Manila Madness

The recent calamitous hostage scenario played out in Manila that saw 8 hostages murdered and the hostage taker killed underlines how random risk can be. Those Hong Kong tourists could never have expected to be caught up in such a a situation.

Armchair critics can dissect the footage forever but unless one was there, on the spot, it is all speculation. I do wonder though when I see the police all lined up and doing nothing for long minutes while one man attempts to break windows with a sledge hammer. At one point he loses the tool and has to retrieve it from inside the bus!
A Botched Hostage Rescue in the Philippines is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Did the gunman start shooting and so the police had no choice but to storm the bus? Did they cause the gunman to start murdering hostages when they began the recovery operation? What I do know is that they were far too slow, too ill-equipped and obviously totally untrained. Compare their tactics with those used by the Israelis, German GSG9 or British SAS in similar scenarios. Surprise, aggression and speed. The Manila police couldn’t even get a light stick in through the window first shot. Imagine if that had been a stun grenade and it went off outside the bus? Chaotic and inept.

Manila Police SWAT Training prior to hostage 'rescue'.

Now watch how the Germans did it… first man in the bus (at the back) in about 3 seconds! Even the harder to access front has them in after just 8 or 9 seconds, while the guman is distracted by events at the back of the bus. No hesitation, no hiding behind shields, SURPRISE! AGGRESSION! SPEED! When you commit to action, you don’t hesitate or hold back and that is the same in all situations.

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