The following is part two of a two-part Red Team exercise on a hypothetical, multi-pronged ISIS attack on the Midwest—in Kansas City, Missouri. You can read part one here.
Assailant #1, flying in a tourist charter helicopter over Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, attacks and kills the helicopter’s pilot while the helicopter flies over the Plaza during evening hours. Assailant #1 uses a cheap, basic pocket knife he carries in the pocket of his pants to cut the pilot’s throat. This causes the pilot to lose control of the helicopter, which then crashes into a crowd on the sidewalk in front of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in the plaza. The crash kills 12 on the ground, as well as the pilot and Assailant #1.
Assailant #7, armed with a semi-automatic shotgun, and Assailants #8 and #9, both armed with AR-15s, shoot their way into a west-side entrance of the Sprint Center, in the Power & Light District, where a professional wrestling event is taking place in front of 15,000 fans. Before they enter the building, the three assailants place one of their explosive devices at the entrance/exit, with a timer set for five minutes. They then throw two more explosive devices into the crowd as they enter. The two thrown explosive devices detonate after their 15-second timers expire. The three assailants open fire on the crowd, and are engaged within 90 seconds by on-scene, uniformed law enforcement officers. There are no armed civilians in the arena.
Assailant #4, armed with a semi-automatic shotgun, along with Assailants #5 and #6, both armed with AR-15 rifles, enter the Crown Center shopping mall and begin to shoot victims inside the facility. The three assailants set their explosive devices outside three separate exits before entering, all of which explode after their two-minute timers expire. The explosions kill 11 people, all of whom are fleeing the gunfire inside Crown Center.
Assailants #2 and #3, both armed with semi-automatic shotguns, drop their explosive devices outside of two crowded bars in the Power & Light District, both armed with two-minute timers. The explosions kill five and cause panic, sending bar-goers out into the streets. The two assailants then set out in the rental car of Assailant #8, and begin to drive through the area following the explosions. Assailant #9 shoots victims from the vehicle as the car makes its way through the area. The explosions have sent many people into the streets, fleeing. Five are shot and killed in the immediate aftermath of the explosions.
H-Hour + 8 minutes
On-scene uniformed police have engaged the three assailants at the Sprint Center, effectively drawing their fire, allowing thousands to pour out of the building through other exits. There are 75 dead from gunshot wounds and explosive blasts.
EMS, fire, and police are dispatched via hundreds of 911 calls, which have overwhelmed the 911 dispatching system, and emergency operators struggle to keep up. The Kansas City Fire Department responds to the downed aircraft fire at the Cheesecake Factory. Police tactical teams (SWAT) are mobilizing, and will respond as two units, separately, to the Sprint Center and Crown Center. There are reports of civilians inside Crown Center firing weapons at the armed assailants.
Police begin an automobile pursuit of Assailants #2 and #3, who continue to shoot anyone they can in the streets, as well as firing at police cruisers. Assailant #2 drives while Assailant #3 uses both shotguns, reloading as they drive.
The governor of Missouri declares an emergency and makes an official request via phone call to one of Missouri’s two U.S. senators, seeking a federal response. The Missouri governor mobilizes the Missouri National Guard.
H-hour + 30 minutes
The three gunmen in the Sprint Center are neutralized by a combination of on-scene uniformed police and SWAT, which makes entry with attached EMS paramedics, who begin to treat the wounded. Eight more victims bleed to death before they can be treated by the small number of paramedics who make initial entry. Others will be saved by the application of tourniquets and combat gauze on priority patients once the scene is secure and fire and EMS can enter the building.
The aircraft fire at the scene of the helicopter crash is under control. EMS and fire personnel are on-scene, treating victims who suffer from burns and blunt-force trauma of varying degrees of severity.
The vehicle chase of Assailants #2 and #3 continues, and shots are continuously fired from the vehicle. Five more are killed as police work to clear the streets of pedestrians and civilian vehicles.
The SWAT unit at Crown Center has made entry and begun clearing the facility, taking heavy fire from the gunmen. Eighty-five are now dead inside Crown Center. Paramedics attached to SWAT treat the wounded as areas are cleared. Paramedics quickly run out of tourniquets and request immediate resupply from EMS directors. The Kansas City-based EMS system works to mobilize all available EMTs, at all levels, and begins to move supplies to the various scenes of attack. EMS directors formally request more supplies and assistance from neighboring EMS systems in the area, which begin to mobilize resources to deploy to the Kansas City metro area.
The president of the United States declares a state of emergency, and pledges all federal resources to Missouri. The FBI and CIA, as well as Homeland Security, are directed to provide immediate resources and response to the attacks. Regionally based national assets, including the FBI and CIA, turn their full attention to the attacks, and begin to work the target.
H-Hour + one hour
The vehicle chase of Assailants #2 and #3 ends; the two assailants are killed in a shootout while attempting to flee their disabled vehicle. They have killed 37 in their vehicle-borne mobile attack. Victims have begun to self-transport to already overcrowded emergency departments, as ambulance resources are maxed out in the city.
The SWAT unit in Crown Center has taken two casualties, both non-fatal, in their assault on the gunmen. The three assailants remain barricaded inside a store, but are running low on ammunition. EMS has begun treating the wounded in the cleared areas of the facility. EMS units from the surrounding area, as far away as Springfield, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois, have begun to deploy to Kansas City.
The Missouri National Guard has deployed in the city, and is cordoning off the Country Club Plaza and the Power & Light District. National Guard units from Kansas are also responding to the Crown Center and have begun to set up checkpoints around the Kansas City metro area.
National assets are now doing concerted collection and initial analysis of the assailants, watching for chatter, and assessing responsibility for the attacks. FBI assault teams are also deploying to Kansas City. ISIS has put out a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks and extolling the attackers.
H-Hour + two hours
All nine assailants are now dead, but it remains unclear to local and national authorities if more remain on the loose. All security cordons and presence patrols remain in place. A curfew is imposed in the city, and the population is notified that no non-life threatening medical emergencies will be responded to by fire or EMS personnel. Emergency departments across the region reach maximum capacity, and calls for blood donations go out.
Mobile, field-expedient triage units are set up throughout the city, as authorities make a call for all medically trained personnel in the region to provide assistance. EMS and fire units continue to respond to the various scenes of attack, and to render medical treatment.
Police, fire, and EMS in the wider region offer assistance, and U.S. military medical resources are offered to the state for immediate deployment. All incoming flights to Kansas City International Airport are diverted to other locations.
H-Hour + 24 hours
Kansas City is declared secure, and all attackers are believed dead. There are 163 confirmed deaths, including the nine assailants.
(AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Tammy Ljungblad)