Analyst: Coleman Plan fails to consider modern weaponry, could endanger lives of LPD officers

Analyst: Coleman Plan fails to consider modern weaponry, could endanger lives of LPD officers

Background [courtesy of]

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States was killed by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound hideout in Pakistan in May 2011. The notorious, 54-year-old leader of Al Qaeda, the terrorist network of Islamic extremists, had been the target of a nearly decade-long international manhunt.

The raid began around 1 a.m. local time (4 p.m. EST on May 1, 2011 in the United States), when 23 U.S. Navy SEALs in two Black Hawk helicopters descended on the compound in Abbottabad, a tourist and military center north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. One of the helicopters crash-landed into the compound but no one aboard was hurt. 

During the raid, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, five people, including bin Laden and one of his adult sons, were killed by U.S. gunfire. No Americans were injured in the assault. Afterward, bin Laden’s body was flown by helicopter to Afghanistan for official identification, then buried at an undisclosed location in the Arabian Sea less than 24 hours after his death, in accordance with Islamic practice.

Just after 11:30 p.m. EST on May 1 (Pakistan’s time zone is 9 hours ahead of Washington, D.C.), President Barack Obama, who monitored the raid in real time via footage shot by a drone flying high above Abbottabad, made a televised address from the White House, announcing bin Laden’s death. “Justice has been done,” the president said. After hearing the news, cheering crowds gathered outside the White House and in New York City’s Times Square and the Ground Zero site.

READ MORE: How SEAL Team Six Took Out Osama bin Laden

Based on computer files and other evidence the SEALs collected during the raid, it was later determined that bin Laden was making plans to assassinate President Obama and carry out a series of additional attacks against America, including one on the anniversary of September 11, the largest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil, which left nearly 3,000 people dead. Shortly after the 2001 attack, President George W. Bush declared bin Laden, who was born into a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia in 1957 and used his multi-million-dollar inheritance to help establish Al Qaeda and fund its activities, would be captured dead or alive. In December of that year, American-backed forces came close to capturing bin Laden in a cave complex in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora region; however, he escaped and would continue to elude U.S. authorities for years.

A break in the hunt for bin Laden came in August 2010, when C.I.A. analysts tracked the terrorist leader’s courier to the Abbottabad compound, located behind tall security walls in a residential neighborhood. (U.S. intelligence officials spent the ensuing months keeping the compound under surveillance; however, they were never certain bin Laden was hiding there until the raid took place.) 

The U.S. media had long reported bin Laden was believed to be hiding in the remote tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border, so many Americans were surprised to learn the world’s most famous fugitive had likely spent the last five years of his life in a well-populated area less than a mile from an elite Pakistani military academy. After the raid, which the United States reportedly carried out without informing the Pakistani government in advance, some American officials suspected Pakistani authorities of helping to shelter bin Laden in Abbottabad, although there was no concrete evidence to confirm this.

READ MORE: 8 Facts About Osama bin Laden’s Final Hideout

The Coleman Plan

Coleman exposed his lack of practical experience to the Lexington Urban County Council recently when he brought up the bin Laden raid as justification for bringing back no-knock warrants in Lexington.

Jim Coleman: Let's bring no-knock warrants back to Lexington

In his speech, Coleman said the City needs “a lot of love at this time,” and gave five recommendations that he said could help the city. He claimed that reinstitution of the controversial no-knock warrant practice, which recently led to federal charges and a $14M lawsuit settlement against the City of Louisville in the Breonna Taylor police killing, would help officers know “we would never send them into a situation where their lives would be at risk.” Many audience members openly laughed at his naiveté from the cheap seats.

Former DoD contractor reacts to Coleman Plan

The Lexington Times showed a former US Department of Defense contractor a video of Coleman’s speech for analysis.

“Wow, where did the FOP dig this guy up? … Oh, New York? Yeah, that makes sense,” the man said, “With all the gun restrictions in NYC, I supposed one could reasonably claim that a no-knock wouldn’t put officers in harm’s way, but that’s only because local law enforcement generally wear NIJ level III body armor.”

NIJ level III plates are tested to stop 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm FMJ lead core and hollow point rifle ammunition from common rifles like the AK-47 and AR-15. The plates also protect against 9mm, 10mm, .45cal, .40cal, .380, .38 Special, and lesser calibers.

“Problem is,” the analyst continued, “this isn’t New York, it’s Kentucky.” He briefly returned to his locked truck and removed a sleek looking case that was concealed beneath a false bottom in the truck bed. The electronically locked box contained a scoped Smith and Wesson M&P 10, complete with suppressor and other fancy looking accessories.

“This firearm is designed for military and police use,” the analyst said, “it fires .308 Winchester cartridges that are more powerful and deadly than the little pea shooters al-Qaeda forces were using at the time of the bin Laden raid. While the NIJ Level IV armor worn by Seal Team Six would stop these, NIJ Level III armors usually don’t.” The analyst also retrieved some Level IV plates from his truck for inspection.

According to Sportsman’s Warehouse, “the 7.62x39mm Soviet is perhaps best known for its use in AK variant rifles, while the .308 Winchester is a popular big game hunting cartridge. The Soviet may be a stronger choice for someone looking to shoot a high number of rounds from a semi-automatic rifle, or target primarily small game over smaller ranges thanks to its lower cost. The .308 Winchester packs a more serious punch (both in terms of recoil and energy), and that extra power will be needed if you’re targeting large game or want to fire across longer ranges. These two cartridges serve very different purposes, so it’s vital to know your own hunting goals as you evaluate the many factors that go into distinguishing calibers from one another.”

So in conclusion, I would just say that this sounds like someone from the big city coming in and trying to shove their practices down our throats. That [expletive] might fly in New York, but people here have more and bigger guns than the citizens of NYC. Also, everyone is still pretty sensitive about no-knocks since Breonna Taylor was killed. That happened right down the road from us, maybe the news didn’t reach New York, I dunno. If he really cares about Lexington so much, maybe he should lay off the Call of Duty and schedule a ride-along with an LPD officer instead. I’m sure they would love to have him.

Prior DoD Contractor and Times Military Analyst
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