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Brussels bombers (courtesy

“What should you do if you notice a person with one or more of these descriptors [of a bomb] or even a suspicious package?” Greg Ellifritz asks at “GET AWAY! Time, distance, and shielding are the only defense. Realize that a 20lb suicide bomb vest loaded with shrapnel is dangerous within 400 meters. That’s a long distance! Recent research has determined . . .

that 15 meters (about 50 feet) is the distance that means the difference between life and death in most suicide bombing incidents. If you are within 15 meters of the bomber when he detonates you will likely die. If you are beyond 15 meters, you will likely live, but may be seriously injured.

Got it. But what’s this about using your gun to stop the threat?

If you are armed with a firearm, should you shoot the bomber?  That is a tough call.  If you are right about your guess and kill the bomber before he detonates, you will be a hero.  If you are wrong you will be either blown up or arrested.  It makes the decision a little difficult.

I will say this…if you decide to shoot the bomber, you must expect to die.  Remember that danger zone of 400 meters I talked about earlier?  How many of you can make a head shot at 400 meters with your concealed carry pistol?  If you can’t, you are in the kill zone.  If the bomber detonates you may be seriously injured or killed.  By definition, if you are close enough to take a shot, you are going to be within range of the bomb’s blast.    If you do shoot the bomber, you must go for a head shot.  If he is wearing a bomb vest, your bullet will likely detonate the bomb if you hit it.

Kobayashi maru? Still, a man’s gotta do. . .

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    • You’ll have to lean out with part of your arm and head exposed to fire so it’s not a guarantee. Even if the shrapnel misses your noggin, at close range the overpressure shock from detonation is lethal particularly in an enclosed space such as an underground subway station.

      Still sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

      • Actually I was thinking as much in terms of “save your skin” as in terms of “be a hero”. Even on the latter note, however, I would think that it would be possible to take a shot and duck, no? Or no? One good reason to come here is to learn from folks that know more than I do.

        • TATP was the explosive used in the railway bombing. It has a detonation velocity of 5300 m/s or 17000 fps. Ducking out of the way just won’t work.

    • 400 meters/yards is max distance. Most damage will be within 50 meters. Remember, this is usually a nondirectional spherical explosion so the pressure and energy of the blast will dissipate rapidly.

      So a 50 yard headshot is now possible, but still unlikely. So please close the distance and be a hero. Err on the side of caution. We will forgive you, and it will be a,wake up call to society to not look so damn guilty when trying to save a couple bucks on a luggage cart.

      • 400 meters is a little “laughable”.

        Sure, it is theoretically possible to be killed by a piece of shrapnel at that range, but it is EXRAORDINARILY UNLIKELY. The surface area of a sphere with a radius of 400 meters is about 2,000,000 square meters or around 20,000,000 square feet. The surface area (one side only) of an adult human is maybe 10 square feet. So, less than 1/2,000,000 of the shrapnel would intersect with you. Furthermore, the small fragments would lose their energy, and not travel that far anyway. In most explosions that size, probably only a handful of fragments would even travel 400 meters.

        Basically, I’m saying that it is Possible, but odds are literally a million to one of it actually happening.

    • In the above picture they are wearing 1 glove. That’s supposed to be a way of hiding a dead man switch. Kill the dirt bag, set off the bomb.

  1. ” If you do shoot the bomber, you must go for a head shot. If he is wearing a bomb vest, your bullet will likely detonate the bomb if you hit it.”

    I like much of what Greg says both in his articles and in interviews I’ve heard. But, I kinda have to note a minor quibble here.

    It is certainly possible you could detonate the bomb by hitting it, but I’m not sure “likely” is the correct descriptor. Most HiEX is not that sensitive to being shot. Hit the explosive itself and pretty much nothing will generally happen.

    The problem arises from hitting a cap or something in the initiation circuitry.

    Of course, the real dangers are the use of a ‘Dead Man Switch” or Command Detonation from an accomplice hidden but watching. For either of those, shooting the bad guy, even a head shot, won’t help.

    Seriously..the take home is this a VERY messy deal either way. No ‘easy’ pat answers…too many variables and LOTS of ways for this to go bad. And, I’m not even defining “going bad” as the DGU-er him/herself getting killed.

    • What bothers me is he talks about shooting while you’re not entirely sure he’s a bad guy. I would just get out. And maybe discreetly bring the situation to others attention in a way that things don’t get upset.

    • I am pretty sure Mythbusters put this to rest. A shot from a rifle bullet going 2k-3k FPS is NOT going to detonate a high (20k+ FPS) explosive. Period. End of story. The only way the vest would blow up is if it had a dead-man’s switch.

      • But, as I recall the tested that using commercial explosives such as C4. Not some unstable fertilizer bomb. I could be entirely wrong as I’m not a scientist (IANAS) but it could be possible to make it go boom with homemade bombs.

        • “Not some unstable fertilizer bomb. I could be entirely wrong as I’m not a scientist (IANAS) but it could be possible to make it go boom with homemade bombs.”

          I am a scientist, a chemist to be precise, who has specifically studied improvised explosives in regard to investigations.

          “Homemade” has nothing to do with it. It depends entirely on WHAT explosive is used and how “shock sensitive” it is.

          You specifically mentioned “unstable fertilizer bomb,” which I assume you mean ANFO. ANFO is actually notoriously “difficult” to detonate on a relative scale compared to many other commercial explosives. It usually requires some sort of hi-ex “booster” in the initiation chain which stuff like RDX and HMX don’t need.

          There are shock sensitive “primary” explosives and shock sensitive hi-ex secondaries. Those are the ones that could go from a bullet impact. But, it has nothing specific to do with either the use of ‘fertilizer’ or being ‘homemade.’

        • ANFO does not require a fancy “booster”. There are a dozen readily available means of getting it to go “boom”. I lived in the boonies as a kid in the 70s. Fertilizer and diesel was a concoction the farmer types used for stump removal.

        • Sigh.

          Generally, ANFO requires a harder “kick” than standard commercial caps provide. Commercial blasters use a booster of hi-ex to provide the extra kick. Since by far the largest use of ANFO is commercial blasting, that’s the context I was referencing.

          If whatever cap you use has more “ummph” than a regularly available one, the booster is ‘built in.’ Also, one can duplex it with other stuff to lower the shock-induced detonation threshold, of course. That has the same end-effect of using a non-mixed booster.

          Tangential BS aside, the point is, ANFO is NOT more shock sensitive than most commercial and military high explosives. ANFO is not ‘more dangerous’ because it is made from ‘fertilizer’ and neither would be other “homemade” explosives that are not otherwise shock sensitive.

          “Shock sensitivity” is a chemical trait of the material of interest, not where it’s made. THAT was the point I was trying to get across using the specific example of ANFO as a “case study.”

        • My point was while your observation that ANFO was inherently *not* unstable was correct, the implication that it requires PETN, RDX, whatever as a booster is not exactly true. Especially if you mix some powdered aluminum in. Especially in a field expedient scenario.

        • JR,

          I read that these guys are commonly using a peroxide based explosive. What do you think about the shock sensitivity of that stuff? I don’t really know anything about explosives, but I do recall reading that when the navy used peroxide based torpedo propellant it was notoriously unstable, and dangerous.

        • Based on what my hazmat class, TATP (aka Mother of Satan aka the current explosive of choice) is incredibly shock sensitive. My guess is that, yes, the bullet will set it off.

        • Katy is right.

          They used TATP as their ‘high explosive’, and TATP is *highly* shock-sensitive.

          Geeze, Katy-

          What kind of lawyer are you where you needed HAZMAT and-or explosives training?

        • Yes, this entire conversation is ridiculous. The only realistic option is not being there in the first place.

      • Using standard dynamite, a .357 mag will not detonate it, a rifle will. Not sure about military plastique

    • He talks about going for the head because if the bomber gets a chance he will detonate his bomb, A proper shot to the head should remove in theory the bombers ability to detonate his weapon instantly, unless he has a dead mans switch. It is lose lose lose but it is whats done in Israel, you ever notice how the IDF and Israeli police KEEP shooting, excessively by what we would consider needed in the west? They destroy and I mean destroy the body so that there is no chance of a suicide bomber pressing a button of flicking a switch.

    • The dead man’s switch is what I would be worried about… especially if he’s wearing one glove and isn’t dancing Thriller.

      • Just to make a point about the dead-man switch issue, this guy is going to set off his bomb anyway, whether you shoot him or not. The real question is do you have reasonable grounds to take the shot in the first place?

        If you are convinced that he is a bomber and intends to detonate his device then whether or not you take the shot he is going to blow people up. The only thing in the equation that changes is that you decide when and where rather than him. And you very possibly die rather than un-assing the area before the explosion and watching the event on CNN.

  2. The frontal area of your body is about 0.7 m^2 and you need to be hit with like 3 fragments above ~ 0.5 g to be in any real danger of dying. The sirface area of 15 m sphere is 2800 m^2, so the bomber needs to dispense about 9000 fragments to do this or about 4.5 kg of steel.

    Shokwaves at weak, 5 kg of TNT/C4 will cease to be lethal at about 6 m, 10 kg or about 22 pounds at about 9 m. I’d like to see a suicide vest capable of killing people at 15 m. That scenario is not very likely. Maybe 10 but not 15.

    • A fine point on vests. But bad luck does happen. I saw shrapnel through a man’s thigh from an explosion that happened over 800 meters away. Given, it was from 2 JDAMS, so that’s on a whole different scale than a suicide vest, but man, wrong place at the wrong time.
      In this case, however, we have to replace a 20lbs of semtex with 60 or more pounds of TATP. Again, very different scales.

      • The news is that it has been 20 kg (or 44 pounds) of ANFO in each suitcase. Much more likely, as each purchase of hydrogen peroxide is registrated (here, in the entire EU) and you need about 2-3 l of it per 1 kg of TATP. TATP will detonate if shoot, ANFO will not. They likely got their peroxide from black market or stole it (it is widely used in factories).

        16V: no, the blast wave is always a sphere, even in shaped charges except for the copper jet, unless it is shaped by walls and such things not directly related to the explosive itself.

        • Anonymousbombexpert – i think we may be missing on details. If you are talking about a round charge, suspended in air, with nothing around – then yes, we are talking about a spherical blast wave.

          If we are talking about a ground-level detonation, then we are bisecting that sphere at somewhere around half, as the rest is rather instantly reflected. If we place that detonation near a wall, or other other immovable (relative to the blast) object, we’re talking about something else completely, past the initial blast front. The secondary matters too. As well as the negative phase impulse. Not to mention the consistency of the ANFO granules, their potency, what the percentage of diesel (or other oil) was used, all of which affect burn rate, which I’m sure you know.

          Copper EFPs are very effective (Herrhausen’s armored limo didn’t stand a chance) but they don’t have to be copper. SIM-EFPs are generally made from rebar or steel bar stock.

          (I’ve spent time modeling ICE combustion, and air flow in CFD. The biggest difference is the burn rate. And what happens as a result of that, ‘natch.)

      • The amazing thing about ‘Lawnmower Man’ was that he filmed it.

        That guy has my vote for ‘Idiot Gun Owner of the Year’…

        • To me the amazing thing that he didn’t say verbatim – “Hey guys, watch this!”.

          Definitely a Darwin Award candidate. I have a friend who loves his Tannerite. Difference being we’re 200+ yards away when we detonate something (bigger, without the shrapnel). You can feel the blast wave. And watch the tree that it was taped to fall over…

  3. Given the inherent stability of Semtec and C4 and most other explosive likely to be utilized for a suicide vest, a shot to center mass is highly unlikely to detonate the explosives unless the guy is using a dead-man switch. Only in Hollywood can you shoot into plastic explosives and have them spontaneously detonate.

    Unless I am mistaken (has happened) even shooting a can of gunpowder or a skyrocket will not cause it to ignite.

    You are in greater danger of being prosecuted for ever-reacting and shooting someone who is not carrying a bomb than you are of detonating the bomb with your shot, IMO.

    • From what I am reading they are using TATP which is very sensitive.

      Plus I don’t understand how you are supposed to know this is a homicide bomber before he goes splody. You need to be very dammed sure that this is the case if you are considering taking him on. I just see some guys with luggage in this picture.

      • Exactly. They have been using TATP for awhile now – no need to smuggle C4 around, you can pick up the ingredients in any drugstore. Mix it up at room temp, though as noted, it is very unstable and likely to blow up the chemist. TNT is a little harder to make and the chemicals a bit harder to source over the counter.

        See sketchy ME type wearing one glove? GTFO as quietly as possible. Alert someone with a bomb squad. There is absolutely nothing you can do as an individual that will end well. Even tackling him is no guarantee of containing the blast. The Michael Jackson glove is a deadman switch – shoot him, detonate the bomb. There is likely a handler nearby with a drop phone for remote detonation, same results if the deadman somehow malfunctions.

        Unless one has a clear shot, while he’s wandering across a wide open field, with no one else around, leave it alone. Try to quietly raise the alarm.

        • Well, said. The sophistication of urban terrorism is increasing. Give bumbling amateurs enough time and even they will start figuring stuff out. We have to recognize that those people mean to kill us, pure and simple. There’s a reason those guys were walking around with a nail-bomb connected to a deadman switch and no amount of “understanding root causes” or arresting people for rude tweets is going to make them go away. Our culture and history informs us that we are very good at making war. We need to make war on them and then they will go away. It’s simply the way things are.

  4. Christ, a bullet is not going to detonate a bomb vest.

    An anchor shot is a must, though.

    Also remember that suicide bombers rarely operate alone anymore. Observer-detonation is the exception these days though, so if you can turn the lights out you’re probably in good shape. Would still get out of the possible blast zone immediately though.

  5. Mission dictates you do what you can when you can and rethink it later if you make it. Cover, fight, run just don’t stand there. I fault no one if they try and do what they are capable of

    • I agree. Its better to die trying then die with all your wounds on your back while running away. I actually just talked t my wife about this last night. Basically I made it clear that if this starts happening frequently stateside you can expect a lot of dead terrorists from armed citizens getting wise.

  6. The bombers used triacetone triperoxide, or TATP. TATP is easy to make and hard to detect, but is also incredibly unstable. In fact, all it takes is a firm tap to explode TATP with a force that’s about 80% as strong as TNT.

    Also, the explosives where in suite cases not strapped to the bomber. There is also speculation that it may have gone off before it was intended to.

    I do not care how vigilant you happen to be, your not getting a headshot or any shot at any suicide bomber unless he has made his intentions clear and even then, it is better to dive for cover than to try and take a shot. You cannot account for every possible defensive scenario.

    There are reports that the Belgium Police have had new raids and there have been explosions and a lot of pew, pew, pew going on. Hopefully they have taken out a cell.

  7. First, and really really foremost, don’t shoot anyone because you think they have a bomb. Can you actually see the bomb? Do you know what a bomb looks like? If the answer is no, don’t shoot. If you know they have a bomb, that’s different. Me, I’m kneeling down, taking aim, firing and taking my chances.
    As far as how far you have to get away, please remember just one simple rule about explosives: if you can see it, it can kill you.

    • The Met decided to shoot a suspected suicide bomber a few years ago. They Killed a Brazilian electrician instead.
      Now if a highly trained anti terrorist unit cannot get it right how easy will it be for average people. Or even for an average cop?

  8. Wow! Quite the.. ah… article.

    So, yeah, you better really, really sure you have a hellbent Jihadist on your hands before you skin your smoke wagon. Or you’ll be getting really friendly with your new cellmate/wife, Roscoe.

  9. I think you should just poke them with a sharp stick. But seriously, if given the choice of two bad situations, I would take an active shooter any day of the week.

  10. I want the option is all. Whether I shoot or run is my call.

    I don’t want to be limited by some demanding mom or crooked pol.

  11. 1 plus 5 friends with one shot, might have had a dead man switch, if so it worked.

    US Army Captain Florent A. Groberg was awarded MoH last year dealt with a suicide bomber up close and personal by shoving the guy away from the group, he lived, even after the vest went BOOOM.

    While looking for his name ran across this about blast injuries.

    Terrorist always have the upper hand, element of surprise, they can pick the time and place of the attack, if they don’t like what they see they can always wait.

  12. I don’t really see this is as a difficult decision if… if… you can’t flee the blast zone. You’re sitting two tables over from the bomber at the airport cafe. He finishes his tea, stands up, pulls out a detonator and shouts “Allahu Akbar”. You are either dead or you react in time to engage. But most likely, you can’t react in time so you are dead. So I guess you take the shot. Any shot.

    I appreciate that somebody like me is not trained to handle that situation and doesn’t know of a dozen or more variables to consider for a better chance, but right there, that’s it. You’re done. Either get vaporized sipping your latte or vaporized doing something to stop him. Most likely, you lose. Just maybe you don’t.

  13. I cannot imagine a scenario where one needs to make this decision. 1) I don’t think any terrorist bombings have yet taken place in a location where civilian carry exists. 2) Anyone who says “I have a bomb” is probably lying or not serious about detonating it. I would just flee and let the police handle it. 3) If someone actually has a bomb and is serious about detonating it you won’t know. 4) If by some miracle I did discover the bomb and had the training to identify it (watch out for clocks), escape would be my primary goal, but is likely impossible at that point. Once you pass the point of dead either way though, Utah Carol had the right idea. Don’t die with a loaded gun in your holster.

    • “I cannot imagine a scenario where one needs to make this decision.”

      Anything can happen. We train our minds to adapt and “expect the unexpected.”

      “1) I don’t think any terrorist bombings have yet taken place in a location where civilian carry exists.”

      Has absolutely nothing to do with the chance of one happening tomorrow.

      “2) Anyone who says “I have a bomb” is probably lying or not serious about detonating it.”

      On what basis do you make that statement? This smacks of ‘head in the sand’ hiding from potential reality more than anything else.

      ” I would just flee and let the police handle it.”

      Assuming you can flee. What if he’s between you and the exit? What if he jumps up, says “I have a bomb,” and your mind starts racing…”Should I flee?” How long do you think it will take to get out of the lethal range of the blast? Can you run that fast? Can you run that fast around tables, chairs, other panicking people?

      ” 3) If someone actually has a bomb and is serious about detonating it you won’t know. “

      Again, maybe, maybe not. These guys do sometimes give “warning” overt or not.

      Can’t understand why you say so many “absolutes” in regard to dynamic situations that evolve from one event to another.

  14. If we start shooting people we “think” have a bomb, we will shoot more people than would ever be killed by any bombs actually involved. If I was *sure*, I would run as fast as I could to find somebody with a badge and a rifle, and point him toward the bad guy, then continue running. Because even if I am sure, the only actual proof is very loud. A lot of these responses seem to be considering some kind of game, not life and death.

  15. Lots of assumptions being made here: 1) how did you know/verify that there are potential bombers (positive ID & hostile threat), 2) composition of explosives (TATP is volatile, but most explosives are more stable–it’s the initiating charge that usually sets of the chain reaction), 3) trigger device (50/50 on deadman’s trigger or timer with the potential of a remote backup like a cheap Nokia or radio controlled device), 4) lone suicide bomber or deployed in pairs/group for added effect or a complex attack. This is, of course, not all inclusive. Just my $0.02 of feedback.

  16. This isn’t Hollywood. It is highly unlikely that a bullet hitting the bomb itself will set it off. If a suicide bomb does go off it’ll be from the bomber still being able to push the trigger or having a deadman switch. With the former you need to take out the bad guy quick. None of the one and done stuff you see in Hollywood. If it’s the latter, you’re going to have detonation. There will be casualties, but the goal is to minimize the casualties in that case. There’s no guarantee, but, given that suicide bombers will target the most populated areas for maximum carnage and shock value, you may not have much choice.

  17. Ouch. That is a tough call. I’d say get out of dodge, take as many people with you as you can. Try not to alert the bomber, though, or you’ll all be toast.

    Highest risk for the highest payout, as usual.

  18. Most suicide bombers who get stopped are identified before the reach their target. Once they reach their location they are going to detonate.

    The biggest indicator is a middle eastern looking male in heavy clothing in warm weather so if you are at the Mall of America in July and see a Somali walk in with a parka go notify the security. If it’s January you are SOL. Everyone will be wearing a parka. I suppose if you are in the lethal blast zone and Jihad Johnnie stands up you might as well take the shot if you can react. You are dead anyway.

    The fear of armed citizens only drives the terrorists to bombs.

    • Putting aside all the panic and hysteria and of course the right wing xenophobic blatant racism the answer is “yes we do need a lot more immigration”. The U.S. has an aging population and in order to keep running the government in all its aspects the U.S. sees a very big shortage of workers in the very near future.

      Even countries like China that statistically looks way overpopulated is not overpopulated with enough young workers and even they are now importing people to work in China including Europeans and Americans who are skilled and or educated people and they are even importing uneducated laborers from many of the very poor Asian countries.

      Germany in past years deliberately imported many immigrants from Turkey to cover their labor shortage and even with the current mass immigration due to the war in Syria the amount of refugees flooding into Germany will be absorbed into the work force in only a matter of a few years as Germany’s population is like the U.S. not only aging but the 1 child families of Europeans have created a labor shortage in many European countries.

  19. Just stay as close as possible to government officials. For some inexplicable reason they are almost NEVER targets.

  20. It is more likely that I will be struck by lightening 10 times in row right here in my home than this situation presenting itself to me. As a result, I’m going to redirect my attention to other risks and other subject matters.

  21. “If he is wearing a bomb vest, your bullet will likely detonate the bomb if you hit it.”

    Likely? Kinda doubt that and I think the prediction is a bit slippery slope hand wringing silliness. Sui’s aren’t going to go for the super sensitive blasting compounds. They’re going to go for the one that’s going to provide effectiveness and minimum detecability with the least chance of being inadvertently detonated, especially by stuff in the environment like EM, friction, and pistol bullets. The writer seems to think bombers wear sensitized Tannerite cans around their waist. They don’t.

    Besides, if you were even to see the “vest” it’d already be too late and there’s really little chance of that happening. There’s no requirement for a Hollywood style ripping open of the vest and a throaty cry to Allah to announce the change in everyone’s schedule before detonation. You simply have your bomber walk into an area and casually press a button. No fancy choreography necessary.

    Childish fear based “journalism” is disappointing.

    • There’s no requirement for a Hollywood style ripping open of the vest and a throaty cry to Allah to announce the change in everyone’s schedule before detonation.
      But the Muzzies love doing it anyways. Aloha Snackbar!

  22. Silly rabbits, as a former combat engineer (build shitters, channel the enemy to kill or blow things up). You cannot beat a bomb. It is the perfect weapon to maximize death and injury within a radius. No aiming, training, sight picture, changing magazines, or seeking cover. What makes a jihadist effective, is the will and belief their death creates a greater good. Now with a dead man switch incorporated into their builds, there is no defense against it. Distance followed by secured cover (concrete) is your only defense.

    What baffles me, is jihadist go through all the trouble to build excellent bombs, then cheap on transport & logistics. They built five bombs, but the taxi could only fit three. For price of a cab ride, damage would have been greater.

    • You cannot beat a bomb. It is the perfect weapon to maximize death and injury within a radius. What makes a jihadist effective, is the will and belief their death creates a greater good. Now with a dead man switch incorporated into their builds, there is no defense against it.
      Bomb sniffing K-9 unit dogs might spoil the party.
      One thing we were thinking about at work, was for the cops to get a bunch of dogs from the pound and put K-9 unit harnesses on them. The dogs would not be trained to sniff out bombs, but the muzzies don’t know that. Cop with a dog would be a better deterrent than a cop with an M-16.

    • An Aussie TV crew went to the Brussels neighborhood where the bombers came from and were promptly attacked by the Belgium-Muslims who live there. Other reports describe the place as a “no-go” area where even the police are routinely attacked and the local police station is protected by razor wire. Islam is an honor-based culture and the establishment of “no-go” areas in European cities is simply a practice of the Muslim belief that land occupied by Islam a gift from God, permanently belongs to the umma, and therefore must be defended against unbelievers. (This by the way is the same justification for denying the right of Israel to exist.) The first step for European nations is to demonstrate to Muslims that neighborhoods in Europe do not “belong” to Muslims just because they happen to be there. There are specific things that governments can do to accomplish this. This will undoubtedly provoke the Muslim populations who live there but not provoking them, allowing them to claim land for the umma, is a source of the conflict now getting people getting killed by terrorists. Those neighborhoods have to be re-integrated into European society. Send in the military and the cops and get the job done.

      • Therein lay the challenge. In the preservation of a nation, it’s culture and governing…can it be ruthless against a people who declare democracy is an abomination, to preserve itself?

        If yes then we violate our principles if no, it’s a slow burn towards our destruction.

      • The fact of the matter is they are undesirable, regardless of the fact their religion has destroyed every civilization it has infected for the last 1400+ years.

        The overwhelming majority of these “refugees” (economic migrants) are completely to mostly illiterate, have IQs which the West considers retarded, and are barely capable of anything but the most basic manual labor. They will be several generations of a net drain on the society before they pay anything in, let alone pay back what they were given.

  23. My wife is traveling to France and England next week for business. She’s more than a little freaked out. So we’ve been going over scenario after scenario and what her actions need to be if X happens or if Y happens. Things I’ve come up with so far, starting at the airports, stay well inside the secured area until it’s time to exit at which time to go direct to the taxi and get away asap. No public transportation. For outbound travel get in and through security as fast as possible and then get deep into the secured area. All the while remain vigilant, head on a swivel, identify cover and have a plan. There’s more, so much more but would like to hear others chime in.

    • Keep distance from the corner when turning a blind corner.

      Stupid people, place, time, things. If two happens at the same time, exfil.

      Dont be embarrassed to say NO.

      Carry a flashlight without a strike bezel. Lumen 150-600. 1 or 2 cell CR123. Surefire EB1 Backup or EB2 Backup. Elzetta Alpha is very good too, if she is willing to shred up her clothing and purse.

      TIHK handcuff key. Say it’s a money clip.

      Benchmade 5 rescue hook. Say it’s a seatbelt cutter.

      Do not carry a multitool. Not worth the hoplophobic trouble.

      Never shine the light into others’ faces unless identified as a threat. That’s a great way to piss off people.

      Always wear shoes she can run in.

      Check 360 and overhead.

      Teach her where to hit with fists and the flashlight.

      Carry a CAT TQ, CELOX Rapid, and Foxseal. Or any decent products with the same effects. Dont give her a bulky IFAK she wont carry it. And teach her how to improvise without these.

      Carry a secondary cell phone using a different cell company.

      Mindset: run away, or go all in and kill ’em w/o mercy.

  24. Whats the upside?

    1) You shoot him, he is a terrorist, and he dies. This is your best case.

    2) More likely: You shoot him, your right he is a terrorist, Unless you are right in his face, you are unlikely to get a kill shot, he detonates it and you both die.

    3) Even MORE likely: You shoot him, your wrong, he’s not a terrorist, You go to prison.

    • It’s lose lose no matter what. In all likelihood, they were using a dead-mans switch where as soon as they released their grip, BANG. So being shot in the head, for instant incapacitation, would still have no benefit, the bomb would still explode. Ideally you want to prevent a detonation AND have the suspects for interrogation…water-boarding, shooting in the knees etc. It’s highly doubtful any of that could be achieved. Once they armed the triggering device and were inside, the best outcome would have been for everyone to run as if your life depended on it.

      I’ve had to run for it once, and that was enough. Had I not ran right then, I would have died.

      • >It’s lose lose no matter what

        Not indulge in some stupid sheepdog fantasy and walk away. You win.

  25. Seriously? See someone suspicious and shoot? You got the time for that headshot, you run away.

    And then, nothing happens in the building.


  26. I will say this…if you decide to shoot the bomber, you must expect to die. If you are at this point, if you don’t shoot the bomber you are probably going to die anyway. Knowing that death was probably imminent, I would still do all I could do to screw up the ISIS plans. I would hope in a scenario that at leaves far fewer people dead than if the terrorist blew himself up at the location and time of his choosing.

  27. TATP is pretty unstable stuff. I wouldn’t want to be shooting at the guys. Besides that, they probably have a dead-man triggering switch, so no matter what, the stuff is going off….most likely.
    TATP, isn’t as unstable and other high explosives, one which is so unstable it can’t be handled and is of little practical use, like silver fulminate. That stuff blows up just from its own weight.

  28. Cute, next TTAG will excuse cops who murder people because they look suspicious, according to some vague guideline that is just a thinly veiled attempt to disguise their total contempt for civilian lives and their own officer safety fanaticism.

  29. I plan to:

    Stay out of Europe
    Not go into cities
    Not be part of large crowds anywhere
    Continue to prepare to defend myself as much as possible

    We are all in far more danger of death and serious injury from the US government and all of the “protectors” they hire. I’ll do my best to avoid them too.

    • Yeah, I can honestly think of a lot more things that are more likely to kill you than an Islamic Terrorist. An idiot National Guardsman in a Toyota Prius texting for an example. Hint, hint. Thank you for your service.

  30. Ummm…just saw the new Super/Bat movie. THAT was fiction. Lots of cool guns. And fake. Sadly 2 more American/Dutch siblings died in Belgium. Pretty sure carrying a gun in the airport is prohibited too. I ain’t shooting 1200 feet. And my running daze are in the rearview mirror…

  31. Suicide bombers sometimes have a deadman’s switch so its best not to shoot them as they may detonate if they go limp. Distance and cover are always your best bet. Get behind something hard and get low to the ground.

  32. I don’t get how so many people are so fixated on terroism. We spend a ton or our govt budget to stop something that kills less than 20 people a year on average. Its the lead story on the news and one of the core issues of the pres campaign. Your more likely to win the lotto , get struck by lightning, and make out with scarlet Johansen at the same time, as you are to be a victim of terrorism in the western world. Man’s best friend (30) and bathtubs (300) kill way more people each year in the u.s. than terrorism.

  33. “If he is wearing a bomb vest, your bullet will likely detonate the bomb if you hit it.”

    I am a Marine Corps Combat Engineer with one trip to the sandbox, albeit abbreviated by an IED, under my belt. Suffice it to say I have more than a passing knowledge of explosives and how they behave. The above statement is very absolute and not necessarily true. Actually it’s only true under a very specific set of circumstances. Your bullet would have to strike some sort of primary explosive, such as a blasting cap or some vessel filled with TATP. If he is using a single cap to prime in to a larger charge of plastic explosives your odds of hitting it are fairly low. If he’s wearing TATP it’s a miracle he made it from his bomb shop to the target area without exploding.

    If we’re talking about wearable explosives I think it would be fairly difficult to wear much more than a satchel of C4 (16 sticks weighing 20lbs) or equivalent explosive. The safe standoff, not accounting for fragmentation, for 20lbs of C4 is 53.86 feet (about 18 yards). Again, not accounting for fragmentation, this is the distance you can be from the blast and have ZERO injuries, not even a burst ear drum. This is well within the effective range of a practiced handgun shooter.

    If we can positively ID them in the sandbox we shoot them, I see no reason why someone in the civilian world shouldn’t do the same. It’s IDing them that’s the hard part.

  34. Here’s an idea.


    And start incentivizing those already here to GTFO…



  35. put a drop of pigs blood on a swatch and issue every person entering an airport, one that has to be visible at all times, that way radicals can’t get to heaven! any one that doesn’t want that can walk

  36. In airports its illegal to carry a gun anyway. Even if you were carrying a gun in a place where it was legal the terrorists know that most people cannot be vigilant all the time and they are busy buying a ticket or carrying out their usual business procedures etc. Remember this will all happen in a matter of seconds giving you no time to even figure out for sure whether the fellow in question is a terrorists or just some run of the mill person that looks a little odd if he even looks odd and even if you even notice him or her. Remember too a good looking woman can distract a man or men long enough to get close to the target area and set off a bomb before anyone even has any suspicions that she is a terrorist.

    Lets face facts the terrorists are getting smarter and smarter and airports are not fortresses and they cannot be and still handle the large amount of people that use airports everyday. To make airports terrorist proof would require that the average person would spend at least one day just being processed before you even got on a plane, maybe two days during holiday travel. The terrorists know this and we can expect more attacks like this as well as attacks at every large public gathering, sports events, parades, races and amusement parks unless each and every individual is checked for weapons and bombs and even then the terrorist can set off a vest bomb and kill everyone standing in line to see the event.

    Many years ago psychologists predicated that as a population increases the amount of insane people actually increases at a higher percentage rate than the population does. I remember reading a story almost 48 years ago about a study where they deliberately placed an abandoned car in 3 places. In the country, in the suburbs and in a large city. In the country people called the police to report an abandoned car. In the suburbs people stole things off of the car. In the big city the people actually attacked the car and destroyed it showing how many more mentally ill people their were as the population density increased.

    If you have noticed many of the suicide bombers lived in over populated cities with high unemployment. None were actually very religious rather they were looking for an excuse to commit suicide. And that is the hardest type of a person to stop from doing what they want to do.

  37. Its in my nature to learn from others. I apply a similar learning approach for blogging as well. A few week ago I started a blogging series by writing things that I have learned, Put to action and seen results.
    Thanks for sharing another sooper post.

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