If you are in law enforcement or the military, this book is required reading, and the follow-on counter-terrorism training should be made mandatory. If you are in law, politics or the media, this book is a must-read, and a follow-up educational seminar should be required since you’ll likely not get it the first time around. But most importantly, if you are the parent of school-age children, you cannot let the new school year start before studying this book and fully absorbing its contents.
My review of this book, Terror at Beslan, is thorough and, as such, it is lengthy. I implore you to focus, pay attention, and read it thoroughly. Do not tune it out, or put it off until later. It has everything to do with your most precious possessions: your children and your grandchildren. Terror at Beslan is a handbook for saving lives, and it could one day be your own child that is saved by the precepts found in its pages. Mothers, pay special heed – and you’ll know exactly why when you get to the end of this review. Parents, listen: your children are targets and it is only you who can force the powers-that-be to protect them.
Because if you don’t…
On September 1, 2004, the first day of school in Beslan, Russia, crowds of celebratory townspeople flowed happily throughout the grounds of Beslan Middle School No. 1. Grandparents and parents mingled in the warm sun beaming down into the courtyards and waved good-bye as excited children dashed away through the throngs of people to chase down their friends. Teachers stood in doorways, welcoming the students as parents turned away to start their days.
We Americans can all imagine the happy cacophony of squealing kids, the thrill of seeing school friends after a long, hot summer, the satisfying weight of new school supplies in brand new back-packs, and the pressing priority of showing off new lunch boxes with our latest hero on the cover. We’ve all been there, or have re-lived it with our own children. It was into this happy and excited midst that Islamic terrorists staged a long-planned, well-coordinated, and lightening assault on adults and children alike. Within minutes, over twelve hundred parents, teachers, and children – sixty percent of the crowd at the school that morning - were taken hostage and herded inside the school as a few bloody bodies littered the courtyard outside.
We Americans never got the full or accurate story of the horrifying inhumanity that then commenced inside that school over the next three days of the siege. There is only one in-depth analysis of the terrorist assault and the disastrous culmination of events three days later, and it is this book. There is only one place to go to learn how to prepare and plan for the inevitable terrorist attack on our own American children, and that is into the memories and nightmares of the people who survived. There is only one man who was ever accorded the respect and access to survivors of the siege, central players in the stand-off, and decision-makers in the government, and it is this author, John Giduck.