America Under Siege: Staying Alive If You’re In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

You know, I really don’t care what religion you are.

If you, in your religious fervor, begin planting bombs, lopping off heads, opening fire in a crowded place, or stabbing people, I’m going to think you are a horrible person. I don’t care if you’re doing this to please God, Allah, or some alien life form that you worship. Bad actions are bad actions, regardless of your motivation.

It appears that the terror incidents of late in the United States have all been in the name of Allah. This is terrible for the victims of these incidents and terrible for the peaceful people who share a skin color, a culture, or a religion with the terrorists.

We could argue all day long about our views on Muslim immigrants. Some folks are all for it, while others are completely against the concept. Both sides have some valid points and most of us are pretty set in our opinions, either way. Nothing I say is likely to change your views – I can either preach to the choir and alienate the folks sitting in the pews, or vice versa. And you know, that gets us nowhere.

There are also people who believe that recent events aren’t religious in nature as they’re being portrayed as, but the machinations of evil masterminds who want to find yet another excuse to limit freedom and manipulate people through fear. The false flag theory also has some merit.

As I’ve mentioned before (once or twice), none of the media outlets are reporting without bias. Without all of the information – and we’ll never have that – it’s impossible for any of us to do more than guess the details and motivations. So, this article isn’t about opinions – it’s about a series of events that happened.  It’s about a wave of terror activities right here on our own soil. It’s about how to stay alive if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A shockwave of terror in America

A mass stabbing in Minnesota, pressure cooker bombs in New York City and New Jersey exploding, and at least eight other devices being found, thankfully found before they detonated, sends us a clear message. We’re under seige.

The man wanted in connection with the New York City bombings has been named as Ahmed Khan Rahami.


He was originally from Afghanistan and a naturalized U.S citizen living New Jersey. Reuters reported that Ahmed Khan Rahami has been captured.

New York, New Jersey bomb suspect in custody after shootout in Linden, NJ – report

An Afghanistan-born American sought in connection with a bombing that wounded more than two dozen people in New York City and could be linked to other bombs found in New York and New Jersey was taken into custody on Monday after a shootout, a New Jersey mayor said.

Ahmad Khan Rahami of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was taken into custody after firing at police officer in Linden, New Jersey, about 20 miles outside New York, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said.

Investigators believe more people were involved in the New York and New Jersey bombing plots, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

Investigators believe they may be hunting a terrorist cell, just as world leaders arrive in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Here’s a video of the moment the blast in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York hit.

More by luck than anything else, nobody was killed in the attack. 29 people were injured and needed hospital treatment for their wounds, predominantly caused by shrapnel packed into the bombs.

More devices were found at a train station in Elisabeth, New Jersey. This busy target shows that these people intend to cause deaths on a grand scale. One of the devices exploded when bomb disposal robots were attempting to defuse the device.

What can we do?

Assuming the events are exactly as they are being presented, carefully vetting immigrants is one thing that could reduce the risk, but it’s certainly not foolproof.

Strictly from a survival point of view, it doesn’t matter at all who committed the acts of terror that occurred on 9/11, on the streets of Boston, in Paris, or here, just a few nights ago. It doesn’t matter whether the shooting at Sandy Hook was perpetrated by a kid with behavioral issues or by operatives with an agenda.

If you were caught up in a bombing or mass shooting, the only thing that is important at that very moment is surviving. As I wrote in an article published shortly after the attacks in Paris..

…And if you find yourself in the midst of an attack, the motivation of the people attacking doesn’t matter at all. You are in just as much danger whether the perpetrator is a member of ISIS or a member of a secret government agency. A bomb is a bomb, an AK-47 is an AK-47, and a machete will lop off your head, regardless of the motivation of the person wielding it.

So stop with the accusations and focus on what is really important – your survival.

Think about what you would do in an event like the ones that have taken so many lives and harmed so many people. Thinking through events before they occur is what allows us to act quickly when they do happen. Believing in the possibility of bad things helps you to accept it and move to save yourself and your family, while others stand there in shock, making targets of themselves. It’s time to consider what you would do to survive a terrorist attack.

The “life goes on as normal” and “we can’t let them win” speeches that will be made in the next few days may be okay for protected and body-guarded politicians but for the rest of us those words provide little comfort.

If it is an attack we don’t see coming, like an IED, there are few strategies that will help aside from luck. If possible, stay away from crowded areas like public transit, sporting events, concerts, or anything else that would make a good target. If that is not possible, keep your eyes open for anyone behaving suspiciously. Now is the time to increase your situational awareness and be as alert as possible. (This article has great information on situational awareness.)

In the event of an active attack, you have three main courses of action.

If you find yourself suddenly in the midst of an act of terrorism, your actions should be one of the following:

1) Escape. Get as far away from the threat as possible. This is where your early observant behavior comes in handy, because you’ll already know the escape routes. If you are in charge of vulnerable individuals like children, your first choice of actions should be to get them to safety if at all possible.

2) Take cover. If you can’t get away, get behind something solid and wait for your opportunity to either escape or fight back. This is something else you may have observed when doing your earlier reconnaissance.

3) Take out the threat. If you are armed (and I really hope you are) and/or trained, use your abilities to help remove the threat.

The most important thing to consider here is not necessarily which action you will take. It’s that you will take an action, not just stand there in shock. You can be a victim or you can be a warrior.

You can read the rest of the article about surviving a terrorist attack here.


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