Terrorism: What to Do If You’re Caught in an Act of Terror

Paris_Eiffel-Tower_3506361bThe Eiffel Tower let up in the colors of the French Flag after the Paris terror attack on Friday 13 November 2015

After the recent terror attacks in Paris, 13 November 2015, many have been looking for information about what to do if you’re caught in an Act of Terror. Reading these tips and guidelines could save your life.


Government advice for surviving a terror attack has been released by the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) following the Paris Terror Attacks.


If you find yourself in a terror attack similar to the ones that hit Paris last week, do not play dead.


The new guidance (pdf) is being issued by the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso).

Always report suspicious behavior as a way to disrupt attack planning.

In the event of a weapons or firearm attack, UK authorities offered specific advice:




  • Escape if you can
  • Consider the safest options
  • Is there a safe route? RUN. If not, HIDE
  • Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
  • Insist others to leave with you
  • Leave belongings behind


  • If you can’t RUN, HIDE
  • If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you
  • Find cover from gunfire such as substantial brickwork or heavy reinforced walls
  • Be aware of your exits
  • Try not to get trapped
  • Be quiet, silence your phone
  • Lock and barricade yourself in
  • Move away from the door


  • Call police: What do the police need to know?
  • Location: Where are the suspects?
  • Direction: Where did you last see the suspects?
  • Descriptions: Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons
  • Provide further information: Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages
  • And stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so

When police arrive, they may point guns at you, treat you firmly, question you, and be unable to distinguish you from the attacker.

You ought to remain calm, keep your hands in view, avoid sudden movements that may appear a threat, and follow officers’ instructions

Source: National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso)

How To Survive A Terrorist Attack – Air Or Ground


If you find yourself in danger on an airliner or near a terrorist action anywhere else – reading this could save your life. The answers come from specialists in anti-terrorism; US Navy Seals instructors, FBI specialists and SWAT team experts.




It’s best to catch a terrorist bomber before it comes to armed struggle. The same goes for hijackers.

Look at who is boarding your plane. Watch for Red Flags – someone wearing an expensive suit but a military watch, extremely nervous passengers, people with neither carry-on bags nor luggage, someone wearing military boots with normal clothes, strange behavior. Tell someone in charge, it could save your life.

Be most on guard in the beginning of the flight. Ninety percent of hijackings happen in the first 20 minutes because the plane is still full of fuel.

Don’t be unnerved by scare tactics. Control your breathing and heart rate. Try to stay calm.

The first thing the hijackers will do is stab a couple of people, slit their throats, then shake blood on nearby passengers. This is to control you with terror. The terrorists then herd everyone to the back of the airplane. Why? Because they are afraid of passengers rushing and overpowering them. There are many more passengers than hijackers.

Do not go to the back of the plane. Do so and you and everyone else are probably dead. You must take back the aircraft.

Assess the threat, assume leadership, designate help and take action. How many hijackers and how many weapons? Where are they located on the aircraft? You are all leaders. What do people do when a leader gets up? They follow. Tell someone to help you. “You two guys grab him while we get the other one!” You must take back the aircraft at all costs.

What about hostages? Would you risk the life of an airline stewardess? How about your wife or child? Could you rush the terrorists if they have your eight-year old boy and they say that if anyone moves they will cut his throat?

You must because if you do nothing he is going to die anyway.

In a hijacking the passengers are divided up into hostages and victims. Terrorists kill hostages to scare you and control you. So if you have a loved one who is taken hostage their best chance of survival is you fighting back.

Look for ordinary items that can be used as weapons. Prepare in advance. Always bring along a hardcover book, a newspaper, keys and a pen and ask for a blanket and two unopened soda cans. Keep a fairly heavy bag under your seat. These ordinary items are weapons that can save your life.

When the terrorist comes down the aisle, as soon as he passes you throw your blanket over his face so he cannot see. Then knee him in the spine, pull him down and strangle him with the blanket until you get another passenger to help you restrain him.

Wrap the blanket around your forearm and you can block knife slashes. Hold the blanket out and catch the arm of the terrorist as he slashes at you. Then hold the knife arm wrapped up while other passengers take the terrorist down.

A hard cover book can block any stabbing attack. A heavy book can smash a hijackers nose, collar bone Adam’s Apple or back of his head.

Always ask a stewardess for two unopened cans of soda. A full soda can thrown at someone’s temple can kill him. They can smash a terrorist’s nose, knee cap or head. If everyone throws a full soda can at a terrorist he can be stoned to death. A full soda can wrapped inside a blanket can be swung as a deadly mace.

A newspaper folded once or twice and stuck inside your shirt is body armor strong enough to stop most knife stabs. A rolled newspaper becomes extremely hard and can be used to smash the nose or stop the heart by hitting the arteries on the side of the neck.

Stab a pen into the terrorist’s eye, hand, throat, anywhere. Stick him and stick him until he is the victim.

Keys can be stabbed through a terrorist’s ear into his ear drum, gouge out his eyes, or even cut his throat.

A leather belt wrapped around your arm can stop knife cuts or the belt can be swung as a flail. Smash the buckle into a terrorist’s face. Belts can quickly strangle terrorists and can also tie them up when they are disarmed and unconscious.

Women can take off their high-heeled shoes and punch them at the terrorists who will be knocked out.

A heavy bag kept under your seat can be used to block knife slashes, smash a terrorist or can be thrown into the aisle to trip him.

An undercover Air Marshall may attempt to take back the airplane. If that happens keep your head down or you could be accidentally shot and killed.

Be prepared to recover and shoot the Air Marshall’s gun if he is injured or killed, otherwise the terrorists have another weapon.

When firing a gun the most important thing is aiming. Do this quick exercise: hold your index finger up to a spot on the wall. Close one eye and then the other. Looking with one eye your finger will appear to jump while with the other eye it will stay on target. The eye that does not jump is the one you should aim with. Keep your eye on the front sight and align that with your target.

In the end the only way terrorism is going to be stopped is if ordinary people start fighting back. We have to make terrorism more dangerous for the terrorist than for their victims.




1 – Do not go to the scene of a terrorist attack to watch. Terrorists like to set off secondary targets to kill as many police and rescue personnel as possible.

2 – If you are on a bus or train be alert for unidentified packages or someone hurriedly getting off and leaving a package. If this happens try to throw the package out a window if you can’t get off .

3 – If you are on a subway system that has been attacked try walking down the tracks until you find an emergency ladder leading up to the street.

4 – If you are on a subway car or a bus that has been attacked first assess your own injuries then, if possible, help those around you.

5 – Keep low to breathe the best air possible. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death after an explosion.

6 – Stay out of the subway system and don’t take buses until you feel secure again about using them. Terrorists sometimes strike the same targets twice to reinforce fear.



How to Disable an Attacker 


The trick to getting away from an assailant – even one who’s bigger and stronger than you are – is to hit ’em where it hurts.

Fighting back against an assailant is risky and could lead to injury – only do so if you have no other choice.

Step 1: Gouge their eyes
Jab their eyes with your fingers, thumb, or a key: The attacker will instinctively try to protect their eyes, giving you a chance to escape. Even spitting at their eyes might give you the split second you need to break away.

Hold their ear with one hand as you jab their eyes with the other; it will help you inflict the damage you need to escape.

Step 2: Take the wind out of them
Spread your fingers away from your thumb and jam the webbed part of your hand against their windpipe; the heel of your hand can work, too. Or grab their windpipe with your fingers and squeeze as hard as you can. If you’re in a position to use your elbow, ram that into their throat.

Step 3: Bloody their nose
Open your hand, pull it back, and then smash the heel of your palm under their nose in an upward motion. Besides making their nose bleed profusely, this will cause their eyes to water, temporarily limiting their vision.

Step 4: Go for the groin
If the attacker is male, grab his testicles and squeeze with all your might. If this isn’t possible, knee him in the groin.

Never try to kick someone in the groin; it makes it possible for them to grab you by the foot or leg.

Step 5: Bring them to their knees
Kick them on the side of their kneecap; you’ll inflict a lot of pain while minimizing the risk that they’ll be able to grab your leg. If you find yourself behind your attacker, kick the back of their knee; there’s a good chance it will cause them to collapse.

Step 6: Step on their toes
If someone grabs you from behind, raise your leg and then slam it down on their toes or instep. Besides inflicting pain, it may hinder their ability to run after you.

Step 7: Raise a ruckus
Make as much noise as you can; it increases the chance that your attacker will abandon you in favor of finding a more docile victim.

Safety experts recommend that you yell “Back off!” rather than “help,” because people are inclined to ignore the latter.

Step 8: Take a course
Consider taking a self-defense course so you can practice and perfect these moves.

Did You Know?
Research shows that women who fight back during an assault avoid rape more often than those who don’t.

Watch more Personal Security & Self-Defense videos



More info 

Guidance: Recognising the terrorist threat Gov.UK
National Counter Terrorism Policing.pdf
UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso

Protecting crowded places from terrorism These documents provide advice on increasing the protection of crowded places from a terrorist attack.



Share With Your Families And Friends And Stay Safe! 



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