On Living Next to a Ticking Bomb

| February 25, 2015 | 4 Comments

A few days ago, terrorist organization al-Shabaab referenced the Mall of America in Minnesota as a terrorist target. Al-Shabaab is the same group that successfully attacked the Kenya Westgate Mall, something we wrote about last year.


Several times in my career, I’ve worked within view of the Mall of America, or rode public transit very close to the mall. I pass by it every day on the highway.

Even before recent events, I avoided going there for several reasons.

  1. I already knew about Minnesota being a top area for Islamic terrorist fundraising (we were recently “awarded” the #1 position).
  2. I also knew that some ISIS fighters came from where I live, including a man who loaded bags at the Minneapolis – St. Paul airport. I recently learned that over 60 followed him in 2014. Minnesota likes to thump its chest about a high standard of living, large education budget, and employment opportunities. The people leaving here to go fight overseas are not the downtrodden, uneducated, and poor.
  3. The mall is large, and security is inadequate. There are a ton of people there, and I doubt they could handle a single “crazy guy” active shooter, let alone teams of terrorists.

ISIS issued a call to arms in late 2014: Muslims should go overseas to fight with ISIS. If they couldn’t go overseas, take up arms and act independently or in small groups where they lived.

The latest video released by al-Shabaab mentioning the Mall of America as a potential target confirmed our resolve to train and to be prepared.

What are you doing to prepare yourself to respond to an incident like this one? There are already multiple examples of sudden, autonomous attacks on the public in the United States, against law enforcement and non-law enforcement.

  • Are you ready to encounter multiple attackers at indoor distances with a firearm?
  • Have you studied terrorist attacks, and understand the differences between terrorist active murderer situations versus a “crazy guy” active murderer? You may want to read Gabe Suarez’s book Killing the Active Shooter if you haven’t already.
  • Have you considered carrying a PDW or SBR, or are you already doing so?
  • Are you ready to treat people wounded in a terrorist attack, possibly yourself? Do you have the equipment and the training?
  • Do you have an action plan with your family and friends? Do you have different plans depending on who is with you?
  • If you go to a mall, or have kids in school, or go to a church, do you know multiple ways to get out of these frequently visited places?

A terrorist group with the desire, experience, and supporting infrastructure has thrown the gauntlet down in my current city of residence. Are you ready?

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.

4 Comments on "On Living Next to a Ticking Bomb"

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  1. Bond says:

    You didn’t mention the Mall as being a “Gun Free Zone”…is it one? In my mind, that distiction already makes it a threat.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      There are posted signs, so yes it’s a GFZ. It’s not illegal to carry in those places, but if they ask you to leave and you don’t they can get you for trespassing.

  2. pollock56th says:

    I am assuming only open carry is prohibited. Those with permits if it cant be seen?

  3. Koyote Tan says:

    All good points. I now carry a Glock 23 and 42 all the time. Even guys I know who are preppers will ask me why I carry 2 guns, like it’s a laugh. MrMikesGunrackon YT made a great video about this. By choosing to carry a gun in the first place you have already chosen to not take your defense for granted.

    I talk about this all the time, but it must be pointed out. Sulejman Talović walked into Trolley Square Mall in Utah with a 38 special, a sporting shotgun, and a bag of ammo. He killed 5 and wounded 4, but he was engaged by an off-duty cop, there with his wife, a CCW carrying dispatcher. Officer Kenneth Hammond, was at that moment, just a civilian trained to use a weapon. He was not on the beat. He was not moon lighting mall security. Kenneth Hammond did not kill Talović, but he caused him to stop shooting at soft targets and engage/react to a hard target. That stopped the killing right then and there. Talović retreated to Kid’s Pottery Barn where access to the main part of the Mall was blocked and was killed there by SWAT responders.

    This incident was very vivid to me, because I had planned to go there with my wife and daughter that evening, but by chance found time to go 3 days earlier. We had just moved and were looking for kid’s furniture. We went there for the Kid’s Pottery Barn. When I heard the progression of the shooting, I knew exactly what happened, because I could picture in my mind the store fronts, the shelving, the cash registers. Chances are I wouldn’t have been in thereat that exact moment even if I’d gone the day I intended to, but I pictured myself, standing there trying to place myself in front of my family and a killer. I imagined myself making a split decision to decide which of my young daughter or wife I would try to shield. NO OPTIONS! I had been walking around with everything, every person that mattered in my life with no means to keep a deranged refugee teenager from taking it all.

    NEVER AGAIN! When I discovered SBRs and long pistols, I jumped on them. Now I carry 2-3 guns at all times and train with them regularly.

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