The Counter Terrorist Magazine December / January

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Journal for Law Enforcement, Intelligence & Special Operations Professionals





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The Journal for Law Enforcement, Intelligence & Special Operations Professionals








THE DAAWA by Garret Machine


URBAN E&E by Orlando Wilson


BREACHING DOORS by Garret Machine

K9 TRAINING 26 by Editorial Staff






Publisher's Editorial


Product Review

Stay Vigilant, Stay Safe

Glock 43/48 Deep Concealment Holster

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The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 3

Counter The

PUBLISHER'S EDITORIAL: by Henry Morgenstern

Journal for Law Enforcement, Intelligence & Special Operations Professionals


t seems like only a short time ago when the very first edition of the Counter Terrorist Magazine was published in the spring of 2008. Since then we have continually published bi-monthly. In an era that has seen many of the world’s greatest publications go out of business, it is a tribute to you our readers, our advertisers and an incredibly dedicated staff that we have been able to contribute to countering terrorism by providing real know-how based on experience, valuable accounts of real incidents and have provided practitioners with tools and tips to hopefully make your dangerous mission safer.


Editor Garret Machine

Director of Operations Carmen Arnaes Director of Advertizing Sol Bradman

All good things must end. Recently, the emphasis on the effort formerly known as the War on Terrorism has been much reduced although the threat is ever present. That’s partially a tribute to the effectiveness of the skill and expertise developed by Homeland Security and the painful lessons learned by our Military in what is now the longest war the USA has ever fought (Afghanistan), in Iraq, in Syria, and other trouble spots for which we should be incredibly grateful. So the time has come to close down the magazine and this will be our last issue.

Administrative Jennifer Junatas

On behalf of my business partner, Sol Bradman, Carmen Arnaes and the Morrison Creative agency we wish to thank you. We have had some very talented editors and especially Garret Machine who has diligently brought out the best from our many contributors who shared their experiences and know-how. To the many who have contributed to this effort we give you our heartfelt thanks. Finally to our readers, we wish you the very best, stay vigilant, and most of all stay safe.

Graphic Design Morrison Creative Company

Henry Morgenstern Publisher, The Counter Terrorist

Contributing Editors Orlando Wilson Thomas Braga-Henebry, 2nd Lt. USMC Garret Machine Fred Seiltgen Lawrence Firmi

Copy Editor Laura Town Advertising Sales Sol Bradman 305-302-2790 Publisher: Security Solutions International 3479 NE 163 St. • STE 127 N Miami Beach, FL 33160 ISSN 1941-8639 The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Journal for Law Enforcement, Intelligence & Special Operations Professionals is published by Security Solutions International LLC, as a service to the nation’s First Responders and Homeland Security Professionals with the aim of deepening understanding of issues related to Terrorism. No part of the publication can be reproduced without permission from the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the authors represented and not necessarily the opinions of the publisher. Please direct all Editorial correspondence related to the magazine to: Security Solutions International SSI, 13155 SW 134th Street, Suite 103, Miami, Florida. 33186 or The subscription price for 6 eZine issues of the magazine is $19.99. (1-866-573-3999) Fax: 1-786-573-2090. For article reprints, e-prints, posters and plaques please contact: Security Solutions International at or call 786-573-3999 Please visit the magazine web site where you can also contact the editorial staff: © 2019 Security Solutions International

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THE DAAWA By Garret Machine

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“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”~George Orwell


t’s December 2nd at 16:00 and I’m freezing cold. The wind is cutting into my bare hands and making their movements slow, lethargic and imprecise. My clothes are wet with rain, and I still have about another 30 minutes to go. I’m traveling on Route 1 from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The entire journey takes about one hour. When I left Tel Aviv, it was not sunny but it was warm

enough, but once I started up through the rolling hills of the West Bank, the cold set in as nightfall approached. Sunset was early at about 16:33. Once I pass a Yellow gas station on my left, I know I’m entering the highlands of Jerusalem. It is at that point that it starts to rain, and 33% of my journey still lies ahead, all uphill. I am riding on a Suzuki DRZ400sm. This bike is awesome in the summer. Just imagine:

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 7

I ride to my base wearing jeans, my unit-issued boots, a t-shirt, and my faithful Sig P228 semiautomatic pistol at my side. When I’m on that bike I feel like the road warrior. The bike is nimble and light handling on the streets, but it has unmatched urban off-road capabilities, such as effortlessly climbing flights of steps. Step climbing is a small thrill I like to experience any time I can on my bike. The best is when I can fit it in the stairwell of a friend’s apartment building and just ride it up to his door. It’s awesome: What is more hardcore than riding such a machine

Riding a motorcycle, in Israel, in the rain, is a borderline death wish. The journey itself is more dangerous than the job I’m doing in the unit, statistically speaking.

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through the cold, dangerous West Bank back to my base to respond to an emergency counterterror mission? Nothing. On the highway, the bike is not much when it comes to top end and max speed, but I only maintain about 110 kilometers per hour anyway. The winter is another story altogether. I hate the cold. And I hate winter; I intuitively feel that humans are tropical creatures by nature. Now I’m wearing an army thermal shirt, two fleeces, a Laret motorcycle jacket with liner, and CE armor, but I'm still as cold as ever. Then it starts to rain hard just as I pass that gas station. Riding

a bike in Israel is bad enough. In the winter this little country has more accidents per capita than anywhere in the world. In Switzerland, for example, so many people drive Audis or Porsches that everyone is careful because of a sense of respect for their cars. Not here, where parking is like a day at the bumper cars track. A little bump or scratch in traffic is just a wave and a "sorry" with an Israeli accent and an “oh well, its a twelveyear-old Daihatsu anyway.” Riding a motorcycle, in Israel, in the rain, is a borderline death wish. The journey itself is more dangerous than the

job I’m doing in the unit, statistically speaking. It is now Wednesday, December 5th, and tonight we will kidnap a man from a coffee shop in Ramallah. The city of Ramallah is quite close to our base; the drive is about 30 minuets. We need to capture a man who is considered to be Number Four in Hamas, and he is also working for an organization called Daawa. Daawa literally means “Call to Islam,” and is supposed to teach both Muslims and non-Muslims to understand the worship of Allah as expressed in the Quran. I don’t see anything wrong

with that alone, or believe that all Muslims are evil. Still, under the guise of a charity association, the Daawa organization functions as a system for the flow of terror funds. The Daawa organizations were declared illegal following the financial support they provided for families of suicide bombers and imprisoned terrorists. This financial and social support provides an incentive for terrorists to carry out attacks and stems an increase of public support for these terror organizations. Well, our target is the one responsible for doling out the money to the families and

terrorists alike. He has to be captured alive. He is of no value dead. The mission is to take place in Ramala at a coffee shop on a busy afternoon. We know that the target will be carrying a pistol on him and will possibly be in the company of other combatants. This type of mission is the most sought after. It will be fast, aggressive, and in broad daylight. There will be an incredible rush of adrenalin as we run into the coffee shop. It will pump through our veins like a drug. We will be sharp, strong, and accurate. Everyone wants to go on this mission, but we can take

Israel Defense Forces The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 9

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Twelve men enter the building. You must always outgun, outman, and outfox your enemy whenever possible. only the 17 most experienced fighters in the unit. We train and plan for the mission all day on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, we are on our way to the final staging location before going into the city of Ramallah. We arrive at a settlement closest to the city itself and use an auditorium there as our space to prepare. The room is bigger than we need, but because it is raining outside, we need to be indoors until we move out to avoid getting everything soaked before we start; especially considering the fact that we don’t know how long we might be out there waiting to go. We arrive at 12 noon and settle in, prepare our gear, snack on hot tea and a piece of fruit, and wait until it’s time to go. We wait as it pours outside. The room is filled with tables, chairs, and a small kitchen and bathroom. One hour passes, and some of the guys are playing cards. Some of the men talk over hot cups of Turkish coffee. It has become a tradition, and it’s so normal that we actually pack a

black coffee kit with us as part of our essential mission gear. I personally hate Turkish coffee; but people drink it after heating up water from a small gas stove in the kit. I find a fiction novel among the various items in this large room, Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read the book cover to cover over the next six hours. In eight hours, we will be closing in, and still nothing. More healthy snacks are brought in by the Rasap, who is the person in the unit in charge of providing snacks on missions, basic necessities in the field, and maintaining the living quarters. We have six in our unit. The wait can be agonizing without a book. I’m in this confined space; it is cold and rainy; I’m hungry, restless, damp, chilly, and fluctuating between wanting so badly to just go back to the base to have a hot shower and a good meal, and the urge to just do the mission already. It’s a tough mental game, and after eight hours we get the news: It’s over. The mission is called off. It is determined that this is not the

best opportunity to get him. Perhaps tomorrow will be better. The next day at the same time (10:00 am) we mount the coach-style bus from the base for the ride to our staging area. The bus has windows that don’t open and that you can’t see out of because they are bulletproof. It’s old, dirty and dusty inside. The vehicle is revolting on the inside and out, and if the journey is more than 40 minutes, we all get headaches and start to feel nauseous. To gulp the fresh air and to be out of that bus is a blessing after two hours on the road. I just hope I can sleep through it on the way back. Finally, we arrive for our second attempt. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting. I come across another book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I’m a third of the way through the book and bam! Just like that it’s time to move. Everyone scrambles to their feet, slings their weapons over their necks, and grabs their helmets. We mount up in our

Photo by: Pixabay The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 11

vehicles and are settled within seconds. We drive for about 27 minutes and approach the coffee house. We pass it without slowing, and then we make a left turn and park on the right side of the street, just around the corner, slightly out of sight from the front entrance of the building. At once, we race out of the vehicles, down the street, and around the corner. The transition between the pitch black of the vehicle interior and the daylight on the other side is not as drastic as with the usual day operations because it is overcast. I move with precision and calculation as I jump the curb to the sidewalk, and pay attention as I sprint around a corner so as not to slip. I don’t even know if anyone remembers to close the car door. We sprint to the restaurant’s entrance. Two men immediately peel off to watch the entrance as our cars drive off. No one comes in, no one leaves. The rush of manpower overwhelms a security guard standing at the entrance. He is instantly disarmed and cuffed, and left lying on the floor outside the door off to the side. The middle-aged gentleman puts up no fight, as he knows why we have come and just as soon we will be gone. Twelve men enter the building. You must always outgun, outman, and outfox your enemy whenever possible. Four men stay on the ground floor and hold everyone at bay with weapons at the ready. The men are pointing their barrels at the crowd of about twenty in the lower part of the coffee house, scanning for trouble. The diverse crowd of people doesn’t

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As soon as I attempt to tighten them, a man from another table gets up and starts screaming something indiscernible in Arabic, a telltale sign that the shit is about to hit the fan. move; they stay seated and wait with hands lazily raised. The other eight of us rush up a flight of steps to the upper balcony of about four more tables. There is our wanted man. We hold still and give the command not to move as we surround the table with a 90-degree angle. In Arabic, I yell: "Stop, hands up, nobody move!" I know that our wanted man is carrying a pistol in his belt, so I move in and put his head on the table in front of him. His hands follow. I draw his pistol with my left hand from the inside of his right waistband as I stand off to his right. I hand the pistol to the officer’s radioman, who is off to the left behind me. He grabs it with his left hand and puts it into his dump pouch. I then quickly lower my weapon and slip the prepared flex cuffs over his thick, meaty mitts. As soon as I attempt to tighten them, a man from another table gets up and starts screaming something indiscernible in Arabic, a telltale

sign that the shit is about to hit the fan. This will be a blood bath if we let it escalate. I can’t imagine how many of them are holding guns and knives under their clothes; none have been frisked because there is no time for that. Luckily one of our men is equipped with a Remington 12-gauge, pistol-grip shotgun. He is the only one in the crew with this weapon. The shotgun is almost never carried because it pales in just about every category compared to a 5.56mm M4 rifle. It can be used for breaching a dead bolt, like in law enforcement, but even that is rare. In this case we are using the gun for non-lethal crowd control purposes. This and the rubber bullet are the only two forms of nonlethal weapons we use. The shotgun is carried along with the M4, not instead of it; it is either stowed in a backpack holster, for a breaching tool, or in this case strapped to the chest with elastic straps and plastic clips. They are tried and true, we don’t use sticks,

sprays, or electric shock guns, as those types of weapons are meant for use on weak, profit-driven criminals who are easily swayed by pain and discomfort. The weapon is loaded with a small fabric “pillow” filled with #9 lead shot weighing about an ounce and a half. When fired, the bag is expelled at around 70−90 meters/second; it spreads out in flight and distributes its impact over about six centimeters of the target. It is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration, but it will result in a muscle spasm or other reaction to briefly render a violent man immobile and on the floor clutching his chest in agony. This

shotgun round is inaccurate over about six meters, has a maximum range of around 20 meters, and is unsafe to use from less than three meters. A standard 12-gauge slug is good for about 50 meters. It is this intimidating weapon that our man uses to shoot the potentially violent heckler. We shoot at a range of about seven meters and he goes down. Nobody moves after that. The weapon was a success. Its thunderous boom alone shook the crowd. We quickly shuffle down the steps and join up with the force that is waiting just three meters below. We move out the front door, and the two men covering the exit now watch our backs as we mount

a large, green, six-wheeled, military truck. Once we are in, the last two men also get in and we drive off. Just then two guys run out of the coffee shop and open fire on our truck with pistols, but the weak 9mm rounds merely bounce off of our truck’s hard exterior. This makes me smile. One of the guys in the back of the escape truck has an M4 with the rubber bullet barrel designator that also doubles as a barrel extension, so it can be put through the firing port. He shoots about three rounds at the two men, and they run in retreat back into the coffee house, unscathed. We drive off. •





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These skills can’t be learned sat in a comfy chair; you need to get out and learn and practice them.

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ere are some basic instructions on how to avoid getting captured if you manage to escape from kidnappers or terrorists, or from a location where things have gone very wrong. We do not encourage

people to break the law, but you must understand that in some situations what would be viewed as illegal actions, such as breaking and entering into a building or taking supplies, are your only option for survival.

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You should carry a minimum amount of nondescript equipment as discreetly as possible. Fundamentals of OTR (On the Run) Part of your SHTF (shit hit the fan) plan needs to be what to do if you have to escape from a hostile situation: be it urban or rural, be it your local area or somewhere you’re visiting or where you’re doing business. Always ensure you have the basic equipment required to navigate and sustain yourself in the environment you’re in; keep it basic, keep it light and keep it concealable. The following list gives some tips for how to escape undetected. • Your goal is survival and to reach a safe area. • If you have a cell phone on you, consider whether those after you can use it to track you. If those after you have access to the phone company’s networks, dump the phone completely. • Consider your means of leaving the area: on foot, swimming, public transport, aircraft, boat, hitching a lift, or stealing or hijacking a vehicle. • After the initial escape, try to leave the area as quickly as possible and keep a low profile. Remember to blend in with your environment. • As soon as you can, you need to make contact with friends, family, trusted authorities, or friendly embassies.

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• If you cannot leave the area, then

you’ll have to go underground and hide. Hiding places can include parks or bushes, busy pedestrian areas, public bathrooms, bars and night clubs, etc. Consider what CCTV is in the area and if those after you can access it. If your hiding in areas such as parks, do those after you have thermal imaging equipment? Consider for how long you will have to go to ground and what your emergency escape routes are. Work out where are you running to and try to leave decoys pointing to different locations: Book a train ticket with your credit card but never take a train, etc. You will need money. If you are very lucky and have a credit card hidden on your person, you can use ATMs, but remember, this will show your location. If you are in an area where you’re staying for a while, you could possibly have previously stashed cash with other important documents and equipment in a dead drop for emergencies. Your last resort would be to steal money. Consider burying a cache of escape essentials to be retrieved under such duress.

• You will also need clean clothes. If

• •

you cannot buy them or get them from a place of charity, you would need to steal them. If you need to travel a long distance, you will need to find somewhere to wash and stay clean. You will need somewhere to sleep; in urban environments, it may make sense to stay away from the usual places homeless people congregate because these would be the first places those looking for you would check. If you do not have money to buy food, you could possibly get it from charities, steal it, or check the trash cans behind restaurants and sandwich shops. To leave most countries, you will need a passport or other ID, if you have lost yours, you can try to covertly bypass border controls and then make it to the nearest friendly embassy on the other side. At most borders, there may be checkpoints on the roads, but go a few hundred meters either side and there is usually nothing, maybe a fence. So, if you are using a road, get off it a few hundred meters before the border, skirt around the checkpoint, and rejoin the road a few hundred yards on the other side. When crossing the border, do so quickly and quietly; use all your senses and be alert for any patrols, remote cameras, etc. Beware of dogs as well. If possible, use a local coyote to move you across the border. Try to have or get maps; even free tourist guides are better than


• Learn to identify north and south without a compass.

• Always carry and try to conceal an escape compass on your person.

• Identify and remember prominent

objects in the area, such as major roads, rivers, mountains, airports, and buildings; these will give you reference points when on the move. If you are in a rural area and want to locate people, follow rivers. Most villages are located around water sources.

Escape and Evasion Equipment The reason for escape and evasion equipment is to help you escape from captivity and stay alive for a limited amount of time. You should carry a minimum amount of nondescript equipment as discreetly as possible. Expensive, specialist, flashy military

equipment will only draw attention to you; it will be taken away by your captors or during a search and could possibly label you as a spy, police, etc. This is something you don’t want, because it could lead to you being detained, tortured, and executed. The following list is a guide to what would be useful for you to have on your person. Pick the items and relevant to the situation you’re in that you think you would be able to get hold of and conceal.

• Survival blanket: Usually silver in

color and can be used to provide warmth and shelter, to collect water, and for signaling. Personal water filter: Many small water filters are on the market that are easily carried in a shirt pocket, etc. String or thin wire: Has various uses – for example, construction

of shelters, reclosing cut wire fences, trip wires, etc. Wire saw: These thin wire saws can be used to cut wood, plastic, and soft metals. Always try to buy those made from multiple strands of flexible wire, or “commando wire saws.” Beware of cheap imitations. Small lock pick set: Bogota picks, a diamond/needle file, and cuff shims are easy to conceal and inexpensive. Hacksaw blade: The blade should be broken into 2- to 3-inch pieces to make them more concealable; if possible, sharpen the ends and backs of the blades. Safety pins: Various uses, including first aid, mending clothing, building shelters, and picking open handcuffs. Razor blades: Small and concealable multi-purpose blades.

Photo by: IDF

Photo by Unsplash The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 17

• Flint and steel/matches: Used to • •

• • • •

• •

light fires to keep you warm or cause distractions. Tinder: Cotton wool, lint, etc. used to help you light fires. Hairnet and condoms: Used for carrying water; the condom goes in the hairnet to stop it from splitting. Water purification tabs: For purifying drinking water. Compass: Chose a small and concealable compass. Whistle and mirror: Can be used for signaling and distractions. Knife: Choose a small concealable knife that won’t be found and confiscated if you’re captured or that can get you arrested for carrying an illegal weapon. Neck knives are an option because many searchers do not check the neck or chest areas. Flash Lights: Chose a small concealable flash light that can be used for light, signaling, and distractions. Forget the expensive tactical lights. Tools: Many good multi-pliers− type tools on the market are excellent pieces of kit for escape and evasion, but these will most probably be confiscated straightaway if you’re arrested or kidnapped. Food: Try to conceal on your person high-calorie foods such as sweets, nuts, raisins etc. Money: Probably the most important piece of equipment you can carry. Choose smallvalue notes of a well-known currency; waterproof them and conceal them.

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Concealing Escape Kit Most commercial escape-andevasion and survival kits come in a plastic or metal container. This container can be used to drink from, and if it’s metal you can also boil water in it. The trouble with tins and containers is that they are easy to find during a body search and will be confiscated. You want to try and conceal your equipment in your clothing. • Jackets: Jackets have lots of places for you to hide equipment, especially if they are lined. Wire saws, matches, and money can be sewn into seams, draw cord channel at the bottom, etc., with larger equipment put into the lining. The lining itself can be used for tinder, etc. • Travel Vests: These have lots of places to conceal equipment, but there is a good chance the vest will be confiscated. A tactical vest is also an indicator that you are in the security business and an FBI wannabe. • Shirts: Sew money, etc. into the seams. • Trousers: Sew money, wire saws, razor blades, etc. in the waistband, hems, and seams. Also keep a few bits of candy in your pockets. • Belts: Sew equipment into your belt or look at buying a commercial money belt. • Shoes: The heels and soles of your shoes have a lot of room to hide all sorts of equipment. • Underwear: Sew money, wire saws, etc. into the seams. • Flesh Wounds: Hide in plain sight

a shim or key under bandaids placed over fake bloody cuts. No one wants to touch your oozing fluids. Always dress down, and don’t wear clothes that will draw attention to you or that will be taken off you by your captors. Again, this is just a guide to get you thinking; if you just take a few of the above-mentioned items and conceal them on your person, they could make your life easier in an escape-and-evasion situation. Camouflage & Concealment It makes me laugh when I see a lot of SWAT Teams and PSD (private security detail) guys wearing tactical black and other colors that look cool but do nothing but make them stand out. In reality black is one of the worse colors to wear; what is black in nature? Look around you; what in your surroundings is black? I expect very little… In urban areas, most walls are white, gray, or cream… Light colors! The colors you wear should blend in with your background whether it’s day or night. Even in rural, dry areas, when moving through low bush and fields, the silhouettes of people in dark colors are easy to see at a distance. You do not need expensive camouflage patterns to give you good concealment; a gray dress shirt and a pair of light khaki pants is way more effective than tactical Tim dressed in SWAT black! Movement and Rural Camouflage Modern humans are at a positive disadvantage when surviving in and moving on foot in rural and wilderness areas. Most people these days have

never spent a night outside without any cover, let alone in bad weather. When you’re in the woods or bush you need to get comfortable in the environment. I remember one of my military instructors telling me that to be able to fight in an environment, you must first be able to live comfortably in that environment, and this is very true. If you’re having difficulty living day to day, how can you operate? You need to start using all your

bush or wooded areas, you should be able to smell or hear people before you see them. When moving, you must do so quietly and regularly stop to look, listen, and smell for any indication of people. If you identify people in your proximity, are you going to take cover, or evade or ambush them? You should always consider camouflage and wear clothes that blend in with your environment; in urban areas, wear light blues and

• • •

casting a shadow that could be seen by your opposition. Silhouette: Don’t stand out against skylines, lights, white walls, etc. Shine: Do not wear chrome, shiny watches, mirrored glasses, sparkly jewelry, and the like. Spacing: If moving with others, remain spread out, but not too regularly and do not bunch together. Movement: Move carefully;

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senses as the animals do; learn to identify sounds, smells, movements, and what they mean. You need to especially be able to identify things associated with people, such as footprints, cigarette stumps, broken twigs or foliage, fences, straight lines, domestic animals, aircraft, vehicles, talking, etc. Think about human smells such as fires, food, fuel, human waste, and tobacco; if your senses are sharp in

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grays, and in rural areas, browns and greens. As I have said before, military camouflage clothing will just draw attention to you. It is basic fieldcraft that things are seen because of these reasons: • Shape: Disguise your shape; use foliage or rags to break up your outline. • Shadow: Keep in the shadows and always be sure that you are not

a sudden movement draws attention and is the main reason camouflaged personnel and animals are seen. The Basic Guidelines for Camouflage • Learn to blend in with your surroundings. • If you are using foliage to conceal yourself or your position, don’t use too much or too little.

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You must have your immediate reaction drills for encountering a person or for being caught in light or hostile fire at the forefront of your mind. • If you are in a long-term

• •

hide, remember to keep your camouflage fresh; dead foliage will alert people to your position. When moving, avoid skylines. Don’t use isolated or obvious cover; it’s the first place others will look. Consider hiding in thorny bushes or nettles because most people will not expect anyone to hide there. Camouflage your face, neck and any areas of the exposed flesh with mud, ash or charcoal from fires. Or use a balaclava or scarf to cover your face and wear gloves. Take all noisy objects such as keys and coins from your pockets and make sure nothing on your person rattles. Make sure there are no shiny surfaces on your person, equipment, or clothing.

Guidelines for Movement You should always move quietly and cautiously, and avoid stepping on dry twigs or breaking through foliage and undergrowth because this will make noise and leave an easy trail to follow. If you know you’re going to a rural area or possibly going to be

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in an escape-and-evasion situation, avoid smelly foods, strong soaps, and aftershave, as these will be easy to smell by those used to being in the bush. Always be careful not to leave signs you were in an area such as footprints, broken foliage, human waste, or trash. Trash and human waste should be carried out of a hostile area and disposed of when safe to do so. You should always move in “bounds” from one piece of cover to another. Your bounds should never be more than, say 50 yards, especially at night. When you stop at the end of each bound you should use your senses to try to detect any human presence then plan your next bound. Moving in short bounds is the safest way to move through populated areas or places where there are unfriendly forces. Remember, always be prepared to take evasive action or defend yourself. The speed at which you travel will depend on whether it’s day or night, the type of terrain you’re in, and people or police patrols in the area. Never push yourself to your limit; you always need to have energy in reserve so you can run in an emergency, and tired people are also rarely mentally

alert. If you must run from your opposition, try to do so only for a maximum of a few hundred yards, then slow down and move quietly and cautiously, covering any signs of your direction of travel. Do not use obvious routes, which tend to be the easiest routes to use; head up hills, into thorny areas, etc. Although there are no set time periods for halts, you should try to take ten minutes in every hour on long journeys. Tracks, paths, and roads make for fast, easy travel and can aid navigation, but can also be very dangerous because your opponents will watch them closely. To be cautious, walk a few meters off to the side of any roads or tracks. Places to expect sentries are at the entrances to urban areas, on bridges, at crossroads, and on high prominent terrain. Avoid being silhouetted when crossing skylines and hills; go around them rather than over them where possible. If you need to cross an obstacle or skyline, then keep low and crawl; if it’s a fence, crawl through it or under it. If you have to cut through a fence, cut through the lower strands and then disguise the hole with undergrowth or tie the wire strands

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back together, never cut through the top strands because this will be easily noticed. Moving at Night You need to learn to treat the night and darkness as your friend; darkness affords you cover. Many people are afraid of being in the dark, especially in rural areas or derelict buildings; you should use this to your advantage. If you are moving, you should always try to stay in the shadows. If you get caught in a beam of light or car headlights, you should freeze; the chances are that you will remain unnoticed. You must have your immediate reaction drills for encountering a person or for being caught in light or hostile fire at the forefront of your mind. Being caught off guard will get you captured or killed. Both natural and manmade noises are useful to you because they can cover up or disguise the sounds that you make when moving. The best time for moving covertly is during bad weather; rain will cover the noise of your movement and any ground

sign you leave. Bad weather also keeps people under cover and lowers the morale of those standing guard. Learn to love bad weather. General Guidelines for Rural Movement • Wear clothing that blends in with local people and the terrain. • Do everything possible to disguise evidence of your passage; cover footprints, never break twigs or undergrowth, and repair broken foliage. • Avoid contact with all people unless absolutely necessary. • Litter, food, and human waste must be buried or carried with you. • Learn about tracking, then you’ll be aware of what anyone following you will be looking for. • If moving with others, spread out, and when crossing obstacles such as a rivers, roads, etc., take up positions to be able to give warnings of any threats that might be approaching. Also stay low, move fast, and cross one by one. • Always be ready to take cover

• •

from gunfire or people you may encounter by surprise. Remember certain smells indicate human activity; odors float downhill in cool air and rise on warm air. Watch for stones, leaves, or logs that have been moved. The undersides of these will be darker in color and damp environments. This can be an indicator of human activity or the location of hides. Always look for straight lines because they are rare in nature and are usually man made. Learn to identify unnatural vegetation, such as green leaves among dead branches or areas of too much foliage, because this could indicate human activity such as hides or ambushes.

These are some basic guidelines to get you thinking. These skills can’t be learned sat in a comfy chair; you need to get out and learn and practice them. Everything I have written about here is simple, and the main thing required is situational awareness and common sense! •

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 21


22 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

BREACH/breCH/verb/ 1. Make a gap in and break through (a wall, barrier, or defense).


n the tactical world, breaching often translates to door breaching of a residence or place of business. Entry doors are the most common breaching adversary for military, law enforcement, and fire departments alike. Despite the three professions being drastically different, they all find commonality and bleed through when it comes to breaching. Regardless of the profession, effective breaching involves rapid tactics involving explosive dynamic movements that

enforce efficiency and account for contingencies. Often the fight is won or lost in the preparation and training prior to the battle. There is a difference between training and excellent training. The latter of the two is accomplished by producing the most realistic training environment(s) possible. One would think that obtaining abandoned structures for training would be the most ideal option. In most cases procuring

Photo: Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth [Public domain] The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 23

the competition. Most props on the market utilize two basic design approaches: 1) SPRING HINGES: These consists of a solid steel door connected by spring hinges to a steel frame, thus allowing the whole door to move away from the jam when a prying tool purchase is applied. This design presents an abnormally easy and overly large purchase area, which is not common on actual doors. Note: This design does not allow for crush-gapping tactics.

real training structures to breach actual doors is very difficult, time consuming, and just not possible for many reasons. Although this method utilizes actual doors for breaching, it is not conducive to providing multiple repetitions, ending with the door and or jam being compromised

24 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

after just one evolution. This is where the use of door-breaching simulators plays a huge roll and offers a large advantage. Door-breaching props maximize efficiency by bridging the gap between realism and repetition. Before we dive into the cutting edge design, let us first compare

2) SCRAP DOOR IN-A-FRAME: Just like it sounds‌.an actual scrap door is bolted to a steel frame via traditional non-spring hinges. Although this provides the realism of forcing an actual real door, it presents logistic problems on the material end. Large caches of scrap doors must be collected, and the loss of efficiency presented with the constant changing out and hanging of fresh doors adds large amounts of down time. Now insert the Fire Force Inc. Door Breaching Simulator – the most realistic, comprehensive breaching prop in the industry. The proprietary patent-pending sacrificial crush-gapping design takes mechanical tool breaching to the next level. A class-leading mountain of tactical options creates a comprehensive breaching system that spans from forcible entry through passive entry. Its innovative and flexible design allows for multiple tactical routes for each function, reinforcing contingency plan objectives.

DOOR GAPPING SYSTEM: The unique patent-pending design implements the“Gap Block” feature. Sacrificial sections that come in many different material levels create and emulate multiple types of door construction. This feature enforces the commonly used forcible entry methodogy of GAP/SET/FORCE, allowing the ability to crush-gap to obtain pry tool purchase and creating the feel of forcing an actual door in a low-cost consumable. PANIC BAR BREACHING SYSTEM: This provides the ability to plunge cut through sacrificial panels – just one of many tactics that allows access to the commercial panic bar mounted on the door. DROP BAR BREACHING SYSTEM: This creates the ability to breach the reusable drop bar attachments via saw cutting and carriage bolt punching tactics. This feature utilizes the same panels as the panic bar setup and requires zero fasteners. BASEBALL SWING WOOD JAM (INSWING OPTION) This utilizes a low-profile steel track that creates a wood jam on an inswing door to employ a baseball swing tactic with the use of a halligan tool. This feature requires zero drilling/fasteners. BASEBALL SWING (OUTWARD OPTION) Another unique feature that the gapping section provides is the ability to employ a baseball swing tactic

on a non-steel outswing door. The “gap blocks” offer this option with repetition unlike anything else on the market. DEADBOLT CUTTING SYSTEM: This creates the ability to simulate cutting deadbolts via an internal track that holds steel rebar. BATTERING RAM/HYDRORAM COMPATIBLE: A battering ram and hydroram (rabbit tool) capability enables inswing tactics. EXPANDABLE LOCK RESISTANCE: Multi-level lock resistance ranges from beginner through highly advanced hydraulic levels. This maximizes lock resistance while minimizing need for wood consumables. REMOVABLE WHEEL SYSTEM: This patent-pending design allows a single person to easily lift and move the 1,500 lb unit. This system removes via a single pin. Large, solid, no-air pneumatic tires grant access to most terrains. LOCK CYLINDER PULLING AND THROUGH-THE-LOCK SYSTEM: This unique patent-pending design allows the ability to simulate pulling residential and commercial lock faces. The setup consists of two heavy-billet steel lock cylinders, one large residential style and one small commercial style. The sacrificial resistance consumable employs a single inexpensive fender washer. Once the lock is pulled, a common

(interchangeable) residential deadbolt can be manipulated. HINGE PULLING/CUTTING SYSTEM: A heavy steel hinge mount uses actual screws to simulate realistic hinge pulling and cutting tactics. Shear actual screws, unlike the competition, which utilizes a hand tensioner. Multiple options enable anchoring chains and/or padlocks. Removal of the panic bar breaching panels creates a center window opening that creates the opportunity to chain/padlock the door to the frame. Additional HD anchors are also found on the side beams of the unit. ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Build construction of the highest level consists of heavy-gauge steel tube fully box welded. The simulator is overengineered for extreme durability, with quality paramount. The simulator is also aesthetically eyecatching, with strong lines topped off by the bold appearance of Raptor liner coating. In conclusion, the Fire Force Inc. Door Breaching Simulator is the perfect addition for any entity looking to take their tactical door breaching to the highest summit. Established in 1985, Fire Force Inc. continues a relentless commitment to developing the most realistic and innovative training products on the market. • For more information please contact: TODD SHEPHERD, VP of operations.

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 25


26 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

Law enforcement officials need to quickly seize, test, and train their canines to identify new threats as they’re unveiled.


9 companions have withstood time’s many challenges, namely the prevalence of synthetic drugs and various explosive devices that have been developed over the previous century. Along with newer methods of mayhem come even stronger

methods of training police dogs and handler education to deter said madness, keeping our streets safer for everyone. Conventional methods of training K9 dogs often included bringing an object of common investigations, such as marijuana or gunpowder,

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 27

then sending the canine towards houses, individuals, cars, or building perimeters to sniff out said object. Once the target items had been discovered through scent detection, K9’s were then rewarded for their day’s work. However, as expected, criminals are using ingenious methods to throw drug and bomb dogs off course. New Methods That May Have Saved a Marathon More sophisticated dogs trained to sniff out scents as perpetrators weave through crowds, called vapor wakes, are being introduced into major metro areas where more diverse detection methods are necessary. As Tamerlan Tsarnaev worked his way through a crowded Boston Marathon, these dogs

28 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

may have picked up the pressure cooker planted inside his backpack, thwarting a deadly fate for many. Cohesive efforts across many law enforcement agencies, both on local and federal levels, are being supported through the Canine Detection Research Institute of Auburn University to implement more “sweeping” methods of detecting drugs, bomb materials, and pressure cooker devices (IEDs) that aren’t your customary backpacking supplies. With ISIS now an imminent global threat and the recent catastrophe still clearly an open wound for Bostonians, these training exercises couldn’t happen fast enough. The CDRI currently undertakes 200 handler-

dog tandems yearly, training them mainly on today’s threats while research is being executed by the University of Lincoln to pinpoint bomb detection. Wider Net, Narrower Breed Selection? With K9s in Colorado, Washington, and other marijuanaapproved U.S. territories getting away from this now legal drug, attention is being focused solely on synthetic drugs such as methamphetamines and heroin as well as all types of detonation devices and bomb materials. With this wider net being cast, more breeds are being introduced that exceed the sniffing capabilities of

your traditional German shepherd. Of all the breeds of dogs that enjoy considerable popularity, the Springer spaniel is perhaps one of the most sought after today. Springers are friendly, energetic, and a great family dog that is protective of you and yours while also being intelligent, responsive, and wholly trainable. These K9s, one of several preferred companions by law enforcement, have an excellent nasal composition and are able to sniff anything. With 300 million available receptors, their sense of smell surpasses humans 60 times over. Many handlers prefer purebred dogs, such as spaniels, because of the pedigree, the prestige, and the fact

that when government agencies get a purebred dog, they know exactly what they’re getting, thanks to all the time and effort put into training K9 dogs. Getting precisely the desired talents, temperament, and physical traits that handlers want is invaluable. Canine Cognition of Tomorrow Technology will have an incredibly proactive role in developing cognitive skills in K9 dogs, yet relying on quicker identification of present-day contraband, such as bomb materials and illegal substances, is something technology cannot force. Law enforcement officials need to quickly seize, test,

and train their canines to identify new threats as they’re unveiled. Training each canine to sense specific groups of accelerants may be another novel method to approach advanced bomb education, to use one example. Barring setbacks, future research can move on to more complex explosives and perhaps introduce PVC-packed pellets, Molotov cocktails, and everything else used to engage in criminal acts of violence. Again, more research and quicker information sharing between agencies may help turn widespread mayhem into isolated, more controllable incidents. •

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The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 29


30 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet [CC BY 2.0 (https-//]


hope you enjoyed your Veterans Monday. Today in America, we place great importance on leisure time, sports, vacation, family outings, etc. Running the largest and most dynamic economy in the history of the world certainly warrants some time off. However, I noticed some things over the long weekend that I would like to share with you. I attended a class this weekend called Active Shooter Intervention (ASI), a firearms instruction session hosted by a great American company, Goruck. It was taught by Garret Machine, a veteran of the elite Israeli counterterrorism unit Durdevan. The class included students in USCG Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) training, local law enforcement and security officers, and a school counselor who had never held a weapon in her life. Our goal was simple: to gain confidence and proficiency with a concealed handgun in an active shooter/assailant scenario. We were taught it is aggression, not so much firepower, that determines the flow of combat. Part of the training we received was stress inoculation, becoming comfortable with uncertainty and surprise. More than shot placement or reload drills, this was the most beneficial part of training because I prepared for it least. At the end, we all agreed we had learned and improved through the hard, realistic training we had

received. In Goruck fashion, we were given a patch to commemorate our training. Before I went to this class, I went to see Joker in theaters this weekend. The fact that explicit concerns of “copycat” violence were raised over the movie changed my expectations before I took my seat. I was not afraid that an evildoer was going to rush into the theater screaming, wielding an instrument of death. Although possible, It seemed unlikely that it would happen with me there, a Marine ready to take action. Rather, knowing that a threat of harm was made public it created a negative light that was shared by so many vocally concerned citizens. It limited my engagement with the movie, which in my opinion didn’t live up to expectations. All this is to say, whether we like it or not, danger exists everywhere we go. It always has, and it always will, but our common perception leans heavily toward malevolent acts, and not accidents or misfortune. You prepare to drive alone by taking a proficiency exam, increasing your situational awareness, operating your vehicle in accordance with the law and the manual, signaling your intent to other drivers on the road, and not drinking any alcohol. This is the normal procedure to limiting road dangers in America, yet thousands die each year. When it comes to limiting the dangers of people intending harm, society does not have a normal

procedure. Everyone knows to call 911 in an emergency, but that notifies authorities who are at best minutes, and in some cases hours, away from responding in force. There are recent examples widely known to us in which a single person inflicted horrific casualties while EMS struggled to grasp the situation. Who is the first person available on the scene to stop such evil? Whoever can meet that evil with equal or greater force. What I learned at ASI was not just marksmanship or control under stress, but that evil acts must be prepared for. Had I sought this training earlier, I would have been unquestionably more prepared to act. I ask you to remember, Marines, that no matter what, we must always be prepared to act in defense of others and our nation. •

Courtsey Photo, U.S. Navy, Drugs in the Caribbean Sea The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 31


After attending this course, I am confident the next shooter, wherever he shows up, will not be successful.

32 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019


ctive shooter – “an individual who is engaged in killing, or attempting to kill, people in a confined and populated area” The list of school shootings is too long to list here, but the names Pearl, Columbine, Newtown, and

Parkland stick in our minds. I was extremely fortunate to have attended the new Single Officer Response to Active Threat and Shooter Incidents (SORATSI) Instructor course. This course, taught by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), is in

Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel [Public domain] The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 33

response to the Parkland shooting, and the demand for this course is high. The training cadre was first class. The instructors from FDLE, FHP (Florida Highway Patrol), and the Madison County Sheriff ’s Office were skilled operators with realworld experience in confronting shooters. The course trains single officers in the proper response protocol to an active shooter. The proper response is, of course, to get inside the building and take care of business! The training officers received after Columbine will not save lives because the response takes too long. Law enforcement must enter the building and locate and eliminate the threat! The victims don’t have time for you to get ready. In the words of the instructors: You need to get in there with what you have on you! This is the mindset LEOs must possess in order to deal with these situations! Students in the class received a refresher in Florida State Statute776.05,(3) regarding fleeing felons, which states, “A law enforcement officer, or any person whom the officer has summoned or directed to assist him or her, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest.” Throughout the years, many officers have forgotten this statute, as their department policies are opposite to the state law and want police to stand down or lack TTPs that address issues like active shooter.

34 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

The statute also states that the “officer is justified in the use of ANY force: Which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest.” The students are also reminded of the rules of Action vs. Reaction: There is no way to react as fast as someone else can act! A verbal command or noise of any kind could give away your position, and you would be left to react to the shooter instead of acting first. As a rookie police officer, I was introduced to the active shooter phenomena in earnest with the Columbine shooting. Law Enforcement training sections all over the country were responding to the threat by creating response to active shooter classes. While there are differences in the characteristics of the shooters themselves, there are some basics that apply to every active shooter situation. The basic response is this: Locate the shooter and eliminate the threat. After eliminating the threat, evacuate the injured. After Columbine, we were trained to wait for the first four officers to arrive, form up into an active shooter team, and enter the building in a diamond formation. That was later changed to two officers, and then changed again to the first officer on scene enters the building. While there is strength in numbers, LEOs usually don’t have that luxury. With an active shooter situation,

time is critical, and you may have to go in alone! The Parkland shooting report shows that Deputy Scot Peterson, the SRO at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS), responded to building 12 in response to the shooting within 1 minute 39 seconds. Prior to his arrival 21 victims had already been shot, nine of whom were fatally wounded. Had Peterson gone in immediately, the outcome would have been different – not perfect, but different! An American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) study shows that in 64 incidents where the duration could be ascertained, 44 of the 64 incidents ended in 5 minutes or less, with 23 incidents ending in 2 minutes or less.1 Given these statistics, the first officer arriving must enter the building and go to work! Help will be arriving soon because an active shooter event has been broadcast to all adjacent counties, police departments and the state police. Backup is coming! A patrol officer will almost always be the first to arrive in an active shooter situation. If the shooter is in a school, the SRO “might” be the first one there. I say might, as SROs take days off, get sick, and go to training just like any other officer. Manpower is also an issue, and the Parkland shooting illustrates this. Deputy Scot Peterson was the only LEO assigned to a high school with 3,300 students, and the SRO assigned to Westglades Middle School with approximately 1,600 students next door to MSDHS was in training!

I was not an SRO, but I responded to calls in schools within my district when the SRO was absent and provided backup at the school when needed. I also had knowledge of the school's layout. Patrol officers need to be familiar with the schools in their district! Anyone considering the job of School Resource Officer must accept the possibility of an active shooter. If a psycho comes into your school intent on mayhem, you need to take it personally! That is your house and you must defend it! If you are not ready to do that, find another job!

LEOs must be equipped properly also. The Parkland shooting report also states that “[a]t the time of the incident, Deputy Scot Peterson did not have a ballistic vest or a Patrol rifle with him.”2 If you are in uniform, WEAR YOUR VEST! Many officers have been killed because they left their vest in the car because it was too hot, bulky, etc. You are not going to have time to get ready when the shooting starts. The fact that Peterson did not have a long gun is unfortunately all too common. Many school administrators don’t even want

LEOs on campus, let alone armed with a long gun. When it comes to equipment, if your department has not provided it, buy it! It is in your best interest as well. I purchased a lot of gear personally, as did many coworkers: vest containing extra munitions, glass breaker, pry bar, and an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) with tourniquet. I also took a course in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). After studying the Virginia Tech shooting, I learned that SeungHui Cho chained and padlocked doors. These can be hacked

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 35

using shotgun breaching, so I learned those techniques. I was determined to get into a school and confront the shooter! I was dispatched to an active shooter alarm at a Joint Reserve complex near Orlando International airport. Multiple officers arrived simultaneously, and we were fortunate enough to be able to form a four-man team. The facility was a large three-story building, and by the time the first team was finishing with the first floor, Team 2 had been formed and was proceeding to the second floor while Team 1 headed up to clear the third floor. In the end it was a false alarm, but we were very pleased with the speed of the clearing. The Orlando Police Department has some of the best trainers around.

The recent release of the Parkland shooting report lists some glaring errors committed by the Broward Sheriff ’s Office (BSO), and particularly, School Resource Officer (SRO) Scot Peterson. A lot can be learned from its 439 pages. The findings of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas report were: • Former Deputy Scot Peterson was derelict in his duty on February 14, 2018, failed to act consistently with his training, and fled to a position of personal safety while Cruz shot and killed MSDHS students and staff. Peterson was in a position to engage Cruz and mitigate further harm to others, and he willfully decided not to do so. • There is overwhelming

evidence that Deputy Peterson knew that the gunshots were coming from within or in the immediate area of Building 12. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that Peterson attempted to investigate the source of the gunshots. In fact, the statement of Security Specialist Greenleaf confirms Peterson did not attempt to identify the source of the gunshots, and, by all accounts—including surveillance video—Peterson retreated to an area of safety. Confusion in identifying the source of gunshots due to echoes around the structures was eliminated as an excuse for Peterson not entering Building 12 due an abundance

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughlin [Public domain] 36 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

of evidence including but not limited to: • Peterson had been told by Medina that the noises were coming from within Building 12. • Peterson was dropped off at the doors to Building 12. • Peterson repeatedly referenced Building 12 on his BSO radio. • Peterson told Officer Best that the shooter was on the second or third floor. • In his BSO interview, Peterson identified the gunshots as coming from within or in the immediate area of Building 12. On February 14, the BSO law enforcement response to MSDHS was hindered in part by MSDHS School Resource Officer Scot Peterson’s erroneous directions and other improper information he relayed over BSO’s main radio channel 8A, including directing responding deputies to shut down nearby intersections and requesting no pedestrian traffic anywhere on nearby roads. Peterson instructed deputies to stay at least 500 feet away from the 12 or 1300 buildings. These instructions conflict with current law enforcement response procedures to active shooter situations. Law enforcement officers should try to eliminate any immediate threat even if that requires approaching gunfire and danger. Deputy Peterson responded to the area of Building 12 within

approximately 1 minute 39 seconds after the first shots were fired. Prior to his arrival, 21 victims had already been shot, nine of whom were fatally wounded. This makes clear that seconds matter and that SROs cannot be relied upon as the only protection for schools. Even if there is a rapid response. • Deputy Peterson was an SRO for 28 years, and that likely provided him a great deal of experience in some aspects of being an SRO. However, in his case, it may have also contributed to his inadequate response to this shooting. SROs typically are not faced with many highrisk, high-stress situations such as domestic violence calls, robberies, shootings, etc. As a result, they are not afforded the chance to maintain and exercise their tactical skills other than in training scenarios. For that reason, it is of the utmost importance that SROs be provided with frequent, thorough, and realistic training to handle high-risk, high stress situations. While no one has all the answers, law enforcement must continue to adapt in its quest to protect and serve. The release of the Parkland shooting report has raised serious concerns about the policies and procedures of the Broward Sheriff ’s Office. After our wonderful new Governor Ron DeSantis was sworn in, he suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel almost a year after the shooting. As a result of

the report, changes in command, policy, and training are being made at BSO and other agencies, SROs are required at every school in Florida, and this course was created. After attending this course, I am confident the next shooter, wherever he shows up, will not be successful. •

REFERENCES ASIS School Safety & Security Council, Active Shooter, 2016 2 Initial Report, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, January 2, 2019 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He is currently an officer with the Starke Police Department and conducts training in lone wolf terrorism, firearms, first aid, and law enforcement vehicle operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today, The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International, and Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at

The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 37

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38 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

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Glock 43/48 Deep Concealment Holster Product Review

by Lawrence Firmi


colleague of mine recently sent me a low visibility inside-the-waistband holsters made for the Glock 43. I was asked to evaluate the holster during everyday carry, dry-fire practice, and live fire on the range. The only caveat I was given was I had to use a Glock 48 rather than the manufacturer-prescribed model 43. I’m sure many readers are aware the Glock 48 and 43X models are the latest slim-line offerings from Glock that offer a higher magazine capacity than the G43. These newer offering are quickly becoming a staple in the CCW and personal protection community. Once I received the holster, I inspected it and was a bit skeptical. As previously stated, the holster I was sent is designed for the G43, but I was asked to evaluate it with a G48. When I secured my G48 in the holster the muzzle protruded past the end approximately ¾” and slightly spread the contoured tip of the holster. While unaesthetically pleasing, the protrusion did not seem to affect the retention of the holster, so I continued as I was asked. This covert holster boasts a full guard with an adjustable passive retention

40 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019

system, a deep concealment spacer that helps limit printing and interchangeable belt clips designed for either 1.5” or 1.75” wide belts. The replaceable belt loops are also molded to cant the holstered weapon ten degrees while worn. The main body of the holster is constructed of a thin but rigid polymer material that’s contoured on the side that touches the shooter’s body. The body side of the holster is also textured to help keep it in position during wear and draw. The full “combat cut” guard completely shields the wearer’s body from any sharp edges on the weapon such as the slide stop or sights, yet allows one to get a full purchase on the grip without the need for readjustment once the weapon clears the holster. The shape of the guard also allows the wearer to access the magazine release, if needed, while holstered. I admit I’m normally not a fan of inside-the-waistband holsters that feature a full-guard design. That all changed once I put this holster on. During dry-fire practice and on the range, I primarily wore the holster in my usual five o’clock position. For the sake of this evaluation I also

experimented with an appendix carry. The holster was surprisingly comfortable in both carry positions. I experienced little to no movement during dry-fire draw, even during the most aggressive draw stokes. Once the weapon was drawn, the holster body remained rigid. As I holstered the weapon, I noted the full guard helped channel the muzzle into place. While outside my home, I wore the holster every day for nearly a week. I experimented with several different clothing options. I wore thin casual style shorts, jeans, and Docker-style pants. I usually carry inside the waistband, so my clothing is appropriately sized to accommodate this carry method. I also experimented with and without an undershirt tucked behind the holster so I could evaluate the comfort of the full-guard design. The holster was comfortable when worn with a variety of clothing options and while driving. Overall, I think this holster is a quality option, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a true concealment holster for the Glock slim-line models. • B07YRYQT8H?ref=myi_title_dp

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42 The Counter Terrorist ~ December 2019 Find out more at:


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Counter The



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