Learning from Insurgent Tactics: The Vehicle as a Weapon

From the Archives, 2015

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13. Bought on Ebay for $8K

The attack on Dallas PD this past Saturday by a man in an armored van represents a variation on a tactic that has not been seen since the DC Sniper Murders in 2002, where a man and his young accomplice, using a Chevy Caprice sedan and turning the trunk into a “mobile” sniper hide, killed 10 people and critically wounded three others. The two concepts, an Armored Wagon or Van and the Mobile Sniper Hide, have at their core, basically the same concept: To Use a vehicle as a platform for a shooter or shooters to engage civilians and law enforcement, attempting to kill as many as possible. The differences lay in HOW these methods are applied.

The Mobile Sniper Hide (MSH) is a covert weapon, meaning it’s strength lies in NOT being detected, as the shooter engages targets both quietly and quickly as possible, keeping the location of the shooter (and shot) both hid (in the DC Sniper Case, by shooting from the car’s trunk through a small hole). The Armored Wagon on the other hand, OVERTLY engages targets (through gun ports), purposely drawing fire as it rolls on, ie like the Dallas PD attack recently.

The critical keys to remember if the AV concept is to work effectively, is that the engine block must be further bullet proofed (a .50 Caliber round took out the engine block) the tires must be run flats and reserve fuel bladders added.  If the engine or tires get disabled, or you run out of gas at a critical juncture, you are no longer mobile and have no egress options available; you are dead in the water, literally.


As far as the two concepts go, the Mobile Sniper Hide is a much more effective tool for the lone or small unit of of Guerilla fighters who live in a civilian population that is not controlled by military forces. Less attention is drawn to the vehicle as a whole, making it easier to hit and run (in reference to the One Shot Sniper Method discussed in the book Fry the Brain by John West.)

If history is studied, armored vans (or improvised fighting vehicles) work well in WAR zones, where both the VOLUME of fire coming OUT of the vehicle and the expectation of SUPPORT (from other vehicles and infantry) can be expected to be large. The downside of course is ANTITank and Vehicle weapons such as Mines, IED’s, RPG’s, Javelins and Grenade Launchers. The evolution of the IFV is an interesting study for the CO. Although I typically steer away from Wiki-Pedia, their entry on this subject is quite extensive and for the most part, correct. Read it HERE.


Another element of the insurgents use of vehicles to achieve a desired aim can be seen currently with the situation in Iraq where a large number of American Humvees that had been given to the Iraqi Security Forces were stolen by ISIS and turned into VBIED’s (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices). Read that story HERE

VBIED’s (or car bombs) have been a technique that has seen widespread use by insurgents and terrorist alike. Some of the worst attacks (as far a total number killed) have occurred on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, if you ask any American with a sense of history, they will tell you by far, the two attacks that are seared into their memory are The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, both car bomb attacks.

In 2010, a car bomb was detected and diffused in New York’s Times Square, thanks to some street vendors who were paying attention. Just another example of why AWARENESS is our first and primary weapon in self-defense.


Bibliography and Suggested Reading

  • Fry the Brain by John West

  • Buda’s Wagon by Mike Davis

  • Bandit Country by Toby Harnden

  • Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough


Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

History of Terrorism: Iran’s Hezbollah


The Hezbollah Threat: From the Marine Barracks Bombing to Today

(click on above link to be re-directed)

So often ISIS get’s all the attention, but when you study the History of Terrorism, Iran and Hezbollah have been busy killing Americans decades before AQ or ISIS was created.

We need to understand that Hezbollah is Iranian STATE sponsored terrorism and has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the years and whats really sickening is we have a Government that currently thinks they can appease these pieces of garbage.

What is it that Winston Churchill said about Appeasers in speaking of the so called “Peace in our Time” speech made by then Prime Minister Chamberlain?

“Appeasers are people that feed crocodiles hoping it will eat them last.”

It applied in 1938 with Hitler and definitely applies in 2016 with Iran.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!


Examining Terrorist Tactics: Dealing With Stuff That Blows Up


Dealing with Bombs & Improvised Explosive Device Incidents

(click the title link above to be re-directed to Source page)

This subject is becoming more and more a common topic among civilian self-defense trainers and that is a good thing. Our training ALWAYS needs to reflect the reality of the threat on the street. The average civilian needs to have some kind of working knowledge of these kinds of devices. I am not talking about being an EOD tech or anything like that, but just being aware of what they look like and how they are used. The Civilian Operator needs to REALLY pay attention to his surroundings now more than ever before simply because the likelihood of running into one of these devices is greater than ever before, even in CONUS.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Learning From Criminal and Terrorist Tactics: Video Breakdown of July 7th Dallas Shooting

A very complete and detailed picture of what exactly happened July 7th in Dallas, TX when Micah Johnson killed 5 Police Officers and wounded 9 others.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Learning From Terrorist Tactics: Dump Truck VBIED’s?

Dump truck

With the Political Circuses (I mean Conventions) going on, you would be hard pressed right now to hear about anything worthwhile in the State Run media other than the latest lies some Politician told, but this little tidbit did catch my eyes and ears:

Dump Truck Driver Says He Has Bomb, Smashes Through FBI Gate

Though not called a “Terrorist Act” by the FBI, (undoubtedly since no bomb actually went off, nobody was killed and the guy’s “mental state” has been called into question) I would  still urge all my readers to take note of this kind of tactic, which bares resemblance to the Terror Attack in Nice, France 2 weeks ago.

In this particular instance, the truck was disabled by security barriers in front of the FBI building, but seeing that in the past terrorist have choose “Soft” targets for these types of attacks (large gatherings of people by the side of the road for example like in Nice, France) where barriers and security are lax or non-existent, The Civilian Operator should make a mental note of the possibility of these types of attacks when out in public venues like these.

When you consider the damage a heavy truck like this could do just by itself in running over unsuspecting people in a crowd and then add explosives into the mix, the exponential factor of possible casualties skyrocket.

The best course of action for the CO is of course first recognizing that a threat like this exist and then physically preparing for the attack.

My most recent article “Stopping a Jihad-Mobile” is a good start.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed, Stay Informed and Stay Dangerous!