By Caleb Stephen
Most of you have seen or heard the news of an explosive device going off in Manhattan Saturday and another one in Seaside Park, New Jersey, earlier in the day. The perpetrator, Ahmad Rahami, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent was arrested after an intense shootout with law enforcement officers. Thankfully, no one has died in either attacks or as a result of their injuries at this point in time.
According to CNN, Rahami declared that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets” and praised “Brother Osama bin Laden” in a journal found on him when he was arrested.
To think that someone would have the idea to perpetrate such a horrible act upon innocent Americans is beyond comprehension. We’re talking about pressure cookers or capped metal pipes filled with nails and twisted bits of metal set to detonate via a mobile phone and designed to claim the lives of innocent men, women and children or at the very least severely maim them. But when you think about it, it’s really no surprise. Islam’s main goal is causing the “infidels” to submit, and they accomplish this through violence, death and destruction (which you’ll find spread throughout the Quran). This is what they do in obedience to Allah, and they will carry it out to the best of their ability in the hope of claiming a spot in paradise and 72 virgins.
Just because law enforcement agencies captured Rahami and others like him doesn’t mean America is safe, nor is the rest of the Western world. Only a couple of weeks before, a failed car bomb attempt in Paris made the headlines.
Of course, authorities state these latest acts of terror are “lone wolf” attacks. In other words they’re basically downplaying them by saying that these bombers run around doing their dirty deeds because they’re mentally ill but have no real connection to Islam or an Islamic terror cell. The fact is that Islam is all about “lone wolf attacks”; that’s part of their strategy. These jihadists are trained in groups, organized into cells and sent out as single-man assault teams. This is the way they operate, and the sooner we understand that the better.
Every time a bomb goes off, gunshots are fired and blood is shed in the name of Allah, it’s a chilling reminder of the very real threat Islam is to our freedom and our way of life. We cannot forget, nor can we be complacent. This is not about paranoia; it’s about our safety, those of our loved ones and our communities. We have to take this threat seriously. Our governments might not, but that doesn’t mean we have to fall into the trap called apathy.
Just because you may think you’re safe right now doesn’t mean it’ll always be that way. On Sept. 6, here in Australia a leading news website, news.com.au, reported that a new Islamic State magazine encourages lone wolves to kill Australians and target some of our major sporting arenas and public buildings and spaces.
So what am I suggesting? Here are six critical tips:
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Acts of terror usually occur in public places where people are gather en masse. If you must go to a place such as a shopping mall, do it in “off-peak” times such as late in the afternoon. There’s less chance of a terror attack occurring when there are fewer people present. Make a mental note of emergency escape exits, evacuation plans and places where you can seek cover.
2. Keep calm and level-headed. Armed with knowledge and the ability to think quickly on your feet, you can be in control of the situation, helping others out to safety in a calm and moderated fashion. Doing so, may save the lives of fellow human beings.
3. When you hear the sounds of shooting, get down immediately. Get under a table, chair or behind some other solid item such as a desk, wall or other piece of furniture. Help others around you do the same. Immediately call your country’s emergency number. Give the exact location, the situation, the number of shooters, what sort of weapons they have, whether explosive devices are involved, a description of what they look like, what they’re wearing and the number of people dead or wounded.
If trapped in a room, immediately lock and barricade the door, turn the lights off, turn your phone or other mobile devices OFF, get down low behind a solid object such as furniture, and stay still and quiet.
If trapped out in the open, if possible, make a run for it, but do so with your head down low and run in a diagonal zig-zag pattern. Running in an angle away from the shooter will make it hard for him to shoot you as moving targets are always harder to hit. Doing so may increase your chances of survival, but don’t count on it as the shooter could be highly trained and may be able to take down moving targets easily – you just don’t know.
4. If someone decides to do the heroic deed and take the gunman down, assist him/her with getting the job done as quickly as possible. Get others to help and work as a team. You can get creative with taking the gunman down as the element of surprise may be on your side. Weapon malfunctions are the perfect opportunity to strike back. Items such as fire extinguishers, chairs, brooms and other objects may be used to knock out, trip, injure or severely incapacitate the gunman, or else you may create a diversion allowing other people to ambush the attacker and take him down.
5. If bombs are involved, take cover under a desk or chair or some other solid object to shield you from flying debris and shrapnel. Stay away from anything that may fall or implode on you (e.g. windows, items stored on top of furniture etc). Keep in mind that terrorists often finish off victims by raking the area with automatic gunfire, so stay down. There may also be further bombs in the immediate vicinity, so stay where you are and wait for the “all clear” from law enforcement officers.
6. Carry a “go bag” and pocket everyday carry kit (EDC) with you at all times. This should include basic survival equipment such as a mini survival kit, first aid kit, lighter, torch, folding knife, tactical pen, multitool, maps, emergency food and water and a PPE kit (N95 mask, tight fitting glasses or goggles, leather gloves and earplugs).
This information is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you some basic lifesaving tips to survive an act of terror.
I sincerely hope you never ever hear the blood-curdling cry of “Allahu Akbar” accompanied by an explosion, gunshots or the sickening sounds of stabbing.
Thankfully, no lives were lost as a result of these recent New York and New Jersey terror attacks. Next time we might not be as fortunate.
Caleb Stephen is an Australian Christian conservative commentator and founder of Pursuit of God Daily. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Ultimate Survival Gear, Australia’s No. 1 emergency preparedness and education website.