Identifying Hostile Movement



In a book I just recently finished entitled 13 Hours in Benghazi, (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) on pp. 207-210 one of the GRS Security Operators talks about how when the initial attack started on the CIA Annex from the various armed militia groups, it started very casually, first a car pulls up across the street, then another, then foot traffic starts appearing, then before you know it you have a small mob moving toward your position with seemingly hostile intent. (Keep in mind the operators ROE stated they could not open fire because (A) They were not sure if these guys were friendly militia, (ie the 17th February militia) and (B) They had not been fired upon yet.

As the operator called out what he saw, ne noted “These guys are not moving normally, they are moving TACTICALLY.”  He noted they were moving from “bush to bush” or “cover to cover”. Point being, they were not moving like a typical civilian would move, they were moving with suspicious intent.

Moving on from how a person actually MOVES to specific movements with our hands in Law Enforcement speak is called “Furtive Movements”, with the definition being: “Characterized by, acting with, or suggesting stealth or a desire to avoid discovery; surreptitious”. Massad Ayoob comments on it HERE.

These two subjects, both TACTICAL and FURTIVE movement is something the CO needs to study very closely, as this type of behavior, though common to all criminals (and terrorist) can take on many forms. Some trainers may call this “Pre-assaultive”,  “Pre-Attack” or “Threat Recognition” type behavior, or the things (or clues) a bad guy does before he commits a crime. Again, Ayoob comments on the basics HERE, while Police-One Mag has a more in-depth study of recognizing “telegraphed” cues HERE.

The one cue behavior that seems to cross all “criminal” boundaries, whether it be a strong-arm robber or a terrorist, is SCANNING. Now the counter-terror definition to this behavior can be called “Surveillance”, but they are essentially the same thing, just done at different times. See that definition HERE. 

I know one thing that is a dead give away with this behavior is an excessive amount of picture-taking or recording with a camera. Maybe a certain building, tourist site, transportation hub, etc. Terrorist in the past few years have attempted to bypass suspicion by replacing the conventional camera with a smaller hidden camera in a bag or even a micro-cam on the button of a shirt. Even still with this covert technology, their general behavior will still be a cue for somebody who is paying attention.

Stay Aware, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Foot Note:

I could not end this post without a memorial to all the BRAVE men who died at the Benghazi U.S. Diplomatic Compound and the C.I.A Annex on 9/11/12: J. Christopher Stevens (U.S. Ambassador to Libya), Sean Smith (Information Officer), Glen Doherty (U.S. Navy Seal and GRS Security Contractor) and Tyrone S. Woods (U.S. Navy Seal and GRS Security Contractor)

May your memory never be forgotten and I fervently Pray that those RESPONSIBLE for your DEATHS, both here in the U.S. and in Libya, be brought to Justice Soon.



Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Scanning and the Third Eye


It came to my attention during a recent series of drills that there are certain things MOST gun schools teach people that are regarded as necessary and prudent, but in reality are just uneccessary movement. We should always seek in our training to do MORE with LESS, to trim off any movement or action that is not efficient. One of these is SCANNING after THE FIGHT IS OVER.

You watch any person that has received any type of modern firearms training, and you will see this maneuver: They engage the target, then with a turn of their head, look left, then right, then they may check their six. Ask youself this question: You have just been in a violent have had to shoot a person to stop them from killing you or a loved one, you now want to look around (scan) to ensure he has no buddies lurking to back him up, do you think it is prudent to just simply LOOK with your eyeballs or SCAN with that THIRD EYE, your weapon and be ready to shoot again quickly?

You have to use probability here, wolves run in packs, you have just took down one; the chances that you will have to fire again are pretty high, so we need to be ready to do just that. If we follow the protocol taught by 95% of the “gun school” dogma, we will not be ready to break that shot..we will have our feet planted like a statue, the gun at the low ready (or SUL) with the safety engaged (if applicable to that model) and only our head turned in the direction of the threat. This is Bad and will get you killed. Press rewind and then pause.

You just killed a BG. Keeping the weapon at the (up) ready position and the safety still off, your finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger with no pressure,with the weapon lowered just enough where your field of vision is not impaired (to gain a sight picture all that is required is 1/2″ of upward movement with the weapon) you swing around 360 degrees slowly, your feet are in a power stance, ready to move, you scan the entire area. You now have three “eyes” scanning…two eyeballs and the barrel of your weapon. If no threat is found, and when you feel the situation is secure, safe the weapon and go to low ready.

You will find when you apply this technique, your speed (time on target) will dramatically increase, only becasue you are “pre-setting” every thing that is required to get those hits. You body is already squared off to target, your vision is focused to the threat, sights and muzzle are already in the general direction of the threat, all that is required is a “Type 2” or “Flash Sight Picture” to get the hits. Depending on distance and proximity of target, you may just have to super impose the front sight aperture on the target or you may need a traditional sight picture..whatever the case, you are ready to break the shot.

I need to interject something here that alot of people seem to glaze over. The issue of COVER. If you have just been on the winning end of a violent encounter, there is a good chance you will be behind some type of cover, because gunfights do not happen in a static vacuum and people do not stand still when shot at!  If you are behind cover, STAY THERE! You can repeat the above scanning process right where you are at.

In closing, we need to apply this formula to all areas of our training. Wasted movement for the sake of just going through the “motions” is stupid. Examine this next time you train and when you find wasted movement, flush it and examine how you can make it more efficient. It could save your bacon some day!

Stay Dangerous.