Fighting back against a madman in a moving vehicle is easier said than done — especially for someone with little to no training. But if you have the ability to use a vehicle to stop the massacre — hit the gas pedal and PULL THAT TRIGGER!
A trigger is the person or thing that is MOST important in your life. It can be your wife, your kids, your pet — whatever inspires you to say, “I will live and endure anything for this.”
Keep in mind that your trigger can change. When I was going through SEAL training, my trigger was seeing myself walking across the stage and looking out at family and friends as I was handed my certificate of completion.
Once I got to the SEAL teams and took on the incredible responsibility of leading men into life-threatening situations, my trigger was the image of all my men returning from a mission unharmed. I was NOT going to attend any of my guys’ funerals — not on my watch.
Visualize your trigger in as much detail as you can muster so when the time comes to PULL THE TRIGGER, you do it with 150% of your ability — no holds barred. In the SEAL teams we call this “violence of action.”
Whether you are able to fight back or not, the most important thing you must remember is NEVER FREEZE.
A deer that stares at the headlights gets hit by the car. If you fail to flee, you might suffer the same fate.
Be a survivor… not a statistic,