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Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools

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Book Overview

The complete and accurate story of the Beslan School Siege that occurred in Russia on September 1, 2004. This book tells the untold story about the victims, the soldiers who were there and the history... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Schools in danger

I am in middle school so when I read this book, all I could think about was it can happen here! In any school in America, like it happened in Beslan. When I read about the kids, how the terrorists killed the older boys and raped the teenage girls, and terrorized the little ones, I can feel it along with them and imagine if it were my own school. I hope our police and soldiers are training as Mr. John Giduck tells how in this book. But I also was interested to learn how I can protect my own self, such as planning in advance, being aware, and taking martial arts. (I'm in karate.) At Beslan, fear was the way the terrorists controlled the crowd. Some kids and teachers managed to hide or escape, and others managed to survive. I just want to say God Bless the Alpha and Vympel soldiers who risked their lives and some gave their lives for the children. I know our soldiers and police will be inspired by this book. You should also check out Archangel's website and check out the training schedules and also, the cool things they have for sale, besides this book. To Mr. John Giduck, I wish I lived near your dojo, because I would love to learn the Russian Hand to Hand Combat Training, and take the Archangel anti-terrorism course for women! This book was so sad and horrible but so important to read for kids and teachers, police and parents.

Exposes the common denominator

Although I read this macabre but critically important book more than a year ago, I have put off reviewing it that long because I just could not again face the gruesome realities it contains. But a few weeks after the July 10 death of Russia's Osama bin Laden, the Naqshabandi Sufi murderer, Shamil Basayev, there is no longer any excuse. In their three-day siege at the Beslan middle school in September 2004, Chechen Islamic terrorists killed at least 330, including 172 children and wounded another 700 Russians, many of them critically. At least 31 terrorists were killed at the school, only 17 of whom were later identified. These terrorists included 10 Arab Muslims, only two of whom were sent to Interpol for identification. This book reveals many shortcomings in the Russian response to the terrorist attack, which undoubtedly prolonged the assault, and increased the casualties. One serious problem was the failure of Russia's Spetsnaz, Alpha and Vympel counter terror forces to contain the angry local population, who encircled the school, thereby complicating military and medical rescue operations and easing the escapes of many terrorists. Another was their failure to coordinate quickly and call in the needed forces. In the aftermath, the Russian government of Vladimir Putin was also less than forthcoming about the causes and complications of the terror attack. And blame was improperly placed on low-ranking officials who in fact could have done very little to prevent the attack, improve the counter terror response or bolster anti-terror forces afterwards. Having said that, John Giduck gives a great deal of well-deserved praise to the Russian heroes who did manage to save lives, minimize the toll under impossible circumstances and fought to the last, in many cases giving their very lives. But three particular points make Giduck's book exceedingly important for counter terror officials and forces worldwide and Americans in particular. First of all, Giduck notes that Chechnya is an large center of global Islamic terrorism, not the innocent victim of Russian brutality. As he points out, although the Naqshabandi Sufi sect is prominent in Chechnya, it is not the peaceful ideology that it is often portrayed. On the contrary, Chechen Islamic terrorists have murdered thousands of innocent Russians in previous terror attacks, wounded a much larger number and taken still more hostage in dozens, perhaps hundreds of assaults. According to one source, over time, Chechens have considered it "the very best thing to commit fraud and hurt people of other religions." He continued, "Historically, they would rob, steal, kidnap and sell slaves for money rather than develop an economy." And they have done all this in the name of Allah and Islam. Secondly, thousands of these Chechen terrorists now reside in America, having immigrated as "war refugees," all too often under the auspices of the naïve and uninformed U.S. government. Thirdly, the U.S. has thou


I obtained a copy of John Giduck's book "Terror in Beslan" at a law enforcement conference where I heard Lt. Col. Grossman speak. As a law enforcement officer who was instrumental in putting together our department's "Active Shooter" program, I was interested in this reading. Upon beginning to read this book I was taken by the vivid descriptions in the book from the beginning where he described the lonely soldier returning to his home after the incident to the actual incident itself. As a trainer I was especially interested in the sections on what we can do to prepare for such an incident here in the United States. I have incorporated this book in both programs I instruct for our law enforcement officers, as well as a program I have developed which is aimed at the target audience of school administrators and teachers. I cannot say enough about how interesting Mr. Giduck keeps the reader throughout the entire book. Mr. Grossman was correct when he suggested this book. I would rate this book as one that every law enforcement officer as well as every school administrator must read. Other books that rate along side this one is Lt. Col. Grossman's "On Killing, On Combat, and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill," Christain Lorenson's book "Warriors," and the book "Killing Zone." I would be very interested in attending one of Mr. Giduck's seminars where he speaks about Beslan. Bookstores everywhere should make this book "Terror at Beslan" available on their shelves. This way, not only would law enforcement have access, but so too would those in the field of education. I highly recommend this book!

It can happen here!

When Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev sent his jihadists to slaughter schoolchildren in predominantly Christian North Ossetia, he expected to ignite a holy war throughout Russia. North Ossetia and neighboring Muslim republic Ingushetia had previously fought a bloody territorial war, and the truce was bitter. Basayev counted on Caucasus tradition, which would grant the bereaved men of Beslan blood-vengeance following their 40-day Orthodox rites of mourning. He believed that a massacre of children, which culminated the week of deadly terrorist attacks on Russian civilians, would spark massive retaliation against Chechnya. That innocent Ingush and Chechens would suffer meant little to Basayev, who has always gladly exploited the population as human shields and suicide-bombers. One out of every seven Russian citizens is a Muslim, but most practice the traditional Islam which is dispised as "kafir" by Basayev's Wahhabis. Basayev hoped a nationwide backlash against Islam would radicalize all of Russia's Muslims. That this did not occur was due to two things: the government's and media's restraint in not exploiting the atrocity to advance the war effort. And more importantly, the North Ossetians' own restraint in not taking indiscriminate revenge on their Muslim neighbors. But Basayev achieved at least one important goal: he showed the world that terrorists consider no targets off limits, not even the most innocent. John Giduck, the author of "Terror at Beslan," is president of the Archangel Corporation, a US 501 (c)(3) non-profit NGO. Archangel provides anti-terrorism consulting and training to law-enforcement, military, and other government agencies. Mr. Giduck himself is a US Army Special Forces hand-to-hand combat and firearms instructor, tactical scuba and skydiving instructor, weightlifting champion, and has been inducted into several international martial arts halls of fame. He holds Masters Degrees in Russian Studies and International Affairs. And he holds our nation's highest level of security clearance. Archangel operates in over 20 countries; its membership includes elite SPEC-warriors from the US military, British SAS, Russian spetsnaz, and Israeli armed forces. Here is an impeccable, knowledgeable, and thoroughly credible source, to document this notorious terrorist act and apply its lessons to American schools. Mr. Giduck with his Archangel team was on site in Beslan immediately following the firefight, researching step-by-step the deadly chronology of events. Archangel's professionals analysed the strategies and mistakes of the Russian Alpha and Vympel forces who responded to the desperate situation. But not only to get an accurate account (which the Russian government was obstructing): The author believes it is only a matter of time until terrorists commit a similar attack on an American school. "Terror at Beslan" is not really intended for the reader who wants the victims' story. For that, there are several Beslan

The "real story" behind the war on terror

I have over 23 years of government service as a retired Navy Commander and civilian National Security Analyst, former Marine Sergeant, and NCIS Civilian Special Agent where I was primarily responsible for identifying, analyzing and countering threats from the Former Soviet Union/Central Asia and terrorism both foreign and domestic. This background sparked a great interest in John's book and I was pleasantly surprised he that he went beyond the "Terror at Beslan" to give a historical perspective of the those responsible for this act and the ever growing cancer that has been allowed to grow in the shadow of the Cold War and whose numbers, powers, and threat have grown at an exponential rate. This book ends with a very clear call to action that goes beyond just preventing a Beslan event in the US. It provides a clear warning we don't have the option to choose this fight, it has been chosen by those who are creating generations of adversaries across the globe who will not be satisfied until all who do not believe as they do are eliminated from the face of the earth. It is an honor to know John Giduck who has had the courage to venture where no other author or publisher would dare.
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