In what can be described as an extremely strange “coincidence,” Paris-area emergency personnel and ambulance crews were taking part in a simulated emergency exercise on the very same day the Paris terrorist attacks took place.
The exact nature of the drill was a simulated mass shooting attack, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris.
According to a report by Bloomberg:
During Friday’s exercise, trauma specialists used a centralized dispatch system to set priorities and direct victims to the ER best equipped to treat their injuries. Ambulance services made sure they were ready to roll, and hospitals verified that surgeons and staff could be quickly summoned to treat arriving victims. “We tested every link in the chain,” Raux said. Because Paris emergency physicians work 24-hour shifts, virtually every ER doctor on duty in the city Friday night had already taken part in the exercise earlier that day.
While Paris-area emergency crews have regularly practiced emergency exercises since the attacks at Charlie Hedbo in January, in which 16 people were killed, the fact that the simulated emergency exercise and the actual events in Paris virtually mirrored one another raise some intriguing questions.
What makes this noteworthy is that this is not the first time that emergency drills for the exact scenario unfolding were taking place at virtually the same moment the actual terrorist attacks began.
During the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) was in the midst of a training exercise called Vigilant Guardian, which “coincidentally” simulated planes being hijacked by terrorists.
A story in Aviation Week made clear the connection between the 9/11 attacks and the NORAD drills taking place at virtually the same moment:
At 8:40 a.m. EDT, Tech. Sgt. Jeremy W. Powell of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (Norad) Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, N.Y., took the first call from Boston Center. He notified NEADS commander Col. Robert K. Marr, Jr., of a possible hijacked airliner, American Airlines Flight 11.
“Part of the exercise?” the colonel wondered. No; this is a real-world event, he was told. Several days into a semiannual exercise known as Vigilant Guardian, NEADS was fully staffed, its key officers and enlisted supervisors already manning the operations center “battle cab.”
In retrospect, the exercise would prove to be a serendipitous enabler of a rapid military response to terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Senior officers involved in Vigilant Guardian were manning Norad command centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, available to make immediate decisions.
As if these two events weren’t a strange enough “coincidence,” the London subway attacks on 7/7 also encompassed drills happening only days prior to that terrorist attack.
A report by the Daily Mail stated:
Police completed a terror training exercise, which envisaged an attack on London’s transport network just days before the 7/7 atrocity, an inquest heard today.
During the ‘table top’ drill, officers were asked to respond to imaginary bombings at Waterloo, Embankment and St James’s Park Underground stations.
But there was absolutely no intelligence at the time to suggest such an attack was imminent, the hearing was told…
Christopher Coltart, barrister for some of the bereaved families, told the inquest the ‘Hanover’ exercise, which took place on July 1 and July 2 2005 and involved officers from the Met’s anti-terror branch, ‘had at its core, an attack on the Underground’.
Asked if it was simply a ‘coincidence’ that this took place just days before 7/7, Mr Allison replied: ‘That’s entirely correct.’
It seems odd that three of the most prolific terror attacks in recent history all share this common thread. The prevalence of terror drills, which mirror the actual terrorist attacks, being run in such close proximity to the actual events taking place begs the question of whether these drills mirroring actual events are truly just a “coincidence,” or are perhaps an indication of something much more sinister.