Are you a terrorist?

  • Published
  • By Col. Murrell "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th AIr Base Wing Commander
The sirens were whaling as the ambulance pulled up to the emergency room at the hospital. The 38-year-old was obviously the victim of an explosion. His body was ravaged with shrapnel wounds and gunpowder burns on his face and abdomen. His thigh and groin had also sustained serious injuries. A three-inch section of twisted pipe was removed from his abdomen, his large intestine was repaired, and his ruptured vessels were sealed to control the bleeding. 

After five hours of surgery, the patient was admitted to the ICU on a ventilator and blood and plasma expanders. The police thought he might be a terrorist whose bomb had detonated prematurely. After closer examination it was determined that he was not a terrorist but rather just stupid. 

During a family get-together the victim took his nephew down to his brother-in-law's shed for a fishing lesson. He planned to teach the boy a technique he had pioneered in his youth: tossing homemade explosives into the lake and collecting the stunned fish that floated to the surface. This clever fisherman cut a section of 5-cm scaffolding pipe and hammered one end closed. He then packed it with a wad of cotton. On top of this he poured a substantial amount of gunpowder left over from some old fireworks. On top of this he rammed in a plug of wood while holding the device between his legs for stability. While in recovery the victim said, "my big mistake was when I used the steel pipe to pack the tube, instead of the wooden hammer-handle." The resulting metal on metal spark ignited the pipe bomb which launched itself into his abdomen. The blunt lateral force stopped the pipe from ejecting from his body, but the impact lacerated his bowels, while the shock force and shrapnel caused massive hemorrhaging. 

ATFP is a full contact sport and not for casual observers. ATFP is all about hardening one's self against potential threats to include stupid human tricks. At the end of the day it is all about managing risk, from blending-in to keeping your cranium on a swivel and being aware of your surroundings. As you have heard me say countless times before, it's about not going three-dimensional ... Dumb, Different, or Dangerous. Fish-boy managed to hit all three Ds...let's commit ourselves to avoiding them while ensuring freedom's future.