Close_enough wrote:Umm, dumb question from the land of the monthly school (church, mall, etc) shooting. How does Mumbia or Paris really differ from any other active shooter incident? Your choiced are limited to the same Freeze, Flop (play dead), Fight, Evac, Bunker, and Hide reactions. Keep you head up, know what you're going to do, and when it's time to act, don't hesitate.
Not a dumb question at all. They are more similar then they are different. If you go back and look at the post where I explain what clues will determine an ASA vs a Terrorist Attack this will be helpful. Mostly it has to do with goals, mindset, resourcing, planning and profile.
With a Mumbai Style attack the size and scale of the attack or going to be completely different than an ASA. With an active shooter once the shooter is killed the attack is most likely over. In the unlikely event that there is a second shooter that should resolve quickly too. I don't know of any active shooter cases that involved three assailants, it would certainly deviate from the norm. Normally these are over in under 30 minutes. With a large scale terrorist attacks these could go on for hours or days. You could even be locked down in your home for quite a while if you are in an affected area.
Active Shooter vs Terrorist:
The vast majority of Active Shooters are single actor males 13-50, diagnosed with a type of mental illness and are nearly always taking medication to control mood or behavior. They are likely known to their victims who are not in complete surprise at their sudden violence. They don't often do research, planning or rehearsals.
Mumbai style Terrorist Attackers are mostly 2+ attackers, males 18-30, possibly with females intermixed. They may take drugs/ alcohol prior to the attack but are not normal users of such. They research and plan their targets out who are most often strangers. They likely will rehearse their attacks publicly if surreptitiously if they are able.
There are "lone wolf attackers" such as Nidal Hassan and others. While his goals were that of a terrorist he better fit the profile of a active shooter. We are not discussing "lone wolf" attackers though.
The active shooter doesn't really have goals. Mostly he is seeking revenge for being alive by killing as many people as possible. When confronted by the police or nearly out of ammo he will most often kill himself with his weapon. Typically they will be atheist or non-religious.
The terrorist is in a propaganda war and being directed by other who are too important (read: too afraid) to take action themselves. These days they are nearly all Islamic but in the past Communist Red Army members commonly conducted these types of attacks. The Japanese Red Army was especially brutal ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Red_Army
) The Lod Airport Attack being quite notable. Sadly these types of attacks are not really "new" and there is no reason to think that Islamists will hold a monopoly on bad behavior in the future.
Terrorists want to implement a change in government and/or government policy. They may even be seeking to make the government more restrictive such as in the Charlie attack. They seek to undermine the legitimacy of the current government and change the current government that is in place by proving to the population that the government is unable to fill it's role and duty of protecting the population. To do this it is important to attack symbols of power and culture as well as killing as many people as possible. Religious targets are often avoided in the West (likely because of the separation of church and state). In the Middle East religious targets are the norm.
An active shooter is most likely going to be mentally ill. Mindset is not really a factor as behavior is random if somewhat predictable.
A terrorist will be committed to his goals and accomplishing his mission to death if need be. He will keep working and fighting until his goals are met or they can not be met.
Neither wishes to be captured alive and will try to kill themselves in the end. The terrorist is much more likely to have a bomb so that he can kill as many people as he can when he takes himself out.
An active shooter will most likely be armed with a semi-automatic weapon and is less likely to have explosives. They may or may not wear "tactical gear" with extra magazines. Pistols are common.
Terrorist attackers most likely will be wearing tactical gear, have explosives, extra ammo and possibly automatic weapons. They will most likely have a long gun. They will have communication devices to communicate with other members of their team. They may be dressed alike or similarly.