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Hospitals and mass attacks

A patient walks into a hospital dragging a wheeled suitcase. To all intents and purposes, the individual is coming into the hospital for a procedure and seems to be expecting an overnight stay at the very least. No one checks the suitcase. This patient, however, seeks out the nuclear medicine department intending to detonate 20 kg of home-made explosive, called ‘Mother of Satan’, which is in the suitcase. He hopes not to die in the initial blast so he can roam the hospital attacking people with the 9-mm firearm that he has hidden on his person. The aim of this attack is to cause mass panic and casualties and to render the hospital impotent in dealing with the aftermath of simultaneous attacks planned across the city. As the hospital is designated as a major trauma centre within the city’s civil emergencies plan, this attack will prevent it from receiving the casualties from the other attacks. As such, the hospital attack is part of a wider strategy to destabilize the city and its infrastructure.

This is the beginning of an article by Denis and Moira Fischbacher-Smith of the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow, on hospitals and mass casualty terrorism, published in the journal Public Management Review, in 2013.

For the article in full visit the Glasgow website.


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