Carlo Biffani: Defend yourself from a terrorist attack

Carlo Biffani
Male-Editions, Rome 2017
pagg.50 50 +

"Narrating the Daesh terrorists as we do now, as if they were great warriors, it is not the truth. We are getting killed by incompetents".

So Carlo Biffani, author of "Defend himself from a terrorist attack", launches the first stone of what is a truth to be aware of, if we want to know the enemy and learn to fight it. The book is more an agile antiterrorist first aid manual, in Italian and in English, both versions about fifty pages that go straight to the target.

The author, security expert, maritime piracy and terrorism, has been engaged in homeland and abroad for years Risk Assessment e Risk Mitigation on behalf of companies and institutions and has collaborated with the Parliamentary Committee for Security Services and with various universities.  

Biffani presented his latest creature the 15 June in the Great Hall of the experimental Cellar of Velletri, together with JR James, an expert in international geopolitics and Claudio Verzola, an expert in cyber security and moderator. The event was strongly desired and organized by Ombretta Colonnelli of the National Paratroopers Association ANPd'I of Velletri.

The terrorist threat inside our house, from what we call generically Daesh (or Isis, for the vulgate), has changed with respect to the times of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. The second acted in the name of an ideology and its members were part of a paramilitary type organization, trained and prepared, with a clear and planned will to strike. Today, however, those who kill us inside our house and with whom we will have to deal for the next few years, are not militarily prepared, they have an Ak 47 that sometimes they do not even know how to use when it does not jam, at the base they have fanaticism and the desire to be part of a floating something that they call Caliphate rather than an ideology as we understand it. They are the so-called lone wolves. They hate us and want to kill us, this is beyond doubt, but as a tactical preparation they border on imbecility and for this reason they are even more dangerous. And we citizens must learn to defend ourselves by implementing our defense strategies. And the first is the awareness of the fact that they are not great warriors and of how to be able to save yourself if you find yourself in their trajectory. Knowing your enemy, whether it is to understand if he is alone or not, if he has a short or long weapon, what language he speaks, if he has a backpack with any explosives or a simple knife, is the first rule to fight him: of this type of strategy Sun Tze ne already wrote The Art of War and Biffani reiterates that, without bothering China in the 6th century. BC, makes its experience available to ordinary citizens.

From the times of Al Qaeda, which was a vertical structure and the Americans, to dismantle it, they understood that they had to follow the money, we went to the "loose dogs" of the Daesh, linked to a terror franchise concept.

Today terrorism is improvised, JR James pointed out, and even for Intelligence it is difficult to understand its moves. Today a truck is enough and even without loading it with C4 explosives, it becomes lethal by throwing it on the crowd, which remains helpless. And ordinary people, a concept shared by all the speakers, are not so interested in knowing the work of Intelligence, rather they are interested in having someone defend it. "Biffani's book starts from an important concept, prevention: acting and not reacting", Observed James.

Whether it's an attack with a truck in the crowd or a massacre like that of the Bataclan in Paris, we're always talking about characters "... very dangerous, determined, yes, but in reality only shabby and grotesque stunts compared to what they would have us believe to be. Monsters of ferocity, often stuffed with drugs, who manage to sow terror only by confronting unarmed citizens. The time has come to explain to unarmed civilians how to try to defend themselves", Writes the author.

The defensive strategy we put in place every day, for example when we are careful not to slip or when we take a hot pot protecting our hands. We just need to broaden our awareness, as long as looking around to survive will have become as natural as drinking water. A blink of an eye, an overview and then return to do what we want, laugh and have fun, which is the biggest complaint with which we can respond to these minds who would take away feeling and sleep for fear.

In the hypothesis that we can find ourselves in the midst of a terrorist attack, finding a safe shelter as a planter or a large wall to avoid gunshots is the first step, even after locating the emergency exits, the latter a concept that, in the case of urgent technical assistance, also teach firefighters. In an event with lots of people like a concert, wearing closed shoes is better, because they allow us to escape without harming us. If you are locked in a place, reset the phone ringtone and activate its energy saving function and you can just sound an alarm. Do not flee running for long distances in a straight line. And so on, thinking also that, within a few minutes, the Special Forces will intervene to free us and upon their arrival we can collaborate by putting ourselves in a fetal position with our hands well in sight.

The book examines the various cases of terrorist attack analyzing the attacks of recent years in France, Belgium or Turkey and giving advice on how to get out if we find ourselves involved in a similar case. It is an easy-to-read book, of those to be recommended also to school children, written with catchy language by an expert on the subject.

Fear is lack of knowledge. And given that with terrorist threats of this kind we will have to deal and learn to live with it, knowing who we are facing and being aware that we can get out of it is important, if only to continue living our way (Israel docet) rather than with the fear of leaving the house as they would like to impose on us.

Biffani with his book does this: he informs us, advises us and invites us to live beyond fear.

Giusy Federici