How to Survive (and Stop) a Terrorist

You know the world isn’t getting any safer when massive disasters happen to men, women, and children going about their daily business: walking to work, eating at a diner, shopping at a mall, watching a concert, taking public transport, or vacationing. Whether you end up in a group that’s deliberately or randomly targeted, it is crucial to stay alert to the fact that even the best planning cannot thwart a lethal incident that is unique and occurring when least expected. There’s no magic formula for survival. No guarantees of redemption. But the threat is real. Should luck not be on your side and you find yourself amidst an attack, how do you survive an unpredictable confrontation with a crazed gun-toting maniac? How do you even prepare to take action deep in the throes? A question that media rarely ask but which we need to know is “How did the survivors survive?” From all the crimes of terror committed in the last decade, whether on 9/11, on the streets of Boston, an evening in Paris, a nightclub in Orlando, or the recent Istanbul airport massacre, the single most important thing you can take away from them is a lesson in survival. No need to question the motives of culprits. No point making accusations. Focus should be on one thing alone: your survival.

There are certain measures to follow and swift actions to take that reduce the risks and boost your chance at surviving. One way is to prepare for the worst if you’re in a high-risk area and stay away altogether from public places (government buildings, banks, shopping malls) and crowded areas (tourist spots, major festivals, markets, demonstrations). Being mentally prepared to react quickly and take action in a crisis such as knowing where the exits are could spell the difference between life and death. The threat of terrorism from perpetrators operating locally and abroad has never been rampant. U.S. position as peace enforcer has only gained America more foes in the last few decades as more countries disagree with its policies. With its upcoming July 4 Independence Day celebrations, being prepared for any contingency should be everyone’s priority as it is the key in any matter of survival. The following article is relevant to the discussion. Former CIA officer and security specialist Jason Hanson talks about the most effective ways to survive while explaining why your resolve should not merely be getting away and extracting yourself from danger but also stopping and containing those bastards in their tracks.

Survive Mall Terrorist Attack

Image credit by Secrets of Survival

How to Survive (and Stop) a Terrorist – Jason Hanson

I was blessed to have some very good training while with the CIA, including terrorist response training.

This training involved scenarios, role players, a red man suit (a sturdy safety suit used in defense training), and “simmunitions” (similar to airsoft), to name a few things.

Today, I am going to share with you some of the principles I learned for you to use in your day-to-day life.

A typical scenario would be in a mock town and the instructor would come up to you and say something along the lines of “You and your wife are taking a Sunday stroll through your neighborhood and there’s a good chance something is going to go wrong.”

You begin walking through the town with your “wife” (who’s a role player) and suddenly a man runs from the back of one of the houses with a rifle shooting the streets up and you have to try to neutralize the threat.

Another scenario might be where you’re walking through an office building and you turn the corner and a “terrorist” is holding someone hostage.

The terrorist has a suicide vest on, and if you come any closer, he’s going to detonate it. You have to decide what to do and when to take the head shot to kill the terrorist.

As I mentioned, it was great training, and this is the exact training I do today with corporate security when companies hire me.

And this is the training that I believe every American now needs. In fact, a version of it should be implemented in colleges and universities so that we can get people trained from a younger age.

Today, I’ll share with you important concepts you can implement in the event you’re ever faced with just such a deadly situation.

Fight Aggression With Aggression

The fact is when it comes to properly responding to an incident involving some gun-wielding criminal — terrorist or otherwise — you need to be aggressive and go after the attackers.

For instance, in the recent Paris attacks, it has been reported that some of the attackers told people to lie on the ground and that these people obeyed and were eventually shot.

In the Oregon college shooting a few months back, the killer lined the students up and asked them their religion and then shot certain people.

You cannot give some maniac enough time to line you up, have you lie on the floor, or ask you your religion.

When you see someone burst into a movie theater or a restaurant with a gun, within seconds, you need to rush them and ruthlessly attack them.

But here’s the thing: This is not a natural human response.

When a crazed person with an AK-47 walks into building, most people’s natural response is to run away or freeze and then do whatever the person with the gun tells them to do in the hopes that they won’t get hurt.

But you and I know that when you obey this kind of individual and just sit there with the gun pointed at you, you’ll likely end up dead.

Changing Your Instincts

The only way to change your natural response is to condition yourself through training.

In other words, you can get a group of friends together, buy some airsoft gear, and set up mock scenarios in the woods, a soccer field, or anyplace else you can train.

Run the same scenarios I describe above and create many more of your own based on recent events.

When training, it’s important to remember that not every scenario should be a “shoot” scenario.

When I do this training, we have situations where some guy may walk into a building with a gun on his hip or a rifle slung over his shoulder, and he might be an average citizen who’s just carrying a gun.

Where I live in the small town of Cedar City, Utah, it’s not uncommon to be walking in the grocery store and see someone with a pistol on their hip, since open carry is legal in Utah.

My point is you need to have all types of mock scenarios. You don’t want to train only for a “shoot” situation, because that’s not the way life works, and since you and I are the good guys, we are responsible for the actions we take.

Importance of Visualization

In addition to live training, it’s very important to visualize what you would do in a situation involving a gun-wielding individual bent on taking lives.

It may sound corny, but you need to picture yourself in the local Wal-Mart and imagine some guy walking in with an AK-47 and you reacting properly, drawing your gun (or knife or other weapon), and rushing him to stop the threat.

This is the only way to stop these bad guys, because the way that 99% of people react gets them and others killed. Because when some guy walks into a building with an AK-47, as I said earlier, most people will freeze or run away.

Either of these reactions is good for the criminal or terrorist, because it means nobody is confronting them and they have plenty of time to shoot and reload.

In fact, the worst thing people can do is to run away, because as they fan out, they give the attacker plenty of time to shoot people in the back. And people are getting further away from him, meaning there’s nobody close by to stop him and he can continue his rampage.

I know it’s not an easy solution and is probably not one that most people want to hear.

But it has to be done.

You and I and other Americans who value our safety need to change our mindsets and condition ourselves to go after the attacker and stop them instead of running away or obeying their commands.

And the only way to do this is through training and repetition.

Next Steps

In your local area, you might be able to find a company that provides force-on-force training.

At the very least, make sure that you have a self-defense weapon on you at all times.

I realize not everyone wishes to carry a knife or a gun, but at a minimum, you should have some sort of self-defense tool. My favorite is a Tactical Pen.

The Tactical Pen is a (deadly) discreet weapon that I’ve flown all over the world with and taken into courthouses and other government buildings. It can easily stop an attacker who’s looking to take your life or someone else’s.

What it all boils down to is this: After the Paris attacks, the director of the CIA, John Brennan, said that this is not a one-time event and that more attacks are likely to come, which is stating the obvious.

So in the future, if you’re at the football game or the mall or a restaurant when a terrorist attack occurs, please ensure you won’t go down as an easy victim and that you’ll react quickly and ruthlessly against these evil people.


Jason Hanson

Article from Preserve Freedom

[Ed. note: Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer and security specialist and NY Times Bestselling author]


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