Countering terrorist teams, part 1: A different threat requires a different response

Editor's note: Two weeks after the attacks in Mumbai, India—in which fewer than a dozen militants held at bay some 800 police for 60 hours—PoliceOne presented a special report consisting of articles from P1 SWAT Columnists Lt. Dan Marcou and Sgt. Glenn French, as well as analysis and opinion from Stratfor and P1 members. Today we present the first in a three-part series from PoliceOne Firearms columnist Dick Fairburn on the important subject of police readiness and training for a Mumbai-style attack. Be sure to watch for parts two and three in coming weeks.

The November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India by teams of active shooter terrorists illustrates several shortcomings in U.S. police response tactics. In my opinion, our response shortcomings are mostly a misuse of available resources, which we can correct through training. Assuming, of course, we can move past the denial stage of believing such an event could never happen here.

Terror groups launching such attacks have a penchant of going for the biggest “bang” possible, so an attack like the one at Mumbai would likely be directed toward one of our larger cities, providing them with a target-rich environment. A further analysis of active shooting incidents strongly suggests the attackers will select a venue where they are likely to face minimal resistance.

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