Friday, September 14, 2007

"Perfect Day" Part 2

From the show:

From the email:
A Note from Glenn:

It's the day that Americans are killed on an unprecedented scale. It's the day that no one, not even our children sitting in their classrooms at school, are safe. It's the day that seemingly isolated incidents all converge into the greatest threat this country has ever experienced or imagined. It's the day that the Islamist jihad against the West begins in earnest. It's "The Perfect Day" - and it's only perfect if you're a terrorist.

All this week on Headline News we are focusing on one part of The Perfect Day theory: the threat of massive, coordinated attacks against our schools and school buses. On last night's show, John Giduck, author of Terror at Beslan told us the real story about what actually happened in that middle school over a three day period in 2004. It was a horrible, gruesome, unimaginable account of human depravity - but it was also exactly what some experts believe could happen here. Brad Thor, author of The First Commandment and a former war-gamer for the Dept. of Homeland Security was also on hand to talk about how terrorists might use the lessons they learned at Beslan to pull off an attack here.

I asked John Giduck to write an article summarizing his thoughts and including anything that we didn't get a chance to cover on television. It appears below, along with some video footage from the aftermath in Beslan that, to our knowledge, has not been shown in the media before.

Day 2: The Beslan Massacre - Lessons for America

WARNING: This video contains raw images of violence and suffering that may [probably] be disturbing to [most] people. It was shot outside the middle school in Beslan, Russia while terrorists staged a three day siege of a middle school. 330 people were killed in the attack, including 172 children. To our knowledge, these clips have never been shown on American television.

Lessons from Beslan
By John Giduck

America is a nation at war, and some of the battles in that war will be fought on American soil. Thus, it is incumbent upon every American to not only educate themselves, but prepare for the types of attacks we are likely to see. But it's difficult to prepare when one of the most likely targets is hardly ever talked about publicly.

There are two basic categories of terror attacks: the first, called "Decimation Assaults," is where terrorists plant bombs or use suicide-homicide bombers. Because these are so easy to execute, they are the more frequently used type of attack - but their impact is minimal because the body counts and are usually pretty low.

The more preferred, but more difficult to accomplish, attack is the "Mass Hostage Siege." Terrorists know that when they take hundreds of innocent people hostage and hold them for days they are really holding an entire nation hostage. By doing that they attract the attention of the news media, which helps them to accomplish their real goal, which is to spread terror as far and as wide as possible. It's the psychological impact that's most important, and nothing is better at promoting that than a Mass Hostage Siege, especially one that involves innocent children.

To understand how credible the threat is, we need only to look at the achievements of so many terror groups. In the first six months of 2006, 204 schools were attacked in Afghanistan. Three of them were attacked in two days in the first week of July 2007. Between 1984 and 1994 more than 300 schools were attacked in Turkey.

The number of school attacks are rising in places like Pakistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Thailand as well. A new girls' school in Iraq was found to have dozens of bombs hidden in the floor and walls and, just two weeks ago, a school was targeted in Great Britain. I also bet you never heard that the backup plan for the Madrid train bombers was a school attack.

But, despite all of these incidents, Beslan was the terrorists' best case scenario - which means that it is our worst case scenario. So what is the likelihood of it happening here? Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders have publicly stated that before this jihad is over they will see to the deaths of 4 million Americans, including 2 million American children. After several attacks involving children in Russia he said that what he was doing in Russia he would do to America. The head of the Chechen terrorists, Shamil Basayev, made a similar pledge before his death at the hands of Russian Special Forces. Afghan terror camp training tapes depict jihadists attacking students in a school, issuing instructions in English.

In addition, emergency response plans of numerous schools have been found in the hands of people who should not have them and intelligence gathering of schools and school facilities has been occurring in places like Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, Florida, Virginia and California for some time now. People with no affiliation to any school have been crossing the border from Canada attempting to buy school buses, and buses in other locations, like Houston, have been stolen.

These are but a very few of the incidents occurring in America today, yet the schools, parents and citizens of our country refuse to acknowledge the threat, or to allow those we turn to for protection - our police - to be properly equipped, armed, informed, and trained for such an event.

There is a Kliebold and Harris in every single school who has at least planned to outdo Columbine. There is a Cho at every college who would love to get the same kind of publicity. There are even the Morrisons and Robertses from the Bailey, CO and Nickel Mines, PA attacks who are just waiting to exact their own revenge. And in every state across this country there are al Qaeda related groups that are, at a minimum, putting together information and plans to attack a school. No matter what the threat, the defenders of those schools are all the same: American police departments.

If Beslan is the worst thing that could possibly happen to our children, then it is incumbent upon our nation to be prepared for it. If we're fortunate enough that Beslan does not ever come to pass, our preparation will not have been in vein as we will be so much better prepared to respond to any other threat to our children and the supposedly safe places they happily trundle off to every day.

John Giduck is the author of Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools.

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