Corporate Facility, Complex Terrorist Attack Simulation
On 7 January 2015 at about 11:30 local time, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with AK47 rifles and other weapons, they killed 11 people and injured 11 others in the building. After leaving, they killed a French National Police officer outside the building. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, who took responsibility for the attack. Several related attacks followed in the Île-de-France region, where a further five were killed and 11 wounded. This attack on a corporate office facility, illustrates the Active Assailant Threat facing corporate offices. As this attack falls into the category of a “Complex2” or Terrorism attack, it gives us a good look at how these types of events can be mitigated before mass consequences. Given the planning, means of access and building features, a comprehensive picture emerges as to the effectiveness of Life Safety Systems installed at the offices would prevent the catastrophic consequences of the planned and executed attack. Intrusion Technologies has developed a system that can be incorporated into existing or new office complexes that addresses the 4 types of Active Assailant events identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the categories of Active Threats of violence. Those being:
- Single or Lone Attacker
- Insider or full Access Attack
- Complex or Terrorism Attack
- Workplace Violence Attack
While addressing these 4 types of attack does not “prevent” the attack from occurring, the implementation of a System solution does rapidly and effectively mitigate the mass consequences associated with these attacks. Intrusion Technologies can effectively reduce and/or eliminate the mass casualties that occur during these events. Our Active Intruder Mitigation System (AIMS®) when installed reduces the event timeline to seconds and not minutes.
The following pages will demonstrate the effectiveness and reduction of casualties had the AIMS® been in place at this Office Facility.
It is not the intent of the founders of Intrusion Technologies to point fingers of blame in these situations or use tragic situations to their benefit. All experienced public safety providers, the founders believe strongly in using the lessons of history in violent intrusions and attacks to help prevent them in the future. All of our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones in these senseless attacks.
Timeline of events
Charlie Hebdo Event Timeline
Attackers encounter an employee of Charlie Hebdo outside the office entrance. The attackers dressed in combat style outfits, forced the employee to breach the access control entrance with her code. Once inside the lobby the attackers discharged their weapons killing a worker at the reception desk.
The gunmen forced Rey at gunpoint to lead
them to a second-floor office, where 15 staff
members were having an editorial meeting,
Charlie Hebdo's first news conference of the year.
Reporter Laurent Léger said they were interrupted by what they thought was the sound of a firecracker—the gunfire from the lobby—and recalled, "We still thought it was a joke.
The gunmen burst into the meeting room and called out Charb's name to target him before
opening fire. The shooting lasted five to ten minutes. The gunmen aimed at the journalists'
heads and killed them.] During the gunfire, Rey
survived uninjured by hiding under a desk, from
where she witnessed the murders of Wolinski and
Cabu.[ Léger also survived by hiding under a desk
as the gunmen entered. Other witnesses reported that the gunmen identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Attackers leave the Office Building after hearing responders sirens. They encounter a Police Officer on the street and kill her. The hunt for the suspects and conspirators lasted
for several days.
the Kouachi brothers fled into the office of Création Tendance Découverte, a signage production company on an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële. Inside the building were owner Michel Catalano and a male employee, 26-year-old graphics designer Lilian Lepère. Catalano sent Lepère to hide in the refectory and remained in his office himself. Not long after, a salesman named Didier went to the printworks on business. Catalano came out with Chérif Kouachi who introduced himself as a police officer. They shook hands and Kouachi told Didier, "Leave. We don't kill civilians anyhow." These words were what caused Didier to guess that Kouachi was a terrorist and he alerted the police. The Kouachi brothers remained inside and a lengthy standoff began. Catalano re-entered the building and closed the door after Didier had left. The brothers were not aggressive towards Catalano, who stated, "I didn't get the impression they were going to harm me." He made coffee for them and helped bandage the neck wound that Saïd Kouachi had sustained during the earlier gunfire. Catalano was allowed to leave after an hour. Catalano swore three times to the terrorists
that he was alone and did not reveal Lepère's
presence. The Kouachi brothers were never
aware of him being there. Lepère hid inside a
cardboard box and sent the police text messages
for around three hours during the siege, providing them with "tactical elements such as [the brothers'] location inside the premises"
Given the proximity (10 km) of the siege to
Charles de Gaulle Airport, two of the airport's
runways were closed. Interior Minister Bernard
Cazeneuve called for a police operation to
neutralise the perpetrators. However, an Interior
Ministry spokesman announced that the Ministry
wished first to "establish a dialogue" with the
suspects. Officials tried to establish contact with
the suspects to negotiate the safe evacuation of a
school 500 metres (1,600 feet) from the siege.
The Kouachi brothers did not respond to attempts at communication by the French authorities. The siege lasted for eight to nine hours, and at around 4:30 p.m. there were at least three explosions near the building. At around 5:00 pm, a police team landed on the roof of the building and a helicopter landed nearby. Before police could reach them, the pair ran out of the building and opened fire on police. The brothers had stated a desire to die as martyrs and the siege came to an end when both Kouachi brothers were gunned down. Lilian Lepère was rescued unharmed. A cache of weapons, including Molotov cocktails and a rocket launcher, was found in the area. During the standoff in Dammartin-en-Goële, Amedy Coulibaly, who had met the brothers in prison, took hostages in a kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in east Paris. Coulibaly was reportedly in contact with the Kouachi brothers as the sieges progressed, and told police that he would kill hostages if the brothers were harmed. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers died within minutes of each other.
Timeline of events
AIMS Active Response
Attackers encounter an employee of Charlie Hebdo outside the office entrance. The attackers dressed in combat style outfits, forced the employee to breach the access control entrance with her code. Once inside the lobby the attackers
discharged their weapons killing a worker at the
reception desk. Hearing gunfire (provided training
teaches to recognize gunfire) and activates AIMS.
Access to additional rooms and floors is prevented. Building lockdown, police department notified, video feed activated, facility alarm activated. The attackers cannot access additional floors due to the lock-down from the AIMS® activation. All access codes are disabled except for responders or client identified staff.
Staff verifies shooting incident and location
through video feed. Verification of active shooter
notification to police department. Incident is verified as a shooting and a suspect identified to aid in the investigation. Staff at the Command Center, identify the attackers and activate the Fog component in the lobby/entrance area. The attackers exit the facility due to the Fog deployment.
Responders arrive and begin to search and clear the office building utilizing the defeat key only the responders have for the AIMS.
The events of January 7th through January 9th 2015 and other similar active shooter/violent
intrusion events indicate that a systematic rapid response product is effective in mitigating the
mass consequences caused by active assailant(s). In this specific instance a reduction of fatalities,
not including the attackers, from 11 to as low as 1. Additionally, with the training provided by
Intrusion Technologies and our partners the duration and fear associated with this event most
likely would have been reduced. Victim-initiated mitigation is the most effective means of
providing protection for occupants of High Occupancy Facilities (Hubbard, 2012).
AIMSTM reacts in milliseconds once activated. It isolates potential victims from the shooter.
Provides a facility-wide alarm that forces staff and occupants to react as trained. Law
enforcement and other response agencies have the necessary equipment and training to neutralize
the attack with the aid of the AIMS. The bottom line is this – AIMS holds the potential to save lives and provide victim-initiated mitigation that will keep our children safe. For additional information please contact:
11010 Monroe Rd., Suite A, Matthews, NC, 28105