Learning to Fight Like an Israeli

On December 27, 1985, gunfire and explosions erupted at the El Al ticket counter inside the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome. Four gunmen from the Palestinian terrorist group Abu Nidal entered the terminal at 9:10 am and opened fire. By 9:11 a.m. three of them were dead and one survivor was in custody.

This was thanks to a single Israeli agent named Moshe.

The carnage wrought by the Islamic radicals was mercifully cut short by the agent’s quick action and sophisticated training—exactly the same training that the Israeli Tactical School attempts to disseminate to the military, law enforcement, and private citizens in America.

Recently, I was able to receive a portion of the group’s training. After 17 hours of the most intense shooting drills of my life, I have a new appreciation for the tactics and, more importantly, the mentality employed by Israelis to combat the ever-present threat of terrorism.

Aggression is the key. Take the initiative. Surprise the attacker while you have the upper hand. Once you hear those gunshots you sprint to the scene, ready to do anything it takes to stop the attacker. You must be able to flip the switch in your mind and go from zero to 100 in an instant. When responding to an active shooter situation, whether as a concealed carrier or a law enforcement officer, you don’t need to rely on a checklist or follow a progression of force to decide how to respond. When somebody is using deadly force against innocent people, you can and must counter with whatever force is necessary to stop them as quickly as possible.

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