Yesterday I wrote a post praising the response by two very different groups of actors, the public and the police, simply from going off of the footage shown on the news and social media.

I absolutely stand by my full praise for both groups of actors.

Today, there is far more footage, and therefore a clearer picture can now be gained from the response of those brave members of the public who took the attacker down until police arrived on the scene.

Over the last 20 years, the UK has moved from acts of IRA type terrorism to acts of Islamist type terrorism, and just maybe in the future we could well see a blend of the two.

From a bomb placed with a warning, to a bomb placed without a warning, shootings, vehicle rammings, knifings and to the more recent suicide bombings, members of the public can’t afford to second guess what the individual terrorist will do.

There is footage that many would have seen by now, of a small group of men hounding the attacker with a large “staff” and a fire extinguisher. There is another still photo that I saw that showed that within seconds, at least 12 members of the public are surrounding the attacker, and within striking distance.

We also know today that the attacker was wearing an “inert” suicide vest…and that he was a known terrorist out of jail early!

So, given all of that evidence already, and now known by me sitting idly on my arse thousands of miles away in New York having been glued to the media for the last 18 hours or so. Then I now have much more information than the brave men who stepped forward to tackle the attacker back on London Bridge in real time yesterday.

Armed with such knowledge of all of the above, and reading this blog post, anyone stepping forward from now on…MUST finish the task!

You cannot afford to wait for the professional responders, ie the Police, as it may well be too late. If that attacker had a “live” suicide vest, or a second knife, or was on drugs, or just completely determined…then at worst case, those 12 or so brave men who stepped forward could all well be dead or maimed now.

I would have liked to have seen the man with the fire extinguisher follow through by smashing it into the scull of the terrorist, and keep doing it until the police arrive…or at least until the attacker is quite obviously dead…and therefore ceases to be a threat anymore to anyone else. 

When any terrorists attack…sheer bloody violence is what these horrendous individuals need to be met with.

For those of you that often read my posts, you’ll know that I scream from the rafters for the general public to run away as fast and as far as possible…to safety.

However, with the “run, hide, fight” options based drill for such events…those that decide in the moment on the “fight,” really do need to take it to it’s final conclusion…to the death! 

I keep saying it…whether caught up in today’s school or workplace shooting in the USA, or today’s Islamic fundamentalist attacks on the streets of the UK and Europe, the first responders are the members of the public caught up in the event…the professional responders are the police and other emergency services who may be seconds to minutes away…enough time for dozens more to be killed.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized6 Comments


  1. Bob, I think the public are slowly coming round to understanding that in today’s ‘diy lone wolf terrorism sometimes it falls to them that they must act. Terrorist normally choose busy places to act and whilst 98% run the two percent who fight back must understand that its do or die. ‘Do’, means going far beyond the “law”, it means kill or be killed.
    As an ex para I’d appreciate your thoughts on the Bogside Riots leading to 1 Para’s offensive defence. Is it right to hold front line soldiers, deployed into contact, to the letter of peacetime law?
    Also in the USA there is huge confusion about why, why and how the British Army were deployed into Ulster. The story is worth telling.

    1. Hiya Neil, sadly as you and I both know, even today troops are put to work on the ground where they’re expecting to “fight” with one hand tied behind their backs, due to the realities on the ground, and the unrealistic letter of military law. I completely blame the political Generals for this. They need to stand up for their deployed men and women.

  2. Very thought provoking Bob, because I would feel rather uncertain about the degree of force to use, unless I saw the knifing and vest before hand. Then your advice would certainly hold…to take them down with anything available. I did see a small news clip and did not understand why the police were intervening with someone kneeling over someone else. Thanks again.

    1. Big thanks Wayne….for most civilian individuals, an extremely tough call to make, I understand that…but a life and death situation. Yesterday they were lucky that the vest was just a dummy.

  3. Bob as ex RAF Regt then fire arms Police officer. I feel that the Officer that carried out the shoot was totally justified. And as the officer that carried out the shoot was quite restrained. As I’m sure he was / is Kratos trained and seeing that the offender was what he undoubtedly saw was a bomb vest . He would have been within his rights to have shot this person several time in the kratos way. I am then sure he would have been castigated for excessive force by the arm chair police. Damed if you do damed if you don’t. As for the civilians that acted the way they did . Had no thought for their own safety but acted purely on instinct.

  4. Yes Bob, I fully agree that force must be met with force to hopefully minimise further aggression or injuries from these deluded terrorists. These terrorists only understand one thing and have been indoctrinated with their false religious hopes. The wider British public will, I am sure start becoming more aware of these terrorists and their merciless potential as they did to the IRA threat. I hope they don’t have to deal with them or confront them individually, but if they do, they need to understand that they need to be as strong and ruthless as their opponent, a soft touch or liberal kindness does not work with these people who firmly believe in an “Eye for an Eye”. Maybe, the tough stance and response of the British public could be the knee jerk the political generals need to make an assertive change at the top or even changing laws to prevent allowing these terrorists the freedom they have.

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