Observations About the November 28, 2016 Ohio State Terrorist Attack

| November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments


On Monday, November 28 2016 Abdul Razak Ali Artan attacked students at Ohio State University by using a car and a knife. He wounded 11 people before being shot and killed by Ohio State University police officer Alan Horujko.

Details are still emerging. I don’t think we’ll get video like we did with the similar St. Cloud terrorist attack, but I wanted to make some observations since this type of thing is going to happen again.

  • One of the tools used was a common blade, as recommended by ISIS propaganda magazine Rumiyah earlier this fall.

    The objective of a knife attack is to obtain a reasonable kill count, while equally—if not more importantly—to inflict terror on the Crusader citizens of the land in which the operation is carried out…the more gruesome the attack, the closer one comes to achieving the desired objective.

    The terrorist in St. Cloud, Minnesota used two kitchen knives to injure 10. It is unclear what kind of knife the OSU terrorist used — initial reports say a “butcher knife,” but we all know that incident details are often wrong at first. Maybe it’s a kitchen knife, maybe it isn’t — but the point is a blade was used.

  • Each incident was stopped by someone with a gun who was in the right place at the right time. St. Cloud hero Jason Falconer was off-duty and in plain clothes. I speculate that each terrorist did not expect to meet resistance so quickly.
  • Officer Horujko engaged the attacker by himself, without waiting for backup. This policy change is not new, but it is interesting to see it in practice. Reports indicate Officer Horujko was also part of his department’s active shooter interdiction training.
  • Information indicates Officer Horujko responded between one and two minutes after the attack started. This is important for us as armed civilians anticipating the fast, violent response of law enforcement.I don’t have full information on the response time of SWAT and other officers, but it appears that they responded quickly and in force.When I first started this blog, standard procedure was to surround the site of the attack and enter en masse. Doctrine has changed in some departments, with officers either pairing up or going in alone as quickly as possible. We need to be aware of these changes as armed defenders.

    Being mistakenly identified as an attacker is a big concern on this blog and its readers. Continue to follow this site for more information about how to avoid being misidentified during an active killer or terrorist attack.

  • Even with the very fast response time, the Ohio State University terrorist managed to injure 11 people before being stopped. The next time you are at a mall, movie theater, campus, church, restaurant, or other crowded location, try to estimate how much damage could be done in one to two minutes.
  • The vast majority of trauma care training is focused on a single gunshot wound on a single person (usually yourself). These attacks indicate a trend of attacking as many different people as possible instead of concentrating on a few people and killing them (e.g., the Moore, Oklahoma terrorist knife attack). Even mass shootings, such as the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, tended to shoot as many people as possible and then finish them off when time allowed.Do you have the knowledge, training, and equipment to triage mass casualties and treat the different wounds as caused by a knife, a gun, or explosives? I believe the types of injuries we may see in the future will go beyond the scope of what is typically taught by gunshot-centric trauma care courses now.
  • This is another incident of a primary event setting up a secondary attack. We usually read about this tactic as an initial assault / explosion, and then a secondary attack on responding officers and emergency services personnel. In this case, a fire alarm was allegedly triggered before Artan drove his car into the crowd. I presume the crowd gathered in response to the alarm (the first event), and then Artan made his attack during the secondary event. Be aware that the first event may not be the last.
  • The proximity and speed of these knife attacks reinforce my hypothesis that you need an on-body weapon. An SBR/PDW usually cannot be carried in a way that is both safe and fast to deploy. I wrote about my thoughts on deployment a few years ago, and it might be worth reading them again.

From the perspective of an armed civilian, my immediate takeaways from this incident are:

  • Carry a defensive tool with you everywhere and know how to use it. I strongly recommend you have at least one defensive tool on your body for faster access.
  • Know how to survive the entangled fight, as a terrorist with a contact weapon may not be immediately stopped by gunfire, and may close with you.
  • Avoid common rally points during an emergency.
  • Know how to judge the treatment priority and viability of multiple victims, know how to treat different types of wounds, and carry as much medical gear as practical.
  • Law enforcement is getting better at responding to these types of attacks, and this has an impact on how we respond as armed civilians. Expect to encounter different groups / waves of law enforcement officers sooner and more frequently than previously anticipated.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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