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The headline above comes to us from While I hardly expect the terrorist group known as ISIS to hijack airliners and fly them into buildings, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something to kill a large number of Americans in America. I’m convinced that their horrific videos of brutality against their enemies are in small part responsible for their ability to achieve such enormous territorial gains in Iraq so quickly. What better way to enhance their fearsome rep than an attack on U.S. soil? Anyway, if not them, someone. And I reckon that the most likely “style” of attack is . . .

A Mumbai-like massacre by a coordinated team of armed assailants in an American mall. The International Council of Shopping Centers ( reckons America is home to some 109,500 malls.

I’m sure the heavy hitters (e.g. the Mall of America) have re-examined their active shooter plans. But I see no evidence that smaller centers have taken the threat seriously. They really should . . .

Malls are fiendishly difficult to protect. They have dozens of entrances and exits, hundreds of hiding places (including hidden corridors), a small, lightly armed and poorly-trained police force and thousands of unarmed civilians. The Mumbai attack not only proved a mall attack can be done but that it can be done successfully. As far as the terrorists are concerned.

Two questions: are you ready and what happens after that?

In terms of readiness, the most effective strategy is to avoid malls. You may consider that “surrendering” to the terrorists. You may feel you have little choice when your kids NEED that new outfit. But there it is. How about going off-peak? Where’s the fun in that, Dad.

After that, situational awareness is key. Are you looking for trouble and do you have an escape route planned? It’s also not a bad idea to have a firearm on your person (and an escape route sussed) both in general and for this potential series of unfortunate

Not that you have a realistic chance of ending a terrorist attack with your gun.

A firearm may provide extra options for egress (i.e. shooting bad guys determined to block your passage) or a last ditch defense against a lethal threat or threats. But you are not a one-man army and you’re facing a squad of trained, determined killers. Even so, better to have one than not.

Oh wait. Most malls are gun-free zones. Whether or not you can carry in a mall depends on your state’s laws and the mall. On the positive side, even those malls with posted legally-binding “No Guns” signs aren’t likely to prosecute a legal concealed carry weapon owner – unless the guy or gal packing heat commits a crime other than simple trespassing. And, as they say, concealed means concealed.

One thing to keep in mind: a terrorist attack is NOT the same as your garden variety active shooter nutcase incident. It will be coordinated. Once the attack begins, the terrorists – plural – will have a plan to prevent people from escaping. They may block the exits, shoot people as they head to exits or blow up people as they attempt to exit. So consider your exit strategy very carefully.

Don’t just rush headlong for egress. Take some time to decide the safest course of action. Also, keep your gun concealed as long as possible. When the cops come in hot they will shoot anyone holding a gun. Period.

I hope the day never comes when terrorists attack America. Again. Realistically, I hope in vain. As I asked above, I wonder about the post-attack response. Will it be legislation to make it easier indeed possible for more citizens to carry concealed or more government-empowering gun control laws? I suspect the answer is yes.

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  1. You’re absolutely right. Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training has been pointing this out for quite a while now in regards to a Mumbai or Kenyan mall style attack.

    • If there is an attack, you can bet the White House will somehow already know about it in advance and do absolutely nothing to stop it.

      • What fantasyland do you live in? Here in the real world, the White House simply do not know anything, about anything. Ever. And whatever they do “know”, are at best completely uncorrelated to observable reality.

  2. ISIS has their hands full with Iraq and Syria. They’ve even halted their push towards Baghdad as they’re going to face their first Iraqi contact of a rival religious faction there. They may be a popular force within their own religious/ethnic tribe/faction’s historical homeland, but they seem to be limiting their actions to areas they feel are historically theirs.

    • This rings true to me. They’re watching the effects of the Bush/Obama tag team on America, and going by the philosophy, “Never interrupt your enemy while he is committing suicide.”

    • Another consideration is that as long as we have troops in the Middle East, those will be the primary focus. It is what happened to the Soviets with Afghanastan in the 1980’s. Jihadi attacks in Russia did not begin in earnest until the Soviets had left the holy land. Expect a similar approach here.

      • and Diplomats, families, Tourists etc, be a while before they get to you in McDonalds in smalltown USA

      • Jihadi attacks in Russia were not connected to Afghanistan in any meaningful way. The Saudi preachers who taught Afghani mujis (on US dime) to blow things up also taught Chechens to blow things up, sure. And in some cases it was even the same people teaching. But Chechens couldn’t care less about Afghanistan when they started to blow things up (heck, the Chechen separatist president, Dudaev, was a bomber pilot and saw action in Afghanistan against mujis – and was good enough at it to earn medals).

    • I agree. ISIS is much more interested in securing the area they have seized as the foundation for a new Caliphate, and in exterminating or excluding all non-Sunnis than they are in spreading international terrorism. Al Queda, however, is threatened with marginalization, and would be a more likely attacker.

    • That doesn’t mean that they won’t put any of their attention to other countries. But I would name Iran as the first target, not US. Iran is the one actually fighting them now, while US is at best not doing anything, and at worst still covertly supplying weapons to the same guys in Syria. Not that they need many of that, now that they took over Iraqi army arsenals – in case you haven’t seen the photos, they now have Abrams tanks, and some mujis actually spot M4 carbines.

    • I agree. It won’t be ISIS, at least not for a while. Their goals are confined to the mid-east, ensuring their brand of Islam is dominant there.

      But there will be an attack at some point, it will probably be done with a combination of folks who snuck into our country either over the border or overstaying a Visa. The group will be mostly converted and radicalized Americans, and they won’t claim affiliation with any established overseas terrorist organization.

    • “…but they seem to be limiting their actions to areas they feel are historically theirs….”

      Read the koran again, and also look up the words and phrases “caliphate”, “dar al islam” and “dar al hab”.

      ISIS is just one of many islamic groups going back FOURTEEN HUNDRED YEARS who feel the ENTIRE WORLD is theirs to be conquered.

      Islam REQUIRES all muslims perform jihad to convert, enslave or rule and tax, or kill all non-muslims.

      Any muslim who says he doesn’t believe that is lying or “sinning” against islam.

  3. Americas current leadership doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to any foreign country or political group. (Russia, Mexico, rebels that are responsible for Benghazi, etc.) So if the ISIS want to bomb America, I don’t see what would stop them.

    • By that token, the previous administration was spineless as well, seeing as we got attacked and all…
      The forest, folks. Look for it.

      • That “previous” administration was handcuffed BY THEIR predecessors, who blocked sharing of intel between the FBI and CIA.

        And while I for one would have preferred at least a symbolic bombing of Mecca and Medina as well as ignoring the antiwar leftist scum and media who backstabbed our troops and intimated and handcuffed the Bush WH and the military, at least W had the BALLS and SANITY not to TELL OUR ENEMIES WHEN WE WERE PULLING OUT, unlike that scumbag BHO that clearly more than a few morons here either voted for or feel the need to excuse by ripping W.

  4. If they do, I’m sure that Common-sense gun control could prevent them from doing as much damage.


  5. My guess is the terrorists will chose a mall in an anti gun state like NY or CA vs one in MS or OK.

    • lol what was it that somebody here said recently, “think of gun free zones as like a human shield for the rest of us.”

      • You are indeed correct. I am glad that I don’t live in Kalifornia or the Boston – Washington D.C. megalopolis.

        • Three of the top 20 malls are located in California in relatively close proximity so I can sadly see this happening here.

          Hit a hospital Oklahoma style for a diversion, LA traffic, LE response times, attack malls simultaneously… I don’t like thinking about what if situations.

  6. I sometimes can identify with the Brits who, in 1938 and 1939, watched the fumbling attempts of their Prime Minister attempting to rein in Adolf Hitler and his demands. Neville Chamberlain earned the scorn of his people and the damnation of what history recorded as World War.

    When you watch all that is going wrong in this Administration, and Iraq is only the latest, then you have to wonder if say five years from now, we will be all staring at the carnage and debris of what is left of our nation after the disaster that has been Barack Obama and wonder, was Barack our Neville?

    • It is much worse than that. I am way past viewing Obummer’s actions as simple incompetence. At this point it looks like Obummer is outright trying to destroy the country — whether it is because he is in some foreign state’s pocket or simply because he hates the U.S. of A. doesn’t really matter.

      • No, he doesn’t hate America and isn’t trying to destroy her – he really, truly believes that his socialistic imperium is really the best thing for America, if only everybody would cooperate.

      • He’s a freakin’ communist. He was raised around communists. He befriended communists. If given free reign tomorrow, Comrade Barry would implement the communist changeover without so much as a flinch.

        • He and Comrade Putin (who is most definitely an old style Russian Communist Dictator) do not seem to be very chummy–in fact, one could say that their relations are frigid. Talk about body language! I have rarely seen such displays of utter hatred as I have seen between these two guys.

        • How he appears to get along with Putin in the media is not really an indicator when you consider people in his life and from his past. Here’s a list, including Frank Marshal Davis; Davis was a CPUSA member, writer, and like another father to Barry when he was growing up. There were many more socialists and communists involved with Obama throughout his life.

          The short, one page summary with click links to all of the names is here; It would be difficult to believe that Barry wasn’t a Marxist given his past and his administration as President.

          One could believe body language and media portrayal which may or may not reveal his politics or one could believe documented biographical information and consistent actions while in office. For my money, the guy is a communist.

    • is Obummer your Neville Chamberlain? maybe, he is certainly intent on walking away from Pax Americana

  7. Regardless of posting, I carry in malls. At the local one its posted at the main entrance, but not at all the entrances… I carry either a small pocket 9mm during warm weather, as now, or a larger, full-size with a 30+ rd reload when clothing permits. No I don’t plan on fighting off a platoon of Haji, but I do plan on getting my family and anyone else to safely, even if I have to shoot my way out.

  8. I suspect that the backlash against all things muslim would trigger all hell here. Martial law would follow. Then another civil war. Hope not.

  9. You know, it just occurred to me that it might be a better strategy to find a great place where you can hide inside the mall for hours and wait until friendlies on the outside secure the outside and clear the exits of explosives … and then wait for them to clear the inside.

    Personally, I think the safest exit would be the loading door in the back of a store that leads outside. First of all, I cannot picture terrorists booby trapping some random back door or stationing themselves outside to shoot people fleeing through such doors. (The terrorists would most likely commit those tactics to the main exits where the largest number of people are likely to flood out.) Second, because almost no one would be exiting out of the back doors, it would be much more quiet and easy to identify any threats waiting outside — not to mention the fact it would be much easier to get back into the building if terrorists did happen to be waiting out back.

  10. I can think of much more effective and simple ways to spread panic.

    Load up a U-Haul truck with as many gas cans as will fit, drive across a bridge during commute hour, and leak them out on your way across, in a span of just a couple hundred feet, then light them off. You will probably start secondary fires in other cars, and may do such major damage that the bridge is shut down for months, with some probability of getting lucky enough to drop a span.

    Might only kill a few dozen people, but the panic would be tremendous, much more so than 9-11, with the simplicity and number of targets available.

    • Similar idea: use a water tanker truck on a major highway in the middle of Winter. Just open the spigot and drive during rush hour on an extreme cold morning (say temperature -5 degrees F.) and watch the 4,000 car pile-up.

      I am sure someone could be almost as effective with a pick-up truck and a large water tank in the bed.

      • If you want to cause the maximum disruption of the maximum number of people, just dynamite a few key power substations and take down a few cross-country megavolt hi-lines.

    • Yeah. I think this thread will be a veritable gold mine of selectively chosen text for the Shannon Watts groupies.

  11. They now have in excess of $450 million dollars in gold and dollars from banks they captured in Iraq. They have Blackhawks, M1A1 and T72 tanks, and Stinger and Hellfire missiles. It’s not if. It’s when and how they’re going to attack the US.

    • They do not have blackhawks or tanks. We did not leave any. If they have either, so what? These are great implements of war but without a support infrastructure, they have absolutely nothing. Also, having and knowing what to do with them is two different things. what they have is a lot of MRAPs and Humvees

      • C’mon, there has to be a youtube video out there on how to use an M1 tank or a T72. I’m sure these folks know how to google stuff.

      • We sold the Iraqis Blackhawks and Tanks. I know this because I spent a year of my life at the Baji tank school teaching them how to use them.

    • They still need a C17 to fly that stuff to whatever airport they take over, or they’ll need a ship with roll on/roll off capabilities to transport all those things to whatever major sea port they acquire. Then, they’ll be looking for a rail head to comandeer in order to move all the pieces to whatever city they try to attack.

      • It doesn’t cost $450 million for a trans-oceanic ship capable of transporting such “cargo” across the ocean. They can simply buy one … or pay to ship them to the U.S.

        • You do understand that we don’t just allow ships to just sail right up and go about their merry business, right?

      • they aren’t going to attack the US with tanks, in the US! that would be a very short lived endeavor, and is logistically implausible anyway.

        if they can keep them running, they will use them over there.

    • Tanks and Helicopters require a large amount of service before and after missions. I doubt they have the support team. Single man weapons like RPGs and Stingers are another matter, and far more useful to them.

      • If the United States government just spent a whole lot of money and time training indigenous people to do all of that, it will only be a matter of time before ISIS rounds some of them up and puts them to work.

      • We’ll be seeing assaults by the alphabet soup Federal agencies before we’ll ever see any kind of invasion from any other country.

        For example, the Bundy ranch, and SWAT no-knock raids – folks, the Federal Government is ALREADY making war on us!

        • If you and I are both willing to testify to that in court, I believe that means we would have a case to try them for treason. Under the RICO act, we can try whole swaths of them for conspiracy treason. Even if we can’t get a guilty verdict, the sheer shock value of actually trying the US government for treason ought to turn a few heads.

        • @Nick D: “If you and I are both willing to testify to that in court,”

          I’m more than willing to testify, but other than that I have no idea how to pursue such a thing. It sounds like something viable, if you’ve got a billion dollars for lawyers!

        • I’m not sure how we could prove standing without clear evidence of harm or loss. IIRC, weren’t the courts refusing voter claims against Obama on the grounds that they didn’t clearly have standing? Anyway, if someone figures out how to do it and pay for it, they can add me to the list of those willing.

  12. Who gives a crap? Maybe we should spend another couple trillion dollars and give it to the “defense” contractors and the feds can tell us how much freer and safer we are.

    Wasn’t ISIS the name of one of the villainous groups in a James Bond movie? Is there anything Amerikans won’t swallow?

  13. This post makes for great “what if” discussions, but ISIS is going to do absolutely nothing on American soil. Perhaps bomb a foreign embassy, but not here.

    This fear is what gave us the patriot act, more unreasonable fear will get us something worse. Remember there are people who will not let a good crises go to waste to take away more of our liberty.

    Guess what, if it happens, nobody would have been able to stop it anyway. When we stop living our lives, they win. If they come at us with suicide bombers, a CHL owner will not be able to stop them.

    Vigilance is important as always, but more than that, nothing.

    • + 1,000,000

      This is just mental masturbation, and these ISIS jackwagons are just the latest in a long line of bogeymen that the government and media will flog to keep everybody scared. I’ve got about ten million other things on my to-do list before I get to “Worry about ISIS”.

  14. When the cops come in hot they will shoot anyone holding a gun.—except I’m betting the cops aren’t coming. My guess is the Islamists won’t try to hit a red state. But if I were living in, say Chicago, or Trenton, or Baltimore, I should think the chances of such a scenario playing out are that much greater. Perhaps the only target softer than a jet airliner would be a US shopping mall. This ISIS group is evil. How many are pouring across our southern border this very day, as the current policy seems to be, “come on in, you want some free healthcare?” POTG should be aware of what’s going on around them.

    • As another person commented above, those terrorists have a $450 million war chest. That kind of cash means they can easily smuggle their “operatives” over here, whether it is across our southern border, northern border, or on our umpteen thousands of miles of beach.

  15. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…

    Thank goodness the American people are able to maintain their well regulated militia, uninfringed by government…. oh wait. 🙁

  16. I feel bad for those Marines and others in the Embassy. As if they are attacked they will all be killed. Because we all know this current government will do nothing to help them. I am actually surprised that Marines we event sent.

  17. There are four under-the-rivers vehicle tunnels in NYC (Holland, Lincoln, Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown). (Not to mention dozens of subway and commuter rail tunnels.)

    Truck bombs in all 4 of them at once. It will paralyze the City for years. The plot was originally discovered around the time of the first WTC bombing in 1993. Unfinished business. Sooner or later they come back to the oldies but goodies.

    • Is an improvised truck bomb capable of structurally compromising those tunnels? My hunch is that an improvised truck bomb would basically just interfere with traffic for a few days. I guess it depends on whether or not we believe that a truck bomb with ANFO (ammonium nitrate / fuel-oil) really destroyed the Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Many claim that such a truck bomb was not capable of causing that damage to that building.

  18. As a MN local, mall of America’s plan is still horribly flawed. Their “security” are unarmed, and the local police station could easily turn into a target by a few jihadis while the rest go Mumbai on the mall. On top of it, they request permit holders leave their guns outside.

    Until they put guns into trained hands, they’re not really prepared for an active shooter.

  19. It’s not an if they’ll attack but a when and where. An attack in the CONUS would be a propaganda victory but there are plenty of other places around the world.

    And the anti-gun groups will spin the event to their advantage, or at least try to.

  20. I HATE going to any of the local malls(south of Chicago). They are dangerous places frequented by gangbangers and lowlifes. But I agree with hitting an anti gun place in Chicago. Especially with SUICIDAL terrorists. Watch out POTG.

  21. Do you know why we hear about ISIS in the news? The sad truth of why these jerks are in the headlines?

    It’s because war is a racket. Boeing and Lockheed and Raytheon and General Dynamics and countless other military contractors make giant piles of money off the US “defense” budget, and unless the voters are terrified of something, then it’s difficult to justify spending all that money when the deficit is nearly a trillion and the outstanding federal debt is over seventeen trillion dollars. So the politicians lean on their media contacts, and the headlines say “LOOK! TERRORISTS! BE TERRIFIED!” Nevermind that the number of Americans killed by terrorists on American soil averages out to about 3 annually, which is a fraction of the number killed by lightning strikes. There’s money to be made, so drum up any unrealistic threat you can, so long as we can say that we’re fighting it with shiny new drones and tanks and cruise missiles, courtesy of the taxpayers. Military contractors then make gobs of money, politicians get “campaign contributions” that are bribes in anything but name, and the whole lot of them get to sit around drinking old scotch, snorting the finest cocaine, and enjoying the company of the prettiest escorts that money can rent.

    ISIS is irrelevant, as is most of what the media crows about. They’re just a propaganda arm of the political class.

    • Yeah, only three people annually. Except when these 8 guys flew two jetliners into WTC 1&2. I guess you’re for trotting out His Royal Highness to make another speech telling everyone how sorry we are. Go back and stick your head in the sand.

  22. ISIS won’t do anything against the U.S. homeland any time soon. Their ranks are filled with fanatics, but their leaders are just typical fascists with an Islamist flavor. They’re content for the time being to exploit America’s war weariness and piece together their own little Empire of Terror virtually uncontested. No need to go poking at the sleeping giant. Later on, once they’ve constructed their caliphate, then they can flex their muscles and threaten Israel and the Arabian peninsula along with their partner-in-crimes-against-humanity Iran.

  23. They’re probably already planning an attack on US soil. In fact they’ve probably got a few plans. We are on their hit list. It’s not if, it’s when and how severe. Shopping mall attack? Maybe. Dirty bomb? Maybe. EMP? If they can get the resources (like, say, a SCUD with a small tac nuke on a ship just off the coast, detonated 20 or so miles up over NYC) maybe. Cyberterror? Maybe.

    They WILL strike.

  24. Personally, I think it’s a more a matter of when rather than if we are hit with a terrorist attack. We should give consideration to just how open our are, how open they’ve been for the past decades in fact. You can move a lot of people and stuff in the US relatively easily because the coyotes handling the crossings don’t much care who or what it is they’re bringing in. And not only that, they’re also very good at their job. I don’t think it’s paranoid to think that well equipped sleeper cells are already in place, although just who they work for is an interesting question. But then, with all the different terrorist groups looking to do us harm perhaps that doesn’t really matter.

    Most terrorist attack scenarios usually focus on a successful assault on innocent unarmed citizens which is then followed by an organized police response of some sort. I wonder, however, what would happen if there was a terrorist attack on a locale where armed citizens are present? It’s not outside the real of possibility that there would be People Of The Gun present when something like that happens. Similarly, I also wonder what would happen if such an attack took place in a locale that had a strong militia presence? It’s the stuff of fiction, of course, but I’ve always felt that the smaller towns near the Mexican border make good targets for terrorists. Many of them are pretty isolated, meaning that help might be a long time coming. This is something that would be of interest to terrorists planning to do us harm. But what they probably won’t think about is the fact that a high percentage of people in small-town America own guns, know how to shoot, and would undoubtedly defend themselves. Think about it. If terrorists attacked, People Of The Gun would fight to defend themselves. We may be the only people left in the world who would do this but I think it would happen.

    • At that point, I would hope that some POTG would stop bitching about everyday rifle carry. No matter how battle hardened these terrorist might or might not be, people regularly carrying their rifles in public would place a significant obstacle in their way; especially those that happened to be carrying low ready or even a modified low ready at that moment.

  25. I live near Nashville TN and ever spring when prom season starts and a few hundred teens gather at the Opryland Hotel on a Friday or Saturday night for prom I cannot help but thinking what an easy target that location would be for an attack. Even just a few well armed Jihadists could murder a hundred plus teens. I do not worry about them attacking malls or blowing up bridges to create economic havoc. I worry more about the suicide mission of 20 well armed guys attacking a target rich environment.

    • And while you war fetishists are building bridges to your castles in the sky, the US Government is violating the rights of your neighbors and you right under your nose, here, today, and when they’re done, the ISIS or whatever will be moot..

      • Not even under our noses. Right in front of our eyes, as plain as day, and hardly anybody cares. It’s depressing.

  26. Ha! I don’t need the threat of terrorism to avoid malls! But I guess now I have another excuse!

  27. If you are afraid, why not carry something better than a pistol in a backpack? I was thinking something like an AR/AK pistol with a arm brace. Also some medical equipment wouldn’t be bad (+ mags).

    Have that backpack on you when you are in malls or other “high-risk” areas and you should (in theory) increase your chances of survival.

    Personally I am not against or for malls, I use them for the intended purpose. That is buying things and hiding in a crowd when needed.

  28. Perhaps if America stopped getting involved in other parts of the world they wouldn’t get targeted. I’m pretty sure Osama outright said that the attacks were done because of foreign interference in the middle east.

  29. I agree in so much that the attack will occur in a mall or malls. But it’s much more likely to be home-grown terrorists than foreign ones. Possibly Americanized “citizens”, recruited by foreign powers as we saw with the Boston Marathon attacks.

    But I say that large corporate businesses are just as easy a target as malls. Even less security in a business park, and business parks tend to be off the beaten path from direct first responders, so more time to do more damage – with arguably more of a financial impact to the American economy than a mall.

    What’s worse, people afraid of the mall, or people afraid to go to work?

  30. Pray that, as improbable as that is on its face, it never happens here. Because if it ever does, the antis will have a HUGE bloody shirt to wave, and they will have success waving it.

    But for right now, that FUD goes into the drawer with the rest of the “movie plot threats.”

  31. If they have any sense, they won’t even consider it.

    As it stands now, ISIS is free to rape, pillage and generally rampage as much as it likes… It’s happening “over there”, and the US can’t really be bothered to clean up the mess they left. Nothing meaningful will be done so long as Western and Israeli interests aren’t hit.

    Hit the US at home, though? Al Qaeda has demonstrated that there’s no amount of bloodshed and destruction the US won’t unleash to get revenge (and advance various agendas further). And they’d do it again if ISIS hit them.

    ISIS only attacks the US if they’re actively trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and they really don’t appear to be anywhere near that stupid.

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