We tend to think of terrorist attacks as involving bombs, guns or RPG’s, but it has become a reality in our world for attacks to include more unlikely weapons such as knives, cars or primitive bombs. How can you protect yourself in this type of attack scenario? There are some key steps that can help.

Since 2009, the terrorist group al Qaeda has advised its members to conduct attacks using any weapons that were readily available, even if they were basic and simple. The terrorist organization has shifted from coming and joining them, to staying where you are and using what you have at your disposal. This has been a successful operation of simple attacks that have only increased and are projected to expand even more in the coming years. It is difficult to battle an enemy that has a faceless leader and no country that is its epicenter. This makes it much harder for security and law enforcement to combat it and keep people safe.

So what can we do? There are a number of steps the public can follow to make sure they are not caught by surprise.

  •  Exercise good situational awareness.

  • Pay attention to individuals whose demeanors are not normal.

  •  Be aware of any vehicles that are positioned in an abnormal way.

  •  Once an attack is underway, the quicker the better to escape and get to safety.

  •  Know that the greatest enemy of situational awareness is denial.

  •  Acknowledgement that simple attacks with vehicles, knives and guns are possible is the first step to being more aware while out in public and ready to respond.

  •  Pay attention to crowd dynamics. The crowd itself can make the attack worse by stampeding, etc.

  • Pay attention to sounds (tires squealing, sounds like gunshots, screams). If you notice any sounds or movements that are odd, keep moving to the edge of the crowd.

  • Don’t just blindly move with the crowd. Always move towards safety no matter where you are in the group.

It is possible to survive a grassroots terrorist attack by keeping a clear mindset and having a plan ready to put into action if needed. In contrast, not paying attention to what is going on around you and not having a plan could get you injured or even killed.

Atlas Aegis is passionate about not only protecting our clients, but also educating them in how to protect themselves when necessary. One of our missions is to make this world a safer and better place so people are free to pursue their goals and dreams.