We’ve pointed it out before: future terrorist attacks inside the U.S. may not adhere to the commonly anticipated pattern. Specifically, a lone gunman (or two in the case of San Bernardino) mounting a single attack. Terrorists abroad have long used “complex attacks”: multiple attackers operating at multiple locations with bombs and firearms in a coordinated assault. (Lest we forget, that was the plan for the Columbine shooting.) Today’s ISIS attack on Baghdad’s Jawaher Mall, a slaughter that left at least 1o people dead, is another warning. Here’s what we know so far [via ibtimes.com] . . .
An attack involving hostages at a Baghdad mall began Monday after two men detonated a parked car outside the shopping center, a Wall Street Journal reported said. The men opened fire on the crowd outside the mall before donating their suicide vests.
It would seem that the car bomb was intended to funnel people into a killing zone, a technique uses against American soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq, sometimes used to kill first responders when they arrive on the scene.
The exact details of this Baghdad bombing and shooting remain unclear. Here’s how nbcnews.com reports the incident:
At least 10 people were killed and 22 were injured when insurgents attacked a shopping mall in Baghdad Monday with hand grenades and at least two nearby bombs, police told NBC News.
Iraqi security forces opened fire on the insurgents, who initially tried to take a money exchange office in Baghdad Al-Jadeedah before entering the Al Jawhara shopping mall, a major in the Baghdad Police Department and a master sergeant in the Iraqi Federal Police Division said.
Police said the attackers were throwing hand grenades at civilians inside the mall and held them hostage there. At least 10 civilians were killed and another 22 injured, according to police.
I can’t emphasize this enough…if you’re caught in or near a terrorist attack or spree killing, do not assume you’re facing a single-pronged assault.
Consider the full nature of the attack before engaging a single bad guy or escaping in any particular direction. The crowd running from the initial violence will most likely leave the scene via a “logical” escape route — one known to the attackers. Look before you leap and avoid crowds both in the short term and those that gather at the scene “afterwards.”