There was no time to plan, they said, no time even to think.
“We just kind of acted. There wasn’t much thinking going on,” Skarlatos said. “At least on my end.” __ https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/as-french-train-suspect-is-interrogated-questions-mount-on-europes-security/2015/08/23/088ff2fe-4923-11e5-9f53-d1e3ddfd0cda_story.html
When confronted by a face to face attack, Dangerous Children tend to confront the attack skillfully and strategically. We see a hint of this ethic in the recent Muslim terror attack on the Amsterdam – Paris train. Here is how the attack played out:
A French banker, identified as Damien A., saw [the terrorist] in a lavatory with his weapon. He grabbed at Khazzani. Khazzani ran into the rail car where passenger Mark Moogalian (an American living in France) accosted him.
Now Khazzani is targeting unarmed civilians. Blown ambush? Shouting? No problem. He has firepower. He shot Moogalian.
But other passengers had more surprises. Instead of cowering, they responded heroically. First one, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, got to Khazzani, and then a second, and then four were on him. He could not aim the weapon. In the hand-to-hand struggle, he pulled a pair of box cutters and wounded Stone. He drew a pistol. But Stone’s friends, Oregon Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos and California college student Anthony Sadler, kept battering him. British businessman Chris Norman joined the fight. They disarmed and pinned Khazzani. To emphasize his disapproval, Skarlatos used the AK’s muzzle to make repetitive metal impressions on Khazzani’s head. Did the message get through? Khazzani was a finger twitch from eternity.
The en masse quick physical assault on Khazzani was somewhat like a tactic the military calls an instantaneous counterattack on a close-in ambush. In the ambush’s kill zone, the defenders have little chance, and so they instantly turn and assault the ambushers. Penetrating the ambush positions brings the battle to the ambushers. In the resulting melee, the ambushers lose the advantage of surprise.
Instead of cowering behind their seats in the face of attack, unarmed passengers began trying to subdue the heavily armed terrorist. Khazzani escaped the French banker, shot the American living in France, but was then rapidly confronted with three young Americans, and one middle-aged Englishman — all unarmed. The last four men to confront Khazzani beat him to unconsciousness, then helped tie him up to await the French authorities.
The terrorist carried an AK-47 assault rifle, with 370 rounds of ammunition. He also had a 9mm automatic, razor-sharp box cutters, and a bottle of petrol — presumably in order to burn the infidel passengers alive. If not for the rapid response by passengers, what might have happened? And what if some of the pertinent passengers had been in a different car?
“We decided to get up because the WiFi wasn’t so good on that car,” said Sadler, 23, a college student. “We were like, ‘We have a ticket to first class. We might as well go sit in first class.’ ”
About half an hour after the train pulled away from Amsterdam, they switched to the car where the shooter soon opened fire, he said.
Along with two other men, they tackled, then disarmed, a suspected Islamist militant who packed two guns, a knife and nine clips of ammunition into his rucksack.
“He seemed like he was ready to fight to the end. So were we,” said Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, his left arm in a sling, his right eye bloodshot and watering.
The three men — friends since middle school in California — appeared together in public on Sunday for the first time since they overpowered and then tied up the shooter. Stone’s hand was heavily bandaged after an operation to reattach his thumb, which was nearly severed during the attack. All three looked exhausted and sported days-old beards.
But they displayed some of the instinctive camaraderie that on the train led them to leap from their seats in seconds to take on the shooter as a team. They finished one another’s sentences and silently communicated with each other with cocked eyebrows and tiny facial expressions.
Stone, giving his account for the first time on Sunday, said that he had simply had one idea in his mind as he sprinted to disarm the assailant: “Survival.”
He was in “the middle of a deep sleep” when he heard the initial scuffle between the shooter and the French citizen who was the first to stumble on him, he said. But then his friend, Oregon Army National Guard Spec. Alek Skarlatos, 22 and recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan, “just hit me on the shoulder and said ‘Go,’ ” Stone said.
There was no time to plan, they said, no time even to think.
“We just kind of acted. There wasn’t much thinking going on,” Skarlatos said. “At least on my end.”
Stone said that after the suspect was tied up, he saw that another passenger had been severely wounded by a bullet during the attack and was “squirting blood” from his neck. Stone said he barely felt any of his own injuries, so he focused on saving the other victim’s life. He stuck two of his fingers into the passenger’s wound to hold an artery closed until paramedics showed up.
A well-known French actor on the train — who was injured when he sounded the alarm and engaged the emergency brake — said that without the prompt action by the passengers, all of them would have been killed.
Spencer Stone, the bareheaded young man in a sling above, is a serviceman in the US Air Force, trained as a medic. Besides being the first to effectively begin subduing the terrorist, he also saved the life of the man who was shot in the neck by the terrorist — by staunching the arterial bleeding and holding pressure on the artery until French EMTs arrived. All of that while he himself was suffering an almost severed thumb, courtesy of the terrorist’s boxcutter.
These 6 men (the French banker, the American living in France, the three young Americans pictured above, and the middle-aged Englishman) were not Dangerous Children. But they all reacted quickly to slow the terrorist down, and to eventually render him subdued and unconscious.
How would the attack have gone down had all of the 6 reacting passengers been Dangerous Children? The terrorist would have been killed or quickly rendered unconscious by the first to react — if the French banker had also been a Dangerous Child.
In situations such as that, there is no time to think in a conscious and rational manner. Either you have the instinct to react, or you do not. If you have the instinct to react — and also have the training to quickly kill or thoroughly disable someone who is attacking your loved ones or other innocents — you will simply do so, without thinking.
Most western children have been sheltered from every conceivable and inconceivable danger their entire lives. They are unable to recognise a deadly hazard, and would in fact remain in denial for the few fatal seconds in which they might have reacted effectively.
Those with military training will show better instincts, especially if they have been in recent combat. But those who develop the instincts of rapid and effective reaction against threats while in their childhood and youth will have an advantage, in the quick reaction stage.
It is easy to focus on the aspects of multiple skills and broad competencies when discussing Dangerous Children. The ability to operate planes, boats, heavy machinery, hazardous power tools, weapons, and all types of dangerous devices . . . The ability to make one’s way financially at age 18 at least 3 different ways . . . But it is the mental training of the Dangerous Child, his ability make and execute complex plans, the skill and speed with which he reacts to threats, the resourcefulness with which he can quickly move to meet dire challenge in times of adversity, that is at the heart of the Dangerous Child training method.
You cannot lay the foundations for The Next Level if you do not survive the low-life terrorists and thugs who infest the modern world, at levels high and low.
Adapted from an article first published on The Dangerous Child blog