Eight years ago today Muslim Chechen separatists occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia which is an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. They took over 1,100 faculty, students and their parents hostage demanding that the Russians leave Chechnya. After three days of negotiations, during which hostages and terrorists alike died, Russian paramilitary forces retook the school. Unfortunately, 377 were killed during the operation.
Terrorists have have conducted this sort of action more than once in various parts of the world. Even the recent mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado is a portent of things to come. Citizens and Law Enforcement alike should be vigilant. For citizens, if it doesn’t look right, avoid the situation. For LE and first responders, it is imperative to practice. Even rock drills and command post exercises to work out command and control as well as communications issues is critical. Learn critical skills. Be prepared to transition from regular duties to dealing with single and multiple active shooters. Get the proper equipment and know how to use it.
I recommend all read up on this operation and study both the actions of the terrorists as well as those of Government forces.