On the opening day of school in 2004, Chechen Muslim terrorists launched an attack on a school in Beslan, Russia that resulted in the slaughter of 338 people, 172 were children.
Largely ignored by the Western media, the Russians haven’t forgotten the savagery the terrorists propagated against a civilized people during the Beslan Massacre. Of the few outlets that gave extensive coverage to Beslan, Front Page Magazine reported: “Meanwhile, Indira Dzetskelova, the mother of one of the child hostages in Beslan, Russia, reports that ‘several 15-year-old girls were raped by terrorists.’ Her daughter ‘heard their terrible cries and screams when those monsters took them away.'”
London’s The Sunday Mirror also published: “While despairing soldiers and rescue workers moved among the growing pile of body bags, it was revealed that an 18-month-old baby had been repeatedly stabbed by a black-clad terrorist who had run out of ammunition.
Other survivors told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by their Chechen captors who chillingly made a video film of their appalling exploits.”
In a 2006 3-day conference sponsored by the International Assn. of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, presenters Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (US Army, Retired), and Todd Rassa (SigArms Academy) highlighted some of the more significant aspects of the siege – If a similar assault were launched against a school in your jurisdiction, how would you and your agency respond?
Consider this modest sampling of challenges that were deliberately planned or arose from the ensuing chaos at Beslan, as outlined by Rassa:
- “The school was chosen because it was one of the taller buildings in the area and had a very complicated floor plan, making a rapid and effective counter-assault by responders extremely difficult. Offender weaponry included AK-47s, sniper rifles, RPGs and explosives, with everything the terrorists needed carried in on their backs. RPGs were fired at a responding military helicopter and at troops.
- More than 1,000 men, women and children, including babies, were penned in an unventilated gym and a cafeteria. As the days passed without food or water and inside temperatures rose to 115 degrees, survivors were eating flowers they’d brought for teachers and fighting for urine to drink out of their shoes in desperation. Women and some children were repeatedly and continuously raped.
* Adult males and larger male students were used as ‘forced labor’ to help fortify the building, then shot to death. Bodies were thrown out of an upper-story window, down onto a courtyard. Attempts at negotiation by responders were used by the terrorists strictly as an opportunity to buy time to solidify their fortifications.
- Surviving hostages were surrounded by armed guards standing on deadman switches, wired to explosives. All entrances to the building as well as stairwells and some interior doorways were booby-trapped. Youngsters were forced to sit on window sills to serve as shields for snipers. ‘Black widows’ (potential suicide bombers) were rigged so their bomb belts could be detonated by remote control when leaders considered the timing was right. The terrorists stayed cranked up on some type of amphetamine to keep awake.
- Armed, outraged parents and other civilians, some of them drunk, showed up and started “rolling gunfights” outside in a futile effort to defeat the takeover. The crowd identified one embedded terrorist and ‘literally ripped him apart.’ The media was everywhere, unrestrained. So many people were milling around that responders often could not establish a clear field of fire.
- When troops finally stormed the school in a counter-assault on the third day, ‘pure pandemonium’ reigned. Soldiers and the kids they were trying to rescue were gunned down mercilessly. Explosions touched off inside started multiple fires.
- Responders who made it inside had to jump over trip wires as they ‘ran’ up stairs under fire from above. By then terrorists were holding hostages in virtually every room. Rescue teams were subjected to continual ambushes. Gunfights occurred predominately within a 6-ft. range, with some responders having to fight for their lives in places so cramped they couldn’t get off their hands and knees.
- Some children successfully rescued from the building were so crazed by thirst that they ran to an outdoor spigot and were killed by a grenade as they filled their hands with water.
- Terrorists who escaped during the melee ran to homes of embedded sympathizers who hid them successfully and were not immediately suspected because they were considered ‘non-strangers’ in the community. Some townspeople who volunteered to help as stretcher bearers for the injured were, in fact, embedded terrorists.
- During the siege ‘at least four people or agencies claimed to be in charge. Actually, no one was in charge and no one wanted to be.'”
- A “dress rehearsal for what terrorists plan to do to us” has already taken place, Rassa and Grossman agreed. Rassa claimed that floor plans for half a dozen schools in Virginia, Texas and New Jersey have been recovered from terrorist hands in Iraq.
In a presentation used by law enforcement agencies such as the Los Angeles Police Department, the Illinois State Police Academy and the North Carolina Dept. of Justice, Active Shooter and 4th/5th Generation Warfare states on slides 48-66:
Mass Slaughter in Our Schools
The Terrorists’ Chilling Plan
By Chuck Remsberg
Terrorist Attack Plan
– Preparation for attacks on American Schools are well underway in Islamic terrorist camps
– The terrorists have warned us that they will attack our schools
– They have already begun testing school-related targets in the U.S.
– For terrorists, “a successful attack is one we are not ready for.” Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
– The most sacred thing to us are our children
– Killing hundreds of children will boost the terrorist’s morale and lower ours, leaving us stunned
Our Lack of Preparation
– Police deal with crime, but school attacks are war
– Police are the first line of defense. Are we ready?
– If a large scale school attack occurs, parents will stay home. The economy will be devastated.
How Do We Know They Are Coming?
– Al-Qaeda has said that they have the right to kill two million American Children
– Al-Qaeda terrorists have been video-taped practicing school takeovers and issuing commands in English
– Islamic religious literature condones killing children if it is done for the “general good”
-Target scouting and infiltration efforts have already occurred
The Terrorists’ Tactical Model
– A dress rehearsal has already taken place in 2004 in Beslan, Russia. 172 children were killed.
– Large buildings with complicated floor plans are preferred. They are harder to assault.
– Terrorists’ weapons included AK-47s, sniper rifles, rocket propelled grenades and explosives.
– In Beslan, 1,000 people were held hostage by 100 terrorists for three days without food or water.
– Women and older children were repeatedly raped.
– Adult males and large boys were made to help fortify the school, then they were shot.
– Attempts at negotiation by responders were used by the terrorists to buy time to fortify the school.
– All entrances and many stairwells were booby trapped with explosives.
– Children were used as shields by snipers.
– The terrorists used amphetamines to stay awake.
– When troops stormed the building, troops and children were gunned down mercilessly
– Explosions started many fires.
– Trip wires connected to explosives slowed down the assault.
– Escaping terrorists tried to blend in with the locals.
What’s Likely Here?
– Terrorist cells of four operatives each will strike simultaneously at four different schools.
– Middle schools without police presence are preferred. The girls are big enough to rape and the students are not big enough to fight back.
– Preferred targets will be states that do not allow concealed carry of firearms, have no hunting culture, and where the police do not carry rifles.
– Rural areas are favored because of the delayed response time for police to arrive in force.
What’s Likely Here?
– As they seize the school, the attackers will initially kill every teacher and student they see.
– They will rape, murder and toss the bodies outside like was done in Russia.
– They will plant bombs throughout the school.
– Emergency responders and fleeing children will be blown up by car bombs in the parking lot.
– 100 to 300 children will be killed in the first strike.
– The terrorists are likely already here, many having crossed over the border with Mexico.