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Old September 11, 2016, 09:08 AM   #1
B.A.
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Ataturk airport attack - second attempt

Ladies and gentlemen,

A previous thread on the above got closed down for many good reasons and I'm having trouble working the search engine here so I'm not sure if it's been covered elsewhere.

The OP of that thread, I believe, was referring to cctv footage showing one of the attackers moving and firing at fleeing travellers. As he rounds a corner, a LEO positioned in a doorway on said corner raises his gun and fires several times, distance guesstimate 10 feet or less, dropping the attacker to the floor and his gun slides away some distance along the floor. The LEO then approaches him, gun raised, checks him out for a few seconds and, as the attacker is writhing in pain and fiddling with his suicide vest (as it turns out) and then the LEO takes off running. Shortly later, the attacker finds his switch and blows himself up.

Not being sure about these copyright rules, I don't want to send the link but a quick search on YouTube will lead to the CNN segment.

Personally, I think the guy did everything right up until the moment he was standing over the bad guy with ample opportunity for a point blank head shot. Instead, he ran for it, giving the terrorist time to detonate his device, which, I was told, killed the LEO and possibly others.

Keep in mind, the whole area was by this time cleared of bystanders.

The most astonishing thing was the amount of time the drama took to unfold. I would have thought it would be over in a few seconds but it was more like half a minute.

1. BG shows up at 16 seconds, firing and herding panicked travellers ahead of him.
2. BG rounds the corner and gets dropped at 20 seconds.
3. Cop approaches, hesitates and legs it at 32 seconds.
4. BG blows himself up at 43 seconds.

I believe there was ample opportunity for a head shot or empty the mag to stop the threat altogether. A dead switch was not in place. Passengers had cleared the area. The terrorist seems to have worn a suicide vest but no body armour.

This is not a potential scenario but something that actually happened.

I think the cop did a fantastic job, saved a great many lives and it's too bad he didn't want to finish the guy off. If he died in the blast, that's a real shame and I wish he would have run faster and further in those eleven seconds.

Your thoughts?

BA
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Old September 11, 2016, 09:17 AM   #2
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It's not normal for most people to finish off a wounded aggressor.
So, it's easy to see the reluctance to do so on the part of the police officer.
It's just not considered civilized.
But in a combat situation, which this obviously was, the rules are quite different, aren't they?
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Old September 11, 2016, 09:32 AM   #3
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Imagine if he had executed him and there was no vest
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Old September 11, 2016, 09:36 AM   #4
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Given that the cop ran, I assume he realized the terrorist did have on a suicide vest and he ran not out of fear that the terrorist would detonate it, but out of fear the vest had a deadman switch.
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Old September 11, 2016, 11:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
It's not normal for most people to finish off a wounded aggressor
Heck it's not normal for most people even law enforcement to shoot another person period, nor should it be. I would imagine said officer was in shock. These are not special forces who are drilled and drilled and drilled for kill shots both physically and mentally. Again nor should they be.
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Old September 11, 2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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Given that the cop ran, I assume he realized the terrorist did have on a suicide vest and he ran not out of fear that the terrorist would detonate it, but out of fear the vest had a deadman switch.
This.

Quote:
A dead switch was not in place.
I am not sure how you can definitively say that. The man might have had his hand on the detonator and the officer saw it. Shooting him in the head might not have done anything good. We will likely never know since the answer died with them.


This Kobayashi Maru scenario is fraught with unknowables.
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Old September 11, 2016, 02:07 PM   #7
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Would it be OK to post a link to the CNN segment published on YouTube? It would clarify a lot of what I said in my post and possibly give more and better info to and from you guys.
My post was based on what I saw and my interpretations of what I saw. I may well be wrong on one or several observations and assumptions and conclusions made by myself seeing the grainy cctv footage on my phone screen.
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Old September 11, 2016, 02:10 PM   #8
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Dern it, I'll try it and the mods can delete if I'm in violation of the rule.

https://youtu.be/B4iZtRCyjz4
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Old September 11, 2016, 05:37 PM   #9
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Seems like it's been vetted and approved by the powers that be.
So have a look see where I might have been mistaken when watching the admittedly fuzzy and somewhat blurred footage. Nasty as it may be.
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Old September 11, 2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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Yes, the shot had ample opportunity for more shooting to kill the terrorist, but could that have resulted in the cops' death?

OBD noted that there are a lot of unknowables in this situation. The terrorist was down but not dead. What the cop didn't know is if the terrorist, still alive, could trigger an explosion or if once dead, the explosion would happen automatically. Whether or not we now know (do we know this?) that there was no deadman switch, how could the cop possibly know for certain? So the cop ran from the potential blast area without finishing off the terrorist. That may have been the best solution to that scenario.

After all, you said the people had vacated that area. There was no threat to people at that point other than the cop and terrorist. So staying in proximity to the terrorist was dangerous. So the cop left with the only person left to defend being himself.

Given that you are a Turkish cop, maybe a Turkish airport cop, do you have the ability and opportunity to make a proper assessment of the situation, determining the nature of the switches available to the terrorist before the terrorist potentially triggers the bomb? Or do you vacate the area?

The cop chose wisely.
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Old September 11, 2016, 07:02 PM   #11
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Double naught spy,

Good observations, and that's assuming you saw the footage.
As far as I could tell, there was no way of knowing the BG didn't have a dead switch for certain, so the cop's decision to run may have been well justified.
But on watching it, comfortably in my lounge chair well away from the actual carnage and mayhem, and having multiple occasions to rewind and watch it again, I saw what I believe were clear signs of no so called dead switch. It looked to me like he was struggling against the pain of having been shot several times and simultaneously looking for his detonator thingy. Note the time line. 23 seconds, I counted between putting him to ground and the detonation.
Of course the cop was stressed to the limit, and of course there were other factors. And the same for the terrorist.
And of course there may have been injured bystanders nearby, only just outside the camera view.
And certainly, nobody wants to shoot anybody through the head close up.

But note the time line. Twenty three seconds would have hopefully gotten even the injured far enough away unless there were major obstacles. And eleven seconds should have given the cop enough time to put some distance between them.

So my question still stands. Right, for sure, but could he have done better in the minds of forum experts?

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Old September 11, 2016, 07:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
forum experts?
Now that is funny right there.

Again I will emphasize the fact that this was a no-win scenario. You are reaching for an unknowable based on the fact that there are too many unknowns. To you it appeared to be a certain way, to others quite different.

This is why the Monday morning quarterbacking never works.
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Old September 11, 2016, 07:16 PM   #13
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OBD,
I can't definitively say so, but judging by the footage, I sincerely believe so. Hence the link and request for more input.
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Old September 11, 2016, 08:20 PM   #14
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OBD,
Can't fault you there and maybe we should just close it there. I just thought it might be on topic as there is plenty of footage of tactics for those who choose to watch it and plenty to bring away for possible training.
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Old September 11, 2016, 09:50 PM   #15
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If I am standing beside a wounded terrorist who has, I believe, an explosive vest with a "dead man" switch, you bet I am going to get out of there as fast as I can, badge or no badge. I can discuss it with a disciplinary board later.

But, the idea that "nobody wants to shoot anybody through the head close up" sounds good and nice and just what one should say. But I have heard rumors of folks who for good reason chose not to follow that "civilized" approach.

Jim
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Old September 12, 2016, 05:43 AM   #16
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It is SOP in hostage rescue to put 2 rounds into a downed subject's head.
Especially if the team has to move past the downed subject.
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Old September 12, 2016, 08:57 AM   #17
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As I understand it from the lawyers who contribute to this forum, juries are asked to consider what a person could know or reasonably believe at the time of an incident. I think we should do that here. The cop saw an explosive vest, did not know how it was wired, and saw that there were at the least no large numbers of people nearby, and with the ability to look around him could have known that the area had been effectively evacuated. His choice was therefore whether or not to risk his own life, not knowing whether there was a dead-man switch, in order to decrease property damage. If you are convinced that you see something on the video that completely rules out a dead-man switch, ask yourself first if you would have seen it under stress without the benefits of reruns and slow motion, and secondly if you would have been willing to risk your life on your conclusion, and thirdly whether that risk would be worthwhile if only property was at stake.
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Old September 12, 2016, 03:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
It is SOP in hostage rescue to put 2 rounds into a downed subject's head.
Especially if the team has to move past the downed subject.
Do tell. Whose SOP is this again?
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Old September 12, 2016, 05:56 PM   #19
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Guys,

This is what makes me wonder so much about this incident. The cop was standing, watching over this bg for over ten seconds and decided to make a run for it. No blame from me, Monday morning quarterback, and maybe it was the right thing to do all way round.
But having watched the footage several times, in my view that doesn't look like a dead man's switch.
Maybe it's because it takes him 11 or more seconds to find it, or 20 something seconds after he is first brought down, or maybe because he's not clinically dead but all the same, once he did find the switch, he detonated what seems like a huge blast.

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Old September 12, 2016, 06:56 PM   #20
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Why are you hung up on claiming there was no deadman switch? What does it matter what YOU have determined after-the-fact? All that matters relevant to your query is what the cop thought at the time, not what you have determined.

It is nice to have the omniscient perspective after the fact, but that often isn't relevant to what happened in real time.
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Old September 12, 2016, 08:54 PM   #21
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I think the officer did the only thing he could do under the circumstances.
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Old September 13, 2016, 03:59 AM   #22
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Double naught spy, and others, as applicable,

If you watch the video, you may notice the TIME spent assessing and analysing the situation. I'm not knocking the cop's decisions in this extremely stressful situation and I'm fully aware of my own after the fact hindsight point of view.

More than twenty seconds passed between the bg being shot and his detonating the device. He is clearly seen fiddling about his clothing (although this could also be at least partly due to his injuries).

THAT is what leads me to believe there was no dead switch.

The cop spent over ten seconds assessing the situation before making a run for it.

I think it's strange that my Monday morning quarterbacking is so much criticized on a forum that regularly goes on and on about fantasy scenarios incredulous to most of us when this was a real life situation caught on film.

BTW his fellow officer didn't fare as well with another one of the terrorists nearby, when he questioned him and got shot for his troubles without getting the chance of putting up a fight, but possibly alerting colleagues, our hero featured above included, to the SHTF. Also on cctv.

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Old September 13, 2016, 08:08 AM   #23
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B.A. it is not the Monday morning quarterbacking that is the issue. You've decided that a kill shot should have been taken to prevent the explosion. You may be right, based on the video. We've simply pointed out that the police officer assessed the situation, and acted based on his training and experience. Shooting a downed shooter in the head is not SOP. Whether or not it should be is a political decision, not a tactical one.
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Old September 13, 2016, 10:52 AM   #24
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K Mac,

Thank you for that post and I appreciate it.
Points taken and thanks for the input.

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Old September 14, 2016, 12:50 AM   #25
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Quote:
in my view that doesn't look like a dead man's switch.
What does a deadman switch look like??

and even IF you are expert in demolitions enough to know, how can you count on recognizing it in a homemade explosive vest?? AND doing it in less time than it takes to type this??

The common deadman switch found in movies/tv (some kind of trigger that goes off when released) isn't the only way to do it.

The bad guy IS a bomb, he's down (not mobile) and if he can't get to a weapon (doesn't have another on him), isn't going to shoot anyone, so the smart play is to get out of the area, and hopefully out of the blast range.

and to the OP, posting copyrighted material is forbidden, posting a link TO that material is not.
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