By Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.
On September 1, 2004, Islamic terrorists infiltrated from Chechnya and attacked a school in Beslan, Russia. Over several days of hell-on-earth, they mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of students, teachers, and parents. Although there have been other attacks on schools in various places around the world—most notoriously the attack at Columbine High School in 1999—this attack stands out, not only for the vicious brutality meted out by the Islamic Jihadists but by the sheer number of children who were murdered there. Estimates of the dead ranged between 300 to over 600. It was, without any doubt, the deadliest attack on a school in modern history.
No decent person could ever comprehend how these Allah-praising Jihadists could justify their wholesale slaughter of children. We are always being lectured by our government officials and leftist pundits in the news media that Islam is a “religion of peace,” yet all around the world we see ample evidence that the exact opposite is true. While it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is just as true that nearly every act of terrorism in recent decades has been carried out by Muslims.
Beslan Middle School #1 had students from the first to the eleventh grades. On the morning of September 1st, the first day of school in Russia, over a thousand students, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were gathered in the large courtyard of the school compound. It is a custom in Russia to celebrate the first day of school with students dressing in their best clothes, accompanied by their parents and siblings, and bringing small gifts and flowers to their teachers.
At 8:45 A.M. several vehicles transporting nearly three-dozen Islamists burst into the school parking lot. The terrorists jumped out, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, grenades, night-vision goggles, gas masks, high-explosives, and silenced weapons. They joined other terrorists who were already mingling with the crowd and began shooting and herding terrified hostages into the school gymnasium. A few security officers, armed only with sidearms, were quickly gunned-down, and anyone who showed the slightest willingness to fight back was mowed down in the first seconds. Mayhem erupted, as several hundred people ran away under gunfire while more than 60% of the others were captured and driven into the school’s gymnasium to endure several days of thirst, hunger, and unspeakable abuse by the Allah-praising terrorists.
Once the hostages were secured in the gym, the Jihadists rigged explosive charges throughout the school. The captive men and older boys, who could potentially fight back, were lined up in front of their terrified wives and children and summarily executed with bullets to the head. Their bodies were shoved out of shattered windows and lay in a heap in full sight of their horrified families. Many of the women and young girls were humiliated and raped in front of the hostages. There are no words in the human language to describe what these evil beasts did to these young women. The prisoners languished in the school’s gymnasium in the sweltering heat of late summer, with no water, food, or sanitation facilities for three days. Some of the hostages were so desperately thirsty; they drank their urine. When the rescue assault by Russian forces finally began, the terrorists began detonating the explosives placed near the hostages and shooting as many of the children as they could. The carnage was indescribable.
My son and I traveled to Beslan with another international relief worker to help minister to the survivors, arriving one week after Russian special forces stormed the school. We walked into the burned and blasted shell of the school buildings a few days after the siege was over. What I witnessed in those ruins was off-scale grisly. The walls were pock-marked with bullet and shrapnel impacts. Walls were blackened by fire and smoke. The worst thing of all, however, were the splattered clumps of human remains from bomb blasts pasted on the walls and ceiling. Large pools of putrefying human blood was everywhere and splattered on the walls. I spotted what looked like a small wig, and when I moved it, I shrank back in horror and revulsion. It was a child’s skull-cap with bits of brain stuck to it. I feel sick just recalling the sights and smells of that terrible place.
When I hear someone speak of Islam as a “religion of peace” I feel like gagging. I have seen with my own eyes what this evil and pathetic excuse for a religion does to innocent people. I have no illusions. For nearly two weeks, my son and I visited the local hospitals where hundreds of victims, mostly children, were recovering from burns, gunshots, and shrapnel wounds. Most of them would eventually heal their physical wounds. However, they all seemed to have a hollow, distant stare that betrayed that their young eyes had seen things no person should ever see. I especially noticed several young girls in the hospital who were, I was told later, sexually abused by the terrorists. Their minds and souls were deeply wounded, and I wonder if they would ever find healing.
Why am I telling all this? Why would I invite you, the reader, into some of the dark horror chambers of my mind and memories, subjecting you even to a small portion of the horrors these people endured? It is simply this;
I believe it is going to happen again… right here in America, and I want with all my heart to awaken as many as possible to the clear and present danger we are facing. Perhaps, if enough of us wake up in time, we can mitigate the damage and save lives.
As I was thinking about this tenth anniversary of the Beslan massacre a few days ago, I suddenly felt a strong impression come over me. I am a man of God, and there have been several times in my life when such impressions came upon me, and I later witnessed the events unfold just as I had seen. For example, exactly three months before the Columbine High School massacre in my community, I had a horrifying dream/vision of a school attack with many vivid details. I awoke in the middle of the night screaming and drenched in sweat. The images were so real, and yet I had no way of putting together what I’d seen with present reality. Three months later, to the very day, I watched the Columbine attack unfold just as I’d seen it in my dream. I wrote in detail of this in my book, The Martyrs’ Torch, The Message of the Columbine Massacre.
This is what I believe was shown to me. Islamic Jihadists, quite likely elements of ISIS, (who have already infiltrated our southern border and in the midst of the 100s of thousands of refugees) are about to launch a coordinated attack on several schools in America. I realize I’m taking a tremendous risk in sharing this, for many men’s reputations and credibility have died upon hills of apocalyptic predictions that never occurred. I fervently hope I’m wrong. However, I cannot remain silent. Lives are at stake. I also don’t think it requires a prophetic vision to see the writing on the wall. The danger is, for anyone paying attention, all too obvious.
Why would they attack our school children? Think about it. Can anyone imagine a more emotionally devastating “soft target” than our children? If you were an Islamic jihadist seeking to maximize the psychological damage to your enemy, where would you strike? The answer is clear.
As horrible as the pictures are of little Iraqi children being beheaded, with their heads displayed upon poles, imagine just for a moment how parents in the United States would react if such atrocities happened during a hostage situation in our nation’s schools and displayed on an internet upload? GOD FORBID! However, we are terribly naïve if we think that our enemies haven’t already thought of this. Remember, Islamic fanatics do not launch such attacks with any expectation they will survive after committing outrageous violence. They want to die in the cause of Islam, for according to the teachings of the Qu’ran, this will ensure their entrance into the Islamic paradise of wanton sexual and gluttonous pleasures.
What can be done? I wish I could be optimistic, but I cannot. As things presently stand, our children are sitting ducks in their schools. The federal government has seemingly abandoned their constitutionally-mandated responsibility to protect the American people and secure our borders. Thousands of unknown persons are flooding daily across our southern border, and latest reports are that a significant percentage of them are Islamic Jihadists. They’re not coming to visit Disneyland or work as farmhands. They’re coming to hurt us in significant ways and manipulate our national will toward their goals of global domination and the establishment of sharia (Islamic) law.
In most of our nation’s schools, the insanity of “political correctness” drives policies related to school security. Tangible and effective measures, such as training and arming teachers to defend their students, are dismissed out of hand by those who naively imagine that putting up “gun free zone” signs on the schoolhouse door will somehow deter a suicidal terrorist or insane person seeking to hurt students. I cannot think of words to describe my feelings about such nonsensical thinking.
“Lock-down” procedures only ensure the formation of target-rich environments with children cloistered and concentrated in places easily breached by well-armed and trained assailants. In other words, we MUST rethink the entire concept of school safety and be done with nonsensical “zero-tolerance” policies that penalize students for bringing a pair of fingernail clippers or a plastic knife in their lunch-pails. The real threat is not a psychotic over-medicated student, but well-trained Jihadists armed with military-grade weaponry and motivated by hate and a desire to die for Allah.
As I’ve said before, the Beslan attack revealed a complete lack of compassion toward children by Islamic Jihadists. I visited scores of kids in the children’s hospital in Vladikavkaz near Beslan, who were deliberately shot by terrorists in their school. Some were as young as six years old. Can anyone imagine that such inhuman monsters would regard American kids with greater compassion? I seriously doubt it, in fact, I think they are going to deliberately attack our schools to maximize the psychological terror impact.
We must face the reality that Islamic Jihadists have no qualms about killing children. This is amply demonstrated repeatedly in Israel by the fact that terrorists will often place weapons and missile launchers in the midst of schools and hospitals (as in the case recently in Gaza) knowing full-well that any military retaliation by the Israelis to destroy these weapons will likely result in civilian casualties, including children. In the aftermath, the Jihadists parade dead or wounded children through the streets in front of cameras to maximize the negative PR against Israel. If they cared about these children, they wouldn’t deliberately place their missile launchers in schoolyards in the first place. More than this, in the case of Israel, they target Israeli schools and kindergartens with their missiles instead of military targets.
In May of 1974, three Islamic terrorists attacked a school in Ma’alot, Israel. They took 115 people hostage, including 105 students, and held them for two days. When Israeli Golani Brigade soldiers stormed the building, the terrorists tossed grenades and shot the hostages, killing 25 (22 children) and wounding 68. In the aftermath, Israel formed a special Counter Terrorism Unit called Yamam. Also, a national policy of arming teachers and posting armed guards at all Israeli schools was implemented. In the 40 years since this policy was in place, nearly all terrorist attacks on schoolchildren have ceased.
What can be done here in the U.S.? How can we reduce the risk to our schools? I make the following suggestions:
1. Parents and grandparents of school children must organize and come up with specific security policies to present to school administrators on the State, District, and Local levels. School officials MUST see that they have the support of parents and the community to confidently move toward real and effective security measures.
2. Such parent groups must DEMAND that armed guards be placed in and around the schools, comprised of well-vetted (background checked) military veterans, retired police, FBI and other officers, who would receive extensive training specific to school environments, taking into consideration “shoot/no-shoot” scenarios, and threat assessment;
3. Schools should immediately implement EVACUATION procedures instead of “hide in place” policies that place students and teachers into indefensible target-rich “lock-downs.”
4. Teachers who are willing to receive training and undergo vetting should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Their identities (as to who is armed) must be carefully guarded for obvious reasons and known only by Principals and Law Enforcement.
5. “Student Watch” patrols should be instituted with vetted upper-grade students trained to spot persons or activities that seem out of place or pose a potential risk. These could be valuable “eyes and ears” to guards and administrators as a “first-alert” system.
6. Until these policies are implemented, schools officials should DEMAND more police protection with active-duty officers on-site. Sound expensive? Sure, but what price can be put on the life of one student or teacher? We expect armed guards in our banks to protect our money. Why would we not provide at least as much protection for something infinitely more valuable than our money—the lives of our children?
Can we reliably prevent all attacks from ever occurring? This is an impossibility, given the nature of violent Jihadists and the present at-risk environment. However, the primary benefit of these measures would be manifold:
First, such policies would serve as a real deterrent to most school attacks. Second, parents and students would have a greater sense of security, knowing that REAL and PRACTICAL measures have been taken to ensure their safety and not just silly “violence-free”, or “gun-free zone” signs. For those who are philosophically or politically opposed to the presence of weapons on school grounds, I would only point out that when violent incidents or active-shooter scenarios have occurred in the past, the very FIRST persons they call to help are GOOD PEOPLE WITH GUNS. No “gun free” advocate would ever rush over to an active-shooter scene with more “gun free zone” signs. Let’s be done with silly, ineffective, and politically correct banalities.
WE MUST ACT NOW. I pray I’m wrong, and I fear that it will take more tragedies to awaken our people to this real and present danger. I must speak out and remain hopeful. The lives of our schoolchildren are at stake.