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“The suspected perpetrator of the May 24 on the Jewish Museum of Belgium [was] a young French Muslim, a veteran of a jihadi group fighting to topple the Assad regime in Syria,” reports. “Western intelligence services believe that more than 1,200 European and North American Muslims are fighting there at any given moment, in an effort to topple the regime. Many are fighting in the ranks of organizations affiliated with Al-Qaida, and some return home afterward to continue their jihad.” In other words, anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Jewish Muslims are being radicalized and trained in the ways of terrorism before returning to Everytown USA. And that means . . .

From the standpoint of Western countries, this is just the beginning of a more serious problem. For almost a year now, American and European intelligence services have worried over the possibility of veterans from the Syrian fighting seeking to perpetrate a mass terror attack like that of 9/11 upon returning home.

Got gun? Once again, I’d like to remind TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia and their brothers-who-should-be-carrying-arms that the so-called first responders are not the first responders.

Suspected terrorist French citizen Mehdi Nemmouche (courtesy

When the 9/11 terrorists attacked, the passengers and crews of the airlines hijacked by the killers were the first responders. And that’s after you consider the possibility that the women in Las Vegas who “entertained” the hijackers could have been the first responders. Or the flight instructors in Florida. Or any number of people.

Lest we forget, the brave passengers of United Flight 93 were the first responders. They did counter a terrorist attack, and eliminated the threat. And they were unarmed. Would they have survived if one or more of the passengers had been allowed to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms in American airspace? I think so maybe yes.

While the odds that the feds will restore civilians’ right to keep and bear arms on airplanes are lower than the odds that I’ll link to an Israeli supermodel for this metaphor, the more Americans who carry firearms in their day-to-day, the more vigilant they are, the better our chances of stopping these monsters before they attack. Or as they attack. Or after they attack.

That’s common sense. Which is not so common.

Western intelligence services know the route young European Muslims take to join the war in Syria (most simply fly to Turkey and then cross the border into Syria, either on foot or by car). But aside from tightening surveillance of preachers identified as extremists, they have not yet found any real way to deal with the problem. Israel can help only on the margins, by sharing intelligence and giving advice on protecting Jewish sites in Europe.

Armed self-defense is an historical and evolutionary adaptation that allows individuals to protect their genetic line. Spread throughout a society, it gives large groups a vital means of self-defense, too. It’s too bad we didn’t learn that lesson after 9/11. But as sure as eggs are eggs, we will. Let’s just hope the reaction won’t be an even greater push for civilian disarmament and increased government control.

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  1. We always seem to learn the lessons of the last war. Unfortunately, we are prepared to do the same again. The lessons of the Belan school massacre and the Mumbai attack have not been embraced. Our schools and cities are just as vulnerable to these sorts of attacks as the Russian and Indians were and we have yet to pay the awful price for this inattention.

    • Some locations certainly are vulnerable … although you might be surprised how many people are quietly working behind the scenes to improve that.

      When I go into a public location, I usually have 29 rounds of large caliber handgun ammunition. During the holidays I usually carry an additional magazine for a total of 43 rounds. Depending on my mood, the activity, the location, and the time of year (close to Christmas), I even bring my pistol caliber carbine with 76 rounds of large caliber (and heavy for caliber) ammunition — in addition to my handgun with its 29 rounds of ammunition. With a carbine, a handgun, and 108 cartridges (plus my shoes!), I will seriously impair anyone’s ability to wreak havoc in a public building.

      Now, imagine if five additional good people armed with handguns and two spare magazines are present at the same public building when a terrorist starts an attack. I would not want to be one of the terrorists.

        • The average American,

          I have a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 in .40 S&W. The big advantage of that carbine is that it folds in half for storage. When folded, it is about 16 inches by 7 inches and fits nicely in many notebook computer cases. Thus I can schlep it around in a notebook computer case anywhere without anyone giving it a second look.

          The long (16 inch) barrel enables the powder to burn longer and produce higher velocities than you would get out of a handgun. The result is you get basically the same muzzle velocities (for a given bullet weight) as full power .357 Magnum ammunition fired from a revolver with a four inch barrel. It isn’t the same as a rifle of course, but is sure beats facing an attacker with a handgun.

      • I’m inclined to agree, terrorists might want to keep to the liberal bastions as they might not fare so well in middle America (what, they already knew that?) . Week days: 26 rounds 9mm and 7 rounds .380, 25 round 12 gauge, various, none smaller than 4 buck, in the vehicle. Weekends: 46 rounds 9mm or 24 rounds .45, either also including the .380 and the scatter gun back in the vehicle. Special occasions and holidays: 24 rounds .45, 7 rounds .380 and 600+ rounds 5.56 back in the truck plus blow out kit, and threat IIIa armor (upgrade to level IV coming soon). I think that in some towns the terrorists just won’t know what hit them, but in others it’s an open killing field until the police arrive and gain control.

    • Correct. Col Dave Grossman, who consults with LEOs around the country, and trains lessons learned on Beslan, Kenya Mall, and Ft Hood, says that these most vulnerable gun-free zones are exactly the places that intel confirms are the jihadi’s strategic targets.

      Yet, in progressive denial of reality, our kids are protected by bars and gates, and unarmed school volunteers, while teachers train to herd kids into predictable closed killing zones, in “locked classrooms”. We saw how that worked at Sandy Hook, yet, we repeat the same fatal mistakes and worse, listen to the screeches of denial when reasonable proposals for pollice training of armed teachers, principals, and other volunteers, long proven in Israel, and in place in some parts of the US, is working.

      For example, here in California, even after the Kelly School shooting, with the police safety center literally less than two miles away, and the outstanding local cops and other LEO first responders only a few short minutes away,

      when seconds counted, if it hadnt been for two brave civilian contractors, who tackled the incompetent schizo, untrained shooter, who missed on all but two shots, and could not free his jammed .357, or explode his propane tank,

      the victim and death toll would have been horrifically higher than two little girls grazed in the arms…

      Now, imagine a team of trained and well planned terrorists seeking only to go out in a blaze of glory… who would stop them at the first chance, and delay the plan before they got control of a mass of hostages? The two school resource officers that rotate among a dozen schools? The unarmed principal? The unarmed playground monitor duty mommies, or the underpaid, untrained, (semi-security guard) adult “noon duty” lunchroom and yard monitor, who cant even carry a knife or pepper spray for self-defense? How about the underpaid undertrained mall security cop, who maybe has a tazer, or pepper spray?

      Political correctness will cost hundreds of lives, one day, and it wont be excuseable by saying we didnt know better, or I read about it in the paper…

  2. A mass attack, like the one that happened in Kenya, will happen in one of a handful of our large cities for sure. Either New York, Chicago or Los Angeles… All of which will have minimal armed resistance. The terrorists know better than to go to a place like Texas or Arizona, because they’ll -definitely- confront very well armed citizens in a matter of seconds.. Not responding police officers in a matter of minutes.

    • The FBI has been sounding this clarion ever since the Mumbai attack. If it’s NYC, Chicago, or Boston, it won’t be as bad as Mumbai, but it will be bad.

    • Los Angeles may seem disarmed, it isn’t.

      An attack on LA would be meet with very effective armed resistance. Far more people here are armed that would ever admit it in public.

      Since the Rodney King riots, LA has become armed.

      • Depends on where the attack goes down. I don’t think the jihadis would be stupid enough to attack the rougher parts of town, too much danger, not enough value in attacking a poor neighbourhood. The parts of town where the limp-wristed liberal bastards congregate is arguably their juiciest target; those people are so complacent with their illusion of security and so deluded with false precepts of multiculturalism they actually tolerate the hate rhetoric of Islamists as “cultural quirks”. Sadly if you are dealing with a pea-brained Islamic lunatic with a suicide vest and deadman switch your OODA loop leaves you very few options, amongst the best being get out of dodge. I think the best bet in preventing these things is to be vigilant and on guard as citizens. I’d hope that by now our law enforcement agencies would be tuned into things but then hearing about their negligence with respect to major industrial accidents like the West, Texas explosion I can’t really count on the feds to have a clue when they flat out state they had no idea a place with a dangerous overage of ammonium nitrate even existed. Sadly rather than bothering to do their job properly, they ask for more money and the ability to take away more freedoms. With respect to these Islamist psychopaths flexing in the West, I’d say Europe is the canary in the mine.

        • If mass casualties is what you want returning to most of America is not really the best idea. The places where the people don’t have guns there are so many cops they are like an army. Ultimately, if Mumbai is an example for how to wage jihad in the US I think it’s a failed paradigm. Either you’re trying to do it in NYC, with 35,000 cops or you’re trying to do it in Podunk, where a simple call to arms would net so many rifle packing people that any conceivable force would be horrifically outnumbered in hours, not days. India just isn’t the US.

    • In the Nairobi attack a former SAS soldier with a 9mm Hi Power shepherded 150 people out of the shopping center. He made least 4 trips in to get people out before the local constabulary put in an appearance. Imagine if there had been more armed civilians, the death toll might been reduced.

    • “A mass attack, like the one that happened in Kenya, will happen in one of a handful of our large cities for sure. Either New York, Chicago or Los Angeles… “

      Recall that, save pure dumb luck and a situationally-aware pedestrian, Times Square would have been propane-bombed a few years ago. Not that Times Square couldn’t use some “de-gentrifying,” but that’s for another day…

  3. The solution is gun control! If Belgium had gun control, this attack wouldn’t have happened. So rather than — what? Long guns all but outlawed? … The solution is STRICTER gun control! Obviously Belgium’s gun laws are too lax!

  4. That’s the way the world is these days, there is no front line, and uniforms are a thing of the past. The only thing that remains constant are those among you who are on the tip of the tip of the spear, ready to do violence if it means keeping you all safe.

    • While vigilance is important, panic is not. If and when they attack it will be one of the cities that is big on gun control, which means pretty much everyone else will be safe. Think of the USA gun control centers like a human shield for the rest of us.

      • “Think of the USA gun control centers like a human shield for the rest of us.”

        Hah! That is outstanding. I am still laughing out loud!

        • See also Joe Biden. Joe is better deterrent than an a kryptonite vest, armored limo, or 1000 SS agents.

    • “That’s the way the world is these days, there is no front line, and uniforms are a thing of the past.” — Pashtun6

      That is one of the most profound sentences that I have heard in a very long time.

  5. This very thought process was what started me into the world of guns and gave me my first incling of desire to carry. I wanted to make a difference when it happens, if I can.

    School shootings and other terrorism incidence made the decision a no brainer.

    Kenya reinforced the resolve.

    A Kenya style attack on a mall was a storyline in a Clancy novel…the sum of all fears, maybe?

  6. A Kenya- or Mumbai-style attack on a major American city is possible, but I’m not sure how likely. Where would you launch if you were Al Qaida?

    NYC is always target #1. Civilians in NYC have conveniently been disarmed, but there are over 35,000 cops there and lots of armed security, too. Getting the guns into the City isn’t as easy as the Brady hooples want you to believe. That’s why the Jihadists attacked by air.

    Los Angeles is a possibility. There aren’t a lot of guns legally walking around in public and the guns can be brought up from Mexico.

    Chicago is ripe. The cops are mostly stumblebums, and getting serious ordnance into town isn’t difficult.

    I’d have to guess that such an attack will happen, if at all, in the Midwest. Deerborn is becoming a Muslim city, and where there are a lot of young Muslims, there is no shortage of potential terrorists.

    Or they can just hit Boston again.

    • The #1 choice of any terrorist has to be NYC. The reason? There is such a saturation of media there, that they get their biggest result for the effort.

      Terrorists need the media. They achieve their goals only with media coverage. After all, how can they be considered “terrorists” (ie, people who sow terror) without being able to terrorize large numbers of people.

      Consider two diametrically opposed options:

      Option 1: Terrorists show up in a small city in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, rural Utah, etc. They start shooting the place and people up. The word gets around rapidly, as many people here in rural America are on volunteer FD’s, rescue units, volunteer EMT’s, sheriff’s reserves, etc. People swarm out of every nook and cranny and start returning fire, perhaps with a little more enthusiasm than smarts. Before the cops can show up, the terrorists (who will be easily discerned for their penchant for shouting “Allah Akbar!”) will likely have been killed with anything ranging from a .223 to a .338 WM (pretty typical elk rifle in the west), promptly dismembered and would be getting their remains chucked into a nearby pickup for disposal. LEO’s arriving on scene would get all huffy and put a stop to that, but I’m not exaggerating at the response they’d receive. There aren’t just handguns close at hand out here – there’s some long-range firepower riding around in many, many pickups.

      Coverage on local media? There aren’t many TV stations in Wyoming, or in the rural areas of the other states I mentioned. Most people in WY watch TV news off stations in Rapid City, SD, Billings MT or SLC, UT. It would be on tomorrow’s news broadcast, because the TV news crews couldn’t get cameras into the area any faster than, oh, 2 to 8 hours after learning of it. National coverage? Pfft. Maybe later in the week, but at that point, the terr’s are long dead and in some coroner’s drawer.

      Big fail for the terr’s. They’re dead without much impact. The national news wouldn’t really give a rat’s ass, because hey, it was only a bunch of hayseeds and white hicks that got killed, not some bunch of sophisticated cosmopolitan people in some urban area.

      Option 2: NYC. TV stations would be on-site within 20 minutes. The number of high quality private video feeds that could be streamed to the TV stations is high. The number of people who can directly respond would be low. The level of learned helplessness is absurdly high. The level of political correctness is also absurdly high, with all manner of people willing to talk, talk and talk some more while the terrorists spout their “demands” to the media.

      The national media takes over the national airwaves with live broadcasts, so that the entire nation knows about it. The POTUS is asked what he thinks and what people should do, blah, blah, blah. The terrorists issue demands, and the politically correct types get to clutching their pearls. Many highly educated people with degrees from high-falutin’ universities on political staffs start running their jaws about “what it all means?” and so on.

      This is a huge win for terrorists. They can get their agenda shoved into the faces of every American by playing the media and the political class like a concert violinist.

      No question, they go for NYC, DC or perhaps LA. Chicago is a possibility, but with the normal level of violence there, they’d have to work to be noticed.

      They need media saturation and helpless people. Taking a bunch of people hostage at a John Deere dealership ain’t quite going to get them what they want.

    • You forgot Minneapolis – the biggest Somali encampment outside Africa and the source of many Syrian fighters.

    • Nope, way too complicated and risky for the PR obtained. Unless it was a CIA “thing.”

  7. The thing that has always stood out for me is the talent sets that the Islamists organizations take pains to recruit.

    They seek out engineers, scientists, doctors, etc.

    Oddly enough, womyn’s studies, cultural justice and sociology majors seem to be not to their liking.

    The type of people that the Islamists recruit deal with the real world in real terms. Laws, which are nothing more than words on paper, mean nothing to them. Laws have no power to prevent anything, only proscribe penalties, compensation and restitution after the fact.

    This is the fundamental disconnect of the West now. The West has put a great deal of faith in laws on paper to construct what we now like to regard as “civil society.” Terrorists, many of whom are ready to die to achieve their ends, are not impeded by words on paper. They need physical restraint or barriers to preclude them from achieving their ends. As a result, the West seems utterly impotent in dealing with these types of attacks other than by trying to determine intent and plans a priori by use of intrusive intelligence operations and widespread monitoring of electronic communications, both of which are relatively easy to evade.

    • The nature of assymetrical warfare, and especially professionally planned terror attacks is taking advantage of a vulnerability, especially unknown or poorly anticipated or guarded.

      They have used women overseas, and men disguised in burghas. Who would dare to stop one in the Mall of America, in progressive Minneapolis, with so many Somail refugees having been relocated there for twenty years by the good Lutherans, with a Muslim Congressman protecting Muslim rights, paid by CAIR.

      The Library Tower was planned for attack in 9/11. Thats downtown LA. Imagine the media frenzy over a hit on the Golden Gate bridge in rush hour, the Seattle Kingdome or Space Needle. Its not about the financial centers any more, and a combined attack on the grid, like the pre-planned test at the utility transformer site outslde San Jose a few months back, would plunge rush hour traffic into chaos, delaying first responders.

      While we dither over political correctness, and failure to name the enemy, our enemies laugh and plan and practice. Its the Long War, between a fuedal death cult, that has pitted one side against the other, since the 7th century,

      and it will never be over, for the West and the Great Satan US,
      until we respond with Jacksonian justice, comprehensively, completely.

      Those are the lessons of history. In the meantime, you have to keep your own loved ones safe, and your SA going. Thats all we can do, until the time comes, to learn the lesson of 9/11 yet again, and its obvious this Admin is either so completely incompetent, or worse, complicit in the obscuration of failure in progtard illusions of engagement, that we will have to learn it in a really hard way…

      • “…and its obvious this Admin is either so completely incompetent, or worse, complicit in the obscuration [sic] of failure in progtard illusions of engagement”

        It’s all about the money. ALWAYS follow the money.

  8. Another terror attack will happen, and it’ll be our own fault. We allow muslims to immigrate to our shores, and a certain percentage of that number are fundamentalist enough that either they or their offspring will perpetrate a terror attack.

    It’s our own fault, really. We should have closed the borders a long time ago, on all fronts.

  9. Assads regime wasn’t that bad, considering only the extremists went against him.

    • He wasn’t that great either, since the same terrorists extremists that are waging war against him now were the same ones he allowed into his country years ago to funnel into Iraq during out time there.

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