In the day and age we live, this is a fair article to write and it's really not a stretch of the imagination. Fact is this: Everytime you or I or someone we know goes to a major mall in America, there is a risk of a terrorist attack. Israel has faced suicide bombers for many years.
Only luck (or probably "God") has kept America safe from that kind of terror to date. But that soon may change. It could be this year.
It's not just terrorists with radical Islamic beliefs that may be a threat. As America continues to decline morally and pass laws and make policies contrary to God, another group of "terrorists" may come forward, and that is the anarchists or others with deep hatred in their hearts and a desire to cause mayhem and even murder as a way to lash out at capitalism.
All those protesters at World Trade Organization conferences and even the popular "sit-ins" around American cities in the last several months (quite a few that came to violence, such as Oakland, CA) are some of the same people I'm referring to now. Of this group, a small number are capable of severe violence, and may have murdered people in the past.
Well, maybe "anarchists" isn't the best word to describe young Americans (and "anarchists" from the UK) from counter-culture that band together to attack other people. But they're out there, such as the terrorist attack at Columbine in 1999, where two high school students walked into school and started shooting, or the numerous attacks over the years in different cities by other self-described anarchists.
You don't have to be on "red alert". You don't have to be paranoid. You just simply have to be aware.
As a writer who publishes on topics of survival, and terrorism, and the current state of world affairs -- as well as Bible prophecy -- I'd like to advise readers to be on the alert (by simply being aware) not just for Islamic radicals -- but young, white Americans (anarchists) from counter culture. If terrorist attacks become more common in America in the months and years ahead, these guys could be responsible for more than one. Some of them could even have former military training themselves. What I'm describing is a scenario where the Waco, Texas David Koresh and Randy Weaver type American radicals decide to take up arms against society, and lash out with crazed, murder driven attacks at places like shopping malls and business districts. (I may have received good information over the months to indicate that this is a possibility. That's all I'll say in that regard.)
How Do You Survive an Attack at a Mall?
Odds are you won't be there. But someone's going to be there, and it might be someone you know. But just in case, you do end up at a mall, at the time one or more people have planned a mass shooting or bombing -- or combination of both -- there are some things you can do to increase your odds of survival.
1) Seriously consider doing your shopping outside the mall. If you truly have to go to the mall, then choose days and times that a terror attack is least likely to occur -- such as a Sunday evening at 8pm. I would guess that a terrorist would pick a day and time that the most shoppers are likely to be at the mall. It's like the suicide bomber in Israel. He or she most likely picks a time when the market or restaurant / night club has the biggest crowds.
2) Scan shoppers and look for people that fit either the description of an Islamic radical (yes, you'll be "profiling", though it's not always effective, some may not look the traditional part of Islamic radical), or fit the description of a young hate-filled American from counter-culture -- an "anarchist". Not sure what they look like? A lot of them are the same protesters that show up in American cities and break windows, destroy cars, assault cops and pedestrians. That's the crowd I'm referring to. The link at the top of this article is a good reference.
If you see a handful of people in the mall, matching a similar description, they may all be cohorts, even if they're not in close proximity to each other. If a planned attack is going to come together, they may enter the mall from different doors, and plan to converge on centers of activity in the mall.
Flash Mob of Terror
You notice a number of young men (who look like they could be on their way to a protest of corporate America) are walking through the mall. Relax -- this doesn't mean a terror attack is about to be unleashed. What's important is that you've noticed them. It's just a red flag at this point. You scan the mall for the nearest exits, and notice that by one of the exits there are two guys that look like part of the same group hanging out by the door (what stands out to you are the black and gray clothes, the tattoos and piercings, and even their general demeanor), and then you look down the mall and notice yet another two guys standing outside the entrance to one of the major clothing stores.
Better safe than sorry. You immediately start walking to the nearest exit, where two of the men are, and just casually walk past them to the outside. As soon as you're out the door you get on your cell phone and call mall security, and report that a number of suspicious people have entered the mall, and that security may want to be ready just in case there's about to be a shooting.
Is this a survival tactic?
You bet it is. But it only works in the moment leading up to an attack on a public place. It's like an off duty (or plain-clothes) Israeli police officer, who noticed the two suicide bombers entering a shopping district or nightclub. He's trained to recognize that they don't fit in. He also knows that they're an ever present threat -- even if months go by without an attack. He only has moments to casually get up from his seat and walk outside and get on the phone. In his situation he simply can't pull his gun (this is a suicide bomber, remember) or yell "run, suicide bombers" to the crowd -- though if yelled early enough, it might save a few lives as it could trigger the suicide bombers to panic and detonate themselves prior to the time of maximum impact they were counting on.
What about our mall attackers? If you're certain that there's going to be an attack, you could consider pressing a mall fire alarm and then walking toward the nearest exit. This might trigger an attack to occur a few moments or even just a couple minutes before "maximum impact", and it may save a few lives.
Caught in a store
This is one of the worse case scenarios. Shooting has erupted within the mall, and bullets (machine gun bullets) and shot guns are ringing out. Screams of terror as people are shot. Your heart is jumping in your chest, adrenaline pumping, fear and panic seizing you. You want to run, but that means running out of the store and into the mall. At this point, the safest bet may be to run for the back room, but first ask (shout) to one of the employees if there's a "back door". Many / most small stores have back doors to either a hallway (for janitors, product storage, etc) or even to the outside (depending on what kind of mall you're in) though these may lock on both the inside and the outside, and require a key to exit.
Consider Following a Fleeing Employee
An employee, especially a store manager, may be well aware of emergency evacuation procedures. He may know of emergency exits that you don't know about. If he runs for the back room or side-door, follow him! Ask him if he knows how to get out; hopefully, his store has a plan for evacuating shoppers.
Don't Be Crushed in a Stampede
So you or someone else has triggered a fire alarm, either before or as shots are ringing out in the mall. You might avoid being shot by making your way to the nearest exit, but that doesn't mean you won't avoid being run down by a mob of panicked shoppers who are running for the exits. Many people have been seriously injured and lives lost over the years in mob events. The way to avoid being crushed by a mob is to get out of their way and take shelter behind the nearest fixed object. Don't just hide behind any object -- a fleeing crowd can move heavy objects and that can still pose a danger. A fixed object is something that is not going to move. Even if you have to wait an extra minute, just maybe the biggest part of the crowd will get by and you can now make your own exit.
Avoiding a Gunman
Stay low, and look around -- do you see a gunman? No, ok, well consider making a run for it now. Even if there is a gunman, if he's far enough away, there's a great chance he can't shoot a moving target. Run in a direction that is at an angle to his location, rather than simply running straight away from him. That gives him an easier shot. Running away at an angle means he has to shoot a moving target, which is difficult even for trained shooters sometimes. Run diagonal to the shooter, even zig-zag, which is to cut back and forth. Remember to keep your head low, becoming a smaller target.
Easier said than done, of course. But do everything you can to stay calm. Keep a level head. You've rehearsed this scenario - especially if you frequently shop at a mall, or you yourself work at a shopping mall. Tens of thousands of people are employed at shopping malls. Tens of thousands of people should have plans for evacuation in the event of a terrorist attack or other emergency.
Do you know anyone who works at a shopping mall? Ask them what kind of plans they have for civil emergencies. Most unfortunately probably don't have any plans for the worst emergencies. In a way many shopping malls have their heads in the sand. They're asleep at the wheel, and don't recognize the dangerous times that we are living in today. Consider sharing this article with someone you love, if they shop at malls or of course work for a mall.