Carol Moore's Waco Pages: The Davidian Massacre
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 Investigation of  Vernon Wayne Howell
also known as David Koresh  September 1993

For the actual report and links to other Appendixes click here.

Appendix A
Chief Willie Williams' Report

September 22, 1993

The Honorable Lloyd Bentsen
Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20220

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am pleased to submit my comments as an independent reviewer of the Waco
Administrative Review. I have found that the investigative team which you
assembled is of the highest quality and integrity. These men and women have
worked tirelessly to uncover the facts surrounding the events which led up to
and included the raid on David Koresh's residence near Waco, Texas, on the
28th of February 1993.

I arranged my thoughts focusing first on the propriety to investigate Mr.
Koresh, and second on the facts surrounding the probable cause to seek a
Search Warrant and Arrest Warrant. I then moved to the tactical operation on
the 28th of February. My comments address the serious issues of managerial
oversight by both the Treasury Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms. Training is discussed as I conclude my comments by offering
several insights which I believe will help both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms and the Treasury Department continue to serve this country in the
manner we have come to expect.

It has been a pleasure to assist you in this very important undertaking.

Very truly yours,


Chief of Police
Los Angeles, California


     Report for the Waco Administrative Review

            Independent Reviewer Report

My first comments go the brave men and women of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (A.T.F.) who were involved in the service of the
Search Warrant at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. These
federal officers had a difficult task to accomplish if everything in the
plan had worked as designed. The plan unraveled and the raiding party was
ambushed and assaulted with the type of firepower that no municipal or
federal law enforcement agency had ever before experienced.

The men and women in the A.T.F. SRTs, when faced with overwhelming
gunfire, still made every attempt to meet and complete their objective.
Several acts of bravery saved lives and prevented further serious injury
to members of the warrant service teams. All of these agents should be
commended for their actions.

2.   The Special Investigative Team

The team of investigators assembled by the Treasury Department are, in my
opinion, among the most experienced and knowledgeable that one could ask
to conduct such a critical review. I am pleased to report that the
investigative review was conducted with the highest degree of honesty and

Mr. Ronald K. Noble, Assistant Secretary (Enforcement) is to be
complimented for his leadership of this review. Mr. Noble has been quite
candid and insisted that no stone be left unturned in the quest for what
occurred in the planning, execution, and recovery after the A.T.F. raid
in Waco, Texas.

   Appropriateness of the investigation of David Koresh

The investigative report is correct when it asserts that A.T.F. had
probable cause to investigate David Koresh for his purchases of huge
amounts of weapons parts, firearms and ammunition. The purchase of many
of these parts was done for an illegal purpose -- that is to assemble
prohibited weapons. It was appropriate to conduct a full investigation
when it became apparent that David Koresh had also unlawfully purchased
AR-15 lower receivers which could be used to convert semi-automatic
rifles into fully automatic weapons similar to M-16 machine guns. This
type of information, coupled with other intelligence, was more than

enough to justify the opening of an investigative case on David Koresh
who resided with others known as the Branch Davidians.

4. Justification to seek Search Warrants and Arrest Warrants

The evidence which the A.T.F. investigators accumulated to justify
seeking either arrest warrants or search warrants was more than
sufficient by January/February 1993.

It was known that Koresh had received M-16 parts which could be used to
convert AR-15 semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic weapons. It had
also been verified that Koresh had purchased AR-15 weapons. When A.T.F.
investigators learned that an arms dealer had intentionally lied to them
and tried to hide the purchase of AR-15 lower receivers by Koresh, this
further strengthened the evidence that Koresh was unlawfully possessing
and manufacturing machine guns or converted fully automatic weapons.

Investigators also had evidence that Koresh had in his possession
gunpowder and other ignition items which, when coupled with the grenade
shells he purchased, gave him the ingredient~s to manufacture live

The A.T.F. investigators consulted with the U.S. Attorney's office during
the investigation and did in fact secure a Search Warrant for the Branch
Davidian Compound from a Magistrate Judge.

5. The Tactical Operation of February 28th, 1993

The tactical operation planned by A.T.F. personnel was designed with
several key assumptions being present to ensure a reasonable chance of
success. These critical success factors include the following.

A. Surprise arrival of the A.T.F. SRTs and the inability of the persons
in Koresh's compound to have time to react to the these events. This was
a key critical success factor.

B. Finding most of the men outside and working in the pit area north of
the compound.

C. The quick and successful entry of the compound by designated SRTs and
the separation of persons inside from weapons in the upstairs arms room.

D. Seizing the arms room by surprise entry from outside while the
residents were being detained both outside in the pit area and on the
first floor of the compound.

An examination of the planning for the operation indicates that there is
no copy of the entire raid plan available. It is apparent that the
planners had the raid plan in their heads but never reduced it to
writing. This omission led to a series of later failures by all personnel
involved in the planned operation to have an opportunity to review a
completed plan and question the assumptions. This lack of a completed
written plan also ensured that all those agents who should have had a
clear understanding of what was expected of them and others did not. This
is made very clear when you examine the type of information and direction
given to the agents in the undercover house.

The fact of not having a clear written plan which listed the critical
success factors almost ensured from the start, that when these success
factors began to unravel, no one would grasp the significance of the
unfolding events.

When examined in totality some reviewers agree that the plan was not well
thought-out. The reasons include: no provision for contingencies; a less
than adequate command and control of the SRTs and their support units;
the failure to design-an intelligence system which gathered all pieces of
data and provided an analysis of this information; the failure of
adequate oversight from senior A.T.F. management and the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Enforcement; and insufficient reserve
personnel available or enough first aid and medical support on site.

After reviewing interviews conducted with A.T.F. personnel who planned
the raid on February 28th, and all of those who had support or other
roles in the planning, it is my belief that the planners never thought
about, nor planned for a partial or full failure of the operation. This,
in my opinion, is one of the greatest failures of management in A.T.F.

6.   Management Oversight - Structural Deficiencies

The management oversight responsibilities between the Treasury Department
and A.T.F. must be re-examined. At the time of the Waco raid on February
28th, 1993, there was no written policy delineating areas of
responsibility that for example, required A.T.F. to notify anyone in the
Treasury Department that A.T.F. was planning, or about to implement a
raid such as the one planned and executed on February 28th. There was no
policy that required the notification of the Treasury Department when an
investigation of the magnitude of this one was contemplated or had
already begun.

The lack of active oversight by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Enforcement, Treasury Department, was one reason that there was no early
notification by A.T.F. of the Waco raid. The fact that this was the same
policy for several years only magnifies the problem. The investigative
report correctly points out that had oversight taken place, many
questions which needed to be asked may have come up much earlier.

The investigative report correctly states that had the Office of
Enforcement been involved in the early planning stages, its intervention
might have led the planners to reevaluate the faulty factual assumptions
on which they had relied. This failure contributed to a condition where
little or no analysis of intelligence information was made by those at
A.T.F. headquarters or at the Treasury Department.

The understanding of the importance of intelligence and the operational
decisions which were being built around these assumptions was inadequate
at nearly every level of ATF's management from the command personnel in
Texas who planned and executed the raid, to personnel at the National
Command Center to-the leadership at A.T.F. Headquarters. Moreover,
because such matters were outside the scope of the Office of
Enforcement's defined responsibilities, the office did not have an
adequate opportunity to rigorously scrutinize these matters.

7.   Training Issues

This report points out several areas where training is needed in areas
such as command and control decision-making. Training is needed at all
levels on the importance of understanding what is meant by intelligence
gathering, how to analyze it and most importantly how to build a tactical
operation around the facts and assumptions based on an investigation and
the intelligence gathered. It is very apparent that senior managers in
A.T.F. need advanced training in Media Relations. This investigation
shows that the A.T.F. leaders in Texas never successfully managed the
growing interest by the media in both the Branch Davidians and the
escalating activities by A.T.F. personnel in and around Waco, Texas.

Training is required to ensure that all members of A.T.F., particularly
field supervisors, have the requisite skills necessary to plan and
execute an investigation and operation such as the raid on the compound
of David Koresh.

I will not go into detail about all of the other training issues, but they
include command and control skills for SRT operations and particularly the SRT
team leaders. Training must include how to set up an undercover operation and
what is expected of the undercover operatives. In this case, the agents in the
undercover house were never given a clear mission. The agents in the
undercover house as an example, were never told of the raid planners'
assumption that the men in the compound would be outside when the raid began.


I was asked to be an independent reviewer of the work product of the Waco
Administrative Review Team's report to the Secretary of Treasury.

The investigation team conducted an exhaustive and thorough review of the
events which led up to the raid on February 28th. The investigative team's
report also offers clear and factual analysis of the events as they unfolded
and what caused the plan to disintegrate as the first SRT personnel alighted
from the cattle trailers.

The investigative report appropriately identifies improper planning and offers
guidance to help ensure that A.T.F. does not repeat the same errors in the

I would recommend that upon review of the investigative report and each of the
Independent Reviewers' Reports, that the following should be undertaken.

1. New procedures must be put in place to ensure appropriate oversight by the
Department of Treasury with each of its subordinate agencies.

2. The Director of A.T.F. and the other senior managers in headquarters must
take a more active role in oversight of field operations, especially when they
are potentially of the magnitude of the David Koresh investigation.

3. A.T.F. must examine its goals and objectives and determine what type of
enforcement role it is going to require its agents to fulfill. Once that role
is determined then it is the responsibility of both A.T.F. and the Treasury
Department to ensure that the employees receive the training necessary to meet
the objectives of the organization.

Appendix B

Expert Reports

Tactical Operations Experts
(alphabetically by author)

Wade Y. Ishimoto
John A. Kolman
George Morrison
John J. Murphy
Rod Paschall
Robert A. Sobocienski

                        AN INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT


                               PREPARED BY:
                      Wade Y. Ishimoto, Consultant

                              August 16, 1993

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

        Executive Summary ....................................                       B-9
        I. Introduction.......................................                       B-11
        II. Command and Control...............................                       B-11
        III. Intelligence.......................................                     B-17
        IV. Operations Security ..............................                       B-21
        V. Training and Exercises ............................                       B-22
        VI. Support Operations ...............................                       B-23
        VII. Weaponry, Armament, and Other Equipment .........                       B-27
        VIII.Concluding Remarks ................................                     B-28

                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This Executive Summary is prepared in response to the major concerns raised during my tenure on the
Department of Treasury's Waco Review team. My remarks represent independent analysis, and that analysis is
found in the body of this report. The body of the report also addresses a number of potential improvements
which are not discussed in this Executive Summary.

I. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) raid plan, as conceived, had a reasonable chance of

II. The critical success factors for the raid plan were not necessarily recognized nor understood by the leaders
of the ATF operation because of inexperience or lack of training. The leaders I refer to extend from the Special
Response Team (SRT) Leaders all the way to the ATF Director. These critical success factors were:

a. Surprise consisting specifically of:

          (1) Insufficient advance warning of the impending raid to allow cult members to arm and deploy.

          (2) The Branch Davidians not understanding the significance of the trucks/cattle trailers until these
vehicles were at least at the intersection of the compound road and Double EE Ranch Road which would have
provided about 30 to 45 seconds of advance warning. The Branch Davidians would have found it difficult to arm
and deploy themselves in the manner witnessed during the actual execution of the search and arrest warrants.

     b. Isolation of the majority of the cult's weapons and ammunition from cult members through seizure of the
arms room located next to Vernon Howell's living quarters.

     c. Successful entry by the ATF SRTs through the front door of the compound which was critical to
separating cult members from the bulk of their weapons in the arms room.

     d. Finding the men in the compound working in the outdoor (excavated pit or underground) area to the
North of the compound.

III. The reason for the raid's failure is directly attributable to the fact that the critical success factors defined
in II. above were, at best, only partially achieved. The fact that the cult members were armed and deployed as
ATF deployed from their cattle trailers is particularly relevant.

IV. When viewed in totality, the raid plan was not well conceived regardless of my opinion that it had a
reasonable chance of success. The plan did not provide for contingencies, lacked depth, and did not provide
adequate command and control of support and tactical forces. My assessment is that the SRTs possessed the
minimal amount of training and experience to meet the raid's objectives. However, in an operation of this
magnitude, the SRTs require equally well-

trained and experienced command, control, and support personnel. These personnel lacked a requisite amount
of training and experience.

V. Other factors that contributed to the subsequent loss of life and failure to complete the mission include:

a. A complex command, control, and communications mechanism.

b. Less than adequate training in a number of different areas.

c. An intelligence system which was weak.

d. A lack of well-developed Operations Security (OPSEC) policy and procedures.

e. Equipment limitations.

f. Task organization that principally centered on SRT actions.

g. A lack of reserve forces.

h. A plan that was not developed in-depth to include contingency actions.

These and other factors pertinent to future success are discussed in the main body of this report.

VI. Key Recommendations and Findings:

     a. ATF will require a future and continuing SRT capability as long as that organization continues to have an
enforcement versus compliance-only mission.

     b. Improvements are required in policy and procedural guidance pertinent to high risk operations requiring
the use of ATF SRTs. This guidance must include command and control matters, technical support
(communications and surveillance), investigative techniques to include electronic monitoring, intelligence in
support of tactical operations, reorganization of SRTs to include Forward Observers, media relations, OPSEC,
use of the military, equipment to include armament, and training.

     c. The key to success in raid operations, no matter how large or small, always resides in the field and with
field personnel. The actions of ATF Headquarters personnel on February 28, 1993, did not significantly
contribute to the success or failure of the mission. The proper role for ATF Headquarters is one of planning
oversight, plan approval, and resource allocation prior to execution of the operation. All parties must
strenuously avoid trying to run a field operation from a headquarters location with subsequent
micro-management and loss of decisive action and decision-making in the field.


The missions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) bring the men and women of this agency
face-to-face with a wide variety of criminal adversaries. The very nature of the laws they must enforce in the
firearms and explosives arena virtually ensures that ATF agents are subject to life-threatening situations in a
high percentage of their operations. They are also subject to a great deal of public criticism from special
interest groups who are particularly vociferous over ATF enforcement of firearms statutes.

During the last decade and a half, ATF's mission has expanded to meet greater criminal sophistication in the
use of explosives and firearms. Explosive attacks have always been a favored tactic of those who wish to
terrorize the public; and the use of automatic weapons has also become much more prevalent in the execution
of crimes.

I respect the difficulty of the ATF mission along with the dedication and bravery of their personnel. The death
of four agents and the wounding of sixteen in one action is unprecedented in American law enforcement.
After-the-fact criticism and "Monday-morning quarterbacking" are very easy traps to fall into and made
preparation of this report difficult.

However, my review of the Branch Davidian event detects a very definite need to provide ATF personnel with
additional tools to allow them to better deal with situations like they faced in Waco, Texas. These tools include
more defined policy in some areas, the need for written procedural references, training, and some equipment. I
attempt to avoid individual criticism as that is a matter best left to Department of Treasury personnel.
Unfortunately, my analysis also discovers some questionable individual performance; and I would be remiss not
to discuss these possible shortcomings.


    A. ATF Headquarters

          1. Concerns over the role of ATF Headquarters in commanding and controlling large raid
operations are expressed by members of Congress, Treasury officials, and by ATF personnel at all levels.
These concerns evolve around possible poor performance and future roles for ATF headquarters personnel.

               a. I believe the overall performance of ATF Headquarters in command and control of the
Waco raid was adequate except in the area of providing pre-raid support to the field. The
headquarters role included plan review and approval, provision of oversight (e.g., asking of questions pertinent
to the investigation and need for a raid, and involvement of the Special Operations Division), and provision of

               b. There are two matters which I believe are worthy of further inquiry. The first is whether
the raid could have been conducted earlier in February and the second concerns procedures to obtain military

With respect to the possibility of conducting the raid earlier in February, there are reports that the Houston
office proposed conducting the raid a week before February 28, 1993. This meeting was supposedly postponed
because some key Headquarters personnel were unavailable. This implies that the raid could have occurred
prior to publication of the Waco Tribune article and any subsequent rise in awareness or paranoia by the
Branch Davidians. This is speculation but is worthy of additional inquiry to determine whether there is a
need to improve ATF policy and procedures with respect to approval of an operation.

Based on my review, I am not confident that ATF Headquarters understands and has appropriate
policy to obtain military support for large-scale operations. The ATF Military Liaison Officer appears
to be assigned from the Office of the Department of Defense (DOD) Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy
and Support. Interviews indicate that statements were made by the Military Liaison Officer that
narcotics-related activity was needed to justify military support. If true, those statements are contrary to
existing DOD policy which permits support to law enforcement on a reimbursable basis. The alleged Branch
Davidian narcotics activity was tenuous, at best, and subjected ATF to intense scrutiny by Congress. In
addition, the Special Operations Branch Chief does not appear to understand how military support is obtained.
This is unacceptable since the Military Liaison Officer works for the Branch Chief and proper oversight cannot
occur unless the Branch Chief has a better understanding of this matter. Finally, field personnel also appear to
only understand how to obtain military support through narcotics-related activity.

               c. Other headquarters shortfalls include a policy which limits the firepower available to the
field; limited ability to provide intelligence support; a lack of understanding of electronic surveillance
operations; and not providing additional technical support to the field.

               d. Over-reaction to the proper role of ATF Headquarters in command and control of
future operations must be avoided. Studious attempts must be made to avoid micro-management and the
accompanying deleterious effect it will have on decisive action and decision-making in the field. The key to
success in raid operations resides in the field and with field personnel. I believe that the proper role for ATF
Headquarters is planning oversight, plan approval and resource allocation prior to the conduct of an operation.


Existing ATF policy and procedures should be reviewed to ensure that streamlined plan approval with
appropriate oversight will occur in the future.

Military support policy should be fully documented and either included or referred to in the National Response
Plan for ATF.

The policy on electronic surveillance should be reviewed and consideration given to improving ATF capabilities
to include possible augmentation of field personnel from headquarters. (Note: The FBI has had a long-standing
plan and capability to augment their Field Divisions during crisis situations.)

The ATF National Response Plan should be modified to better define the role of ATF Headquarters and their
field organizations.

          2. The National Response Plan (NRP) provides a basis for planning any future operation of the
magnitude encountered in Waco.

               a. A very necessary first step towards a mature planning process was taken with the creation of the
NRP. As in any initial endeavor, the NRP can be improved.

               b. The NRP, as currently written, is a combination of a Headquarters policy document along with
providing a variety of procedural guidance. Some of the procedural guidance is quite detailed (e.g., the logistical
support officer being responsible for obtaining water) while some of it does not address important concepts. For
example, there is no conceptual guidance concerning command post operation and selection of a command post

               c. Recommendations:

The NRP should be reviewed and modified in light of the Waco incident.

The military model of a stand-alone policy document (e.g., a Department of Army Regulation) with separate
implementation and procedural guidance (e.g., Field Manuals) should be considered versus one all-encompassing

Implementation and procedural guidance should be expanded and training in the NRP conducted for anyone
that is an ATF supervisor.

    B. Field Command, Control, and Planning

          1. The Command, Control, and Communications mechanism for the raid was complex, and a
comprehensive understanding of roles and missions for the organization was not evident.

               a. At the individual SRT level (e.g., Houston) command, control, and communications was
established in an adequate manner except for two matters. First, it is not evident that a chain of command
within the individual SRTs was established to provide for leadership succession in the event that the leader
became disabled. Secondly, the Forward Observers did not appear to be in direct support of a specific team and
the teams could not directly communicate with the Forward Observers. The Forward Observers provide a
means of

both information/intelligence and "heavy" fire support (i.e., rifles) which may be used as an essential element of
a raid or to assist in contingency situations.

               b. The chain of command and specific role for the Forward Observers was not clear. The interviews
of the Forward Observers reflect this observation and the fact that they had different understandings of their
rules of engagement and to whom they were responsive. The military would describe the Forward Observer
role on the raid as being in General Support of the operation versus Direct Support (e.g., directed to support a
specific SRT). Both concepts have their merits, but a direct support role is generally favored for raid
operations. The net result on the Waco raid was that the Forward Observers were not positioned
advantageously (i.e., to provide adequate coverage of the compound in a timely manner) and could have been
used more effectively in an information gathering role (e.g., determining whether compound members were
deployed or working in the pit area).

               c. The focus on command and control was on the SRTs. I believe that the same statement applies to
planning matters. The coordination of other agencies appeared to be in the hands of one individual, Phil Lewis,
at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Command Post (CP). He performed admirably, but the system
and process should provide for better coordination of activities with outside agencies and more than one
individual from ATF tasked with this responsibility.

               d. The TSTC CP did not function well. The Incident Commander was airborne and was therefore
less able to command and control activities. There did not appear to be an adequate means of providing status
information to other agencies from the CP, much less to ATF personnel. Roles and missions were not
adequately stated to these staffmembers. These observations reflect the need for policy and procedural
guidance along with training of personnel.

               e. The equivalent of a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) was not established. Whereas field CPs
normally concentrate on interagency coordination and overall command and control, a TOC focuses on the
tactical aspects of the operation. In a TOC, Forward Observer information may be consolidated and analyzed,
reserve forces deployed and coordinated (these were not available at Waco except from outside agencies),
negotiations with suspects conducted (this was a happenstance), and other matters directly important to the
success of the tactical mission coordinated and controlled. The TOC needs to be staffed with personnel who
have defined roles and responsibilities. The Tactical Coordinator may choose to operate from a TOC or, as was
the case at Waco, forward with the SRTs. The Undercover (U/C) house was suitable as a TOC and had some
TOC type functions under ASAC Cavanaugh, but in reality did not contain the staffing nor the planning of a
true TOC. One of the advantages of commanding from a TOC was evident when Cavanaugh became the person
most able to coordinate tactical activities versus ASAC Sarabyn who was pinned down in a firefight. The
Tactical Coordinator unfortunately chose a position where he was at the forward edge of the battle and less
able to command and control the SRTs...I believe this illustrates the need for better procedural guidance and
training versus individual negligence on the part of Sarabyn.

               f. The plan was developed principally by SRT personnel whose focus was primarily in actions at the
compound. My observation is that they could have benefitted from trained staffplanning assistance. This is
especially true in intelligence support which is addressed later in this report.

               g. ATF personnel (possibly due to inexperience coupled with policy and procedural guidance gaps)
sought advice, guidance, and assistance from persons and agencies who were not the best qualified to provide
such help. This comment is particularly pointed at the manner in which military support was obtained. For
example, there are reports that ATF went to Operation Alliance (a counter-narcotics related organizational
grouping) to request military support. The ATF Headquarters Military Liaison Officer could have gone through
the Department of Defense (DOD) Director of Military Support (DOMS) organization to obtain more complete
military support. In another example, ATF appeared to be ill-advised by a member of the Texas Governor's
staff to use the Texas National Guard for various operations with a strong implication that such support could
be provided for free if there were a narcotics relationship...tenuous at best. A third example is the use of a
Special Forces Communications NCO to design and "approve" the communications network. Additional
observations on military support are found in other sections of this report.

          2. Inexperience in crisis management and operational planning skills for a large scale operation such as
Waco was clearly evident in the planning and execution of the raid. The lack of a written operations order is
one indication of this inexperience. Other examples include:

               a. The lack of in-depth planning for contingencies as witnessed by the lack of an alternative means
of entry should the first fail; and an "Oh shit" plan consisting of running away from the compound rather than
using supporting fire and maneuver or the use of armored vehicles to provide cover and to recover personnel.

               b. The briefings that I observed on videotape (one at Fort Hood and one in Waco) are reflective of
this inexperience. The briefings rambled instead of focusing on key issues and presenting information

               c. The lack of a functional staff (no matter how reduced in size) at a TOC location or in the CP are
also indicative of inexperience, the need for more training, and the need for additional procedural guidance on
command and control matters.

               d. The lack of depth in the communications plan, undercover house operation, the medical plan, and
media plan are also indicative of inexperience.

               e. The failure to conduct the Mag Bag raid resulted in a fire fight and additional actions to
apprehend suspects. These actions would not have been necessary if the plan to raid the Mag Bag had been
executed as planned.

          3. The number of courses of action and tactical options available to ATF were limited because of
limitations on equipment, training, experience, and policy along with the presence of presumably innocent
children and females.

               a. Equipment considerations are discussed elsewhere in this report and include the paucity of night
vision equipment, technical surveillance equipment, and restrictions on weaponry. The decision to follow the
advice of a member of the Texas Governor's staff may have caused problems with ATF not receiving better
helicopter capability and armored vehicles. Going through the military's DOMS mechanism for military support
rather than Operation Alliance and Joint Task Force (JTF) 6 might have made a difference in ATF getting
smoke generating devices, armored vehicles, and other assistance.

               b. Training and experience gaps are reflected throughout this report. The training gaps can be
remedied and, if done properly, can make up for the lack of experience. Training is addressed in greater detail
elsewhere in this report.

               c. Policy limitations which impacted on the operation included restrictions on weaponry, restrictions
on chemical agents and distraction devices, uncertainty over electronic surveillance issues, and failure of policy
to address the provision of military support through the DOMS organization.

          4. The raid plan lacked depth and did not provide for adequate consideration of contingencies.
Improvement in these matters can be attained through additional training and the development of doctrinal
guidance (e.g., reference manuals and checklists on SRT operations).

          5. There are feelings that the ATF Incident Commander and other key leaders in the ATF chain should
be limited to those from SRT ranks. My belief is that will not prove adequate. This belief is based on a general
need for additional training in crisis management procedures and operational planning which are not
well-developed at any level within ATF. I do agree that SACs and ASACs should at least attend the SRT
courses as observers to enhance their knowledge and that they should also receive additional training on crisis
management and planning.

          6. Recommendations: The observations listed above are reflective of ATF's relative lack of experience
in command and control of operations of the magnitude seen in Waco. Policy needs to be established,
procedural guidance provided in writing, and strenuous training provided to personnel at all levels who may
become involved in these kinds of operations in the future. If ATF or the Department of Treasury cannot
provide the resources to pursue doctrinal development and training, then serious consideration must be given
to limiting the scope of ATF tactical operations.


    A. Organization

          1. The ATF organization to provide intelligence support during the investigative and operational (raid)
phases was not effective.

               a. Intelligence analytical support did not effectively bridge the gap between the investigative support
mission and tactical support. Analysis appeared to be a function of different individuals (e.g., the Case Agent,
RAC Buford, ASAC Sarabyn, etc.) rather than a function of a defined system and process. There was no clear
focal point where all intelligence flowed and was fully analyzed and subsequently delivered to the tactical

               b. There were numerous instances of assumptions being made on the basis of incomplete, dated, or
overstated information which adversely influenced operational planning. For example:

The number of people in the compound was estimated at 75, a 25% error. The surveillance logs and interviews
of former cult members did not substantiate the 75 person figure. Therefore, I question how those numbers
were derived.

The U/C Agent had about eight limited visits into the compound. Yet there were those that felt he had
continuing access and gave more credence to his information than was true.

Information on the physical structure of the compound was a composite of a few visits by the U/Cs and
information from unvetted sources that was a year old in some cases.

               c. A number of incorrect assumptions could have been put into proper perspective if there were
trained, experienced personnel working within a defined organizational structure to conduct in-depth
intelligence analysis.

          2. The existing intelligence structure does not tie all-source intelligence (e.g., technical surveillance,
U/Cs, Forward Observers, aerial photography) together in a systematic fashion. Overall intelligence collection
and planning is not centrally managed. Analysis occurs in pockets rather than through a capable, defined
organizational structure; and dissemination of intelligence (the product of recording, evaluation, and
interpretation. . .i.e., analysis of information) versus raw information is not consistent with proven techniques
used by other organizations.

          3 . The organization of the U/C house and its activities was marked by no clear chain of command or
direction of their actions. The rapid establishment of the U/C operation is commendable, but poor organization
neutralized what could have been a major source of intelligence and confirmation that the Branch Davidians
were waiting in ambush.

    B. Intelligence Operations

          1. General Comments: The remainder of this section is organized into a discussion of typical
intelligence operations disciplines: Intelligence Liaison activities; Human Intelligence operations (to include
undercover activities); Imagery Intelligence (including aerial intelligence collection, photographic and video
collection); and Electronic Intelligence.

Intelligence Liaison:

               a. It appears that ATF worked closely with McClennan County law enforcement officials to obtain
intelligence about the Branch Davidian organization, its operations, and its physical facilities (i.e., the Mag Bag
and the Mount Carmel compound). This interface was, in my opinion, highly useful in the investigative and
tactical planning phases of the operation. Unfortunately, there was limited information available from this
source. Also to its credit, ATF exploited information and sources available from the Texas Human Resources
Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. With the latter organization, it is not clear whether
all aspects of information and intelligence were explored...i.e., Criminal Intelligence, Narcotics, Texas Rangers.

               b. Various interviews indicate that ATF attempted to obtain information available from Interpol,
Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the El Paso Intelligence Center (through Operation Alliance). I
found only one approach to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, no attempts to obtain information from the
Customs Service, and none through the Department of State and Central Intelligence Agency. Since there were
foreign nationals in the compound, inquiries should have been made of these agencies whether intelligence was
available or not. I sense, but cannot substantiate, that interagency rivalry coupled with inexperience may have
led to this incomplete search for information.

               c. Recommendation: ATF should review its policy and procedures to obtain intelligence from
other agencies and provide guidance to their field organizations and headquarters personnel on that matter.

3 . Human Intelligence:

               a. My previous discussion of the lack of central control of intelligence planning and collection also
applies to ATF's human intelligence operations. Central control of policy should be established at ATF
headquarters along with national Intelligence Community interfaces. However, the field organization must be
able to control intelligence operations in support of tactical operations.

               b. There were several successes in human intelligence operations to include information obtained
from United Parcel Service personnel, the use of a U/C to obtain physical information about the Mag Bag and
one trip into the Mount Carmel compound, the recruitment of the Double EE Ranch owner, and the
information gleaned from former cult members by the Case Agent, RAC Buford, and others.

               c. The interview of the former cult members posed a difficult problem in terms of determining their
reliability and accuracy of information. Again, a system was not in place to pool information coming from these
sources, to fully analyze it, and to disseminate the resulting intelligence in a useful way to tactical and support

               d. The U/C house operation was an excellent idea which did not pay high dividends because of a lack
of organization, proper tasking, and supervision of their activities. The logs which I reviewed were incomplete
and do not substantiate many of the assumptions which were made on activity in the compound. For example,
the tactical planners were adamant that a "routine" was evident in the compound with the males working
outside at 10:00 AM onwards...logs from the U/C house do not corroborate this assumption. At best, the U/C
house operation resulted in limited information about the physical structure, incomplete observation of
activities, and information about a few of the personnel inside the compound. The U/C house operation was
capable, in my opinion, of providing much more intelligence. One of the supposed goals of the U/C house was to
obtain additional information on probable cause for a search or arrest is not evident to me that this

              e. The Forward Observers were not effectively used and a TOC was not in place to exploit
information coming from the Forward Observers. The lack of effectiveness in this event refers to gaps in
tasking, limited deployment around the compound, lateness of deployment, and the provision of extremely
limited amounts of collection devices to the Forward Observers.

               f. Recommendations:

Without access to all ATF policy, procedural guidance, and training information for intelligence, I am not able to
make detailed recommendations on improvement of human intelligence operations. I therefore recommend that
ATF or an outside organization conduct a more in-depth review of intelligence operations to determine whether
there is need for changes/additions to policy, procedure, and training.

4. Imagery Intelligence:

               a. In-house ATF capabilities to collect and process imagery intelligence appear extremely limited.
There are references to a (i.e., only one) 35mm camera in the U/C house, a pole camera which did not work
very well and was positioned poorly (both physically and in terms of how permission was obtained to install it),
poor intelligence analysis and posting of information from the U/C house photographic operations, and little or
no use of night vision equipment with video or photographic capability.

               b. ATF capability to collect aerial imagery intelligence appears to be very limited. ATF turned to
both Customs and the Texas National Guard for support in these areas. I do not find strong evidence that the
ability to plan and collect imagery intelligence using aerial platforms was well planned or directed by ATF. The
offer by a member of the Texas Governor's Office to overfly the compound and to use relatively
unsophisticated Forward Looking Infrared

Radar (FLIR) to obtain information does not give me a great deal of confidence in the knowledge of system
capabilities by either ATF personnel or the person who offered that advice to ATF.

               c. I do not believe shortcomings in imagery intelligence had a direct bearing on the failure of the
raid. However, these shortcomings in knowledge, planning, and equipment capabilities do not bode well in the
future if ATF must engage in raid operations against adversaries of similar or greater levels of sophistication as
the Branch Davidians.

               d. Recommendations:

ATF should improve their ability to manage the collection, processing, and dissemination of imagery
intelligence; increase their knowledge of existing capabilities available from other Federal agencies; and develop
methods to obtain proper support from those agencies.

ATF should also review their in-house capabilities and determine whether there were performance problems
with cameras and video equipment (rectifiable through training), or policy and procedural gaps, or gaps caused
by inadequate equipment.

5. Electronic Intelligence:

               a. Electronic intelligence operations suffered because of poor management and equipment
limitations. In hindsight, increased electronic intelligence capability (e.g., Title III installation on telephones or
listening devices within the compound) might have provided information on whether the raid was compromised.

               b. There are a number of conflicting statements from ATF personnel concerning why a full Title III
installation (much less a Pen Register) was never pursued. This indicates misunderstanding on the part of ATF
personnel. A current ATF Order provides adequate guidance for Title III surveillance, but senior ATF
personnel did not appear to understand this. In addition, there are conflicting statements on whether a scanner
in the U/C house was operating or whether U/C personnel knew how to use the equipment.

               c. Recommendation:

ATF should review its electronic intelligence equipment, policy, procedures, and training for inadequacies.
Reduced electronic intelligence capability affects their ability to conduct very sophisticated operations in a world
where criminal adversaries have demonstrated increased counterintelligence capabilities.


A. Policy and Procedural Guidance:

          1. It is not clear to me that ATF has published OPSEC policy and procedural guidance, or provided
appropriate OPSEC training to its personnel.

          2. Recommendation: Review and provide such guidance with accompanying training at all levels of
the organization.

B. OPSEC Planning and Execution:

          1. OPSEC operations are not easy to plan nor execute. There are always trade offs in an open society
and in an environment where it is difficult for ATF to divert personnel from on-going cases and other missions.
The key ingredient to OPSEC success is to systematically plan, understand the risks involved, and then decide
on actions based on the risk. Proper planning and execution of OPSEC measures requires appropriate policy,
documented procedural guidance, and training. I did not find these ingredients for OPSEC success within
ATF's Waco operation.

          2. There were numerous chances for compromise of the operation through inadvertent disclosure. These
include the Command Post opening days before the operation began and its location in a semi-secured area; the
selection of the U/C house and the manner in which U/C operations were conducted; the pole camera
operation; the training at Fort Hood; the need to involve other agencies, etc. ATF attempted to strike a
reasonable balance between security and OPSEC measures, but it did not appear that OPSEC was centrally
planned nor managed. OPSEC and other security practices appeared to occur as a happenstance and as a result
of individual intuition rather than being deliberately planned and orchestrated.

          3. Current resource allocation does not allow ATF to be self-sufficient and in total control of all
operations subject to security and OPSEC measures. The United States military establishment comes close to
self-sufficiency only in a combat environment, but Federal law enforcement agencies do not have that
advantage. These comments should not be construed to be in support of self-sufficiency. I mention this
phenomena only to illustrate that there will always be risks for compromise even when the operation may be
totally self-contained. These risks must be managed, and some risks must be taken on any operation.

               On the assumption that ATF will examine and strengthen their security and OPSEC policy,
procedures and training, ATF should include measures to deal with the risks posed by a number of activities to
include: Was an open-stance with the media was in the best interests of ATF? Would bus transportation have
been better versus the car convoy on the morning of the 28th? Was backstopping of the U/Cs enrolled as TSTC
students sufficient?

          4. Recommendation: ATF should develop additional policy and procedural guidance and provide
different levels of training to all personnel on security and OPSEC measures

applicable to various operations. Different levels of training refer to the fact that at the entry level, personnel
should be provided with reasons and basic methodology while at the journeyman and above level the emphasis
should be on planning for security and OPSEC.


A. General Comments:

          1. I identify numerous potential training needs throughout this report. ATF has identified their training
needs and instituted considerable training already. However, in the vein of continuous improvement and in the
wake of deficiencies identified in my review, there is a need to expand those training efforts. I also suggest that
ATF expand their efforts to determine "best-in class" processes to achieve specific training goals. For example,
mention was made of using a one to two week seminar by a private organization to achieve executive level
training in crisis management. I submit that this would not be an example of a best-in-class process. Those
areas which I identify as definitely needing training improvement include:

Advanced SRT training Forward Observer training Intelligence Operations (management, analysis, intelligence
in support of tactical operations) Command and Control

          3. There are other areas which may require additional training but where I am not clear as to whether
they represent performance problems or the need for more training. These include:

Intelligence Analysis and Operations during the Investigative Phase. U/C Operations. Technical Support
? Media Relations.

B. Improved Sophistication of Training Management:

          1. Overall, the Lesson Plans and training design which I reviewed do NOT reflect a high level of
sophistication in training management. For example, most SRT lesson plans do not use performance-oriented,
measurable objectives. Improvements are needed in what is to be learned and how it is to be measured to
ensure that the learning has occurred

          2. Significant gaps exist in the completeness of all training. For example, the proposed Forward
Observer Course syllabus only devotes two hours towards observation and recording skills and no time towards
establishment of a command and control mechanism and TOC for the Forward Observer.

          3. SRT Basic training does NOT result in a skilled team member, team leader, or in any other
particular skill. The SRT course appears to be delivered as an overview of most skills found on a Special
Response Team. The current training could be viewed as being barely adequate for small-scale operations;
however, if ATF is to continue with the mission of tackling adversarial groups which require the use of multiple
SRTs, more sophisticated training is required to help ensure success. At a very minimum, additional training is
required in command and control skills for SRT operations.

To also improve, ATF should carefully review the usefulness of specific instructional blocks to their course
objectives. For example, the SRT Course includes time for physical training. Rhetorically, should physical
training be a pre-requisite for attendance and the time better spent on practical exercises designed to reinforce
entry team skills and techniques? Physical fitness in a realist situation could be demonstrated in these

          4. Very importantly, it was suggested that crisis management skills could be learned by attending an
IACP seminar on crisis management. This is absolutely the wrong approach. ATF must develop its own
in-house training for these important skills and teach current ATF policy and procedures, thereby making the
training specific to ATF's needs. This type of training must also include extensive practical exercises to further
the learning and retention of those skills that are taught. "Best-in-class" benchmarking would show that the U.
S. Army presents command and control skills during Basic Officer Training, Advanced Officer Training,
Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. I do not have the exact time spent on
command and control matters in those four courses, but a rudimentary estimate would be that the training is
months long.

C. Exercises:

          1. Individual and small group training activities must be expanded to include periodic exercises to hone
and evaluate preparedness. This is missing from the training program within ATF.

          2. Exercises should studiously avoid becoming a vehicle to learn new skills. Instead, exercises should be
used to evaluate and verify preparedness to conduct specific missions. The learning of new skills is most
conducive to other training endeavors.


A. Military Support:

          1. It appears that there are several performance related problems associated with ATF's acquisition of
military support. The ATF Headquarters Military Liaison Officer was quoted as saying there needed to be drug
activity to justify military support. This is simply not true. Perhaps he meant that drug activity was needed to
justify non-reimbursable military support, but that is an exceedingly poor reason (i.e., non-reimbursement) to
seek military support of law enforcement for ATF.

An ATF Headquarters manager to whom the Military Liaison Officer reports stated that he was not aware of
how military support was obtained and that he trusted the Military Liaison Officer to do what was right. I do
not accept that as good management practice because the manner in which military support may be obtained
by Federal law enforcement agencies is not complicated and should be known by all ATF Supervisors.

          2. The reliance on Operation Alliance as a main source of obtaining military support is also a poor
practice since the focus is on narcotics related activity. When such activity does not exist or when information
must be stretched to provide such a connection, ATF is subjected with either not obtaining military support or
being in danger of civil or criminal liability if information is fabricated or does not provide good probable cause.

          3. One person from the Texas Governor's office appeared to favor the use of National Guard assets
versus active duty military support. Through innuendo, there are appearances that he also hinted at the need
for narcotics relationship so that the support could be provided for free. I do not feel that this attitude served
ATF very well. For example, better imagery intelligence support could have been obtained from other Federal
law enforcement organizations or active military forces; armored vehicle support would have been more readily
available; smoke grenades might have been obtained if regular Fort Hood forces were used versus Special
Forces advisors; and the use of U.S. Customs Service helicopters would have provided better capabilities than
those supplied by the National Guard.

B. Air Operations:

          The decision not to use U. S. Customs helicopters ostensibly stemmed from a concern over OPSEC. I
am of the opinion that it was due more to interagency rivalry rather than OPSEC. The use of Customs
helicopters and crews offer several advantages to include communications capabilities not found on the National
Guard helicopters and the ability to fire from the helicopters.

C. Communications:

          1. There are many conflicting statements concerning the adequacy of communications and
communications support during the operation. At the very least, planning for communications shows a need for
improvement. Communications planning should help to ensure continuity of command and control and is
therefore closely linked to the adequacy of training and procedural guidance on command and control. Simply
stated, if one cannot or will not communicate, then command and control will not exist. For example, the
Tactical Coordinator appeared to be out of the command and control loop once the raid ran into difficulty. I was
not able to determine what the cause for this was.

          2. There are a large number of examples which point towards performance problems, planning
problems, potential training shortfalls, and a few possibilities of inadequate equipment. They include:

Linkages to local law enforcement and other supporting organizations were not outlined well in terms of net
control and communications responsibility or redundant communications links between ATF and these

There appears to be confusion concerning who was to operate the open-line with ATF Headquarters and what
their duties were.

The Forward Observers were not able to communicate directly with the Tactical Coordinator nor the SRT

The Incident Commander was not effectively communicating from the helicopters to the Tactical Coordinator
nor to any other segment of the ATF operation. This was especially true when the helicopter he was on had to
land once it received fire from the ground.

Cavanaugh in the U/C House was not provided with sufficient communications personnel support to allow him
to control all the activities (e.g., crisis negotiations, control of the Forward Observers, control of the deployed
SRTs) which fell on his shoulders when the raid ran into difficulty.

The Forward Observers and other ATF personnel on the back side of the compound ran into communications

D. Medical:

          1. Overall medical planning and preparations were excellent. The Special Forces personnel appeared to
provide excellent assistance in planning and helping ATF personnel prepare and rehearse for medical
emergencies. One gap in the plan appears to be that mass casualty situations were not anticipated with no
plans in place to handle such a contingency. The contracted medical services could have been easily
overwhelmed if the Branch Davidians had attempted mass suicide. When faced with a well-armed or potentially
suicidal group, medical planning should consider mass casualty situations.

          2. Improvement opportunities for ATF exist in developing policy and procedures to ensure that
appropriate planning support is obtained or to develop an in-house capability for medical planning.

E. Media:

          1. ATF's problems with the media potentially began with the interview of Mark Breault who was
already in contact with the media: were exacerbated with the meetings and

discussions with the media prior to the raid; were compounded by the media being suspected of compromising
the raid on February 28th; and were further fueled by media relations in the aftermath of the raid.

2. I find four potential areas for improvement of ATF's media relations:

ATF personnel can benefit from strengthened media policy, publication of procedural guides for
media relations, and additional training. Many media situations are judgmental calls (e.g., Chojnacki
deciding to meet the media in Waco), so additional training based on coherent policy is a key to help ATF
personnel understand the potential risks and benefits of dealing with the media.

ATF ASACs and above should be prepared to accept press conference responsibilities or to ensure that
the ATF spokesperson is physically and emotionally prepared. I refer specifically to the poor judgement shown
by the use of Special Agent Wheeler as the spokesperson in the aftermath of the raid's failure when she had
not slept for a reported 36 hours.

ATF Headquarters should be prepared to augment field personnel on major operations which have the
potential to attract major media attention.

The Department of Treasury, in conjunction with Justice and the Congress, examine the potential of enacting
legislation to provide criminal penalties for willful and negligent acts contributing to the loss of life on law
enforcement or national security operations.

F. Coordination of Other Agencies:

          1. There are numerous indicators that ATF's preparations to coordinate their actions with other
agencies were less than optimal. They include:

The lack of a written operations order which would have provided specific instructions to ATF personnel to
coordinate the activities of other agencies while providing overall guidance to those agencies.

The failure to rapidly transfer the 911 call from the Branch Davidian compound to ATF control from
McClennan County.

The inordinate length of time required to get military armored vehicles on-scene.

The lack of instructions on pursuit of suspects that could have fled the compound.

          2. The appearances are that ATF personnel require additional training and procedural guidance to plan
large-scale operations which require close coordination with a variety of non-ATF organizations.


A. Automatic Weapons:

          1. The ATF SRT leaders do not feel that automatic weapons capability is a necessity. I recommend that
ATF review their current policy and consider the use of automatic weapons situationally. . .if the adversary has
full auto weapons, then ATF should have the capability to overcome these. The use of automatic weapons by a
criminal adversary could be overcome through ways other than using comparable weapons (e.g., better tactics,
use of vehicles for entry, explosive entry). The difficulty in such a strategy is that ATF personnel will have to
be much better trained to overcome a firepower deficiency.

B. Rifles (Assault and Forward Observer):

          1. There is a definite need for ATF to review their decision to limit the use of rifles. Sub-machine or
machine pistol type weapons simply do not have the range nor the accuracy inherent with longer barreled
weapons such as AR-15s or other assault rifles. One ATF report refers to accuracy of the MP5 weapon out to
300 meters, but that ignores the fact that rural and some urban operations may require longer shots. In
addition, the ability to penetrate some materials and to incapacitate a human is better with rifle rounds such as
the 5.56mm and 7.62mm than with 9mm ammunition. In addition, 7.62mm weapons should also be considered
since they can prove highly useful on vehicle stops and road blocks...not to mention longer range forward
observer shots.

          2. A number of SRT members raised questions over the availability of rifles to support their operations.
They question the ATF Headquarters proclamation that AR-15s will be phased out. Since these personnel are
the ones tasked with mission execution, it is my belief that they should have a greater say in what weaponry
they are allowed to use.

C. Suppressed Weapons:

          1. ATF personnel have not mentioned the potential need for suppressed weaponry on extremely
high-risk operations. Suppressed weapons are useful in a variety of situations and provide a means of providing
a critical edge to SRT-type units. There are a number of military and law enforcement organizations which
possess such weapons and have proved their ability to use them discriminately. ATF should consider their need
for such weapons if they are to continue with missions similar to the one they faced in Waco.

D. Chemical Munitions:

          1. ATF is limited by their own policy on the use of smoke and disabling chemical agents. Again, these
capabilities are found in a number of law enforcement and military organizations tasked with SRT type
activities and have been used discriminately by these organizations for years. The ability to use chemical
munitions can provide a needed advantage to

SRTs and can be used to lessen the chances of loss of life. For these reasons, ATF should reconsider their
policy on the use of chemical munitions.

E. Distraction devices:

          1. The use of distraction devices such as the commonly referred to "Flash Bang" are limited by ATF
policy. The policy requires that ATF personnel use a "peek and throw" philosophy on ALL operations. Such a
policy is extremely limiting and can result in additional danger to ATF personnel.

          2. ATF policy should be modified to allow the use of distraction devices other than through a "peek and
throw" technique. The policy and any accompanying procedural guidance should specify situations in which
exclusions from the "peek and throw" method are permissible. In addition, all SRTs within ATF should receive
training on the use of distraction devices.

F. Vehicles.

          1. Armored vehicles would have been highly useful in Waco for a variety of operations ranging from use
in recovering wounded, protecting personnel during retrograde movement, use in entry, etc. The fact that
armored vehicles were not available appears to be a significant planning oversight.

          2. ATF should qualify a number of their personnel on the use and operation of specified armored
vehicles to include use of on-board weapons systems such as machine-guns and smoke generators. The
procedures to obtain military support for these types of vehicles should be reviewed and solidified to ensure
their availability for operations similar to Waco in the future.

VIII. CONCLUDING REMARKS: Throughout my report and analysis of information there has been a
continuing theme of:

-  The need for policy review and modification
-  Providing additional procedural guidance beyond policy documents to ATF personnel
-  A very definite need for improved training in a number of areas

Perhaps these sound overly redundant. I submit that it is only through sound policy, supported by additional
reference (i.e., procedural) materials, and thorough training that the tragedy which befell ATF at Waco can be
prevented in the future. These focus on system fixes rather than individual actions along with the development
of processes which provide a sound foundation for operational actions.

                              CURRICULUM VITAE FOR
                                   Wade Y. Ishimoto

        Education      M.A., Human Resources Development, Webster University
                       B.A., Asian Studies, University of Hawaii

        Professional   U.S. Army Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Course
        Schooling      U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent's Course
                       U.S. Army Special Warfare Center Instructor Training Course
                       Numerous courses relating to intelligence, security, and special operations

        Current        Technical Manager, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

        Instructional  University of New Mexico, Division of Continuing Education and
        Experience     Community Services, 1985-Present
                       U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, 1987-Present
                       U. S . Department of Energy Nuclear Emergency Search Team
                       courses, 1985-present
                       California Department of Justice Terrorism Course, 1984-1986
                       Delta Force Operator's Training Course, 1977-1982
                       University of Santa Clara, 1975- 1977
                       U. S. Army J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, 1973- 1975
                                                                                     Mobile Training Team special operations assignments to foreign, allied
                       military and law enforcement organizations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Numerous instructional engagements with law enforcement organiza                                                                                                                                                                         tions
                       to include the Calgary Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted
                       Police, Canada Security & Intelligence Service, Los Angeles Police
                       and Sheriffs Departments, Texas Narcotics Officers Association, and
                       the National Tactical Officer's Association, 1962-present

        Pertinent      Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) 1978-Present; founder of the
        Experience     NEST Training Management Working Group; project leader to reorganize
                       and restructure the organization in 1989; Exercise Director of several
                       Interagency (FBI, DOD, DOE, FEMA, local law enforcement) terrorist-
                       related national exercises; planner or participant in other NEST exercises;
                       developed a Key Leader Training Course.

                       Nuclear Security Systems Directorate 1985-1992, led numerous projects
                       related to high-threat security situations including a Defense Nuclear
                       Agency funded Insider Study, a Recapture and Recovery of Nuclear
                       Weapons Study involving overseas and domestic situations, documentation
                       of R&D requirements to support the TSWG for terrorist incidents; and

Curriculum Vitae for Wade Y. Ishimoto (continued)

Pertinent      participation on a U.S. Physical Protection Bi-Lateral Team to Korea and
Experience     Japan. Also performed liaison functions to various military special opera-
(continued)    tions organizations and the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. Designed and
               implemented the construction of a new Emergency Operations Center
               for Sandia National Laboratories and revamped their emergency opera-
               tions program.

               Security and Intelligence Specialist, U.S. Department of Energy, 1984-85,
               Key member of a Tiger Team assigned to revamp emergency operations
               within the Albuquerque Operations Office complex which included over
               40,000 employees at six locations from Florida to New Mexico. Inspec-
               tion staff duties. Organized mobile training teams for special response
               team training.

               Vice-President for Operations, SAS of Texas, 1982-1984; led a White
               House directed examination of security preparations for the 1984 Summer
               Olympic Games in Los Angeles with over 2/3 of the recommendations
               being adopted; led security projects in support of the Nuclear Regulatory
               Commission, other governmental agencies, and private concerns.

               Delta Force, 1977-1982; Intelligence Officer leading the effort to automate
               terrorist information in a interagency data base; Team Leader on the 1980
               attempt to rescue 53 American hostages in Tehran; participant in several
               real-life counterterrorist operations; liaison and consulting duties to the
               FBI, Secret Service, Navy SEALS, overseas counterterrorist forces, and
               other special operations units.

               Other pertinent experience includes Special Forces assignments in the
               U.S., Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam (three tours)
               including training duties, exercise development, and combat operations;
               Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence collection duties in Korea,
               Hawaii, and the continental U.S.; and Military Police and investigative

                 A Selective Analysis
                Operation Trojan Horse
                     Conducted by
     the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

                     Conducted by

      John A. Kolman, Captain (L.A.S.D. retired)

                    for the Staff

                        of the
              Waco Administrative Review
       United States Department of the Treasury


         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          B-35

         Chapter                                                                                                               Page

                      1. THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITIONS OF

                TERMS USED .............................................             B-39
                INTRODUCTION ...........................................             B-39
                   The BATF Special Response Team Program--
                      An Historical Overview ...........................             B-39
                   A Synopsis of Operation Trojan Horse ................             B-40

                THE PROBLEM ............................................             B-44
                   Statement of the Problem ............................             B-44
                   Limitations of the Project ..........................             B-44
                RESEARCH METHODS .......................................             B-44
                DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED ..........................      B-45
                   OPSEC ...............................................    B-45

                   TEMS ................................................    B-45

                   Dynamic Entry .......................................       B-45

                  T.S.T.C./T.S.T.I. ...................................    B-45

           2. ANALYSIS .............................................    B-46
                 PLANNING AND PREPARATION ..........................     B-46
                   Tactical Alternatives ...............................           B-46

                   Tactics and Related Matters .........................             B-50

                   Logistics ...........................................             B-53

                   Emergency Medical Service ...........................             B-54

        Communications ......................................                        B-56

        Intelligence Function ...............................                        B-57

        Briefing ............................................                        B-60
        Training/Rehearsal ..................................                        B-61
      COMMAND AND CONTROL ...................................                        B-63
        Decisions Impacting the Operation ...................                        B-63
        Organization and Structure ..........................                        B-66
      OPERATIONS SECURITY ...................................                        B-70
      MEDIA INVOLVEMENT .....................................                        B-73

3. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..........................                        B-76

      CONCLUSIONS ...........................................                        B-76

      RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................                        B-77

   REFERENCES ...............................................                        B-80

                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

        The attempted service of search/arrest warrants by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
(BATF) on February 28, 1993, at the Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas, was, in all probability,
unprecedented within American law enforcement. Although many agencies (Federal, state and local) have conducted
countless major high-risk warrant operations involving heavily armed multiple suspects, within the experience of
the evaluator, none have rivaled the weaponry and fervent opposition which confronted the brave men and women
of the BATF during Operation Trojan Horse. Certainly none have resulted in the tragic loss and wounding of so
many law enforcement officers.

        The purpose of objectively analyzing this or any other tactical incident is not to castigate or condemn, but
rather to learn from what occurred with a view toward future improvement. The loss of Steven Willis, Robert
Williams, Conway LeBleu, and Todd McKeehan, and the wounding of numerous other dedicated agents, make it
essential that an objective evaluation be conducted.

        The purpose of this project was: (1) to conduct a selective analysis of the planning, preparation, and
subsequent attempted service of search/arrest warrants on February 28, 1993, by BATF personnel at the Branch
Davidian Compound, (2) to develop conclusions based upon the analysis of BATF efforts in this regard, and (3) to
make recommendations related to possible future operational improvements.

        This project relied upon an extensive review of numerous documents, reports, videotapes, and training
curricula provided by Waco Administrative Review staff; personal monitoring of Congressional hearings on June
9 and 10, 1993; personal interviews of selected BATF personnel; a review of the limited literature available in this
subject area; personal observation of the areas surrounding the Branch Davidian Compound, as well as the
Command Post, undercover residence, and Staging Areas; personal knowledge of contemporary policy, procedure
and training within the tactical community; and extensive personal experience within the field of law enforcement
tactical operations.


The results of this analysis are believed to support the following conclusions:

1. BATF personnel involved in planning Operation Trojan Horse were dedicated, experienced law enforcement
2. Much time and effort was expended in planning and preparing for Operation Trojan Horse.
3. Planners relied upon and trusted intelligence information which, in many cases, lacked corroboration.
4. A lack of knowledge existed on the part of both command and operational personnel concerning the proper
utilization and deployment of countersniper (Forward Observer Team) personnel.
Insufficient attention was directed by command personnel to the Operations Security (OPSEC) process.
6. There was an apparent lack of supervision over the intelligence gathering mechanism in terms of direction,
coordination, corroboration, dissemination and control.
7. Though well intentioned, contacts initiated by command personnel with the Waco Tribune-Herald violated
basic principles of operations security.
8. No media contacts should have been initiated by BATF before the operation's conclusion.
9. Command personnel lacked experience and training in directing major tactical operations.
10. The Incident Commander should have been located at the designated command post to facilitate communication
and control.
11. Once information had been received and corroborated that the operation had been compromised through the
loss of surprise, command personnel should have aborted the mission.
12. There was no planned alternative course of action to be taken if the mission was aborted.
13. Following the negotiation of a cease fire to remove and evacuate the dead and wounded, perimeter positions
should not have been abandoned until relief


personnel had assumed them.
14. Had the operation not been compromised, there was a high probability that the tactical plan would have
15. Sufficient oversight was exercised by BATF Headquarters during all phases of Operation Trojan Horse.
16. Numerous acts of heroism were displayed by the men and women of the BATF during, and subsequent to, the
extensive firefight with the Branch Davidians.

        These conclusions, and others of less significance, contained within the body of the full report, constitute
justification for considering the following recommendations.

1. Assign personnel to command positions (Incident Commander, Tactical Coordinator, Deputy Tactical Coordinator)
based upon qualifications--not rank or position.
2. Develop and provide tactical crisis management training for those assigned to these positions.
3. Explore the feasibility of selecting and training an on-call cadre of personnel with proven decision-making and
leadership ability to assume the roles of Incident Commander and Tactical Coordinator.
4. Ensure that all command and supervisory personnel understand their joint responsibility to abort an operation
if circumstances justify doing so.
5. Increase the training time of Division Special Response Teams to a minimum of twice a month.
6. Explore the feasibility of establishing regional, full-time Special Response Teams for deployment during major
7. Review and modify, as necessary, the criteria for selecting Special Response Team members.
8. Review and modify, as necessary, the curriculum of Special Response Team training.
9. Establish a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) program and formally assign EMS-trained personnel
to each Special Response Team.


10. Develop and implement a hostage negotiation program as an integral part of Special Response Team operations.
11. Evaluate existing Special Response Team equipment based on contemporary standards within the tactical
community (to include chemical agents).
12. Review the organization, structure, and functions of the Technology and Tactical Issues Committee to ensure
the timely evaluation and approval of tactical equipment and procedures.
13. Conduct meetings, at least annually, of Federal special operations team leaders and command personnel (BATF,
FBI, Marshals, Customs) to discuss past tactical analyses and contemporary procedures. Emphasize necessity for
interagency cooperation and training.
14. Ensure familiarity with guidelines related to requesting and utilizing air support.
15. Review and modify, as necessary, OPSEC training for all command and operational personnel.
16. Review and modify the media notification process.
17. Review and modify the BATF National Response Plan.
18. Pursue legislation enabling electronic surveillance and monitoring under circumstances such as existed at the
Branch Davidian Compound.
19. Empanel a committee comprised of representatives from affected BATF entities to review these and other
recommendations made by the Tactical Advisory Expert Panel.

        In spite of extensive planning and preparation by well-intentioned, experienced agents, success was not
achieved at the Branch Davidian Compound. It eluded them, not because of a lack of ability or resources, but rather
deficiencies in policy and procedure, which were exposed by the magnitude of the situation.

        Prior operations conducted by BATF Special Response Teams (433 in the past two years) apparently failed
to reveal these deficiencies, due to their varying circumstances, as well as the reduced size of many of the

Chapter 1



         The BATF Special Response Team Program--An Historical Overview

        In recent years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) responsibility to enforce Federal
firearms, explosives, and arson statutes has met with increasing resistance from those individuals and groups
involved in these activities (10). Because of the nature of these laws, almost every arrest or search warrant
executed by the BATF involves armed suspects.

        Accordingly, in 1989, after reviewing the Bureau's capabilities and limitations in managing these incidents,
each of the twenty-two Field Divisions were authorized to form what were then called high-risk entry control
teams. These teams, comprised of specially selected volunteers, initially made use of available state and local
training resources within their particular areas. However, in 1991, a decision was made to develop a centralized
training program in order to ensure uniformity and the ability of agents to meet required physical fitness standards.
Ultimately, Fort McClellan, Alabama, home of the U.S. Army's military police, chemical, and special response team
training schools, was selected as the site of the basic two-week BATF Special Response Team (SRT) training
program. Each Field Divisions team is now required to attend this rigorous course.

        The live-in program, consists of approximately 130 hours of training over a 10 day period, and places heavy
emphasis on promoting teamwork. Subject areas vary from building entry and tactics to firearms training, trauma
aid, operational planning, and physical conditioning. A high instructor-to-student ratio of one per two is maintained
during training to enhance the learning process and enable appropriate performance evaluation (9:38). Instructors
are selected based upon their background and experience. Over one half of the instructional cadre have past
pertinent military experience, and one third are former members of law enforcement tactical units.

        Following successful completion of the basic program at Fort McClellan, each team is required to train a
minimum of 24 hours each quarter. Much of this training is conducted in conjunction with area state and local
SWAT teams. Special Response Team members are equipped with the best tactical safety equipment available,
including body

armor, ballistic shields, firearms, and communications equipment.

        Since their inception, the Special Response Teams have actively proven their worth. During the past two
fiscal years, BATF SRTs were activated 433 times to resolve cases determined to be the most dangerous (10).
These activations varied from assisting at the scene of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, to providing assistance in
capturing murder suspects in Idaho that same year.

        Significantly, until Operation Trojan Horse on February 28, 1993, only one SRT member had been injured
by gunfire (10).

                      A Synopsis of Operation Trojan Horse

        The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officially became aware of the Branch Davidians and David
Koresh on June 4, 1992. This awareness resulted from a referral by the McLennan County Sheriff to the Austin
ATF Office. Additional referrals of complaint were received from a Congressman, the U.S. Attorneys Office, and
the media. These complaints basically addressed allegations of sexual abuse by David Koresh, as well as firearms
violations. Concern was also expressed over why nothing had been done by the authorities to alleviate the problem.
As a result of this information, a case agent was assigned, and an extensive investigation initiated to determine if
violations of laws enforceable by BATF were occurring. Information related to probable cause was later presented
to the Assistant U.S. Attorney, who expressed the belief that there was sufficient information for a search warrant
based upon the purchase of firearms and items necessary to convert them to fire in full automatic mode.

        The continuing investigation next placed emphasis on linking Koresh's purchases of chemicals with the
manufacture of explosive devices. Because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, activities were closely
monitored by BATF Headquarters. In anticipation of obtaining search and arrest warrants, operational planning
commenced in December, 1992. Numerous planning meetings were conducted, and after extensive discussion,
focused on utilizing three Special Response Teams with support personnel to effect service of the warrants.

        Although many options were explored by planners (i.e., siege [contain and call out], luring Koresh away from
the Compound, doing nothing, etc.), for reasons that will be addressed later in this report, a dynamic raid of the
Compound, using helicopters as a diversion, was agreed upon. As a result of intelligence gathered from the
continuing investigation, which included undercover operations at and in the vicinity of the Compound, and selected
interviews of disillusioned former cult members, a plan was finalized and approved.

        The plan called for the raid to be initiated at approximately 1000 hours on a date to be specified. This time
was selected because, according to intelligence sources, following Bible study, the men of the Compound would be
outside working on a construction project and separated from their weapons, which were kept in a storeroom on
the second floor of the Compound adjacent to Koresh's living quarters. Women and children would reportedly be
studying the Bible or involved with chores. Containment (cover) personnel would be responsible for isolating and
securing the men at the construction site, or anyone outside the structure. One SRT team would secure men on
the first floor, and another would isolate and secure women and children on the second floor and clear the towers.
Lastly, a third team would secure the second floor weapons room and arrest David Koresh.

        It was recognized early on that it would be difficult to approach the Compound undetected because of the
terrain and remoteness of the area. Therefore, planners opted to use two pickup trucks and cattle trailers to
transport the raid force to the Compound. These vehicles were known to be very common to the area, and
consequently would not cause alarm or suspicion if driven in the vicinity of the Branch Davidian Compound.
Surprise and speed of execution were believed critical to achieve success. As the raid force arrived at the front of
the Compound, three Texas National Guard helicopters would arrive shortly before, some distance to the
northwest. The presence of helicopters would hopefully attract the attention of the men working at the rear of the
Compound and mask the arrival of the raid force. Once the Branch Davidians and the Compound were secure,
support personnel would handle arrestees and search for and process evidence. A search warrant for a second
location associated with the Compound, referred to as the "Mag Bag", was to be served simultaneously. This location
was a screening point for UPS deliveries destined for the Compound, and was manned by cult members.
Undoubtedly, it also functioned as an early warning system for the Compound.

        The operational plan provided for the assignment of ATF Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to
each Special Response Team. Medivac helicopters would be on standby at the Command Post, and an ambulance
and crew would be staged at a roadblock position. Unfortunately, it would not be possible for civilian EMS
personnel and ambulances to accompany the raid force to the Compound because of the potential hazard, as well
as the fact that their presence would alert the Compound to the impending warrant service. Contingency plans
provided for the mission to be aborted at any time after the raid force left the Staging Area, but prior to the
vehicles turning into the Compound. The abort decision would be based upon continuous surveillance of the location
from an undercover site.

        In late 1992, BATF became aware of local media interest in the Branch Davidians and David Koresh.
Specifically, the Waco Tribune-Herald was preparing a

series of articles on the cult and its leader. Concerned that any article of this nature might cause Koresh to become
more alert and paranoid about possible law enforcement action against him, and prompt an increase of curious
onlookers in the area, an ATF representative contacted the paper in an effort to delay publication of the series until
after March 1, 1993. These and subsequent negotiations with the newspaper concerning this issue were fruitless.
BATF representatives were told that the series would begin as soon as it was complete. Eventually, they were
advised on February 26, 1993, that the first article in the series would be released on February 27, two days before
BATF planned to serve the warrants. At this point, support personnel and equipment had already arrived in the
Waco area, and Special Response Teams, along with selected support personnel, were rehearsing and training for
the operation at Fort Hood, Texas. Consequently, it was decided to advance the scheduled date of execution by
one day to February 28, 1993. The final decision would be kept in abeyance until David Koresh's reaction to the
first article could be assessed through undercover contacts. These contacts revealed nothing untoward at the
Compound as a result of the article. It was decided that prior to the raid on February 28, one last undercover
contact would be made. In the meantime, support elements and Special Response Team personnel had responded
from Fort Hood to a staging area at Bellmead, a Waco suburb, to await the final command to proceed with the

        On the morning of February 28, 1993, an undercover contact was made with David Koresh. During the
conversation, Koresh was interrupted by a cult member and advised that England is on the phone. Note: Mark
England was one of the reporters who wrote the first article. When he returned, according to the undercover agent,
Koresh was very nervous, quoted the Bible, and remarked to the effect that "the ATF and National Guard are
coming for me. They'll never get me. The undercover agent left the Compound as soon as he could without arousing
suspicion, and provided this information personally to the Deputy Tactical Coordinator, and by telephone to the
Tactical Coordinator. The Tactical Coordinator personally related the information to the Incident Commander, and
after consultation with him, it was decided the operation could still be carried out successfully (even though
compromised) if done quickly, before Koresh could distribute weapons and prepare his defenses.

        Accordingly, the Tactical Coordinator went to the Staging Area and ordered personnel to obtain their
equipment, load on the cattle trailers, and respond to the Compound to effect service of the warrants. The Tactical
Coordinator was in communication with the Deputy Tactical Coordinator throughout the 8-mile drive from the
Staging Area to the Compound, and was given periodic situation reports from the undercover surveillance location.
Nothing unusual was reported. In fact, no activity at all was noted in the vicinity of the Compound. Apparently not
recognizing the significance of the no activity report (the men were supposed to be working at the

construction site), the convoy continued toward the Compound. While en route, the convoy passed two vehicles,
one of which displayed a Waco Tribune-Herald sign on the door. These vehicles followed the convoy, unchallenged,
almost to the Compound. Other media vehicles, perhaps the same, had been noted on the road in front of the
Compound earlier in the morning by surveillance personnel. However, they were believed to be a reaction to the
first newspaper article, and not viewed as a threat to the warrant service operation.

        After passing the final checkpoint (and last opportunity to abort), the convoy turned into the Compound and
parked in front of the main structure (approximately forty minutes after the undercover agent had
reported Koresh knew they were coming). As the cattle trailers were being unloaded, the front door opened
slightly and a man (believed to be Koresh) was seen standing in the doorway. The door was quickly shut and
gunfire was immediately initiated through the closed door directed at the approaching agents. The helicopters
arrived simultaneous with the raid force, and were almost immediately taken under fire, causing all three to land
and subsequently withdraw. Only the Special Response Team assigned to secure the arms room was able to reach
their objective, and although they were able to enter the arms room through a second story window, were forced
to exit because of intense gunfire directed at them. Other SRT and support personnel were forced to seek cover
behind whatever was available. Cult members utilized both semi- and fully automatic weapons, as well as
fragmentation grenades, against the raid force.

        During the ensuing firefight, four agents were killed and at least fifteen wounded. Because of the continuing
heavy gunfire, it was impossible to remove the dead and wounded. A few wounded agents were tended to by
assigned EMS personnel, but others lay untreated. After approximately an hour, a negotiated cease fire was
arranged by telephone through the efforts of the Deputy Tactical Coordinator and a lieutenant from the McLennan
County Sheriff's Department.

        As a result of the cease fire, ambulances and other vehicles were utilized to evacuate the dead and wounded.
The most seriously wounded were evacuated by helicopter once safe landing zones could be established.

        Orders were subsequently given, presumably by the Incident Commander, to abandon the Compound entirely.
A few agents remained of their own volition to maintain loose containment, but eventually, they too were ordered
to leave. Because of the severity of the situation at the Compound, the search warrant for the "Mag Bag" was not
served. Later, three men left this location and while attempting to return to the Compound, engaged departing
BATF agents in a gun battle. One was killed, another surrendered, and the third fled but was later captured.
Fortunately, a number of local

SWAT teams arrived and assumed containment positions around the Compound.

        As a result of a decision made at high levels of BATF management, control of the operation was relinquished
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on March 2, 1993. Selected BATF agents remained in support roles until
the siege ended on April 19, 1993.

                                   THE PROBLEM

Statement of the Problem

        The purpose of this project was: (1) to conduct a selective analysis of the planning, preparation, and
subsequent attempted service of search/arrest warrants on February 28, 1993, by BATF personnel at the Branch
Davidian Compound, (2) to develop conclusions based upon the analysis of BATF efforts in this regard, and (3) to
make recommendations related to possible future operational improvements.

Limitations of the Project

        In accordance with the charter given the evaluator, this project will explore only the actions of BATF
personnel leading up to, and including, the attempted service of search/arrest warrants at the Branch Davidian
Compound. It will not address actions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which assumed control of the
operation on March 2, 1993.

        For simplicity, the non-gender-based pronoun "he" is used in place of "he/she" throughout this document, and
no inference should be drawn as to gender.

              RESEARCH METHODS

        This project utilized the following data collection methods:

1. A review of documents, reports, videotapes, and training curricula provided by Waco Administrative Review staff.

2. Personal monitoring of Congressional hearings on June 9 and 10, 1993, regarding the operation.

3. Personal interviews of selected BATF personnel.

4. A review of available literature related to the subject area.


5. Personal observation of the geographical area surrounding the Branch Davidian Compound, as well as the
Command Post, undercover residence, and Staging Area.

6. Personal knowledge of contemporary policy, procedure, and training within the tactical community.

7. Extensive personal experience within the field of law enforcement tactical operations.



        An acronym for Operations Security. Developed by the military during the Vietnam War, OPSEC is a
process by which specific programs or operations are viewed from an adversarial perspective to identify possible


        An acronym for Tactical Emergency Medical Support. TEMS involves the integration of emergency
medical services with SWAT/tactical units. Tactically trained, commissioned or non-commissioned
paramedics/Emergency Medical Technicians, directly provide EMS at the scene of tactical operations. They may
be supplemented by an on-scene physician(s) operating in either an active or advisory capacity.

Dynamic Entry

        A type of entry which is sudden, vigorous, and unexpected.


        The Texas State Technical College (T.S.T.C.), or Texas State Technical Institute (T.S.T.I.). Both terms
are used interchangeably in this report.


        The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (B.A.T.F.), or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (A.T.F.). Both
terms are used interchangeably in this report.

                                    Chapter 2


        The attempted service of search/arrest warrants by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
on February 28, 1993, at the Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas, was in all probability unprecedented
within American law enforcement.

        However, although unprecedented, the BATF operation can be examined objectively by comparing various
phases of the operation with contemporary law enforcement/military concepts, principles, and practices. By
approaching the analysis in this manner, it is possible to reveal both positive aspects as well as areas of deficiency.
It is important to note that the purpose of conducting this analysis is not to castigate or condemn, but rather to
learn from what occurred with a view toward future improvement.

                            PLANNING AND PREPARATION

        Preparing and implementing a comprehensive plan is one of the most important factors in achieving
operational success. In order to ensure that nothing is left to chance, and all foreseeable problems are considered,
it is imperative that a definite course of action be followed (1:143).

        There is no doubt in the mind of the evaluator that those involved in preparing for Operation Trojan Horse
fully appreciated the importance of their efforts in achieving operational success. Although there were others who
provided assistance, the Special Response Team Leaders from Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans became the
principal planners. Over the ensuing weeks, in addition to their other duties, they sought out and utilized all
sources of information and assistance known to be available to them. After considering and evaluating information
thus obtained, and relying upon their individual and collective experience, both within and outside of law
enforcement, they formulated a plan of operation which they believed would afford the highest probability of

                              Tactical Alternatives

        During the course of preparing for Operation Trojan Horse, planners discussed and refined a number of
tactical alternatives, or options For reasons to be discussed subsequently, circumstances prompted them to
select a dynamic warrant service, or raid, as the most viable of available options. The following alternatives
were considered by planners:

Take No Enforcement Action

        This alternative was quickly determined to be unacceptable. Numerous complaints had been received
concerning firearms violations by the Branch Davidians, and the violent takeover of leadership by David Koresh
from George Roden in 1987, along with alleged threats against former cult members, demonstrated a high
propensity for violence. The BATF simply did not want to risk the added possibility that cult members would turn
their weapons against members of the community.

        Additionally, the alleged physical and sexual abuse of children at the Compound, combined with complaints
of inaction and lack of concern by local and outside law enforcement agencies, left little, if any, doubt that the
problems had to be addressed.

Arrest David Koresh Away From the Compound

        Planners recognized early on that it would be advantageous to arrest David Koresh away from the Compound
because of the weaponry believed to be maintained there, and the obvious control he exercised over the cult

        If cooperative after his arrest, Koresh would be asked to call the Compound and encourage his followers to
comply with instructions of the authorities. In the event Koresh refused, the Compound would be notified by
authorities of his arrest, and cult members instructed not to resist the lawful service of the search warrant. Failure
of the cult members to comply would result in containment (siege) of the Compound until compliance was achieved.

        Plans to lure Koresh from the Compound using the ruse that the Texas Division of Children's Protective
Services wanted to discuss allegations of child abuse at the Compound with him failed when a supervisor at the
agency refused to approve the request. This avenue apparently was not pursued further.

        Other ruses were discussed and rejected. Additional ideas (follow Koresh to town and arrest him, etc.) were
also rejected when information was received from the undercover site (a residence in view of the Compound) that
Koresh had not left the Compound in the past two months, and there was nothing to indicate he would do so in
the immediate future. This information was based upon the belief that the undercover location was being operated
around the clock, and would have been able to determine if, and when, Koresh left the Compound. Unfortunately,
this was an honest, but false, assumption on the part of planners and others, who should have been able to rely
upon information provided by undercover agents.

Contain and Call Out (Siege/Negotiate)

        This alternative had been utilized successfully in the past by the BATF--most notably in Arkansas during a
1985 joint operation with the FBI to effect service of search warrants at a heavily fortified compound. Armed
members of a right-wing group known as the Covenant of the Sword and Arm of the Lord (CSA), occupied the
compound, and surrendered after three days of negotiations.

        Although there were similarities in the two cases, information received through interviews of disgruntled
former cult members and other sources made it apparent that this alternative would be extremely risky at the
Branch Davidian Compound for the following reasons:

        o There was a great risk of mass suicide.

        o The physical and sexual abuse of children could continue.

o The evidence necessary to prosecute Koresh for firearms violations was capable of being destroyed.

o There was reportedly enough food stored on the Compound to sustain cult members for at least three months.
Water was also available in quantity.

o The Compound could continue to be barricaded and fortified.

o The operation could involve a lengthy commitment in terms of personnel and logistics.

o The resources of local agencies could be strained, and neighboring areas disrupted.

o The lack of sufficient and adequate cover would make it extremely difficult to effectively contain the Compound
without the use of heavily armored vehicles.

Dynamic Entry (Raid)

        The very nature of a dynamic entry necessitates the existence of three elements in order to achieve success:
(1) surprise, (2) speed of implementation, and (3) diversion. BATF planners were well aware of the significance and
importance of these elements, as evidenced by their inclusion not only in the tactical plan, but also the rehearsal

training segments conducted at Fort Hood.

        Experience has shown, and it is generally conceded, that while diversion is not always critical to the success
of every dynamic operation, surprise and speed are absolutely essential. Certainly, if surprise is lost, the likelihood
of achieving success is reduced greatly, because it is difficult to overcome its compromise through speed and
diversion. By incorporating all three elements into their dynamic scheme, planners ensured a high probability of
success, and enhanced the safety of participating agents as well as cult members.

        Undercover observations, interviews of former cult members, and patterning of cult activities confirmed the
selection of this tactical alternative. For example, it was determined that:

o  Weapons were stored in a second-floor room at the east side of the Compound.

o  Following Bible study, male followers left the Compound structure to work on an outside construction project
at the west side of the Compound, thus separating them from the arms room.

o  Women and children were separated from the men.

o No armed guards accompanied the men, and it was likely very few, if any, persons on the Compound would be

        The successful implementation of the dynamic entry option would prevent mass suicide, alleviate the
continued physical and sexual abuse of the children, and enable cult members held against their wishes to leave.
In addition, it would facilitate the arrest of David Koresh and the recovery of evidence.

        One of the controversial areas confronted by planners in "selling" this tactical alternative was the selection
of when the warrants would be served. Generally speaking, the most advantageous time of service would be during
the hours of darkness or early dawn, when occupants are more likely to be asleep. However, in the case of the
Branch Davidians, intelligence information reflected that several of Koresh's most trusted followers, the "Mighty
Men", slept with assault rifles under their mattresses. This potential threat, along with the estimated number of
cult members believed to be in the Compound (75), the fact that the men would be close to the arms room, and
the size of the complex, prompted planners to reject service during the hours of darkness. Instead, the decision
was made to effect service at 1000 hours. because, as previously noted,

patterning reflected that by then the men would be busy at the construction site at the opposite end of the
Compound from the arms room, and the women and children would be separated from the men, performing their
chores elsewhere.

        As mentioned before, planners realized from the outset that the safest and most effective alternative available
to them was to arrest David Koresh away from the Compound. However, relying upon misleading intelligence, and
rejection of other suggested means of enticing Koresh from the Compound, they abandoned what was believed to
be the best tactical option. In fairness to the planners, it should be pointed out that, with the exception of a few
interviews and observations made while surreptitiously visiting the areas surrounding the Compound, they had no
direct link with intelligence providers. Consequently, they were forced to accept intelligence which was often
considered inconsistent and untimely.

        Lacking the ability to arrest Koresh away from the Compound, and based upon the information provided
them, planners logically selected the dynamic entry (raid) option.

                           Tactics and Related Matters

        Having adopted the strategy of using a dynamic approach to effect service of the warrants, planners next
established the duties and responsibilities of each SRT and cover team. These functions have been addressed
previously, but briefly stated, the New Orleans SRT team was given the assignment of surmounting the roof,
securing the arms room, and arresting David Koresh if he was encountered. A segment of the same team was to
maintain a holding position at the warehouse until they were joined by others to clear that area. The Dallas SRT
team was to enter the front door, go to the second floor, clear it, the towers, and chapel, and secure women and
children. The Houston Team was to enter the front door, clear the first floor, the kitchen, dining area, an
underground tunnel (a buried school bus), and secure all men encountered. Each SRT team was supported by an
exterior cover team. Forward Observer Teams (countersniper) were to provide long-range cover and support for
the SRT and cover teams. This would be the first time members of the newly adopted program were deployed on
an actual operation. Because so many agents would be entering the interior of the Compound, the value of the
Forward Observer Teams was probably underestimated. Their primary responsibility was to provide long-range
cover during the approach to the Compound. Planners recommended two, two-person Forward Observer Teams
be deployed inside the undercover residence, which would also act as a forward command post. Also, one,
two-person team would deploy at the rear of the Compound, along with five BATF members who were to clear a
series of vehicles and trailers once the raid had commenced. Planners had hoped to deploy a fourth team east of
the Compound, but it

was felt that the cover and concealment were too sparse to prevent their detection.

        While it is conceded that planners were appreciative of the benefit of deploying the new teams, there is little
question that realization of their full potential was not possible under the described deployment. The desired fourth
team could have been deployed through the assistance of a cooperative rancher from whom the undercover site
was obtained. He had offered to place large, tightly rolled hay bales (rolls) strategically around his property, which
bordered the Compound, to act as surveillance posts. These bales could have been placed weeks in advance so they
would not have caused the Davidians to become suspicious. Their protective value could have been tested
beforehand by undercover personnel firing into them to determine the best configuration in which to arrange the
bales. The rancher's offer was noted, but not accepted.

        Deployment of the Forward Observer Teams also created concern. Although the two teams at the undercover
site arrived the evening before, they did not deploy until two hours prior to the raid. The team at the rear of the
Compound was not deployed until moments before the raid. One of the most important roles performed by a
position of this type is to surveill the objective continuously, well before the operation begins (2:352). Had this team
been deployed the night before, the possibility exists that valuable intelligence information might have been
obtained through their observations.

        Both managers and supervisors are often unfamiliar with the role of countersniper teams and their
deployment. However, in the case of the BATF, it is submitted that this unfamiliarity was complicated by the
newness of the program. Operation Trojan Horse was literally a "test by fire" for the program, and its members
proved their worth. In the future, problems can be reduced by assigning a trained and experienced coordinator
(supervisor) to the program. The coordinator, or his designate, would represent Forward Observer Teams at all
applicable planning sessions, and respond in a supervisorial capacity during deployment. This simple modification
will increase the likelihood that the teams are utilized to their full potential. Also, it should result in a better
understanding of their capabilities and limitations.

        Tactical contingencies were considered by planners, including aborting the operation at various stages if a
compromise occurred. However, as will be addressed under Command and Control, planners had no control over
those with assigned authority to abort the mission. One of the problems with the abort plan was that there was
no alternative course of action available to decision makers once an abort had been declared. For example, and as
provided for in the plan, if a compromise occurred while enroute to the Compound, the raid force would be ordered
to continue past the Compound and not carry through with the dynamic warrant service. Had this occurred, what
were they to do? Return to the Staging Area? Respond to the Command Post? Apparently, no

provisions were made for this contingency, and if they were, there is no evidence of their knowledge by decision
makers. Of course, it could be presumed that decision makers should know their options in a situation like this.
However, one of the purposes of planning is to eliminate as many presumptions as possible by providing direction
and guidance.

        Once the firefight broke out at the Compound, agents found themselves without an effective means of
withdrawal. Although the use of Bradley Fighting Vehicles was discussed by planners as a necessity if the siege
alternative was implemented, once the dynamic entry option was adopted, their use was de-emphasized. Given the
suspected weaponry of the Branch Davidians, it would have been advisable to have had at least three of these
armored vehicles standing by at the Command Post.

        Another problem with the contingency plan arose because there was a lack of definite guidance with regard
to negotiations. Loose reference was made to the use of local agency negotiators, but it appears clear that no one
foresaw the necessity to utilize them. Unfortunately, the need arose quickly and tragically. Luckily, the Deputy
Tactical Coordinator had received negotiations training in the past. After David Koresh had called 911 and
communicated with a Sheriff's Department lieutenant, the Deputy Tactical Coordinator made telephone contact
with another cult member and negotiated a cease fire to evacuate dead and wounded agents. In defense of the
planners, it is difficult to provide for a negotiations function where none exists. This is an area which must be
addressed in the future. The experience of the evaluator has been that protracted operations involving tactics and
negotiations are best managed when negotiators are an integral part of the tactical team or unit, and under the
same tactical command and control. It has been said that perhaps the most critical element of decision making is
timing (3:69). There are sometimes occasions during the course of tactical operations when a resolution can be
achieved as a result of a sudden change in circumstances. The tactical commander must make what can be a
difficult decision at this point. If he must also consult with a separate negotiation command prior to implementing
the resolution, the opportunity may pass and never present itself again.

        Regardless of the negotiations concept utilized, it is absolutely essential that tactical, command, and
negotiations personnel work together toward the successful resolution of the incident. Negotiations and tactics are
successful if they assist in any way to achieve a positive outcome (4).

        While planners did not select Command Post and Staging Area sites, some had an opportunity to view them
during a visit to the Waco area in December, 1992. Understandably, their interests were more concentrated on
surveilling the Compound and evaluating tactical options than assessing the location of support sites. Nevertheless.

selection of these sites can often adversely affect an operation, and for this reason, planners should participate in
choosing them.

        The selection of the Texas State Technical Institute (College) Airport facility as the principal Command Post
was logical, based upon necessary requirements. However, interviews of some participants reflected concern over
the location of the Staging Area because of its proximity to a traveled highway, and the fact that arriving vehicles
and personnel were easily observable. Having viewed the Staging Area during an independent post-operation visit,
the evaluator shared this concern. Although the location was certainly adequate to meet space and comfort
requirements, its location adjacent to a traveled road, and on an almost direct route to the Compound (albeit 8
miles distant), makes its selection questionable. This point is particularly critical when it is considered that an
estimated 50-100 vehicles were utilized to transport the raid force from Fort Hood. Had buses been utilized, it
might have been possible to use an area adjacent to the Command Post at T.S.T.I. as a staging area. This would
probably have been more conducive to operations security. Buses could have been obtained commercially, or
through military sources.

        One way to reduce potential problems with the selection of sites such as these is to prepare, and faithfully
utilize a printed checklist or form detailing specific requirements for the site and emphasizing operations security
concerns. This is always important, but especially when someone other than the planners are making the selections


        Logistical support of a large-scale operation requires a concerted and cooperative effort on the part of
planners and those obtaining and providing the requested assistance. In addition to existing individual and team
SRT equipment, the tactical strategy selected will also determine what support and supplemental equipment and
personnel will be required. Assigning this important, and often critical, responsibility to a specific individual will
ensure that logistical requirements are met in a timely manner. In the case of Operation Trojan Horse, a Support
Coordinator was assigned in accordance with the BATF National Response Plan, which was implemented for the
first time as a result of the investigation.

        Because of the geographical distances separating the Support Coordinator and individual planners, a request
was made asking them to submit a list of desired equipment. These lists were then consolidated, and most of the
items were obtained or borrowed from one source or another. Post-operation interviews with the SRT team leaders
reflected that they had received all critical equipment they had requested, with

the exception of smoke grenades, which were apparently unavailable from military sources. Under the
circumstances, smoke grenades might have been of benefit in concealing the withdrawal or movement of the raid
force. A controversy developed later concerning the availability of additional AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, but
according to the Support Coordinator, all that were requested were received, and if more had been requested, they,
too, would have been provided. In retrospect, there is no question that more could have been utilized.

        With reference to helicopters, it had been the understanding of planners that necessary aviation assets would
be provided by U.S. Customs Service. However, the decision was made at a later date to utilize Texas National
Guard assets. This assistance was obtained with the cooperation of the Department of Defense liaison officer to
the BATF in Washington, D.C. Whether the decision to utilize National Guard assets was based upon politics,
rivalry, or practicality is a moot point. In either case, the National Guard ultimately committed to providing aviation
assistance, armored vehicles on a standby basis, and other support equipment.

        Fortunately, full-scale, multi-agency activities, approaching the size of Operation Trojan Horse, are still rare
within law enforcement. Nonetheless, agencies must be prepared should they be confronted by circumstances of
this nature requiring their attention. Logistical support of any operation, and particularly one of great magnitude,
can have a marked affect on its outcome. Therefore, the assigned coordinator must be especially familiar with his
role, as well as various sources of logistical assistance.

        One approach to ensuring future uniformity and directed action in obtaining logistical support for an
operation is to prepare and provide to each BATF Field Division Office a logistical manual. This manual, which
would be provided to the Logistical Coordinator at the time of his assignment to the position, would contain a full
description and statement of duties and responsibilities, along with logistical sources, procedures, and points of
contact. The National Response Plan provides some direction in this regard, and that information could easily be
expanded into a more helpful format, as described above.

                           Emergency Medical Services

        One of the areas for which the BATF was most criticized by those with little or no knowledge of Operation
Trojan Horse was an alleged failure to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Research for this report
revealed that these allegations were patently false. Unfortunately, television coverage of the evacuation of dead
and wounded agents, and the withdrawal of others, prompted these allegations because there was no

attempt made to explain why ambulances and EMS providers were not immediately at the scene when the need

        In actuality, not only were ground ambulance and paramedics requested and pre staged, but so too, was a
civilian medivac helicopter. National Guard helicopters would be used if additional airborne medivac service was
required. Because of the open terrain and the need for operations security, EMS assets could not be staged in view
of the Compound, and for obvious reasons, civilian EMS personnel could not accompany the raid force to the
location. Instead, an EMT-trained and -equipped agent was assigned to each team. Other medical assets would be
brought in from their staging areas if they were required. Ultimately, circumstances strained medical resources to
the maximum. It is unlikely, as a practical matter, that enough resources could have been staged in advance to
handle the unforeseeable number of casualties that occurred. As a matter of fact, the remoteness of the area and
the weaponry possessed by cult members, prompted extra effort to be exerted in preparing a comprehensive
medical plan. Assisting in this effort was an Army Special Forces complement, which also provided instruction on
trauma care to members of the raid force at Fort Hood. This instruction proved of value during the operation.

        In addition to providing instruction, Army medics also suggested that members of the SRT teams print their
blood types on their neck and legs with a marker. This questionable suggestion was accepted and implemented.
Although this practice might have application in the military environment, in the evaluator's opinion, it has no place
within law enforcement operations. Not only does this practice have an adverse psychological effect on team
members, and heighten their anxiety, but civilian emergency medical facilities are unlikely to accept a patient's
assertion of having a particular blood type. For reasons of both accuracy and liability, a patient's blood would be
typed regardless of their claimed knowledge of blood type.

        Because of the almost total dependence of the BATF on outside sources of EMS to support their tactical
operations, it would prove of benefit to organize an internal program within each Special Response Team.

        Within the contemporary law enforcement tactical community, this concept is known by the acronym TEMS
(Tactical Emergency Medical Support). A few agencies have staffed full-time SWAT-trained police paramedics
within their tactical units for many years, but most are unable to afford this luxury. Instead, some agencies have
discovered that there are a number of alternative means of integrating this life-saving service, albeit on an on-call
basis. These alternatives include:

        o Paramedic or EMT-trained agency personnel

o Fire department paramedics or EMTs

o Private hospital/ambulance paramedics or EMTs

o Private physicians

        Outside EMS services may be obtained by contract or through a volunteer program. Regardless of which is
selected, the consensus of those experienced in the field is that all EMS personnel be required to complete basic
tactical response team, as well as periodic in-service, training. A few agencies require EMS personnel to meet their
tactical response team selection criteria to ensure acceptable physical condition, as well as acceptance by team

        Integration of EMS capabilities within an agency or team should not be considered a substitute for existing
civilian EMS providers, but rather a supplement. Unlike their civilian counterparts, tactical paramedics and EMT
personnel are trained to operate in life-threatening situations that may involve an armed adversary (7:56). Not only
can these specially trained personnel provide almost immediate basic and advanced life support care on scene, and
occasionally under fire, but they are also a valuable tactical planning resource. Planning for a tactical mission should
obviously include concern for medical care, whether or not an agency maintains an in-house EMS program. It
should be apparent that when the level of care and medical capability increase, potential risk and liability factors
diminish (8:55).

        The application of TEMS to BATF operations is obvious. There are undoubtedly a sizable number of special
agents within the service who are trained and certified former paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians
(EMT). Those personnel whose certifications have expired could be retested and certified. Their ranks could be
supplemented by civilian EMS volunteers within the various BATF divisions. Activation procedures could be aligned
with those of Special Response Teams, as outlined within the National Response Plan.

        Guidance in developing a program of this nature is available from a number of law enforcement and related


        A reliable and effective communications system is, of course, a critical factor in resolving any major tactical
incident. The communications plan for Operation Trojan Horse was developed jointly by representatives of the
BATF and a Special Forces unit of the U.S. Army. Although some criticism has been directed at the

plan, team leaders who were interviewed believed the system addressed operational needs and worked well.

        The communications system consisted of secure radios and telephones, as well as cellular telephones.
Additional equipment was located inside the Command Post at T.S.T.I. and the Forward Command Post at the
undercover residence.

        Basically, the communications net utilized a separate command channel, a channel for each of the three SRT
teams and cover teams, and another for the helicopters and other support entities. Each SRT team member carried
a secure handheld radio, and could communicate with other members of the same SRT and cover teams, as well
as his team leader. In order to communicate with another team or other entities, he had to switch to the
appropriate channel.

        Team leaders carried two handheld radios with an earpiece in each ear, and could communicate on one radio
with his SRT and cover teams, and to other team leaders and tactical command personnel on the other. The Deputy
Tactical Coordinator at the Forward Command Post (undercover residence) acted as a relay point for
communications to the helicopters, the Command Post at T.S.T.I., and all support entities, either directly or
through a radio van which was staged for maximum communications capability.

        Minor complaints from SRT personnel referred to the awkwardness of changing channels on their radios and,
of course, the team leaders adjusting and manipulating two radios. While the BATF radios were secure, local agency
communications were not. This undoubtedly explains the assertion by some area residents that they were able to
monitor the operation on their scanners.

        Although it would have been of future value to tape record all channels utilized during the operation, the
radio van only had the capability of recording the command channel, and this was apparently done.

                              Intelligence Function

        One of the recognized basic principles of intelligence is that tactical operations and intelligence are
interdependent. Intelligence does not exist for its own sake, but to assist in executing operational missions

        Like any large-scale operation, planning for the service of search and arrest warrants at the Branch
Davidian Compound relied heavily on intelligence sources. These sources included:

o Interviews of selected former cult members

o Other law enforcement agencies

o Undercover contacts

o Undercover surveillance

o Aerial photographs

o Criminal records checks

o Court documents

o Information from neighbors

        In order to obtain the most pertinent information, planners prepared a list of thirty-eight questions to ask
of former cult members. Responses were compared to confirm or refute information provided. The results of these
interviews proved very beneficial, when supplemented by other sources, in developing the operational plan.
Information from other sources was provided intermittently to planners through reports and documents screened
by the assigned case agent and the Tactical Coordinator. Although an Intelligence Coordinator was assigned to the
operation, as prescribed by the National Response Plan, this assignment was made during the latter stages of
planning. Through no fault of the person assigned, he had little opportunity to contribute to the intelligence effort.

        As the planning phase progressed, the most current information was provided by undercover personnel
residing at a house across the road from the Compound. The undercover operation commenced on January 11,
1993, on a twenty-four-hour basis, with eight undercover agents assigned. According to those agents interviewed,
initial instructions regarding their mission were minimal, and no supervisor was assigned to the house to oversee
the operation. For this reason, undercover agents decided among themselves what information should be gathered
and what work schedules should be followed. Agents rotated shifts, with four on-duty and four off. Periodic logs
of activity were kept, and efforts were directed toward confirming or refuting information provided by former cult
members. Logs and reports were forwarded to the case agent for review and dissemination. Surveillance of the
Compound continued on a twenty-four-hour basis for two weeks, during which time David Koresh was never seen
leaving the Compound. At the end of two weeks, undercover personnel decided on their own that there was nothing
occurring at night to warrant surveillance. Accordingly, they agreed to watch

the location only during the hours of daylight. It is important to note that tactical planners believed the undercover
operation was being conducted twenty-four-hours a day, and relied upon information provided them on that basis.

        Shifts and assignments were established and changed by the agents on a regular basis, and lacking any
supervision or direction, it is to their credit that surveillance was conducted with any regularity at all.

        Undercover agents were provided with 35mm cameras, lenses, and a video camera. Unfortunately, no one
was familiar with the equipment, and the quality of the photographs taken reflected this lack of expertise.
Complaints about the quality of the photos, which were developed primarily in Austin for security reasons, were
not accompanied by suggestions for improvement. Requests for additional equipment, i.e., night vision equipment
to replace an inoperable set provided initially, and technical support in other areas, proved fruitless. A "pole" camera
placed on the property of a local resident was of negligible value, and had to be removed at the insistence of the
property owner. No assistance or direction was forthcoming, and undercover agents began to feel isolated and
neglected. As a result, surveillance became more and more sporadic.

        After several weeks, and apparently in response to concerns about the undercover house, a superior from
the Houston office visited the agents. Complaints were aired and a number of changes made. However, with the
exception of placing increased emphasis on infiltrating the Compound, as directed by BATF Headquarters, these
changes had little influence on the surveillance. Finally, a supervisor was assigned to oversee undercover activities.
He seldom came to the undercover house, however, and basically became a point of contact and drop-off point for
exposed film and reports at either the Command Post or an undercover safe house in Waco.

        According to agents, cult members occasionally visited them. During the first visit, they inquired who the
agents were and why they were staying at the house. Agents did not believe cult members were suspicious of them
or their cover stories. The undercover agent who had met with David Koresh on several occasions inside the
Compound shared this belief.

        Two weeks prior to the raid, four of the undercover agents were removed, because of their assignment as
part of the raid force. The four remaining agents sporadically surveilled the Compound through the day of the raid.

        As mentioned earlier, intelligence and tactical operations are interrelated. The importance of this relationship
in terms of operational success cannot be over-

emphasized. Establishment of the undercover surveillance operation to confirm information obtained from other
sources certainly reflects concern for this relationship. Be that as it may, establishing an undercover operation
without providing definite direction regarding objectives and expectations, and supervision to ensure acceptable
compliance, demonstrates a lack of appreciation and understanding of the intelligence function. Undercover agents
had every right to expect oversight guidance and feedback related to the usefulness of their efforts. When it wasn't
received, their response in making decisions on their own was understandable, and should have been foreseen.

        Any item of equipment provided should have been accompanied by instruction on its care and utilization. To
expect acceptable results without ensuring agents are capable of operating the equipment is absurd.

        Supervision of the undercover operation should have been an integral part of the assignment from its
inception, and assurance given that whatever support was required by the agents would be provided as
expeditiously as possible.

        This seeming lack of understanding of the intelligence function can perhaps best be addressed in the future
through in-service training at all levels likely to be involved in a full-scale tactical operation. Future operational
planning might also make better use of divisional Intelligence Research Specialists (IRS), and their training modified
to emphasize the interrelationship of intelligence and tactical operations. One of the intelligence-related issues
disclosed during Congressional hearings on June 9-10, 1993, involved the use of electronic surveillance and listening
devices. Those who testified from the BATF expressed doubt that approval would have been granted for such
intrusions at the Compound. Whether or not this is true is for others to determine, but it goes without saying that
such devices could have easily confirmed the raid on February 28 had been compromised. There is no doubt that
additional information of potential tactical, as well as evidentiary value, could also have been obtained. Hopefully,
as a result of both the Congressional inquiry and that conducted by the Waco Administrative Review, enabling
legislation will be pursued (if indeed none exists) to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.


     One of the most important, but often neglected, elements of a successful warrant service is a comprehensive
briefing. If conducted properly, a briefing can develop confidence in both the planners and the operation (1:147).
Because of the extreme magnitude of Operation Trojan Horse, the duration of the investigation that preceded it,
and the number of agents involved from different geographical areas, the task of making everyone aware of their
duties and responsibilities was enormous. For the most part, the

Tactical Coordinator assumed this responsibility. Prior to the date of implementation, briefings were held for
different entities at several locations, including Waco and Fort Hood.

     Operational personnel (SRT and direct support) attended a number of briefings in conjunction with the
rehearsal and training sessions at Fort Hood. Tactical briefings of SRT team members included visual aids, such
as ground/aerial photographs, diagrams, and maps. Briefings were also conducted for support personnel at Fort
Hood. It would appear from statements made that most of those who participated believed the briefings adequately
addressed their questions and concerns.

     Nonetheless, forward observers took exception to this belief. They reportedly received no specific direction
regarding their mission, and were not invited to attend any briefings other than that held for support personnel.
When two forward observers attempted to attend a meeting of SRT teams, they were told it wouldn't be necessary.
A meeting which was supposed to take place between forward observers and SRT team leaders did not occur.
Forward observers learned of the planned tactical deployment of the SRT teams by observing the rehearsal
training, which they found helpful. Whether this unfortunate situation was an oversight or the result of
unfamiliarity with the program is unknown, but it was certainly preventable.

     One method of making certain that all participants are aware of their role and what is expected of them is to
conduct a mandatory general briefing. This briefing should not replace separate specialized briefings, but rather
supplement them by ensuring that everyone from a particular entity involved is aware of the general role and
relationship of others in carrying out the operation. It was reported by one participant that there were many
briefings conducted at Fort Hood, and if a person's concerns weren't addressed at one briefing, they would surely
be discussed at another. Again, a comprehensive follow-up general briefing might have reduced the number of
briefings required.

     A printed briefing checklist or format can also be of benefit when the size of an operation requires conducting
multiple briefings.

     The importance of a comprehensive briefing in achieving operational success cannot be stressed too strongly.
No matter how well an operation is planned, it is essential that participants be properly briefed regarding their role
in its implementation.


     The relationship between quality training and successful performance has been well established. From all
indications, the training and rehearsal conducted over a three-day

period at Fort Hood was well planned, relevant to the tasks required, and prepared those involved for the
assignments they were to perform.

     Fort Hood, Texas, was selected for training and rehearsal purposes because of the excellent quality of training
sites and ranges there, as well as the security a military base would provide.

     Personnel arrived at the base at staggered times and dates, but the majority were present for training on
February 26 and 27. During briefing sessions, they were cautioned about operations security and admonished not
to wear any law enforcement identifiable articles of clothing when off the post. This was necessary because they
were billeted on the post, but allowed to eat off post.

     Much of the SRT training was conducted at the Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site, which
contained structures similar to those expected to be encountered. Following briefing, SRT teams practiced entry
techniques, and later, each team rehearsed their particular roles in executing the plan. Loading and unloading of
the cattle trailers were also rehearsed. Glass was inserted in window frames to enable team members who would
be breaking windows to practice proper technique, and teams which would be deploying flash/sound diversionary
devices (flashbangs) rehearsed proper deployment. Special Forces personnel at the site assisted in duplicating the
floor plans of Compound buildings with marking tape to facilitate movement and deployment exercises, and
generally assisted in creating as realistic an environment as possible.

     Once support elements arrived, the entire raid force rehearsed loading and unloading the trailers and deploying
to their assigned areas. Reportedly, after repetitive training, the raid force was able to exit the trailers in eight
seconds. The truck/trailers were also driven the same distance as the Staging Area to the Compound to determine
necessary driving time.

     SRT team members who would be ascending ladders to the second-story roof practiced deploying and climbing
them until their Team Leader was satisfied with timing and proficiency. Later, SRT team members test-fired their
weapons. Forward observers zeroed their rifles for the distances within which they would be working, and agents
who would be carrying AR-15 rifles were required to fire a qualification course.

     The time spent at Fort Hood also provided an opportunity for the Tactical Coordinator and Team Leaders to
review and refine the tactical plan. The general consensus of those participating in the training and rehearsal at
Fort Hood was that it was very helpful, and adequately prepared them for the anticipated warrant service. SRT
team leaders believed their teams were well prepared, and expressed some concern that

they were overtrained.


     The term command describes the exercise of complete authority to direct the actions of others. It also describes
those factors necessary to manage a crisis situation. Control is often confused with command, and while closely
related, the two are considered inseparable by the military (11:12). It is not unusual for a person to be in command
and not be in control. Conversely, it is possible for a person to be in control but not in command, due to the fact
that it is not possible for a person in command to control every aspect of the tactical organization he directs. This
description is especially appropriate, because the issue of command and control is perhaps the most significant area
of concern in evaluating the outcome of Operation Trojan Horse.

   Decisions Impacting the Operation

     While there were other problems of significance which occurred prior to the date of implementation (discussed
elsewhere), they are eclipsed by the command decisions which were made, and not made, on the day of the
operation. From the outset, it should be noted that nothing has been provided the evaluator which would reflect
that command personnel performed unprofessionally, or with the intention of purposely hampering the safe conduct
of the operation.

     There is no doubt that command personnel were well-intentioned, dedicated professionals, and performed their
duties and responsibilities within the limits of their capacity. However, research for this project revealed that they
were not prepared, in terms of knowledge and experience, for the assignments they were called upon to perform.
Once under way, the magnitude and size of the operation simply overwhelmed them, in spite of their extensive
efforts to "make everything work".

     Although other areas could be addressed here, the main emphasis will be placed upon decisions and actions
which directly, rather than indirectly, affected the outcome of the operation.

- When word was received from the undercover agent that David Koresh had received a telephone call, and
apparently as a result of the call, announced he knew the ATF and National Guard were coming for him, the
operation should have at least been delayed or postponed by the Incident Commander, because any chance of
surprise had been lost.

-  The decision to proceed with haste based upon the belief that surprise

wasn't necessary was ill advised. To have stood any chance of success without surprise, the raid force would have
to have been positioned at the Compound ready to proceed the minute Koresh was alerted to the raid.

- The fact that continuing surveillance revealed no activity outside the Compound prior to, and during, the
movement of the raid force from the Staging Area should have been viewed as significant, since the separation of
the men from the arms room was critical to the safe conduct of the raid. The operation should have been aborted
by the Tactical Coordinator while enroute to the Compound, if not before.

- The observation of two press vehicles in close proximity to the Compound while the raid force was enroute, when
combined with the report of inactivity outside the Compound, should have confirmed the obvious. The operation
had been compromised, and the raid should have been aborted by the Tactical Coordinator.

- The Deputy Tactical Coordinator should have questioned the initial decision to proceed with the operation, based
upon his personal interview of the undercover agent, the inactivity outside the Compound, and his observation of
press vehicles on the farm road in front of the Compound. Following the decision to proceed, since he had abort
authority, the Deputy Tactical Coordinator should have encouraged the Tactical Coordinator to abort the mission
while the raid force was enroute to the Compound.

- The fact that the described observations were all reported by the Deputy Tactical Coordinator to the Command
Post at T.S.T.I. did not relieve him from the responsibility of questioning what should have been viewed as an
inappropriate and hasty decision.

- SRT Team Leaders should have questioned the Tactical Coordinator's orders to proceed with the raid, based upon
his announcement that the Davidians knew they were coming. The Team Leaders, above all others, knew the
importance of surprise in safely carrying out their mission.

- The Incident and Deputy Incident Commanders should have remained at the T.S.T.I. Command Post, as provided
in the operational plan. They should not have accompanied the helicopters. By so doing, they seriously

reduced their decision-making ability at a critical time, and effectively eliminated their access by subordinate
supervisors. The fact that the command helicopter was struck by gunfire from the Compound and forced to land
in an adjacent field, confirms this point.

- The Tactical Coordinator should have been located inside the Forward Command Post. Because he was probably
the most knowledgeable of the entire operation, his ability to recognize significant activities at the Compound and
act upon them could have been invaluable. In addition, this location would have removed him from the additional
pressures created by accompanying the raid force.

- The Deputy Tactical Coordinator should have been assigned to accompany the raid force. This would have placed
a high level of supervision with the raid force and, in conjunction with the Tactical Coordinator, facilitated any
decisions that may have been required while enroute or following their arrival at the Compound.

- The decision to abandon the Compound once dead and wounded agents had been evacuated was unprecedented
within the evaluator's experience. Doing so caused confusion, frustration, and embarrassment to agents involved,
and created the risk that cult members might escape into the City of Waco and elsewhere, endangering the lives
of those with whom they came in contact. At the very least, forward observer positions should have been
maintained and reinforced, perhaps with an APC which had been provided by the National Guard, to contain the
situation until additional armored vehicles could be brought in to further strengthen the positions.

- The Tactical Coordinator assumed more responsibility throughout the operation than could reasonably be
managed. Although some areas were delegated to others, it seems apparent in retrospect that he was overburdened
with details that should have been the responsibility of others.

- The decision not to effect service of the search warrant at the "Mag Bag" posed a potential threat to personnel
manning the roadblock at the intersection of Loop 340 and Farm Road 2491. It is fortunate that the armed
occupants chose to make an attempt to join fellow cult members at the Compound, rather than engage roadblock
personnel in a gunfight. As related elsewhere, one of the three was killed after engaging special

agents elsewhere while enroute to the Compound, and two were taken into custody.

        Since the subsequent end of the siege at the Branch Davidian Compound on April 19, 1993, it has often, and
understandably, been asked, why, considering everything that happened prior to the attempted service of warrants
at the Compound, would anyone even entertain thoughts of proceeding with the operation? Certainly, all command
level personnel wanted the operation to succeed. Then why did they fail to recognize what now seems so obvious?
A few possible explanations include the following:

- The scope and magnitude of the operation were unprecedented and overwhelming.

- The collective lack of experience in crisis management and tactical operations made the decision-making process
more difficult.

- The large accumulation of manpower and resources created an instinctive reluctance to cancel, postpone or abort
the operation.

- The lack of another planned alternative if the raid was aborted, i.e., contain and negotiate, caused a built-in
reluctance to cancel the operation.

- The belief that something had to be done to resolve the continuing situation at the Compound.

        Whether any or all of these explanations played a role in the decision to proceed may never be known.
However, regardless of their well-intentioned reasoning, it can be said that decision makers took a calculated risk
which did not succeed.

        Finally, it must be recognized that what now appears obvious may not have been so apparent under the
pressures of command.

                           Organization and Structure

        When conducting an operational analysis, it is always easiest to identify a deficiency and attribute it to an
individual. Unfortunately, doing so fails to address why the deficiency existed in the first place. In the case of
Operation Trojan Horse, it is suggested that the root cause lies within the organization itself, specifically the
manner in which command personnel are assigned to tactical operations.

        As prescribed by the BATF National Response Plan, whenever a sector (comprised of three or more SRTs)
is activated for an operation, certain organizational requirements are mandated. Specifically, the Special Agent In
Charge (SAC) of the division within which the incident occurs is designated the Incident Commander. Other SACs
of divisions within the sector are required to provide SRT and other support, and one SAC is designated the
Deputy Incident Commander.

        The position of Tactical Coordinator is designated by the Incident Commander, and he is required to have
completed SRT training. The Tactical Coordinator is assisted by a designated Deputy Tactical Coordinator, who
must also be SRT trained. In addition, a Support Coordinator is designated by the Incident Commander, and he
in turn is authorized to designate subordinate positions to assist him; i.e., Intelligence Coordinator, Logistical
Support Supervisor, etc. The basic duties and responsibilities of each of the positions described above, as well as
those of Headquarters superior and subordinate personnel, are contained within the National Response Plan.

        This organizational (Command and Control) concept is similar in many respects to that utilized by the
majority of civilian law enforcement agencies, and, it is submitted, responsible for a myriad of problems which have
and continue to adversely affect tactical operations. If most law enforcement officers at an operational level were
to be asked what consistently caused the greatest difficulty or failure of a tactical operation in which they were
involved, the overwhelming response would be decisions made, or not made, by command personnel. This
unfortunate impediment to success in tactical operations is not necessarily prompted by an organizational concept.
Some organizational structures are better than others, and it should be recognized that the BATF model is better
than most, though ponderous in some areas.

        Rather, the problem is caused by personnel who are assigned to critical command positions by policies that
direct the designation because of rank, and not ability. Assigning command personnel in this manner presumes that
all persons of the rank required to fill the position are equally knowledgeable, experienced, and capable. This
unfortunate, and often destructive, assumption is made almost universally within the organizational structure of
American law enforcement. There is no intention on the part of the evaluator to imply that all command personnel
assigned to direct tactical operations are unqualified and incapable of so doing. This would be an absurd implication.
But by the same token, some command personnel, though highly capable and effective within other areas of law
enforcement operations, may find it difficult, if not impossible, to function effectively within the tactical
environment, where life and death decisions may have to be made with little consultation and time for
contemplation. Instead, the evaluator's intention is to strongly suggest that only those command personnel who
are qualified by virtue of training and experience and possess the proven ability to make

decisions under pressure be utilized to direct tactical operations. To do otherwise is to increase both risk and
liability, to say nothing of inviting disaster.

        Fortunately, the incidence of tragedy and failure of tactical operations has been remarkably low. But,
oftentimes, success has sadly been achieved in spite of command, not because of it. These are admittedly strong
words. However, they are uttered not out of ignorance, but instead out of sincere concern, rooted in many years
of experience at both the operational and command levels of tactical operations. Of all the decisions which are made
during crisis situations, none has more impact on a successful resolution than the selection of the commander. It
is this person who will set the tone and tempo for the actions which are to follow (11:10).

        It would be unfair to be critical of the existing BATF concept without offering alternative solutions.
Consequently, the following suggestions for organizational and structural improvement are offered for consideration.

Develop a cadre of command personnel, presumably, but not necessarily, at the SAC level who are trained in crisis
management and SRT operations, hopefully experienced (within or outside of BATF), and whose decision-making
ability under pressure is proven.
In the event of a sector operation, and presuming the affected SAC is not a member of the cadre, a SAC who is
a member would be assigned as the Incident Commander. The non-cadre SAC would assume the role of Deputy
Incident Commander, and any other sector SACs would have no command responsibility or assignment. Note: The
temptation to allow unassigned sector SACs to participate as observers at the Command Post, or elsewhere, should
be avoided. Their presence could have an adverse effect on the decision-making process, and encourage the practice
of "decision by committee", which, in the opinion of the evaluator, has little, if any, place in law enforcement tactical
operations. The obvious possibility of friction occurring between the assigned Incident Commander and the SAC
of the affected division must be anticipated, and dealt with through tact and diplomacy. Hopefully, as the benefits
of the concept are realized, acceptance will result.

2. Develop a similar cadre, presumably, but not necessarily, at the ASAC level to staff the position of Tactical
Coordinator. The same training required of the Incident Command cadre would be required of this group, but
special emphasis should be placed upon tactical operations.
The procedure for assigning these personnel would be identical to that described for the assignment of Incident

        Following initial training, both groups would be required to participate in formal in-service training, at
least quarterly.

Suggestions 1 and 2 presume the retention of division SRTs as presently constituted.

3. Develop full-time SRT teams at the sector level. These multi-functional teams would respond according to specific
written criteria, and all division offices would be mandated to request their services if the planned operation met
the stated criteria. Sector teams would not assume the day to-day responsibilities carried out by division SRT
teams. The teams would possess their own chain of command, including staffing the positions of Incident
Commander and Tactical Coordinator during activations. The affected division SAC would assume the role of
Deputy Incident Commander, and logically, his personnel would staff support positions.

Full-time sector teams would be equipped with all contemporary weapons and logistics believed necessary to carry
out their assigned mission. Their munitions inventory would include flash/sound diversionary devices and a full
range of chemical agents, as well as other less-lethal devices. Teams would be required to train a minimum of
twenty-five percent of their on-duty time (generally, once each week). This concept would include integrated
negotiation, EMS, and forward observer (countersniper) capabilities. In major metropolitan areas, where sector
teams might be required to respond, agreements should be reached with civilian law enforcement teams to reduce
the possibility of friction or jurisdictional disputes.

Implementation of full-time sector SRT teams would undoubtedly impact existing divisional teams. Although the
intention of this suggestion is not to eliminate divisional teams, availability of acceptable personnel to staff six sector
teams may well require the dissolution of most. Were this to occur, affected divisions would undoubtedly find it
necessary to rely upon local law enforcement teams for assistance in handling those situations not justifying the
request of a sector team--much as they have done in the past.

           Whether or not this concept is adopted, all SACs and ASACs should receive comprehensive training in
tactically related crisis management. Division SRT teams not dissolved in the adoption of the full-time sector team
concept should be allocated

additional training time to equal at least two times per month. Of course, if the full-time concept is not adopted,
then all division teams should receive the additional training time.

        The sophistication and perishable nature of skills necessary to perform effectively within the contemporary
tactical environment require that adequate time be allotted for their maintenance. Training conducted twice each
month should be considered the absolute minimum.

        The practice of maintaining an SRT team within one division, supervised by a Team Leader from another
should be reviewed. Although nothing was originally developed to indicate this is posing a problem, there is a
possibility that it could in the future. It is presumed this situation developed because of a void of interested or
qualified personnel within the affected divisions. Assigning a Team Leader from another division places that person
in the position of not being able to directly influence his team, except during the minimal training time presently
allotted, and actual deployment. In addition, the caseload at his division of assignment would add to the difficulties
of supervising and directing team activities.

        Also, as a part of the overall review of the SRT program, it may be of benefit to evaluate the existing
selection criteria, as well as the SRT training curriculum, to ensure they are in line with contemporary law
enforcement tactical team standards.

        Lastly, it is strongly suggested that SRT Team Leaders and Tactical Coordinators, under either the present
or modified/new system, meet at least annually with their counterparts from other Federal agencies. These
meetings could be hosted by a different agency each session, and that agency's members would be responsible for
organizing the program and scheduling presenters. These meetings would ensure that teams share information,
develop enhanced interagency cooperation, and remain contemporary within the field of tactical operations. It is
important that guest speakers from civilian law enforcement teams be periodically included as presenters, so that
attendees can share in their experience and expertise as well.

        Many additional factors and details would have to be addressed prior to implementing either of the programs
suggested, but it should be emphasized that command and control issues must be viewed as critical if maximum
effectiveness is to be realized. Adoption of any of the suggestions noted would, of course, require changes and
modifications to the existing BATF National Response Plan.


        The concept of Operations Security, or OPSEC, was defined and labeled during

the Vietnam conflict. Whether applied formally or informally, OPSEC is a process of looking at specific programs
or operations from the perspective of an adversary. Operations security is threat driven. Therefore, if there are
no perceived threats, there are no perceived vulnerabilities, and the OPSEC process is not needed (6:19).

        Like other governmental agencies, i.e., FBI, Secret Service, etc., the BATF subscribes to the OPSEC concept,
and has used it in the past. The unprecedented scope of Operation Trojan Horse clearly called for the
implementation of the OPSEC concept at all levels and phases of the operation. However, it would appear that
while everyone involved in planning and preparation believed in and supported the OPSEC process, the magnitude
and requirements of the operation often caused other priorities to take precedence. The most critical information
to be protected during Operation Trojan Horse was, of course, the fact that the BATF was going to effect service
of search and arrest warrants at the Branch Davidian Compound at a particular date and time. The following list
of possible indicators from which the Branch Davidians or their supporters could have predicted the intended
actions of the BATF expose deficiencies in the application of OPSEC principles:

- The lodging of all support personnel in Waco.
Even though personnel were scheduled to arrive at staggered dates and times, the possibility of local residents,
hotel, and other business people noticing the influx was presumably high. The City of Waco (population over
103,000) is certainly large enough to absorb the number of support personnel lodged there, especially since a
number of hotels were used. Be that as it may, their presence, combined with other indicators, may have increased
detection of the impending warrant service. Perhaps some of the support personnel could have been lodged south
of Waco, in Temple, Texas.

- Departure of the raid force from Fort Hood.
As mentioned elsewhere in this report, the long line of government and rental cars moving in convoy caused great
concern to those involved in operational planning. Buses could have been used to reduce, if not eliminate, this
concern. If for some reason this was not possible, vehicles should have been incrementally scheduled to depart Fort

- Selection of the Bellmead Staging Area.
Although the Bellmead site was spacious, convenient, and comfortable, the accumulation of vehicles, both during
arrival and after, combined with personnel dressed in tactical uniforms, had to peak the interest of anyone who
observed these activities. While it is not known if those who saw

the activity at the Staging Area were Branch Davidian members or supporters, the fact remains that this
information could have found its way to the Compound, or at the very least, local media. The utilization of bus
transportation from Fort Hood might have reduced congestion at the Bellmead site, but as suggested earlier, an
area adjacent to the T.S.T.I. Command Post might have been more secure.

- Briefing at the Waco Best Western Hotel.
The briefing conducted at the Best Western Hotel the evening of February 27, 1993, was attended by an estimated
75-100 personnel representing Federal, state, and local agencies. The location of the site, and the number of
personnel and agencies attending, would seem to reflect a high risk of detection. Operations security might have
been better served by scheduling the briefing at a law enforcement or other government facility.

- Multi-agency involvement.
There is always a risk of an inadvertent or intentional breach of security when multiple agencies become involved
in a joint operation. This is not to say that local law enforcement or civilian support agencies in Waco were
untrustworthy. The intent is only to identify possibilities.

- Meetings with the media.
The area of media involvement will be addressed separately in this report. However, suffice it to say that meetings
held with the Waco Tribune Herald were a calculated risk that violated operations security.

- FAA airspace restriction.
The evaluator has no knowledge of BATF or National Guard policy relative to the restriction of airspace prior to
an operation. If policy requires restriction, then it was necessarily followed. However, lacking a policy requirement,
it is suggested that airspace should not have been restricted. The published restriction of airspace in an area as
rural as that in which the Compound was located would seem to unnecessarily increase suspicion in the minds of
local pilots. In point of fact, one of the cult members was a pilot.

- Counter-intelligence capabilities of David Koresh.
Though perhaps not possessing a formal counter-intelligence network, there seems little doubt that David Koresh
had the capability to gather intelligence from cult members outside the Compound, as well as supporters. This
capability undoubtedly included the use of computers.

It is well established that the rural mailman, a cult member himself, was an often-used source of information.

- Contacts with local businesses.
The influx of support personnel into the Waco area created a corresponding necessity for them to utilize local
facilities, i.e., restaurants, cocktail lounges, markets, etc. Although they were cautioned about the need for
operations security, it is possible that suspicion could have been created in the minds of local patrons by something
said, or not said, by support personnel. The same can be said for local law enforcement and civilian support
personnel, who may have confided information to friends or relatives.

        By reviewing the indicators listed previously from the perspective of an adversary, it can readily be seen that
the existence of effective operations security for Operation Trojan Horse was highly unlikely.

        It is apparent that improvement in the area of OPSEC is necessary to increase the chance of success in
future sensitive operations.

                                MEDIA INVOLVEMENT

        Law enforcement activities comprise a significant portion of information released by the press, and recent
large-scale incidents, including Operation Trojan Horse, have generated a great deal of concern over how the media
covers these events. Today, networks have the technological capability to present events live--any time, any place.
The electronic media in the United States live or die by their ratings. As a result, each network wants to be the
first with the most on any big story (12:15).

        It goes without saying that there must be a cooperative effort on the part of both law enforcement and the
media to provide basic information to the public without glorifying the perpetrators of crime, jeopardizing the public
safety, or compromising tactical operations.

        In the recent past, the BATF initiated a program of selectively inviting the news media to accompany their
personnel on warrant services. This was done in the spirit of cooperation to improve and maintain a positive
relationship with the press. Long-term, sensitive investigations requiring tightly controlled security to decrease the
chance of compromise were the exception. In these situations, the media representatives were made aware of the
operation following its conclusion. This was the posture taken by the BATF for Operation Trojan Horse. A Public
Information Officer assigned for that

purpose would be responsible for preparing a press release at the conclusion of the operation, and notifying
appropriate print and electronic media.

        Unfortunately, late in the investigation it became known that the Waco Tribune Herald newspaper was
preparing to release a seven-part article on David Koresh, his followers, and their activities. Concerned that these
articles, depending upon their content, might compromise the operation, or at least cause David Koresh to become
more suspicious, the decision was made to contact the newspaper in an attempt to persuade them to delay
publication of the articles. The first meeting with the Tribune-Herald proved of little value, because the BATF
mistakenly believed the newspaper was amenable to delaying the story. A subsequent meeting a few days before
the planned raid proved equally unproductive. The Incident Commander was basically told that the seven-part
article would be published as soon as it was ready, and that the most important issue was the "public's right to
know." The position of the Waco Tribune Herald in refusing to delay publication is difficult to justify. They must
have realized the calculated risk BATF was taking by confiding in them to begin with, and since one of their
complaints was that law enforcement was doing nothing to deal with the problems at the Compound, logic would
dictate they would want to cooperate. Waiting until the warrants were served at the Compound could only
strengthen the story when it was published. Their reliance on the well-worn adage of the "public's right to know"
is without substance. They were not being asked to withhold information from the public, only to delay providing
it in the interest of safety, both of the agents involved and cult members.

        Interestingly, in an editorial published by the Tribune-Herald as a supplement to their reprint of the original
seven-part article, the Editor admitted the newspaper received information from a "confidential source" on
Saturday, February 27, that the ATF raid would take place on Sunday, February 28. He then went on to deny the
rumor that someone at the paper had alerted the Davidians about the raid on February 28 (13). It is unfortunate
that this issue cannot be explored further. However, pending litigation precludes additional discussion of the
Herald-Tribune's possible role in the outcome of Operation Trojan Horse.

        In retrospect, it seems apparent that the contacts with the Tribune-Herald should not have been made. As
a result of media involvement before, during, and subsequent to Operation Trojan Horse, and allegations of media
notification prior to the raid, the need for a review of the BATF press policy is evident.

        Previously, the necessity for cooperation between law enforcement and the media was emphasized. It must
also be emphasized that cooperation, by definition, involves a joint effort on the part of the involved entities. In
the opinion of the

evaluator, if law enforcement must concede to the media the unrestrained First Amendment right to freedom of
the press, then the media should concede that they will exercise this right in a responsible way. Unfortunately, as
Katherine Graham, Chairman of the Board of the Washington Post Company, said during an address before the
American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1986, "high standards of professionalism do not guide every media
organization nor every reporter." "And," she continued, "I regret to say that once one of these less scrupulous or
less careful people reports some piece of information, all the media feel compelled to follow. Thus it is true: The
least responsible person involved in the process could determine the level of coverage."

        It would seem that, while the public certainly does have a right to know, whomever is charged with
determining what the public is told (and it is usually the media) ought to make this determination in a responsible
manner, with due consideration for the safety and well being of those affected. As Katherine Graham concluded,
"I believe having experienced people at the helm, exercising sound judgment on the basis of high professional
standards, is the best we can ask for. But I also believe it is all we should ask for."

                                    Chapter 3



 The results of this project are believed to support the following conclusions:

1. BATF personnel involved in planning Operation Trojan Horse were dedicated, experienced law enforcement

2. Much time and effort was expended in planning and preparing for Operation Trojan Horse.

3. Planners relied upon and trusted intelligence information which, in many cases, lacked corroboration.

4. A lack of knowledge existed on the part of both command and operational personnel concerning the proper
utilization and deployment of countersniper (Forward Observer Team) personnel.

5. Insufficient attention was directed by command personnel to the Operations Security (OPSEC) process.

6. There was an apparent lack of supervision over the intelligence gathering mechanism in terms of direction,
coordination, corroboration, dissemination and control.

7. Though well intentioned, contacts initiated by command personnel with the Waco Tribune-Herald violated
basic principles of operations security.

8. No media contacts should have been initiated by BATF before the operation's conclusion.

9. Command personnel lacked experience and training in directing major tactical operations.

10. The Incident Commander should have been located at the designated command post to facilitate communication
and control.

11. Once information had been received and corroborated that the operation had

been compromised through the loss of surprise, command personnel should have aborted the mission.

12. There was no planned alternative course of action to be taken if the mission was aborted.

13. Following the negotiation of a cease fire to remove and evacuate the dead and wounded, perimeter positions
should not have been abandoned until relief personnel had assumed them.

14. Had the operation not been compromised, there was a high probability that the tactical plan would have

15. Sufficient oversight was exercised by BATF Headquarters during all phases of Operation Trojan Horse.

16. Numerous acts of heroism were displayed by the men and women of the BATF during, and subsequent to,
the extensive firefight with the Branch Davidians.


        The conclusions addressed above are believed to constitute justification for considering the following

1. Assign personnel to command positions (Incident Commander, Tactical Coordinator, Deputy Tactical Coordinator)
based upon qualifications--not rank or position.

2. Develop and provide tactical crisis management training for those assigned to these positions.

3. Explore the feasibility of selecting and training an on-call cadre of personnel with proven decision-making and
leadership ability to assume the roles of Incident Commander and Tactical Coordinator.

4. Ensure that all command and supervisory personnel understand their joint responsibility to abort an operation
if circumstances justify doing so.

5. Increase the training time of Division Special Response Teams to a minimum of twice a month.

6. Explore the feasibility of establishing regional, full-time Special Response Teams for deployment during
major operations.

7. Review and modify, as necessary, the criteria for selecting Special Response Team members.

8. Review and modify, as necessary, the curriculum of Special Response Team training.

9. Establish a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) program and formally assign EMS-trained personnel
to each Special Response Team.

10. Develop and implement a hostage negotiation program as an integral part of Special Response Team operations.

11. Evaluate existing Special Response Team equipment based on contemporary standards within the tactical
community (to include chemical agents).

12. Review the organization, structure, and functions of the Technology and Tactical Issues Committee to ensure
the timely evaluation and approval of tactical equipment and procedures.

13. Conduct meetings, at least annually, of Federal special operations team leaders and command personnel (BATF,
FBI, Marshals, Customs) to discuss past tactical analyses and contemporary procedures. Emphasize necessity for
interagency cooperation and training.

14. Ensure familiarity with guidelines related to requesting and utilizing air support.

15. Review and modify, as necessary, OPSEC training for all command and operational personnel.

16. Review and modify the media notification process.

17. Review and modify the BATF National Response Plan.

18. Pursue legislation enabling electronic surveillance and monitoring under circumstances such as existed at the
Branch Davidian Compound.

19. Empanel a committee comprised of representatives from affected BATF

entities to review these and other recommendations made by the Tactical Advisory Expert Panel.
  The purpose of objectively analyzing any tactical incident is not to be critical of another agency's performance,
but rather to learn from what occurred. The death of a comrade demands that our coordinated efforts be directed
toward reducing the recurrence of similar tragedies. Certainly, the analysis which forms the basis of this report
was conducted with the utmost care to ensure this belief was not violated. Hopefully, the results of this and other
inquiries will provide enlightened guidance, rather than restrictive policies and procedures.

  Lastly, the extensive effort expended in preparing this report is sincerely dedicated to the brave men and women
of the BATF, who found themselves at the Branch Davidian Compound on February 28, 1993, under the gravest
of circumstances.



1. Kolman, John A. A Guide to the Development of Special Weapons and Tactics Teams. Springfield, Ill.:
Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1982.

2. Plaster, John L. Maj. The Ultimate Sniper. Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press, 1993.

3. Roberts, Wes. Leadership Secrets of Atilla The Hun. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1987.


4. International Association of Chiefs of Police. A Compilation of Model Policies, Hostage/Barricaded Subject
Incidents; Concepts and Issues paper. Alexandria, Va.: I.A.C.P. 1991.


5. Ishimoto, Wade. "Intelligence Support of SWAT Operations", The Tactical Edge, (Winter, 1984), 7-11.

6. Keith, Ed. "Operations Security in the Tactical Environment", The Tactical Edge, (Summer, 1993), 19-22.

7. Rasumoff, David, M.D., and Carmona, Richard, M.D. "Inside The Perimeter", The Tactical Edge, (Winter,
1990), 56.

8. Rasumoff, David, M.D., and Carmona, Richard, M.D. "Essentials of Tactical Emergency Medical Support",
The Tactical Edge, (Summer, 1990), 55.

9. Tate, Jerry. "ATF's SRT Program", The Tactical Edge, (Spring, 1993), 38-41.

                            UNPUBLISHED WORKS

10. Higgins, Stephen E. Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government. June 9 and 10, 1993.

11. Heal, Sid. "A Scientific Approach to Tactical Decisions" . Unpublished Independent Study Project, California
State Polytechnic University at Pomona, 1993.


12. Graham, Katherine. "Terrorism and the Media", Los Angeles Daily Journal. Daily Journal Report, May 2,
1986, 10-16.

13. Lott, Bob. "Serving our obligation to a free society", Waco Tribune-Herald,
February 27 - March 1, 1993, follow-up coverage, March - May, 1993.

              A Tactical Analysis
                     of the
     Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms

      Raid of The Branch Davidian Compound
                 in Waco, Texas

                  Prepared By
                George Morrison


Although my role in the Waco Administrative Review (the "Review")
was limited to performing a critical assessment of the entry plan
and the process that created it, I am satisfied that the Review's
conduct of this aspect of the investigation was thorough,
professional and objective. I was provided with all documents and
assistance that I requested. I was also given access to those
individuals who developed the plan. It is my assumption that the
specific issues and details relative to the investigation of Mr.
David Koresh and the cult Branch Davidian compound and the decision
to conduct a tactical raid of the facility outside Waco, Texas, are
thoroughly revealed by the Treasury Department investigation team
report. Further, I assume the specific actions and participation by
personnel of the B.A.T.F. and other persons germane to the case
investigation, intelligence task, planning and tactics involved in
this incident are thoroughly documented by the investigation team

The six "Central Issues To Be Addressed By Waco Review" that was
provided to each of the tactical experts focused on the raid as to
preparation, execution, and post incident action. To address those
issues the investigation and analysis required consideration of
B.A.T.F. policy, procedures and organizational structure in place at
the time of the raid. Preliminary analysis revealed the need to
further expand the investigative scope, analysis and research to
include the supervisory and management "mind set" and individual
awareness of contemporary law enforcement standards, i.e. standard
operating procedures and accepted levels of management/organization
performance currently utilized in United States law enforcement.

The rational for expanding the investigation and for acquiring
documents relating to policy, procedure, training and organization
was to learn how such an apparent major investigation and high
profile/high risk forced entry arrest/search warrant raid received
only minimal management review, oversight and control.

The immediate issue became: Who approved the operation and by what
incident command methodology?


My first concern was to ask for the arrest and
search warrant affidavits to see whether the facts
were supported in the court documents. The second
concern was that if the court documents described
the dangerous and exigent conditions described in
the initial briefings by the Review, how did the
raid approval proceed without greater management
review and acceptable standards of command and

After additional preliminary inquiry and research by the Review it
was clear that the Review's concerns were the same as mine. Brave
and dedicated B.A.T.F. agents and supervisors were allowed or
directed to go in harm's way by substantial management and
organizational deficiencies and in some cases, an abdication of
authority and responsibility by mid and top level managers.


The incident of the February 28, 1993, raid in Waco, by the B.A.T.F.
focused national attention on Mr. David Koresh, the cult Branch
Davidian, and federal law enforcement. Fifty days after the
unsuccessful and personally tragic raid conducted by the B.A.T.F.,
the standoff between the cult leadership and federal law enforcement
concluded in an abortive assault and a virtually all-consuming fire
of the cult structure(s). The subsequent critique, investigation and
analysis of what occurred immediately before and during the B.A.T.F.
raid were conducted separately and without the benefit of personal
and physical evidence from within the cult and cult compound. The
current criminal investigation and trial will add some insight as to
the actions of cult members during the raid, but will not
substantially change the Review's documentation of the case
investigation and raid plan and execution.

In retrospect, there are several obvious critical concerns regarding
the raid plan and execution. The analysis of those concerns is
factually and emotionally impacted by the tragic 28 injuries and 4
deaths of B.A.T.F. agents who demonstrated courage and resolve when
confronted by superior firepower and a tactical reaction from the
cult members not anticipated by the raid plan.

Perhaps the primary concern is why the raid in the first place? The
question goes to the core issue of the incident review. What was the
role of B.A.T.F. management in the investigative and intelligence
gathering process leading up to the point where a decision was made
to tactically and dynamically serve an arrest\search warrant? And,
although not the primary charge of the post incident investigation,
why the apparent absence of case management standards and audits
which critically impacted the raid planning?

The investigation readily identified substantial personnel and
operational component breakdowns in several areas of day to day
B.A.T.F. operations. Whether in or out of the context of the raid, a
management/organization audit of B.A.T.F. would be in order because
of the expanding operations and role the B.A.T.F. has undertaken in
the last five to ten years. The investigation and review of the Waco
incident supports the propriety of a directive from Treasury for a
strategic plan and (in the process)

"accountability charting" for personnel and entities within the

The actual Koresh case development and review resulted in an
investigative report that did not pursue or produce an acceptable
level of intelligence and case investigation follow-up and
verification. Those deficiencies were aggravated by a "selective
investigation information summary" which was submitted to the
planners as "accurate and complete."

The absence of appropriate supervisory and management level review
for the raid plan indicated weak B.A.T.F. policy and procedure and
no definition of responsibility and authority. Probably the two
most critical observations were: 1.) the absence of evidence that a
deliberate and knowledgeable management review was made to
determine the appropriateness and exigent conditions(s) for a raid
(as opposed to alternatives), and 2.) the absence of evidence of a
"buy off" of the actual raid plan.

The critique of the raid plan requires a diligent research and
analysis of B.A.T.F. policy and procedure specifically as applied
to supervisor and management. To isolate on the planning efforts
and actions of tactical teams members (and S.R.T.s) out of context
of the B.A.T.F.'s bureau "management environment" adversely impacts
analysis and support for change recommendations.


The volume of investigations and the expansion of missions
indicates the need for a top level strategy session to insure that
the B.A.T.F. organizational structure can control the activities of
the field agents. The Bureau's activities, expectations and daily
performance of personnel appear to have exceeded the ability of the
existing management and organization structure to properly audit,
inspect, supervise and manage. The apparent unregulated and
unaudited autonomy of S.A.I.C.s allows excessive span of control
and lack of accountability.

NOTE: This was clearly evident by the work load allowed and self
imposed on the A/SAC Houston.

When this occurs on the basic and routine Bureau mission it can be
corrected, but it can become exaggerated in non-routine and
emergency operations. I firmly believe consideration of a secondary
or emergency organization modification should be advanced as a
recommendation for management realignment in major case
investigations or major tactical missions.


Specifically, the raid plan did not establish or provide for
adequate communications, command and control. The logistic support
was arbitrarily limited, denied or inadequate for the mission
objective. The tactical plan lacked contingency planning, counter
measures, readiness control and abort conditions recognition. These
observations are based on information known to the raid planners
and the acknowledged management review and approval chain.


The absence of an actual command and control concept and structure
in and of itself contributed more to the tragic results of the raid
than any other aspect of the plan and actions of the 48 hours
leading up to and including the raid and the 8 hours immediately
after the "cease-fire". The operational standards for "tactical
raid-high risk" require an effective, conditioned and flexible
command and control function to manage the incident plan, execution
and recovery. Operation standards, if understood and utilized by a
qualified command would have aborted the plan (as allegedly
prepared and approved--and as "extracted" from witness interviews
by the investigative team) at any one of several "red flags" prior
to the committed point.

The raid plan as submitted to the Review and as enhanced by
interviews indicated a disjointed assembly of component tactics and
logistic support that was not reviewed by all the key players and
decision makers.

There was no single briefing for all the supervisors of each raid
component, e.g., aviation, logistics, intelligence. Therefore, no
chance to ask questions or clarify information presented.

The communications net established for the raid was untested and as
designed did not support the alleged command and control This
defect was evident to the commanders before the raid commitment. It
was underscored during the fire fight and withdrawal. The command
element did not know what was occurring tactically prior, during or
after withdrawal commenced.

The element of surprise was totally lost prior to raid commitment
and was known to command. To compound the strategic aspect of loss
by surprise, the raid plan was not followed with regard to: 1.)
diversion element (helicopters were not on station) 2.) forward
observation posts/counter snipers (posts were not in position to
report or cover) 3.) airborne observation and communication
(communications ineffective and not on station, and

4.) departure from time table (advanced without concurrent
countermeasures and "red light" parameters to abort).

In spite of the raid plan organization chart (National Response
Plan) NO ONE PERSON WAS IN CHARGE. Mission leadership was
compromised by this critical breakdown in the standard concept of
command and control.


Intelligence was compromised from the start point of the
investigation up to and including the hour before the raid and the
ability of the command structure to effect a withdrawal and
containment of the incident site. The critical points of
intelligence control centered on the absence of analysis,
management review and operational continuity. The absence of
operational intelligence continuity negatively impacted the raid
and the withdrawal of the dead and injured.

     NOTE: The absence of management review led to a serious breach
of integrity...falsification of documents

The selection of improperly trained and conditioned personnel for
the intelligence function and the failure to debrief them
negatively impacted case preparation, raid planning and raid

The tactical team leaders went into the raid blind as to activity
and conditions. Critical operational intelligence was
"inadvertently" denied to raid planners.

NOTE: I will differ to TAG member Wade Ishimoto for an in-depth
advisor's analysis and recommendation to correct the intelligence


The logistics problems connected to the raid were evident prior to
initial planning. The SRT mission was compromised by B.A.T.F.
"policy" and a lack of adequate equipment. "Policy" must have a
provision for reasonable and top management approved exceptions,
e.g. use of automatic weapons, diversion grenades, chemical agents
and armored vehicles. Special incident managers must be trained to
ask for available equipment necessary to successfully and safely
complete a mission. That is their duty and responsibility and
should be in writing if necessary. Management review then has the
hard choice to approve or deny and to accept responsibility and
accountability for the decision which can include modification of
the tactical plan! That was not done in preparation for Waco; there
was compromise after compromise.

The arbitrary decision not to use Customs Service aircraft and
instead use Texas National Guard helicopters was a disaster in and
of itself. Customs aviation resources and experienced personnel
were ideally suited for this mission and could have contributed
substantially to the plan.

NOTE: That action further reinforces two observations. 1.) That the
raid plan was disjointed, lacked management oversight and should
have been comprehensively briefed; and 2.) B.A.T.F. needs to
incorporate the Incident Command System into major tactical plans.

The reference to an emergency medical plan was shallow, defective
and non-operational. Any competent incident manager would have
insisted and verified a medical contingency plan, particularly
considering the remote location of the raid. There was no
alternative to the need for an on-site, in-field capable, triage
trauma capability.

The weapons of choice and authorization did not consider
contingency planning for ambush, explosives and superior firepower.
The intelligence available to the planners and most certainly known
to the managers required a contingency plan. The use and deployment
of observation posts was minimized to the extent of being
ineffective. Counter sniper considerations were not adequately
presented in the plan and were never fully deployed even as
planned. That oversight was fatal.

Once again this component of planning points to ineffective
management and command and control.

     The absence of accountability charting throughout the
B.A.T.F. resulted in errors, omissions and failures in the
investigation, intelligence, approval, planning and incident
management of the Waco incident.


I will address an issue that is dependent on the summary of and
response to the investigation. I consider this a side issue because
of potential liability and internal discipline concerns.

There is an immediate need to develop and implement changes in
organizational structure, strategy and tactics, investigation case
management, logistics and accountability charting with B.A.T.F.


Upon conclusion of the investigative review, including the
observations of the tactical advisors, a concurrent task group,
composed of experienced technical and management personnel to
implement issues of critique and the recommendations to enhance the
structure and management of the B.A.T.F. should be integrated with
the current management structure. This task group would insure a
rational and prompt integration of change without disrupting
on-going operations or any personnel reorganization. Additionally,
the task group can develop and implement change without
"personality intervention."

The task group mission, guideline and tenure should be developed
and directed by the Assistant Secretary for (law enforcement).

The task group members(s) should not have operational authority or
supervision, but may have audit and inspection authority. This
recommendation would enhance continuity of the review process by
ensuring that any recommendations can be implemented immediately
upon approval by the Secretary of Treasury. The task group could be
charged with preparing responses to the Secretary of Treasury.

National Response Plan to include sub tasks of:
A. S.R.T. reorganization to include Special Operation
Capable/High Risk, Special Operations Group command, and

B. Incident Command System to provide Inter Agency
coordination, and

C. Consideration of a centralized S.R.T., and

D. A specific special incident command organizational
structure from S.A.I.C. field office to Director,
B.A.T.F., and

D. A clear, concise policy and procedure statement
approved at least at the Assistant Secretary (for law
enforcement) level.

2. Establish a supervisory and management course for:

A. Major case investigation.

B. Major incident preparation/response control.

3. Establish a supervisory/management procedures manual for case
review, approval, audit, and control including formats.

4. Review current law enforcement standards for investigative
training and administration procedures for:

A. Administrative systems and controls.
B. Review of investigative progress and report approval.
C. Report and file maintenance.
D. References to administrative systems and controls.
E. Case progress logs.
F. Daily report books.
G. Investigation activity summary.
H. Extraordinary cases/multiple law enforcement agency involved
I. Record checks, inquiries, documents, controls and inventory.
J. Due Diligence.
K. Case transfer (for cause).

5. Conduct a management seminar on interagency assets, capability
and access (to include the Director of Military Support, D.O.D.).

6. Pursue Title III application to specific major cases in

7. If not currently authorized and functional - establish an
Inspection and Control section at the Director/Assistant Director
level to audit and trouble shoot intra bureau management.

8. Under the direction of the Assistant Secretary (L.E.) and the
Director conduct a 2 or 3 day management retreat to address
B.A.T.F.'s strategic issues and future planning.

9. Consider an intra-Treasury Department (Law Enforcement)
management council and Incident Command System-Special Operations



                  John J. Murphy


Introductory Overview

       The undersigned respectfully submits an assessment of the
February 28, 1993, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms execution
of Search Warrant and Warrant for Arrest at the Branch Davidian
compound, in Waco, Texas.

      Over the last several weeks, I and five others with experience
in major city police departments or the military have met in
Washington D.C. as part of the Department of the Treasury's Waco
Administrative Review, seeking to determine what happened during the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms operation and why.

      I believe that the report the Administrative Review will be
submitting to the President will be comprehensive and impartial, and
based on a complete and thorough investigation of the events prior
to and on February 28, 1993. Ronald Noble, Assistant Secretary for
Enforcement, who has supervised the investigation, has given me and
my five colleagues complete access to the Review's work. The staff
assembled under Secretary Noble and Project Director Geoffrey
Moulton, has provided us with all interviews, reports, diagrams,
regulations, plans and the like, without hesitation and in a most
timely fashion.

     My assessment will touch upon the many issues that jumped out at
me as I reviewed information, heard from witnesses, listened to the
results of investigatory efforts, and participated in exchanges with
other panel members. It is not my intention to place blame on
particular individuals, but rather to identify critical issues and to
bring about change and improvement. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, as is appropriate, will hold its members responsible
and accountable for their actions and direction. The law enforcement
community, in my experience, has always been able to draw lessons
from tragedies and improve operations in the future. I have every
expectation that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will
move forward from this occurrence with an enhanced and enlightened
management and continue to carry out its mandate with a truly
dedicated and professional workforce.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Case

     The actions of members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms on February 28, 1993 were the result of a lengthy and in
inclusive investigation over several months that led to the issuance
of a Search Warrant for Mount Carmel Center or the Branch Davidian
compound and, a Warrant for Arrest of Vernon Wayne Howell a/k/a
"David Koresh." Special Agent Davy Aguilera, the case agent, did a
professional job in conducting the investigation and providing

the necessary information to attain the approval of a judicial
officer. The affidavit that Aguilera submitted provided a wealth of
information concerning the Branch Davidians, their leader, and their
philosophies. It also made quite clear how massive an undertaking it
would be to execute the warrants.

Foundation Issues

     Aguilera's affidavit highlighted the issues that should have
been critical to the management of the investigation and its

          - the weaponry and firepower within the compound

          - the size of and accessibility to the compound

          - the fortress-like location of the compound

          - the Messiah complex and teachings of the leader David

          - the religious cult mentality of the Branch Davidians

          - the number of innocent children, women and men of the
          cult in the compound

          - the shootout takeover by Koresh of the compound from
          former leader Roden

      Any effort to address these issues would be made more
     - by the Bureau's lack of experience in dealing with firepower
     of the magnitude expected to be present in the compound

     - by the possibility that a military solution would be needed
          in a civilian law enforcement environment

     - by the sensitivity of a religious issue

     - by the potential media and political involvement

     - by the risk that any move against the compound could turn
          into a hostage situation involving many of its

     The Bureau's hierarchy (it's "overhead"), from immediate case
supervisor to the Director, must take responsibility for not
recognizing at the outset that this was an extraordinary case,
requiring special resources and supervision. Instead, the
investigation was allowed to proceed like any ordinary case in the
field where a field-level agent is usually charged with bringing a
case to conclusion, regardless of the obstacles. In the absence of
specific direction from overhead - - which could have asked the hard
questions, demanded to know the risks of a course of action, and
insisted on possible alternatives - - this investigation moved
forward with insufficient attention to the risks presented.

      Before continuing in my comments, I think it is appropriate to
praise the professionalism and actions the members of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who came under heavy and constant
gunfire for 30 minutes. These men and women were courageous under the
most difficult and trying circumstances that members of law
enforcement can face. Their response to the firepower was measured
and proper; their energies and heroics were directed to protecting
each other and addressing their wounded comrades. The slain agents
have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of duty, which
will always be remembered, and my heartfelt condolences goes to their
families and loved ones.

      A special thanks goes to Agents Buford, King, Petrelli and
Williams who voluntarily appeared before our panel to give a
first-hand account of their involvement as Team Leaders in execut-
ing the warrants. They also gave a very candid presentation of
their roles in the investigation and particularly as the raid
planners. Their planning efforts were knowledgeable and
professional as they attempted to prepare for the many
contingencies of the operation. The training and practice at Fort
Hood was very much on target; it prepared the teams for their
mission, and most probably minimized the fatalities and injuries
sustained. When the operation went bad, there was the expected
immediate confusion.
sion. Within a short time leadership came to the front and response
to the situation became organized and fruitful.

Critical Issues
       No investigation in any law enforcement agency is able to
satisfy every objective. Mistakes will be made, issues not addressed,
and contingencies not planned for. My intention is to address those
issues that I think may have changed the outcome had they been
addressed in a different fashion. These critical comments are
designed to encourage changes in how these issues will be addressed
in future investigations and tactics. To be candid, hindsight is
easy, but it is the way to learn and move forward.


       A tremendous amount of information was developed in this case, but
it was not sufficiently analyzed or properly used in the planning of
the raid. Many red flags should have been recognized and properly
dealt with. Instead, it seems that many of these red flags were
overlooked because those planning the raid adopted a mindset that the
Compound had to be taken down, and that the only way to proceed was
with a dynamic, high-risk entry.

      The planners conducted interviews that were used to support the
raid action. Contradictory information was available from equally
knowledgeable persons, but the planners seem to have discounted or
not properly assessed it.
      As the case began to develop, it was deemed "sensitive," a
designation which should have led to better monitoring by
Headquarters to keep appropriate hierarchy informed.
     In January, 1993 the undercover house was established to obtain
intelligence and find out more about Compound routines. This critical
operation broke down and never supplied the proper information to the
planners, who selectively used what was obtained. All sides of the
compound should have been kept under surveillance. Instead, because
a proposal that agents watch utilizing bales of hay was rejected for
fear that they would be seen, the agents never had 360-degree
     Pen registers, tapes, and communication monitoring were
considered, but never came to fruition.
     Agents attempted to conduct photographic monitoring from the
undercover house and pole cameras, but they had little skill and
achieved minimum results. It should also be noted that a picture was
taken in January that showed a female pointing a rifle from a
compound door; this intelligence was never assessed.
     An undercover agent was able to gain access into the compound

on several occasions resulting in substantial intelligence, but there
was no attempt to plan a deep undercover.
      On March 6 to March 9, 1992, after Koresh mistook the SWAT
training that several police departments conducted in the area for
ATF activity, security at the compound was immediately heightened and
arms purchases substantially increased. This information was not
assessed by the planners.
      The staging area in Waco and the use of hotels violated the
basic tenets of operational security.
      The job of reviewing and assessing all intelligence and
directing the raid planning was simply too great to be given to a
single person. Instead of saddling Houston ASAC Sarabyn with all of
these responsibilities, ATF should have used a case management system
better suited to such a large operation.


      Originally, the planners attempted to use the Department of
Human Services, which was investigating child abuse allegations, to
get Koresh away from the Compound and place him under arrest; were
Koresh not present when the compound was searched, it was thought
that resistance would not occur. When the Department of Human
Services would not cooperate, this tactical approach was

dropped, and no other innovative attempts were developed. Information
and intelligence reporting that Koresh would not leave the Compound,
although not conclusively accurate, influenced the planners to look
at other options.

     The planners next looked to develop a siege plan based on the
flat terrain surrounding the compound and the consequent lack of
cover, the firepower of the Branch Davidians, and their possible use
of sentries. The siege option was eliminated because of the time and
manpower that it would require, and the fact that ATF did not have
negotiators and expertise for a siege. I also believe that the
planners' selective use of intelligence, particularly the reported
possibility of mass suicide, led them not to pursue the siege option.

      The raid planners now moved to develop a dynamic, high-risk
entry as the appropriate vehicle to execute the arrest and search
warrants and preserve evidence. They developed entry tactics
according to their interpretation of ongoing intelligence. The
planning sessions did not include Houston SAC Chojnacki or the other
SACs who had committed their Special Response Teams; once a

plan was formulated the concurrence of ATF headquarters was sought
and obtained. The plan evolved around the element of surprise and a
10 a.m. execution, even though surprise is generally achieved by
going in darkness just before light. The tactical plan called for
three Special Response Teams, each with specific assignments that
would isolate or contain everyone present in the Compound and secure
the arms room. The undercover house would observe the Compound to
insure normalcy. The undercover would enter the compound, exit an
hour before raid and report conditions. Helicopters would provide a
diversion a distance from the Compound, just prior to the arrival of
the Special Response Teams.


      The plan was well-conceived to address the intelligence
developed. If the element of surprise had been maintained, there is
every likelihood that the raid would have been successful. It should
be noted, however, that contingency plans are as critical to an
operation's success as a raid plan itself; insufficient attention was
given to contingency planning here.

Raid Implementation Analysis

     Criticism must be directed at the way the raid plan was carried
      Critical to a successful operation on this day was the element
of surprise. This advantage was not maintained because of several
important tactical shortcomings.
     Forward observers might have helped ensure that surprise was
maintained, had they been positioned to have full-circle coverage of
the Compound, and had they been given a developed plan of operation.
Observer and sniper teams should have been in place for twelve hours
prior to the raid. This kind of coverage would have allowed ATF to
see the armed Branch Davidians who apparently went to the Compound's
"spider holes" during the hour before the raid; a report that
Compound residents had taken these positions would have required that
the raid be cancelled.
     The role of the helicopters was to create a diversion
immediately prior to arrival of the raid force. Had command and
control accurately directed and communicated the diversion, firing at
the helicopters by Branch Davidians might have provided the signal
that the raid should be aborted.
     The use of Waco as the staging area and the number of media
vehicles active in the area prior to the raid should have received
careful and in-depth assessment.

      The most important occurrence on raid day was undercover Agent
Rodriguez's report from the Compound. The assessment of his
information should have mandated cancellation of the raid. The
element of surprise had been lost, and the possibility that the
Branch Davidians would seek to repulse the raid was too quickly
discounted. Rodriguez's report that no resistance was being planned
inside the Compound should not have been expected to remain valid
for very long - - certainly not for the time it would take to bring
agents to the Compound. The significance of this report and the fact
that the agents would arrive before the men were due to work in the
field were not properly considered when the issue of surprise was
     There was command and control framework in place on raid day,
but it was not sufficient to direct the operation. The Incident
Commander should have been at the command post to assess information
and make decisions from a somewhat removed perspective.

Evaluation Summary
     There were many problem areas that affected the raid and that
should have led ATF to consider alternatives to going forward.
Execution was plagued by failures in evaluating information relating
to a cult mentality, and the potential firepower in the Compound.

pound. The process used by the ATF commanders in making their
decisions illustrates the need for crisis management training.

In essence, the one major cause for this failed operation would have to
be "the human element" - - from the entire "over head" to the working
field agents of the Bureau; a combination of human errors in addressing
a monumental task can be deemed the reason for "What went wrong."

      The Bureau must address the substantial damage done to its
organization and, in particular, to the morale of its agents.
     The aftermath,

     - from the many avenues and aspects of self-inspection and

     - from the extraordinary media attention and coverage

     - and from the interest of the citizenry throughout the

mandates a complete and thorough reorganization with the objectives
of improving delivery of day-to-day operations and insuring that
such an occurrence can never happen again. The organization must be
prepared to handle another Waco investigation down the road.
Closing Comment

      I salute the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as an organization
of dedicated professionals who satisfy a most difficult mission in law
enforcement. I encourage leadership to take the members forward with heads held

                          Respectfully submitted,
                         John J. Murphy
                         Deputy Chief
                         New York City Police Department
                         Commanding Officer
                         Special Operations Division


August 23, 1993

Ronald K. Noble
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement
Department of Treasury, Room 4330
1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20220

SUBJECT: Waco Review Report

SUMMARY: The February 1993 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) raid at Waco, a failure due to
multiple causes, demonstrated a few commendable aspects, but in the main, revealed systemic defects in the
preparation, planning, and execution of multiple Special Response Team (SRT) actions. Deficiencies included: a
flawed National Response Plan; inadequate oversight for high-risk, sensitive operations; a defective tactical
intelligence training program; an inadequate selection, training and administration program for personnel engaged
in multiple SRT actions (particularly those charged with command and control responsibilities); subpar procedures
in identifying and gaining appropriate specialized military support; and inadequate intelligence gathering means
to support dangerous tactical operations. Most, if not all of these deficiencies still exist. The disastrous outcome
at Waco could have happened anywhere and can reoccur at any time. The Treasury Department, facing trends
indicating a future higher incidence rate for these types of law enforcement actions, cannot assume an improved
performance in coming, similar operations and should implement changes. Unfortunately, the review of this event
also revealed Treasury lacks analytical, enforcement focused studies, studies that could be of use as decision aids
to make changes leading to the more effective execution and management of the Department's statutory

The Department should institute immediate, interim and long term measures to increase its capacity for the safe
and professional execution of hazardous operations. This phased approach can be accompanied with a series of
studies designed to provide Treasury's decision makers and concerned Congressional committees with management
and evaluation tools to guide successive enforcement improvements. Recommended immediate measures include:
commending deserving BATF personnel; revision of the National Response Plan and gaming the result; improving
tactical intelligence training; achieving a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of military support
in domestic law enforcement efforts; and, the conduct of two studies, one designed to present options the United
States might select for reducing the public threat posed by the increasing numbers of assault weapons in civilian
hands, the other examining the benefits, dangers and past record of dynamic entry-type operations.

Recommended interim measures include: gaining Title III authority in cases involving illegal automatic weapons
or explosives; reversal of BATF's media policy and the elimination of its field public information structure; and, the
conduct of two additional studies, one aimed at defining Treasury's future law enforcement environment, the
second designed to evaluate the cost/effectiveness of Special Agent Gerald Petrilli's thoughtful April 27, 1993
suggestion to revise BATF's SRT structure.

Recommended long-term measures include: the establishment of a multi-use Department level law enforcement
response team; coordination with the Department of Justice and the Office of International Criminal Justice to
sponsor a series of multi-national law enforcement conferences aimed at gaining a better understanding of armed
cults and the newly emerging characteristics of terrorism, defining promising techniques to deal with trafficking
in illegal or black market items; and, exploring the possibilities of gaining a more accessible international criminal
justice data base.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Suggested, specific corrective actions, phased into immediate, interim
and longer term measures, are identified in bold text below. The rationale for each recommendation is provided
in following bracketed text and incorporates the undersigned's Waco Review findings and observations.

                               Immediate Measures

Commend selected BATF personnel, including J. William Buford, Gerald T. Petrilli, Curtis D. Williams, and Kenny
King, for bravery, dedication to duty and uncommon poise under fire.

[Rationale: The action at Waco involved a number of incidents where BATF personnel demonstrated an
extraordinary degree of personal courage and disregard for their own lives in the execution of their duties. The
assault team leaders were particularly conspicuous in their heroism, but there were others who risked their own
safety. For example, some agents exposed themselves to withering fire in order to administer first aid to the
wounded. These, and other acts were marked by an unusual degree of coolness and professionalism on the part
of BATF personnel. Such exemplary behavior should not go unremarked or unrewarded by the Treasury

Revise the National Response Plan, relieving Field Division Special Agents in Charge and their Assistants of tactical
command responsibilities for multiple SRT raids, temporarily replacing them with HQ BATF Special Operations
Division personnel. clarifying the division of duties between the Incident Commander and the Tactical Coordinator,
and testing the results by means of an exercise at the BATF National Command Center.

[Rationale: Field division SACs and ASACs are not selected for their abilities to conduct large scale, complex special
operations, nor do they have the time or training opportunities to become proficient in such functions. Since the
current National Response Plan directs these officers to handle such operations, it ensures, at best, an inadequate
performance at the command and control level. Hindsight analysis of the Waco incident reveals numerous mistakes
made by both the Houston Special Agent in Charge and his assistant, however, there is no indication that any other
field office within BATF was trained and prepared to produce better results. A two-week exposure to the SRT
course is insufficient to qualify an officer for the tactical command of sizeable. multi-faceted operations. By revising
the Plan to designate

HQ BATF Special Operations Division personnel to perform critical tactical command and control tasks for multiple
SRT actions, officers possessing day-to-day familiarity with such operations will be temporarily controlling the direct
application of force in these occasional events. There is no reason that the field division SAC cannot retain overall
responsibility for the action and the current title: incident commander.

This revision will have the additional effect of addressing another deficiency exposed by the Waco raid. There was
clearly a difference between what Washington-level authorities believed to be the criteria for the raid's initiation
and what officials at Waco assumed. Placing a Washington-based element in tactical command will encourage more
rigorous high-level scrutiny over the planning and execution of large-scale operations, that by their very nature
demand close attention. While this solution is not optimum, it provides a near-term fix until a more satisfactory,
long-term solution discussed below is examined and developed. Experience (2-4 multiple BATF SRT raids in the
past 2-3 years) indicates the actual implementation of this temporary recommendation will be infrequent.

The command and control sections of the National Response Plan are ambiguous. During Director Higgins'
testimony before a Congressional panel on June 9, 1993, he stated the Houston Field Division Special Agent in
Charge was the tactical commander of the raid at Waco. The three Special Response Team leaders, interviewed
by the undersigned during July 1993, stated they considered the Assistant SAC of the Houston Field Office to be
the tactical commander. This confusion can be explained by examining the portion of the National Response Plan
designating the ASAC as the "Tactical Coordinator," while charging that person with "directing" SRT employment.
Directing and coordinating are two entirely different functions. This ambiguity can be eliminated by changing the
title, "tactical coordinator," to read "tactical commander" while retaining those portions of the plan that assign the
overall responsibility for such operations to the Field Division Special Agent in Charge.

Once these changes have been made, a National Command Center exercise should be conducted to test the new
provisions, familiarize key personnel with their duties and identify the need for adjustments, if necessary. It is
recommended that appropriate Treasury Department officials participate in the exercise. In order to gain the
maximum benefit from the exercise, it is recommended that key Treasury and BATF personnel be unaware of the
its nature when play begins. Therefore, the exercise should be written, administered and evaluated by outsiders:
Department of Justice personnel, contractors, consultants or a combination of all three.]

Establish a 4-5 day required training course for Intelligence Research Specialists, a course wholly devoted to tactical

[Rationale: Among the several reasons for the failure at Waco, inadequate intelligence loomed large. In some cases,
raid planners failed to use available intelligence. For example, a pre-raid photo that might have indicated Davidian
women were trained in the use of rifles was disregarded and some film taken from the undercover house was
apparently not even developed. But, existing intelligence was not corroborated, challenged, analyzed or presented
with a view towards tactical utility. On the other hand, intelligence was rather well handled and expertly used to
establish probable cause. A review of the training for BATF intelligence

research specialists, indicated such training is primarily devoted to standard law enforcement investigative
techniques, name traces, etc., and is not sufficiently augmented with tactical intelligence techniques and procedures,
subjects of increasing value to BATF field offices. A four to five-day remedial or fundamentals course for BATF
intelligence research specialists presented by HQ BATF special operations personnel could provide the Bureau with
improved tactical intelligence practices in field offices. Some of the instruction should be devoted to camera work
and graduates of the course should be expected to pass on their camera expertise to field agents. It is suggested
the course utilize case history methods, including the incident at Waco, to demonstrate the difference between
quality and inadequate intelligence for SRT operations.]

Meet with the Director of Military Support, Department of Defense, to obtain an inventory of available military
expertise, facilities, equipment, training and augmentation to Treasury Department law enforcement agencies along
with an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of such support and the procedures to acquire such advice
and assistance, and, compare these services with what is already available within the Department.

[Rationale: The Waco incident indicated the BATF and possibly the Department of Treasury as a whole, has an
incomplete understanding of the capabilities and limitations of military support available to law enforcement
agencies. Field agents obtained advice from the 3rd Special Forces Group, a unit with no experience or particular
expertise in dynamic entry techniques or with effective communications plans associated with close quarters
assaults. A superior solution would have been to gain the advice of the Army's Delta Force, an organization that
has developed the country's best techniques for such operations. BATF SRT leaders requested, but were unable
to obtain smoke grenades, devices that would have been of high utility in masking vulnerable agents from the
Davidians' fire. Some federal officers were struck by fire from the compound as they lay wounded on the ground.
Smoke grenades should have been provided from military stocks and made available to the BATF. There is no
reason the Department cannot have some on hand, avoiding unreasonable delays. Additionally, it is likely Customs
helicopters and crews would have been of greater help than those of the Texas National Guard. There are legal
limitations placed on military personnel, including aviation crews, in support of domestic law enforcement
operations. For instance, military crews would have probably been legally prohibited from picking up the wounded
while under fire. Conversely, Customs operates under a different charter and could have made the pick-up. Then,
too, the U.S. military has a general lack of experience in this field. Gaining a better understanding of the
capabilities and limitations of available military support is essential to the Department's efforts in improving its own
capabilities--for all of its law enforcement organizations.]

Conduct a study of ways and means to minimize America's growing problem with assault weapons.

[Rationale: One of the outstanding features of and prime reasons for the BATF failure at Waco was the presence
and use of assault rifles. Indeed, it is probable that the warrant would have not been sought if Vernon Howell had
not acquired these weapons and given the clear indication that he was converting them to fire automatically. During
the initial seconds of the

attempted entry into the Davidian compound, federal officers were suddenly exposed to an overwhelming tactical
disadvantage. When Howell and his followers opened a devastating barrage of automatic fire, most officers had no
choice but to rely on basic instincts and seek cover. As the fight progressed, these officers had little opportunity
to retrieve the wounded because their own semi-automatic weapon~ could not provide the volume of covering
firepower essential to temporarily overcome the Davidians' fire. In those conditions, rescues of the exposed and
helpless could not be attempted unless a wholly unusual degree of physical courage was called upon.

The BATF policy of prohibiting its agents from using automatic weapons may be laudable, but it is not logical. The
incident at Waco will likely prove of critical importance. Howell's example (the bizarre cult association aside) is
indicative of a greater trend. Assault weapons, both pistol and rifle versions, are becoming prevalent throughout
America. These weapons have no place in sport hunting or pleasure in either their semi-automatic or fully
automatic forms. Their purpose for being is either purely military or purely criminal. They exist to gain an
advantage over an armed adversary, usually to provide suppressive fire (forcing the opponent to seek cover) in
support of the user's maneuver or escape. Their sole intended use is, therefore, combat. Growing numbers of law
enforcement officers face this threat and are at as much of a disadvantage as the BATF agents were at Waco. The
next tragedy where law enforcement officers are outgunned by them and killed will, as a matter of common sense,
provoke a drumbeat among the nation's policemen asking for automatic weapons in defense of their own lives. The
country may therefore face a ludicrous arms race between cops and criminals.

Surely, there must be a way for the federal government to, at most, ban the civilian possession of these military
tools or, at least, inhibit their sale and conversion. Such worthy goals are deserving of a serious study. It is
recommended that a firm with a strong public policy and technological background be commissioned to conduct the
study under the supervision of the Department.]

Initiate a study of past, dynamic entry-style law enforcement operations, along with a confidential survey of police
attitudes toward them so that guidelines and tips for future such operations can be identified and used, particularly
in SRT-type training.

[Rationale: There are good arguments, both for and against dynamic entry techniques in domestic law enforcement
situations. In an official setting, most law enforcement officers support such operations. However, in private, the
undersigned has often heard an opposing view from experienced officers. Reservations include the resultant "storm
trooper" image that these actions portray, especially from nationally telecast commercial programs that gain an
audience from the dramatic display of brute force. Additionally, some officers are deeply troubled by some cases
where there was great injustice done to innocents, citizens whose only fault was being in the wrong place at the
wrong time. This phenomenon appears to warrant a confidential survey of American police officers. Additionally,
there appears to be a problem with federal law enforcement actions centered on a rural crime site. During the
Waco review, this latter factor was discussed and a number of controversial past actions that bore some
resemblance to the Davidian operation were identified. A study of these actions,

one done with an examination of comparative urban incidents and sieges may yield helpful corrective measures for
use in the future. The logical setting where these lessons could be taught is in tactical police team training

                                Interim Measures

Pending the favorable outcome of a cost/effectiveness study, implement Special Agent Gerald Petrilli's April 27,
1993 Regional Special Response Teams suggestion.

[Rationale: Petrilli's suggestion involves eliminating district teams in favor of fewer regional teams and establishing
a numerical, scored system for determining when to employ a SRT. While appearing to offer a more professional
SRT capability to the Bureau while decreasing some costs and creating helpful criteria for SRT raids, Treasury and
BATF officials do not currently have enough empirical data to make a rational appraisal. What is known is that
SRT training detracts from essential man power available to Regional and District SACs in the daily execution of
their enforcement duties. If there is a relationship (as common sense would seem to indicate) between arrest and
conviction rates and available BATF special agents in the field, changes in the Bureau's SRT structure will impact
on the overall accomplishment of BATF's mission. An analytical examination of Petrilli's idea may reveal that it
is even more attractive than it appears. There may be a potential increase in BATF's effectiveness since
implementation of the proposal would release about 200 (almost half) of the Bureau's current SRT members for
continuous assignment to day-to-day field duties. Additionally, this concept would eliminate some travel and
instructional time for those agents involved in teaching duties at Ft. McClellan. These latter factors, impacting on
both the costs and effectiveness of the Bureau should be calculated and considered with other factors, such as
safety, prior to a decision. A competent, impartial analytical studies firm could produce a product that would
establish the relationship between the Bureau's effectiveness and its personnel strength directly engaged in arrests
and convictions. The study could then calculate mandays and money costs, applying these factors to Petrilli's
concept. Such a study would likely prove a valuable, rational decision aid to the BATF Director and interested
Congressional committees in this and in other difficult choices centered on the Bureau's policy alternatives.]

Review Title III laws as they apply to cases involving the illegal possession of automatic weapons or explosives,
identify why BATF rarely requests such authority, and, if necessary, propose additional legislation to the Congress.

[Rationale: BATF Director Higgins, in his testimony before Congress implied that the Bureau does not have the
authority to use this form of intelligence gathering as a matter of course in enforcing the laws BATF is charged
with. On the other hand, during the review, lawyers who were queried by the undersigned stated such authority
can be granted under current law. If there is a misty understanding of the law in Washington, there is likely only
a foggy notion of its meaning outside of the nation's capital.

Because of their unique skills, Treasury Department law enforcement organizations are often

the agencies of "last resort" in specialized, high-hazard cases. For example, both Texas law enforcement officials
and the FBI were unable to develop probable cause against Vernon Howell despite expressed Congressional and
media interest in the case. In contrast, the BATF was competent to develop probable cause against Howell--without
Title III authority. However, once that hurdle was overcome, the next step, presentation of the warrant, involved
a reasonable chance that Howell and his followers might use the illegal weapons they were suspected to possess.

This situation is typical of many BATF cases and explains why the Bureau is prone to serve warrants in similar
instances by the use of dynamic entry techniques. As the 578 SRT deployments prior to the Waco incident may
indicate, use of dynamic entry provides some promise of preserving the lives of both federal law enforcement
officers and the subjects of their investigations. But, the tragedy at Waco also points to the need for using
additional law enforcement tools. If there had been wire taps or electronic surveillance of the Davidian compound,
it is likely the actual extent of Howell's preparations to resist the raid would have been known. Several lives might
have been preserved. Although electronic surveillance constitutes another regrettable increase in the invasion of
privacy, it is not difficult to imagine other, future cases where life and limb might be saved with the use of this

Revise BATF media relations policy, abolish field public information officer positions, return the incumbents to law
enforcement duties and assign the resulting, freed-up positions to HQ BATF Special Operations Division.

Taxpayer benefits, if any, gained by the expanded, proactive BATF public relations program of the past two years
are, at best, obscure, and even if such a program had been of some demonstrable value, the pre-Waco media
environment for the Bureau was a dramatically different one from the arena the BATF finds itself in today. With
the grim video images of the failure at Waco burned into the memories of both the media and the public, the BATF
is not likely to garnish its reputation, or even present itself in the best light through the commercial style ritual
of employing its corps of public relations experts to develop close and friendly relations with local press and
broadcast functionaries. Public interests would likely be better served if the Bureau's image makers were pressed
into its ongoing struggle to safely increase arrest and conviction rates.

The Bureau might learn from the experience of the Department of Defense during the Gulf War. Following the
Vietnam War, the Armed Services, at considerable expense, developed a cadre of professionally trained public
information officers. At the outset of the Gulf War, these officers were used to put the best face on American
military efforts, appearing on national television and conducting print media interviews. Within two weeks, when
these specialists proved incapable of delivering the detail and authoritative statements the modern American media
demanded, they were replaced by senior operational staff officers, and in some instances, by field commanders.
Following this change, the U.S. Armed Services enjoyed an excellent public image. It is likely that BATF's senior
field agents are capable of conducting unaided interviews and delivering announcements with as much skill and
success as their military counterparts--at a savings to the taxpayer.

It is doubtful that the Bureau's special operations can in any way benefit from the current BATF policy of proactive
media relations. In essence, the aims of special operations elements and media organs are antithetical. A successful
special operation hinges on secrecy, surprise, and speed. A successful media effort depends on beating the
competition to publish or broadcast news to the broadest possible audience. At Waco, BATF officers, operating
under a Washington-level directive demanding proactive media relations, were unable to influence the Waco
Tribune staff in the suppression of the story about Vernon Howell and it would be unlikely to see any newsroom
abandon its reason for being to satisfy the needs of a law enforcement organization. While the undersigned has
seen or heard no proof that the relationship between the press and BATF's Houston office resulted in a
compromise of the operation, there is little doubt that such contacts can prove disastrous.

There is another reason to reverse the Bureau's proactive media policy. An aggressive policy like the current one,
inevitably results in competition with other law enforcement agencies, one-upmanship, unseemly turf battles and
unhealthy professional relationships. By adopting a style of quiet competence and substance over image, the Bureau
is apt to gradually gain the increased respect of its peers, an attitude that will undoubtedly be discovered by
discriminating journalists. As an example, the Secret Service enjoys an excellent reputation among law enforcement
agencies, the media, and the public--all the while shunning publicity.]

Initiate an analytical study to project the Department's probable law enforcement environment in
the next four to five years.

[Rationale: (Note: The following unsolicited comments may be considered outside the immediate considerations
of the events in Waco.) Institutional modifications, influenced by a reasonable projection of tomorrow's conditions,
are superior to those anchored in past events. Any changes in BATF's methods of operation, staffing or procedures
are likely to affect other law enforcement elements under the purview of the Treasury Department. Customs,
BATF and the Secret Service often augment one another and any action that focuses on one of the agencies takes
essential oversight and administration from the other two. Thus the potential impact of changes in one bureau
should be considered in the light of possible future effects on the others. Additionally, although outyear and even
next week's events cannot be accurately predicted, decision makers are apt to make better changes if they are
aware of trends and alternative futures.

The undersigned was unable to find any law enforcement futures studies within the BATF and was given the
indication there were no such studies of a recent nature within Treasury. A cursory analysis of the Department's
areas of law enforcement interest indicates an ominous growth of Treasury related criminal activity and a dramatic
rise in likely legislation that will substantially increase the Department's policing workload:

     - The nature of terrorism appears to be changing. During the Cold War era, terrorist organizations were often
state supported, foreign governments supplying explosives, weapons, instructions and training. As the recent New
York City World Trade Center bombing demonstrated, terrorists may now have to rely on their own initiatives to
acquire weapons or manufacture explosives. The FBI will undoubtedly

remain as the country's lead agency and first line of defense against domestic terrorism. But the BATF may well
play a growing role in identifying terrorist activity, albeit in some cases inadvertently. Additionally, the Trade
Center incident showed the modern terrorist has a bent for political assassination, a phenomenon that was mostly
avoided during the Cold War due to tacit, unwritten agreements between competing nations. This new and
alarming situation could well make the duties of the Secret Service even more difficult than they already are.

     - Hate crimes are on the increase, particularly those associated with the country's rapidly expanding skinhead
groups. The Anti Defamation League states 78 percent of all hate murders during the past six years have occurred
in the last three. And, the Alabama based Klanwatch claims the majority of racist violence is now caused by
skinheads. While this criminal activity is another responsibility of the FBI, there is a greater likelihood that the
BATF will, as a normal matter, be involved. The FBI's traditional adversaries in this arena, members of the Ku
Klux Klan, rarely resorted to automatic weapons--skinheads are a different breed and the BATF is likely to be
increasingly involved in these types of investigations and arrests.

     - It is now clear that Customs' role in waging part of America's drug war is larger than previously thought. No
one knows for certain the precise means by which illegal drugs are imported, but any number of recent indicators
point to substantial deliveries under the guise of commercial, cross-border trade. High-ranking military officers have
stated that less than five percent of illegal drug traffic pass through the nation's air defense zones and seaborne
interceptions have all but vanished. On the other hand, the two largest illegal drug finds in the nation's history
were both associated with large capacity trucks that entered the United States from Mexico, through Customs
inspection points. Commercial truck traffic through these Southern border facilities has grown five-fold in the past
six years, and that growth continues. Since $500 worth of cocaine or heroin in Mexico can fetch $100,000 in the
United States, there is no end of incentives to increase this illicit trade. In June, 200 lbs of cocaine concealed in
a Columbian shipment of bananas was brought to the attention of Florida based Custom's officers by a commercial
vendor. Drug traffickers often protect their goods with heavy weaponry, therefore the work of Customs may be
more hazardous in future than in the past.

     - BATF officials state there have been few necessary enforcement actions associated with the Bureau's tobacco
responsibilities, but that happy circumstance may soon disappear. The July confrontation between the Paugussett
Indian tribe and the State of Connecticut over the State's right to collect a 47 cent per-pack tax on cigarettes may
be a harbinger of things to come for federal officials. The Connecticut

confrontation was an armed one, the tribal chief and his AK-47 toting guards were determined to protect their
growing cigarette business, growth due to a $4.00 per-carton savings for his customers. Apparently, there is already
enough profit in defying the law on cigarette taxes to risk arrest. It is all but certain that the Congress will pass
a heavy cigarette tax in the fall in order to partially off-set the cost of the forthcoming national health legislation,
a cost that some estimate will amount to about $50 billion in increased annual federal outlays. Estimates for the
add-on federal tax on cigarettes range from $1.00 to $1.75 a-pack. A rough estimate of Treasury's take from this
new levy is from $15 to $20 billion per year. Therefore, BATF's ability to enforce the tobacco sales statutes will
assume a wholly new significance in the near future. It is likely some of the country's 50-60 million smokers will
support criminal, tax-free trade in tobacco when the new federal cigarette tax takes effect. BATF's work and its
need for resources is bound to expand.

    - Another sin tax associated with the coming health bill, an increase in the federal levy on alcoholic beverages,
is also probable. Since there is considerable resistance to a beer add-on, the bulk of this tax is likely to fall on
spirits, another BATF concern. The manufacture of and trade in illegal whiskey has traditionally been protected
by weapons in the United States, and there is no reason to expect that this age-old American custom will not
continue--and, flourish. It would be naive to believe that the federal campaign against moonshiners is not about
to enter a new chapter.

     - Finally, there is the matter of guns themselves. A Spring, 1993 national poll provided what the pollster, Louis
Harris, described as the first firm indication that the country is now prepared for significant, new federal firearms
legislation. The incident at Waco may have had something to do with this change in public attitude. Currently, there
are eight pieces of proposed legislation in the Congress. Most tax ammunition and firearms, some as much as 1000
percent. One is keyed to the emerging national health bill, raising the cost of guns by imposing a 20 percent tax,
collections neatly destined for the nation's trauma centers. Whatever the results, in the end, Treasury will be
charged with enforcement.

In the case of the above mentioned likely legislation, the Department should be in a position to advise lawmakers
of the impact such legislation will have on Treasury's ability to enforce the laws, ideally before such legislation is
passed. Such a study should be conducted in the light of the changing nature of crime in America, not only to better
advise lawmakers, but to serve Treasury Department decision makers as they adjust the duties, procedures and
methods of operation within the Department's law enforcement organizations. Any number of competent firms can
produce such a study within a period of 60 to 90 days for as little as

$200,000, a paltry sum considering what is at stake.]

                               Long-Term Measures

Create a full-time, Treasury-wide recruited, Treasury controlled, multi-purpose response team of
50-60 members that will conduct the Department's high-risk, high-profile, complex and dangerous
law enforcement operations and other assigned tasks.

[Rationale: There are better ways to conduct large-scale, complicated special operations than the methods used
in February. The Waco incident clearly demonstrated the hazards of employing part-time special operations
personnel in a large-scale, difficult operation. Although the agents at Waco had conducted long hours of rehearsals
at Ft. Hood, interviews with some of the participants indicated their understanding of specific duties and the overall
concept was a bit vague. Response team members that work together on a full-time basis would have likely been
more cognizant of the plan and its individual parts. The Waco debacle was not only costly in human life, the action
and its aftermath was terribly costly in dollar terms to the U.S. taxpayer. Rather than ignore the possibilities of
repeat performances, it would be advisable to invest in a solution that promises improved execution in these
operations. People whose day-to-day duties are aimed at special operations have a better opportunity to conduct
well planned, expertly controlled actions than those who can only devote a part of their time to such efforts. And,
well planned, expertly controlled actions have a better chance of success than operations conceived and executed
in an ad hoc fashion by people who may never have worked together before.

A high-profile, sensitive operation is best developed and controlled from the beginning by high level authorities--in
the end, it is they who will be held accountable. The raid at Waco, involving sizeable numbers of both women and
children, the delicate matter of religion, issues of child sexual abuse, polygamy and the presence of large numbers
of illegal automatic weapons and explosives, had headlines-grabbing, national-level significance from its very
inception. Yet, it was handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as a regional concern, deserving of
only a cursory notification to responsible Treasury officers on the eve of execution. When the advisability of the
raid was raised at Treasury, a hasty series of phone calls between officials resulted in confusion over what
constituted the criteria for the raid's initiation. A superior arrangement would have Treasury officials involved at
a much earlier stage. Placement of the responsibility to execute the National Response Plan at a higher level within
the national administration will ensure such operations are developed and controlled with a more appropriate level
of oversight.

The Department should consider the U.S. Army's experience in creating a satisfactory counterterrorist capability
in developing Treasury's own organization to execute large-scale, high-profile law enforcement operations. Initially,
in the mid-1970s, the Army's counterterrorist force was a single Special Forces battalion, a unit that had several
other responsibilities. That inadequate solution was quickly discarded and the choice of placing the responsibility
with a larger unit, a Special Forces Group, was made. Later, this, too, was cast aside and an organization with
Army-wide recruiting authority, one controlled and overseen at a much higher level was finally selected. At each
successive step in this process, the organization

gained a better opportunity to select from a wider range of talent. And, at each step, time consuming,
confusion-producing levels of command and control were eliminated. The end result provides the country with a
full-time, highly capable team whose characteristics and operations are in full view of the officials who must bear
the responsibility for the team's support and employment.

A full-time Treasury response team would provide the Department with more options in situations such as the one
at Waco. One of the unadmitted, but obvious determinants that influenced the Incident Commander and his
assistant to initiate the assault despite learning the raid was expected, was that changing the approach to a siege
would deprive much of the American Southwest of BATF manpower for an undetermined length of time. A
full-time response team, with no other compelling duties, would be more likely to opt for a siege if the tactical
situation lent itself to that solution. A part-time special operations force does well if it can master the fundamentals
of dynamic entry--a technique that was fully developed by counterterrorist teams in the 1970s. This technique relies
on an overpowering, surprise, simultaneous assault staged through multiple entry points. A full-time special
operations force is likely to have mastered dynamic entry and have more options such as selective, clandestine
penetration of critical areas, up its sleeve. A full-time team is more apt to develop ruses and lures to accomplish
missions without resorting to either chancy armed assaults or lengthy, expensive sieges.

A full-time response team will be able to use better technology and weaponry than a part-time team is capable of
handling. For example, when the Waco assault team leaders were asked about the possibility of BATF using
automatic weapons to even the odds in special circum stances, they stated they would not recommend such a
practice for a variety of reasons--one of which was that SRT personnel do not have the essential firing practice time
to gain proficiency. A full-time team would not have that limitation. SRTs do not have the capability to use low
order, non-fragmenting explosives for shock entry, a highly effective technique that gains an initial advantage for
assault elements at an extremely critical moment. A full-time team would have that edge--and more.

A full-time team would be more likely to ensure that the principles of operational security are observed in the
conduct of planning and preparing for an action. At Waco, there were countless opportunities for Vernon Howell
to learn of the impending assault: interviews with family members of Davidians during the investigative phase that
may have provoked phone calls to the compound; contacts with the media; coordination with a variety of local
agencies, law enforcement and otherwise, any one of which could have compromised the operation; the large
number of support personnel that arrived in Waco long prior to the arrival of the assault teams; and, pre-assault
radio transmissions, some of which were in the clear. Additionally, there was no officer who had operational security
as his or her sole function. A full-time team would have such a person or persons, vested with authority to take
immediate, corrective action to prevent compromise.

A full-time Treasury response team need not be a seldom-used, single purpose organization and it need not be of
the size that was used at Waco. It could and should have multiple tasks and responsibilities. For example, once it
is organized, equipped and trained, it should have the responsibility to train BATF's SRTs, relieving current
instructors who must temporarily abandon pressing duties in their own regions and districts. It should be forward
deployed and

placed at the disposal of the Secret Service when the President or other Treasury protectees are exposed to
potential danger. It should be employed as a back-up or augmentation force for Customs' more difficult operations.
Also, Treasury should make this force available when the Justice Department's law enforcement elements, the FBI,
DEA and the Marshal's Service are in need of assistance, particularly when Treasury-specific expertise is required.
And, if sizeable manpower is required, on the scale of that used at Waco, it could be augmented by BATF's SRTs.]

In conjunction with the Department of Justice and the Office of International Criminal Justice, sponsor a series
of international conferences on law enforcement actions against armed cults, the changing face of terrorism, the
control of automatic weapons and explosives, the suppression of trade in illegal drugs, tobacco and liquor, and
improvements in obtaining information on international criminals and suspects.

[Rationale: The United States Government should not consider its experience with such groups as the Davidians
or skinheads as unique. Nor should it attempt to only learn from its own experience in dealing with terrorists,
automatic weapons, and illegal substances. Additionally, the WACO experience as well as the Trade Center
bombing, involving a number of aliens, pointed once again to the inescapable fact that law enforcement officers in
America are increasingly dependent on international assistance and information. The federal government should
be interested in a more accessible international data base on criminals and their activities. It should share its
experience and needs with its friends and allies abroad and learn from their ideas, mistakes and proven techniques.
The Chicago-based Office of International Criminal Justice, a non-profit organization with offices in several foreign
countries, is well qualified to administer and manage international conferences devoted to these subjects, bringing
to the U.S. any number of foreign law enforcement experts as speakers. OICJ conducts approximately six such
conferences on a wide range of criminal justice subjects per year, often publishing conference papers.]

                                   End Report

   Rod Paschall




                          WACO REVIEW COMMITTEE

          On February 28, 1993 one of if not THE most difficult undertakings
in law enforcement history was conducted in Waco, Texas. On that day members
of various Special Response Teams of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms were joined together in an effort to carry out the mandates of the
U.S. District Court of Texas and arrest Vernon Wayne Howell, A.K.A. David
Koresh. A.T.F. members were also directed to search for and seize illegal
weapons and explosive devices as per a search warrant on the 77 acre Branch
Davidian compound which this male controlled. Personally, I am not aware of a
bigger, more complex and difficult assignment in police work.

                        CASE HISTORY - AN OVERVIEW

          The events of February 28, 1993 were the result of an exhaustive
investigation which began with a case referral by Chief Deputy Dan Weyenberg
of the McLennan County Sheriff's office to the Bureau of A.T.F. in late May of
1992. As the case progressed A.T.F. agents came to know that Howell was in the
process of purchasing an enormous amount of firearms, weapons and ammunition.
Based on their experience and further investigation, they came to the
realization that Howell was engaged in the unlawful manufacture and possession
of explosive devices and machine guns. This entire cache of arms and munitions
was believed to be stockpiled at his Mount Carmel compound in Waco, Texas. The
matter was complicated by several other factors. The subject had a prior
history of violent behavior. He was also the leader of a religious cult. The
Branch Davidian compound which Howell operated was known to be inhabited by a
sizeable number of followers consisting of men, women and children.

          As the investigation progressed through the initial stage, it became
apparent that this was to become a unique case. Shortly thereafter it became
a headquarters monitored case.


          Initially the plan called for some type of ruse to be used in an
effort to lure Howell and as many of his leaders as possible away from the
compound where they would be taken into custody. It was felt that, with Koresh
under arrest, there would not be a strong influence for cult members to resist
law enforcement personnel in the execution of the warrant. The objective was
then to safely enter the Mount Carmel Center and a second location called the
"Mag Bag" to search for evidence of the manufacture of explosives and machine
guns. Unfortunately, "information, observation and intelligence" determined
Koresh had not left the compound in months and was not planning to leave his
Davidian stronghold. With this in mind, attempts to apprehend Koresh away from
his base of power were terminated.

          SIEGE PLAN

          In late December of 1992 discussion was given to the formalization
of a SIEGE PLAN. Several ex-cult members were interviewed. Intelligence was
gathered relative to the firearms and military training given to members of the
compound as well as any alert system, defensive positions and fortifications.
Inquiries were also made relative to an area called "The Tower" on the
compound. Questions were asked relative to Koresh's expected reaction to a
potential siege. Interviews revealed that Koresh had a deep hatred for A.T.F.
He did not wish to go to jail. He repeatedly had boasted he had enough
provisions on hand to sustain members for three months. Some ex-cult members
believed that a mass suicide was a definite possibility. With the belief that
Koresh was prepared to remain inside of his bunker indefinitely, the prospect
of mass suicide, and the possibility of a long standoff ultimately ending with
a massive display of force, the concept of surrounding the compound and
announcing their intention to enforce a warrant was discarded by A.T.F. agents.

          Due to the likelihood of a prolonged standoff with heavily armed cult
members, and the fear of a mass suicide in the event of a siege, A.T.F. members
began developing a TACTICAL PLAN. Agents began to compile "facts" relative to
the daily routine within the compound. Intelligence discovered that, unlike
times in the past, there presently were no guards on duty within the compound.
It was also determined that "The Tower" was not used for surveillance purposes.
Reportedly it was a area where women and children slept in addition to the
second floor. Male cult members were restricted to and slept on the first
floor. Agents learned of the presence of an armory on the second floor. This
location was next to Howell's bedroom and reportedly contained the bulk of all

stored on the compound. It was believed this section would be locked to prevent
children or mutinous cult members from gaining admittance and obtaining
weapons.  Intelligence determined members would arise around 6:00 a.m., have
breakfast, then attend a worship service between the hours of 8:00 to 10:00
a.m. After the prayer session ended, the women would care for the children as
the men, weather permitting, would begin working outside in a pit area,
unarmed. This work area was at the opposite side of the compound from the


          On January 11, 1993 an undercover surveillance house was established
by the Bureau of A.T.F. It was situated across from the long driveway which led
into the compound itself. Originally, it was scheduled to be in operation for
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The case agent requested that the eight man team
assigned to the house document significant events as well as the traffic coming
and going through the compound. It was hoped surveillance would aid in the
identification of persons frequenting or living in the compound as well as
establish day-to-day activities and patterns. It was hoped that an undercover
agent could be introduced, gain entry and begin to frequent the Davidian
leader's stronghold. This becomes a reality when on January 28, 1993 an
undercover agent establishes rapport with Vernon Howell himself.


          The tactical plan called for three Special Response Teams of A.T.F.
to be used in this operation. The enormity of the undertaking dictates that a
newly developed and as yet untested A.T.F. National Response Plan would go into
effect. Rather than conduct the raid under cover of darkness (during early
morning hours), the plan centers on the information relative to activities at
10:00 a.m. During this time the men will be separated from the weapons as they
work in the outside pit area.

          The plan would begin prior to entering the compound with the
placement of forward observer/sniper teams. One team would be placed in an area
north of the compound. Another team would be placed in the undercover house.
This was also the best spot available to monitor activities in both the front
of the compound and the pit area. The placement of a third team was eliminated
due to fear of discovery prior to the raid because of the 10:00 a.m. hour.

          On the morning of the raid the undercover agent was to gain
admittance to the compound. Once in place he was to make observations, look for
weapons and determine the readiness of cult members. Upon leaving the compound
the undercover would report these results back to a supervisor in the

undercover house and to the Tactical Coordinator of the raid. If it was
determined to be "business as usual" in the compound, the green light would be
given for the raid to commence.

          As SRT members approached the scene a helicopter diversion would be
staged. This event would take place in a distant area of the compound on the
opposite side of the main road leading into the Mount Carmel Center. The
diversion would be visible to cult members working in the outside pit area.
With all observers on the alert looking for a display of weapons or unusual
activity by cult members, agents would be transported to the compound
surreptitiously in horse trailers. These trailers were commonly used in this
part of the country and should not arouse suspicion.

          After receiving an all clear signal from the Deputy Tactical
Coordinator in the undercover house, all members would converge on the compound
armed with the element of surprise.

          The Houston SRT Team would exit the cattle trailers, enter the front
of the compound and clear it. It was also their function to clear the pit area
and take control of the men in this work area before they could reach any

          The Dallas SRT Team was responsible for entering the front door of
the compound and securing the second floor except for Koresh's quarters. They
were also to clear the towers.

          The New Orleans SRT Team had dual roles. Half the team would enter
the compound from the front door. They would clear and pass through the chapel,
go up the stairs, secure the arms room and the adjacent bedroom belonging to
Koresh. The second part of the team would exit the trailers, ascend ladders and
climb to the roof of the compound. At this point authorized personnel would
toss a distraction device into the arms room prior to entering and secure it
as well as the rear storage room. However, since the undercover couldn't
confirm the existence of an inside stairwell, the plan was changed. The entire
New Orleans team entered the east side of the dwelling and second floor roof
by ladder in an effort to enter Koresh's bedroom and adjacent armory

          Ideally, if all went according to the script, all SRT teams would be
able to "exit the transportation vehicles in eight seconds, get into position
and make entry at the front door in approximately 33 seconds." By catching cult
members completely off guard, highly trained and equipped A.T.F. members felt
they could safely take control of the compound and its inhabitants without

          That, basically, was the Plan. Had the events of February 28, 1993
ended peacefully, few people would have ever heard of or known the story of
David Koresh and his Davidian

cult members in a compound in Waco, Texas. From the exhaustive information put
together by the investigation team, as well as interviews conducted by the
review panel, I would like to discuss some topics and offer some opinions and
suggestions relative to the warrant execution on that day. It is hoped that all
law enforcement personnel will gain additional insight and understanding as the
events of Waco are studied.

          Many questions have been raised in the aftermath of the law
enforcement activities at Waco, Texas. One of the most perplexing is whether
ANY law enforcement agency is adequately prepared to handle a similar
assignment. I cannot answer that question. I can only caution against the
thought of military intervention in a like situation. Unlike the military, in
civilian law enforcement there can never be consideration given to any
acceptable casualty losses. Occurrences of this type are nightmares for every
police planner, manager and chief.


          After dissecting A.T.F.'s involvement with the Vernon Howell
investigation, it is my feeling that the raid on the Mount Carmel Center was
doomed to fail even before the first highly trained SRT member stepped out of
the cattle trailers on February 28, 1993.

          One of the key ingredients to any successful plan is intelligence
gathering. Good, sound, correct and up to the minute information is essential
for any raid plan, not to mention the mammoth undertaking in Waco. This was an
area in need of major improvement in the A.F.T. investigation.

          It is my opinion that the case agent did his homework. I believe he
conducted as thorough an investigation as was possible within the bureaucratic
framework at A.T.F. There was mention of the fact that he only had five years
experience in investigations and that this was his first big case. The fact
remains, he developed the investigation and obtained critical information to
substantiate probable cause, which led to the arrest warrant for Howell and
search warrants for the compound and the "Mag Bag."

          There was, however, a lot of missing information and poor
intelligence gathered before the raid and on the raid day itself. Added to this
was the fact that vital intelligence was overlooked, discarded or not used.
This information was obtained by a host of A.T.F. personnel.

          Examples of this can be seen when former cult members are interviewed
and, apparently, much if not all of their statements are reported to be facts.
No thought is given to the idea that these ex-cult members had been away from

compound for some time, or to their individual biases, or if they had an ax to
grind with present cult members.

          Another weak link in the investigation was the undercover house set
up to monitor and track cult activities. From the beginning we learn agents
assigned do not have a strong sense of mission. Team members were
inexperienced, had no direction or supervisor. They state they did not know
what to look for or what was expected of them. Did they ask?

          Originally the undercover house was intended to operate on a full
time basis. Within a short period it appears as if the undercover agents adjust
observation times on their own. There is no 24-hour watch. Agents fail to see
Howell one critical time as he left the compound. Surveillance equipment is
faulty or misused. Members report there are 75 members living in the compound.
The fact is 127 people are present on the day of the raid. A supervisor is
brought in to take charge of operations but little changes. Why? Little useful
information is gained from efforts prior to undercover agent Rodriguez making
contact with the compound leader.

          On the day of the raid Agent Rodriguez gets into the compound and
exits after hearing Koresh say "A.T.F. and the National Guard are coming. They
won't get me, they'll never get me." The undercover reports this and other
useful information to the Deputy Tactical Coordinator at the undercover house.
Rodriguez is instructed to call and brief the Tactical Coordinator at the rear
command post. After asking the undercover several sterile questions, the
Tactical Coordinator consults with the Incident Commander and another
supervisory agent, then decides to speed the raid up. He disregards all the
significant factors to the plan and accelerates its timetable which was based
on 10:00 a.m. as being the point for entry into the compound. SRT members are
instructed to dress quickly for their assignment. They are loaded onto cattle
trailers and rushed to the compound.

          During this time radio communications begin to break down within the
raiding party. The helicopters get to the scene behind schedule. A group of
observers are not in place. Added to this is the fact that forward observers
at the undercover house are unfamiliar with the daily routine in the compound.
They don't know what to look for. They fail to recognize that no signs of life
or movement by cult members means danger. They do not report back that there
are no men working in the pit. That was the critical element of the plan,
SURPRISE, and the ability to separate the men from the weapons. All is lost.

          As all this is happening, the leaders of the raid have inadvertently
quarantined themselves from any new information. They assume tactically
incorrect positions. They

are not centralized. This helped make the coordination of efforts very
difficult. As the response teams roll up to the front of the compound they are
sitting ducks. Had it not been for the extensive training which members
received at Fort Hood in preparation for this event, I feel many more agents
would have been killed or injured.

          Questions have been asked in the days since the initial raid on the
compound. Was the plan sound? Was there consideration given to alternatives?
Was the choice for a dynamic entry a reasonable call?

          Based on my 25 years of experience with the New York City Police
Department, if all the given facts which led to the decision to conduct the
entry were true, I believe the plan had a reasonable chance of success. Members
considered alternatives, but their "FACTS" led them to believe a raid on the
compound could be successfully achieved. Strictly as a Monday morning
quarterback, I would have opted for a siege plan. It should be noted that a
plan of this nature was ultimately unsuccessful in Waco.

          I believe the three-day training and other preparation conceived at
Fort Hood was excellent and well thought out. Improvement in tactical
situations by all members concerned was evident as displayed in the training

          I disagree with A.T.F.'s policy of using the Tactical Coordinators
as investigators to gain information from cult members. It put them too close
to the case. I believe they lost objectivity relative to the plan. Had the
investigation been done by others, tactical leaders would have questioned these
so-called "facts" more closely. The decision to siege or go tactical should not
be decided solely by tactical members. They are the can do, must do when all
else fails people of the organization. It should be their responsibility to
formulate a plan which should be analyzed, scrutinized and questioned by
supervisors from above before sanctioning it. This acts as a check valve and
ensures that those putting the plan together have all the facts available and
that the plan holds up when challenged.

          Other major flaws with this case were the way members became
desensitized to the amount of arms which were reportedly in the compound and
this group's fanatic hatred of A.T.F. Supervising agents failed to either
realize or appreciate the magnitude of firepower that they would be up against
if a fire fight erupted. Early in the case this investigation was marked
"sensitive." This designation meant that A.T.F. Headquarters would
automatically begin monitoring its progress. Surprisingly, there was little
input or direction from above. Nobody up or down the supervisory chain of
command asked tough or unpopular questions relative to the plan. No one

its poor case management, the improper utilization of surveillance equipment
or the availability of other resources. Could agents get a warrant and put a
tap on phones in the compound? Could A.T.F. not monitor CB communications
coming and going to the center? No one decided to ask for or send in
specialists when called for. The final decision to go/no go was ultimately left
in the overtaxed hands of the Tactical Coordinator. As the decision to go
forward progressed, leaders failed to properly evaluate the information learned
from Agent Rodriguez. They failed to recognize that the element of surprise and
its tactical significance had been lost. They underestimated their target and
his unseen ambush by overestimating the intimidating appearance of 86 agents
dressed in full SWAT gear.

          No discussion of the events of February 28th could be complete
without mention of problems encountered with the media. On December 15, 1992
case agent Aguilera learned the Waco Tribune-Herald was obtaining information
about the cult, its leader and the Davidian compound for a possible article.
As time went on, members of A.T.F. attempted to persuade Tribune officials to
delay publication of an upcoming series featuring the cult, citing the ongoing
investigation and likelihood of a potential raid. Not only did the paper refuse
to comply, but the first article "The Sinful Messiah" appeared a day before the
actual raid.

          On the day of the raid at least seven media vehicles were in the
vicinity of the compound. The Texas Rangers report of investigation details how
a reporter unwittingly leaked details of a potential A.T.F. raid to a cult
member who returned to the compound and alerted Koresh.


          In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr. Ronald K. Noble, Assistant
Secretary for Enforcement, for the leadership, candor and enthusiasm which he
brought to his position. Congratulations go to all members of his team for
their varied skills, straight forwardness and dedication to duty during the
arduous task of gathering the information for the review panel. A word of
praise as well for fellow members of the review panel. It was an honor and
privilege to serve with persons of such varied backgrounds, experience and

          It is always easier to criticize, second guess and punch holes into
a plan rather than construct one. No plan is or will ever be perfect. Under
pressure mistakes were made. Enough cannot be said for the courage and
fortitude exhibited

by all A.T.F. members who risked their lives at a previously unknown compound
in Texas. Despite this incident, there can be no doubt why the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is thought of so highly by the law enforcement

          My extreme gratitude goes to those members from A.T.F. who
volunteered to meet with and discuss openly and freely the events of Waco with
the review panel. To my knowledge this was an unprecedented event. Their wish
and mine is that lessons can be learned from this tragic incident and that the
mistakes made will not be repeated in the future.

          The events in Waco should bring about a change in philosophy and
create interaction between federal, state and local law enforcement and
encourage the sharing of ideas equipment and training which will be beneficial
to all.

Appendix B

Explosives Experts

            (alphabetically by author)

                Paul W. Cooper

             Joseph T. Kennedy

RELATED to the

Paul W. Cooper
August 5, 1993


A review was made of documents describing items and materials purported to have been delivered to the
Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas. These items and materials could, in the author's opinion, be
combined in any of several ways to construct explosive destructive devices. It is shown that abundant literature
is readily available which instructs the reader in the fabrication and use of such devices. It is further shown
that in the United States, each year, a great number of such devices have actually been illegally fabricated and
used, as reported by both the BATF and the FBI.


This report is in response to three major questions which were posed to me by the Waco Administrative
Review(Ref 1). These were (in reference to materials/chemicals contained in an ATF Report of
1. "Do any of these entities when combined, in any manner or quantity, constitute an explosive?"
2. "From your experience, could any of these entities when combined, in any manner or quantity, be utilized as
an explosive in an improvised explosive device?"
3. "From your experience, what explosive or improvised explosive devices could be manufactured from the
referenced entities?"

In addition to these questions, I will add three others:
4. How many explosive devices (re: question 3) could be manufactured from the referenced entities?
5. If the referenced entities could be made into an explosive device, would the methods of doing that exist as
reference or instructional material, and if so, how available are such instructional materials?
6. Have explosive mixtures and/or improvised explosive devices which could be fabricated from the reference
entities and described in the available instructional literature ever actually been made and or used?

The report which follows will first discuss the referenced entities, and then answer each question in technical


The materials/chemicals described above as the reference entities and which are pertinent to the making of
explosives and explosive devices (quoted from Reference 2) are:

1. "Large quantity of black powder. "
(In reference 3 this is described as "black gun powder", and also is given as 40 to 50 pounds. This may be
smokeless gun powder and not black powder. The reason for suspecting this is because no shipping documents
are referenced for this item but this was based, in Ref.3, upon testimony of the UPS driver. The two different
gun powders are often confused by many people or not even thought to be different and therefore the names
are often interchanged.).
2. "Ninety (90) pounds of powder aluminum metal and 30 to 40 card board tubes; 24" in length by 1 1/4 to 1 1/2
in diameter."
3 . "Fifty (50) M-31 practice rifle grenades. "
4. "One hundred fifty (150) M-31 practice rifle grenades. "
5. "Potassium Nitrate (oxidizer)."
(This is given as 30 pounds in Reference 3)
6. "Ignitor Cord (Class "C" explosive)."
(This is given as one pound in Reference 3.).
7. "Magnesium Metal (Flammable solid). "
(This is described as "Magnesium metal powder" and given as five pounds in Reference 3.).

In addition to the above, but not mentioned in Ref. 2, are:
8. Two boxes of practice ("pineapple type") hand grenades (about 50 hand grenades), assumed to be empty or
inert(Ref3). This description fits the U.S. Army M21 Practice Hand Grenade.
9. Over 138,000 rounds of various small arms ammunition(Refs3,4,5). These are mentioned here because the
smokeless powder with which each cartridge is loaded is easily removed. The total amount of smokeless powder
in this number of small arms cartridges is approximately 840 pounds.


"Do any of these entities when combined, in any manner or quantity, constitute an explosive?"

The black powder by itself is an explosive. The black powder can be combined with the aluminum powder to
give it an intensified incendiary effect. The black powder can be combined with the potassium nitrate to
increase its gas output when it explodes.

The smokeless powder by itself is an explosive, and like the black powder can have aluminum or magnesium
powder added to it to give it an enhanced incendiary effect.

The potassium nitrate can be combined with either the aluminum powder or the magnesium powder or a
mixture of the two metal powders to form an explosive.


"From your experience, could any of these entities when combined, in any manner or quantity, be utilized as an
explosive in an improvised explosive device? "

When confined in a metal case the powders and mixtures described in the answer to question 1 (above) can,
when ignited, explode violently, bursting or fragmenting the casing and producing potentially lethal high
velocity fragments in addition to the blast and fireball.

If confined lightly, such as in a card board tube, the powders and mixtures described above may explode
sufficiently to produce a blast wave and also produce a fireball or incendiary effect.

The ignitor cord can be used not only to ignite the explosive filler of an explosive device, but can also be used
to provide a delay element in a fusing train such as the burning fuse in a firework, or delay element in a hand
grenade fuse.


"From your experience what explosive or improvised explosive devices could be manufactured from the
referenced entities?"

The practice hand grenade parts could be loaded with the mixtures described above and fused (have a fuse or
fusing mechanism attached). The blank vent hole in the base of the practice grenade would have to be sealed
by either welding or threading and plugging with a metal bung, thus making working grenades.

The mixtures described above could be loaded into metal pipes or pipe nipples, sealed at each end with pipe
caps, and fused with the ignitor cord, thus making pipe bombs.

The mixtures could be loaded into card board tubes, sealed at each end, and fused with the Ignitor cord, thus
making a blast and incendiary device. Such a device could be lethal from the blast effects if exploded close to or
in contact with a person.


How many explosive devices (re: question 3) could be manufactured from the referenced entities?

The M21 practice grenade can hold approximately 40 to 50 cubic centimeters of powder. All of the powders
mentioned above have approximately the same loose pour bulk density (approximately 0.9 g/cc), therefore each
grenade would hold about 35 to 45 grams of powder. There is sufficient quantity of powder of each type
described above to fill more than 250 grenades (there were at least 50 grenade bodies purported to have been
delivered) .

The number of pipe bombs which could have been filled would depend upon the size and length of pipes used.
As an example, standard two inch pipe cut to five inches length and capped with standard end caps would hold
approximately a half pound of loose poured powder. Therefore as many as 70 or more such pipe bombs could
have been made from the stated quantities of any of the powders.

The 30 to 40 each 24 inch long cardboard tubes shipped with the aluminum powder could each be loaded with
approximately three quarters of a pound of loose poured powder. This would fill all of the tubes and leave over
some powder.


If the referenced entities could be made into an explosive device, would the methods of doing that exist as
reference or instructional material, and if so, how available are such instructional materials?

Yes. Instructional material in the form of books, pamphlets, and instruction sheets are readily available in book
shops, gun shows, through mail order, and even on computer bulletin boards.

References Nos. 6 through 10 of this report are examples which were recently purchased at a local gun show in
Albuquerque NM. All of these references mention the REFERENCED ENTITIES in a number of admixtures
and in a number of explosive devices. Reference 9 in particular describes using these exact materials loaded
into modified practice hand grenades and gives methods of modifying and reloading the grenade fuses as well as
manufacturing improvised fuses for the practice grenades.


Have explosive mixtures and/or improvised explosive devices which could be fabricated from the reference
entities and described in the available instructional literature ever actually been made and or used?

Yes. A review of recent FBI and BATF annual reports(Refs 11,12) show a large number of cases involving pipe
bombs as well as modified military ordnance (the latter includes practice grenades). The two agencies utilize
somewhat different yet overlapping data bases, and report the data somewhat differently. However, a good
overall picture of the usage of the referenced explosives in pipe bombs and modified military ordnance can be
seen in figures 1 through 4.

[Figure 1]

[Figure 2]

[Figure 3]

[Figure 4]


The materials purportedly delivered to the Branch Davidians as stated in the referenced documents can, in the
opinion of this author, be combined in several ways to make explosive materials and destructive explosive
devices. In particular, all of the materials were present to modify and fabricate functioning fragmentation hand
grenades, as well as pipe bombs, and blast and incendiary devices.

Respectfully submitted,


Paul W. Cooper


1. "Questions for Explosives Experts", a query by the Waco Review presented to me on 7 July 1993 (copy
attached as Appendix I).
2. ATF Report of Investigation, No. 53110-92- 1069-X, 22 July 1992.
3. Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, (marked W93-
15M), Filed 26 Feb. 1993.
4. A Spreadsheet, titled "Deliveries to Mag-Bag", 5 pages (copy attached as Appendix II).
5. A Spreadsheet, untitled, 2 pages, (copy attached as Appendix III)
6. "CIA Field Expedient Incendiary Manual", The Combat Bookshelf, Desert Publications, Phoenix AZ, 1977.
7. "The Poor Man's James Bond", Kurt Saxon, Atlan Formularies, Eureka CA, 1972.
8. "Special Forces Demolition Techniques", Extract from Army Field Manual FM 31-20 (December 1965),
Paladin Press, Boulder CO, (no date)
9. "OSS Sabotage & Demolition Manual", Paladin Press, (no date)
10. "Unconventional Warfare Devices and Techniques, INCENDIARIES", US Army TM 31 -201 - 1 (May 1966).
11. Bu. ATF, Annual Explosives Incidents Reports:
1985 (10 year Retrospective, 1976-1985) and all reports 1986 through 1991.
12. FBI Annual Bomb Summaries:
1990 through 1992.


Reference the materials/chemicals contained in ATF Report of
Investigation, 53110-92-1069X, dated 7/22/92.

Do any of these entities when combined, in any manner or quantity,
constitute an explosive?

From your experience, could any of these entities when combined, in any
manner or quantity, be utilized as an explosive in an improvised
explosive device?

From your experience, what explosives or improvised explosive devices
could be manufactured from the referenced entities.

Deliveries to Mag Bag
Route 7, Box 555, Waco, Texas
March 26 through August 12, 1992
I.N. 53110-92-1069X
Shipped From   DATE           QUANT. COST    DESCRIPTION
ALPHA TRADING COMPANY 06/17/92               20 $1,200.00   100 RD., AK-47 MAGAZINES

ALPHA TRADING COMPANY 08/06/92               200    $540.00 USED AR-15 MAGAZINES

ALPHA TRADING COMPANY 08/12/92               30 $150.00     USED M-14 MAGAZINES

CENTEC FIRE SYSTEMS, INC.    07/17/92      NONE             $411.29                  UNKNOWN (CONT#309912, SHIP#409992)

CENTURY INTERNAT'L ARMS       07/06/92       NONE                  1M - 7.62 (#026529, PIECE #026529)

FOX FIRE CO.   06/05/92       NONE              90 LBS POWDER, ALUM METAL & 30-40
                                             CARDBOARD TUBES

JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER        07/08/92       NONE                  .22LR CONV. KITS - AR-15,MINI-14 & AK47

JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER        07/08/92       NONE                  M203 LAUNCHERS, SUPRESSERS, BELT FEED                                                                                                                                                        AR15

KENGS FIREARM SPECIALTY       07/09/92       NONE   2       $290.56                  UNKNOWN (SHIPPING #383833, CONT. #443693)

L&N SHOOTERS   08/07/92       NONE           $280.50        2800 RDS, 9MM AMMUNITION

NESARD GUN PARTS      05/14/92       NONE       $720.00     UNKNOWN (SHIPPING #622836, CONT.#443693)


OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/26/92 A43880        5  $l,215.00   KlB, 16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/26/92 A43878        5  $l,215.00   KlB, 16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/26/92 A43879        1  $10.00      H18

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/26/92       A43879  5  $1,215.00   KlB, 16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43911  4  $972.00     K18

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43911  4  $l,152.00   K28 W/EZ & AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43911  4  $1,152.00   K2B, W/EZ L AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43911  4  $972.00     KlB

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43923  5  $1,215.00   KlB, 16" W/AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43922  5  $1,215.00   KlB, 16" W/AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    03/30/92       A43923  5  $1,215.00   KlB, 16", W/AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  3  $879.00     KlB, W/EZ, UPPER

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  1  $243.00     KlB, 16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  1  $243.00     KlB, 16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  2  $516.00     K2B, 20 W/EZ UPPER & AZFS FLASH SUPPRESSOR

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  3  $879.00     KlB, 16" W/EZ, UPPER


OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/02/92       A43929  2  $576.00     K2B, 20" W/EZ UPPER & AZFS

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45210  4  $1,228.00   K2B, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45211  4  $1,304.00   CAR-9 UNITS W/16" BBL (4 K10'S)

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45210  2  $598.00     KlB, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45231  4  $1,232.00   K2B, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45211  4  $1,304.00   CAR-9 UNITS W/16" BBL

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45210  4  $1,228.00   K2B, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/24/92       A45210  2  $598.00     KlB, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/28/92       A45233  2  $620.00     KlB, W/16" & EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/28/92       A45233  8  $2,104.00   KlB; W/16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/28/92       A45233  2  $620.00     KlB, W/16" & EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/28/92       A45233  8  $2,104.00   KlB, W/16"

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    04/28/92       A45231  4  $1,232.00   K2B, W/EZ

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    07/13/92       A47046  2  $616.00     CAR-45 UNIT

OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.    07/13/92       A47046  2  $586.00     CAR-9 UNIT

Olympic ARMS, INC.            NO Invoice        $2,500.00   .223 AMMUNITION (MARCH 92)


OLYMPIC ARMS, INC.            NO INVOICE        $280.50     9MM AMMUNITION - 2800 RDS. (AUG. 92)

P. L. & T. TIFFIN KNIVES      08/03/92       NO INVOICE            $374.00           KNIVES

ROCK ISLAND ARMORY, INC.      06/17/92       104722 50      $162.50                  M31 PRACTICE RIFLE GRENADES

ROCK ISLAND ARMORY, INC.      06/29/92      104818 150     $487.50                  M31 PRACTICE RIFLE GRENADES

SARCO, INC.           05/26/92       A43318  1  $274.95     M16 PARTS SET KIT "A" W/SLING & MAG
                                             (NO LWR. RCVR.)

SARCO, INC.           06/18/92       A45276  2  $249.50     M261 RIFLE CONVERSION KITS

SARCO, INC.           06/18/92       A45276  3  $30.00      COMBO WRENCH

SARCO, INC.           06/18/92       A45276  3  $824.85     M16 KIT "A" (SPECIAL OFFERINGS)

SARCO, INC.           06/18/92       A45276  6  $49.95      .22 CONVERSION UNIT MAGS

SARCO, INC.           06/18/92       A45276  4  $79.80      M203 HANDGUARDS

SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.        07/16/92       NO INVOICE            $387.51           UNKNOWN (CONT #833766, SHIP #227471,PKG

SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.        07/17/92       NO INVOICE            $68.88            UNKNOWN (CONT #833722, SHIP #277471,
                                             ID SEC-T-68)

SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.        07/20/92       NO INVOICE            $122.76           UNKNOWN (CONT #833674, SHIP #227471,
                                             ID SEC-T-73)

TAPCO, INC.           06/30/92       0022292 2  $299.90     FLARE LAUNCHER W/C.A.R. MOUNT

TAPCO, INC.           07/14/92       NO INVOICE     $l,386.86      UNKNOWN (CONT #578336, SHIP #393495)

WEAPONS               06/15/92               2  $44.00      M203 M16 HANDGUARDS


WEAPONS               06/15/92               2  $355.50     CM-2037 FLARE LAUNCHER

WEAPONS               06/15/92               2  $65.50      M203 H.G. SIGHT ASSEMBLY

UNKNOWN               06/08/92       NO INVOICE 60          M-16/AR-15 MAGAZINES

UNKNOWN               06/18/92       NO INVOICE             CHEMICALS, INSTRUMENTS & GLASSWARE


UNKNOWN (UPS SHIPMENT)        07/02/92       NO INVOICE                              POTASSIUM NITRATE, 30 LBS(OXIDIZER) ID

UNKNOWN (UPS SHIPMENT)        07/02/92       NO INVOICE                              MAGNESIUM METAL, 5 LBS.

UNKNOWN (UPS SHIPMENT)        07/02/92       NO INVOICE                              IGNITER CORD, 1 LB. (CLASS C EXPLO.)

                                                  TOTAL COST:   $44,325.46

                                                  E N D   O F   R E P O R T

Feb 1992:
18 Firearms Purchased: 13 Assault Rifles, 1 Pistol and 4 shotgun

March 5 - 9, 1992:
Team Training held at house 500 Yards East of "Mag Bag" towards Compound.  These
SWAT Teams from five different law enforcement agencies held all day SWAT Team

Howell believes this is a large ATF SWAT Team who are practicing for a raid on the

Howell makes call to arms at Compound in preparation for what he believes is an
impeding search and arrest by ATF.

March 5 - 9, 1992
2 Firearms Purchased: 2 Assault Rifles

Fatta buys ground sensors and night vision 3/9/92.

Little orders chemicals to build explosive devices and hand grenades 3/10/92.

Howell orders CA Davidians to come to Texas Compound and 40 members arrive from
England in mid-March.

Michael Schroeder orders and receives conversion kits to make machineguns:
3/11/92        29 machinegun kits
4/1/92 20 machinegun kits
5/18/92        34 machinegun kits
7/16/92        37 machinegun kits

Upper receivers to make 100 AR-15/M-16 Assault Rifles arrive by 4/28/92.

60 Cases of 7.62 ammo, 20 Cases of .308 ammo received in March and April.  (1200
rounds per case)

100 Magazines 7.62 cal 30 round 3/26/92

[Next paragraph was handwritten in bottom margin]
"David Koresh receives a message from God during Passover of Attack on Compound (he
and true followers will die and rise again at hands of Federal Law Enforcement"

April 1992

67 Firearms Purchased: 56 Assault Rifles and 11 Pistols

Purchased 6 Walkie Talkies 4/15/92.

11 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 4/1/92.

15 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 4/7/92.

100 Magazines 7.65 cal, 30 round; 30 Cases 7.62 ammo 4/22/92.

5 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 4/30/92.

[Next paragraph is handwritten in bottom margin]
Late April-Early March Koresh pays to fly Paul [unreadable] Jones from Cal to
Compound to teach military tactics [more unreadable]

May 1992

35 Firearms Purchased: 31 Assault Rifles and 4 Pistols

1 Case 7.62 ammo 5/10/92

6 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 5/12/92.

6 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 5/18/92.

48 Cases 7.62x39 steel core ammo on 5/22/92.

144 web belts 4/22/92.

50 vests, 4 pouches each for AK-47, 30 round magazines on 5/14/92.

June 1992

18 Firearms Purchased: 18 Assault Rifles.

90 Pounds Aluminum Powder 6/5/92.

Repairs Water Well in Compound 6/5/92.

12 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns 6/7/92.

3 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns 6/9/92.

200 M-31 Rifle Grenades (Attempt to Activate) 6/10/92.

[following two paragraphs are handwritten in lower margin]

Receive 5 tech manuals to activate M-31 rifle grenades 6-16-92 and manuals or other
tech grenades manuals.

Michael Schroeder receives 120 magazines for British Sten guns 5-20-92.


14 Firearms Purchased: 13 Assault Rifles and 1 Pistol.

8 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 7/20/92.

2 SWG Lower Receivers for building machineguns M-16 7/27/92.

Aug 92

2 Firearms Purchased: 3 Assault Rifles and 9 Pistols.

200 AR-15/M-16 Magazines 30 round 8/6/92.

2800 Rounds 9mm ammo 8/7/92.

30 M-14 Magazines .308 cal 20 rounds 8/12/92.

9 Cases .308 ammo 8/18/92.

Sept. 1992

No Activity

Oct 1992

2 Firearms Purchased: 2 Pistols

Nov 1992

20 AK-47 Magazines 100 round 11/23/92.

20 AK-47 100 round magazines on 11/23/92.

Dec 1992

1 Firearm Purchased: 1 Pistol

Jan 1993

No Activity

Feb 1993

No Activity


Prior to March 5, 1992 80 Firearms were purchased.

After March 5, 1992 236 Additional Firearms were purchased (153 Assault Rifles

120 Conversion kits for Assault Rifles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Three Crystal Park, 2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Arlington, Virginia 22202-3742

July 23, 1993

Department of the Treasury
Waco Review Office, Room 4311
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.   20220

ATTN:  Mr. Joseph A. Masonis

Subj:  Waco Review Independent Explosive Report

Dear Sir:

     The enclosed report constitutes my individual assessment relative to the
chemicals and materials reported to be involved in the Waco, Texas incident.
     I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be of service and if there are
any question regarding the substance of this report please call me.



                                        Joseph T. Kennedy
                                        Captain USN (Ret)

        Enclosure:  Waco Review Independent Explosive Report w/2 annexes

Corporate Headquarters: Fair Lakes II,12450 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 800, Fairfax, Virginia 22033
? (703) 802-8300


PURPOSE. The purpose of this report is to provide an independent judgment
whether the list of materials and chemicals contained in the ATF Report of
Investigation, 53110-92-1069x, dated 7/22/92, could be used singly or in
combination to fabricate an improvised explosive device (IED).

BACKGROUND/DEFINITIONS. The following ingredients contained in the report could
be made into an IED: black powder, potassium nitrate, aluminum powder,
magnesium powder, ignitor cord and the M-21 practice hand grenades. Of these
materials the following are included in the U.S.military Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD) -60 series publications as "Typical Improvised Device

Material       Hazard              Remarks/Precautions

Black Powder   Friction, spark,              Use nonsparking tools
               flame, shock, or              and packing materials.
               static              Protect against
               electricity.        reaction elements.

Potassium Nitrate Produces toxic             Increases flammability
               oxides when              of combustible
               burned.             materials.

  Aluminum Powder Respiratory and             Used primarily to
               eye irritant.       increase temperatures in explosive and
                                    incendiary mixtures.

  Magnesium powder Respiratory and            Used to increase
               eye irritant.       temperatures in explosive and incendiary

Ignitor cord, a class C explosive, generally consists of a center wire coated
with a burning compound contained by layered wrappings which is used to cause
ignition or provide a delay regulated by the speed of burn designed into the
compound. A11 these materials could also be used in an improvised incendiary
device. M-21 practice grenades with some modification can be used as a
container to provide containment for these materials.
EXPERIENCE. I would be able to construct an IED by modifying the grenades to
permit loading of the black powder. Black powder could be used alone or mixed
with small amounts of potassium

nitrate and either aluminum or magnesium powder. Aluminum and magnesium powders
would serve to increase temperature while potassium nitrate, an oxidizer, would
enhance combustion.

     M-21 practice grenades are designed with a smooth hole in the bottom
containing a stopper plug which can be blown out when the ignitor initiates the
small amount of black powder. To modify this into an explosive grenade, the
smooth hole could be threaded to accept a closure plug thereby sealing the
bottom of the grenade and providing containment for the explosive mixture.
Practice grenades normally contain a fuse resembling the operational model. The
fuse consists of a primer that, when struck by the spring loaded striker
mechanism, emits a spark to ignite a small charge of black powder. This
generates a puff of smoke to provide realism in a training exercise. This fuse
could be easily modified to provide a delay channel using time fuse or ignitor
cord which would accept the primer's spark and burn with a short delay
(approximately 5 seconds) to then ignite the black powder or black powder
       Annex A, taken from the Expedient Hand Grenades publication listed in
Annex B, is just one example of this type of delay fuse. If a practice fuse was
not available, time fuse or ignitor cord could be used in a more rudimentary
way through a stuffing tube in the top of the grenade to provide delay and
ignition of the black powder. This same application is typically found in pipe
bombs except the fuse is introduced through a drilled hole in one end cap on a
piece of pipe. Fabricating an improvised device is one thing and having it
function as desired is another. While their safety and quality are usually
suspect, their consistency and effectiveness can provide insight into the
maker's subject knowledge.
     The quantities of materials listed in the report would support conversion
of the two cases of practice grenades (30-40 grams each) as well as a large
quantity of pipe bombs or incendiary devices.

KNOWLEDGE. While someone with the proper educational background or appropriate
training in explosives from military or commercial sources can build an
improvised explosive device, the ability to produce an IED is essentially
limited only by one's ability to read. Numerous publications on the open market
not only describe the chemistry in detail but provide a step by step
description to build explosive and incendiary devices. The appendix to this
report includes a small sampling of publications that are available in
newsstands, gun shows, and public libraries. Additionally, there are
periodicals such as Soldier of Fortune magazine that occasionally have "how to"
articles as well as an advertisement for many of the books in the appendix.
     I determined the availability of information for the construction of
improvised explosive devices by visiting the Library of Congress, a local
bookstore, and newsstand in

Alexandria, VA. At the Library of Congress, I used an access terminal in the
Adams Building's Science and Technology Reading Room to search on the keyword
"explosives." This identified the book titles included in the bibliography,
Annex B. Paladin Press, which specializes in this genre, has several pages of
book advertisement in two recent editions of Soldier of Fortune magazine and
continues its production of The Poor Man's James Bond, one of the original
classics. The newest source of information is computer bulletin boards. Anyone
with a computer and telephone modem, and knowledge to access networks can dial
in and find this information on the "bulletin board." As a test case, I dialed
in and found numerous articles on how to manufacture explosives and make
improvised explosive and incendiary devices.

CONCLUSION. The ingredients referenced in the reports and discussed above could
be fabricated into an explosive or incendiary device.

Respectfully submitted        [signed]
                              Joseph T. Kennedy
                              Captain USN (Ret)

[Annex A]

                                  ANNEX B

The Anarchist Arsenal: Improvised Incendiary and Explosives Techniques, by
David Harber, published by Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1990 (Keyword was
"Explosives--Amateurs' manuals").

The Anarchist Handbook, by Robert Wells, published by J. Flores, Rosemead CA,
1985 (keyword was "Explosives, Military--Handbooks, manuals, etc.").

Bomb Squad: Defining and Defusing Terrorist Explosives, published by Paladin
Press, Boulder CO, 1990 (keyword was "Paladin Press").

Deadly Brew: Advanced Improvised Explosives, by Seamer Lecker, published by
Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1987 (keyword was "Explosives--Handbooks, manuals,

EOD Improvised Explosives Manual, published by Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1990
(keyword was "Explosives--Handbooks, manuals, etc.").

Expedient Hand Grenades, by G. Dmitrieff, published by Desert Publications, El
Dorado AR, 1984.

Improved Explosives: How to make your own, by Seamer Lecker, published by
Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1985 (keyword was "Explosives, Military--Handbooks,
manuals, etc.").

Improvised Munitions Black Book, published by Desert Publications, El Dorado
AZ, 1982 (Keyword was "Explosives- Amateurs' manuals").

The Poisoner's Handbook, by Maxwell Hutchkinson, published by Loompanics, Port
Townsend WA, 1988 (keyword was "Explosives- Miscellanea").

The Poor Man's James Bond, by Kurt Saxon, published by Atlan Formularies,
Eureka CA.

Ragnar's Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives, by Ragnar
Benson, published by Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1988 (Keyword was
"Explosives--Amateurs' manuals").

            Appendix B

Firearms Experts

        (alphabetically by author)

              Wm. C. Davis

            Charles R. Fagg


                         TIOGA ENGINEERING COMPANY, INC.
                          P.O. Box 913, 13 Cone Street
                               Wellsboro, PA 16901

  (717) 724-3533
  (717) 662-2730
FAX (717) 662-3347

                                  LETTER REPORT

SUBJECT: Review of BATF Operations in the Matter of David
          Koresh and the Branch Davidian Cult at Waco, Texas

FOR: Joseph A. Masonis
     Waco Review Team
     U. S. Treasury Department
     1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
     Washington, DC 20220

DATE: 3 August 1993


1.1 As is now well known, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
(BATF), attempting to execute a search warrant on 28 February 1993 at the compound
of the so-called "Branch Davidian" cult which was led by Vernon W. Howell (aka:
David Koresh) near Waco, Texas, were met by armed resistance. The initial encounter
resulted in the shooting deaths of both BATF agents and cult members; the ensuing
confrontation, which lasted until 19 April 1993, resulted finally in the death of
Koresh and many members of his cult. A review of all aspects of this operation is
now in progress. One part of that review is to address the question of whether the
evidence available to the BATF, before the raid on 28 February 1993, was sufficient
to support a reasonable inference that Koresh and his followers inside the compound
were assembling automatic weapons ("machine guns") in violation of provisions of the
National Firearms Act.

1.2 This writer has agreed to serve and has been appointed as a technical consultant
to review independently the evidence that was available to the BATF prior to the
raid on 28 February 1993, and to formulate an opinion, if possible, as to whether
the BATF had reasonable cause to obtain a search warrant and attempt to execute it
on the premises of the "Branch Davidian" cult on 28 February 1993.


2.1 Inclosure 1 herewith is a compiled list of military and/or paramilitary
materiel, including firearms, ammunition, etc., procured by Koresh and his followers
from about February 1992 to December 1992. The names of items listed in Inclosure
1 were taken from several different source documents that were made available to me
for review, as shown at Inclosure 2. The items listed on the various source
documents were entered into a computer data base so that they could be sorted and
grouped according to various criteria for analysis. Inclosure 1 is a printout of the
data base. Because of overlapping dates and inconsistencies in nomenclature used in
the source documents, there are some uncertainties in their interpretation. It
follows, therefore, that there may be some inaccuracies in the data base compiled
from the source documents. It is possible that some of the individual items found
in the source documents have been either omitted entirely or have been counted twice
in compiling the data base. I believe, however, that the number of such
discrepancies is relatively small, and would have no significant effect on the
overall conclusions to be drawn from the data.

2.2 Another point of information that is important, in my opinion, to the analysis
of the data on acquisition of materiel by Koresh and his followers, is the kind of
machine tools available to them. In response to my inquiries on this point, I have
been informed that at least an engine lathe and a milling machine were known to be
available inside the compound.


3.1 None of the many pieces of information available to me is sufficient, by itself,
to answer the question as to whether Koresh and his followers inside the compound
were engaged in assembling automatic weapons in violation of the National Firearms
Act. However, these pieces of information, taken together, form a context in which
that overall question should be addressed. The evidence indicates that the BATF had
acquired the following information by about the end of December 1992, approximately
two months before the attempt to execute the search warrant at the "Branch Davidian"

3.1.1     Between February 1992 and December 1992, Koresh and his followers had acquired
the items listed below:   Approximately 136 weapons described as "assault rifles", 29 pistols, 4
shotguns, 786 magazines for firearms, and 211,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition. In addition to these purchases of complete firearms, Koresh and his
followers also had purchased 110 AR15/M16 upper receivers (with barrels) and 68
AR15/M16 lower-receiver

assemblies, indicating that at least 110 AR15/M16 rifles were to be assembled. Additional firearms-related items procured by Koresh and his followers
included grenade-launcher attachments for AR15/M16 rifles, and a modification that
reportedly allowed the AR15/M16 rifle to be loaded and fired using belts of
ammunition (a typical characteristic of true machine guns) instead of loading and
firing ammunition fed from magazines, as it is commonly done for rifles. Koresh and his followers also had purchased more than 400 empty M31 Practice
rifle grenades, unspecified quantities of blackpowder, and various materials that
may be used in making explosive and/or pyrotechnic compounds, including 30 pounds
of potassium nitrate, 5 pounds of magnesium metal, 90 pounds of powdered aluminum,
and one pound of igniter cord (a Class C explosive).

3.1.2 The items enumerated above include only those known to have been delivered to
Koresh and his followers in recorded transactions. They do not include items that
might have been purchased directly from vendors or from private parties within the
state of Texas, or otherwise in unrecorded transactions.

3.2 It seems virtually certain that most of the parts obtained by Koresh and his
followers for assembly into AR15/M16 rifles were of the military M16 configuration,
some of which differ significantly from those of the semiautomatic AR15 rifle. In
particular, the bolt carrier, selector, trigger, hammer and disconnector of M16
configuration differ significantly from those of the semiautomatic AR15 rifle. These
parts of M16 configuration can be installed in a semiautomatic AR15 rifle, but they
do not convert the rifle to automatic fire, except in combination with an automatic
sear. There is no automatic sear listed in the accounting above, so the question now
arising is whether it is reasonably probable that Koresh and his followers had
possession of automatic sears for use in assembling automatic rifles from the
AR15/M16 parts that they had obtained.

3.2.1 It is perhaps significant that Koresh and his followers elected to purchase
parts for assembly into AR15/M16 rifles, rather than buying the assembled weapons
themselves. One might speculate that buying parts to assemble the firearms was an
economy measure, but the savings realized would not have been very great in
comparison with the cult's total expenditures on armament during this period. The
alternative and more plausible explanation seems to be that firearms of the type
they preferred could not have been legally procured because they are automatic
weapons. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that the cult would have purchased parts

sufficient to assemble more than 100 rifles unless they knew in advance that they
had access to all the parts required to complete the weapons, including automatic

3.2.2 Automatic sears are of two types. The automatic sear used in military M16
automatic rifles is specifically designed for installation and functioning in the
lower receiver of the M16 automatic rifle, and the lower receiver of the M16
automatic rifle is designed to accommodate the automatic sear. The lower receiver
of the non-military AR15-type semiautomatic rifle is purposefully designed so as to
prevent the installation of the military automatic sear, but the AR15-type receiver
can, by a person sufficiently skilled and having access to a milling machine with
appropriate tooling, be altered to allow installation of a military automatic sear.

 The so-called "drop-in" automatic sear was specifically designed and intended for
installation in the unmodified lower receiver of the AR15 semiautomatic rifle. The
"drop-in" automatic sear will, when used in combination with certain military
M16-type parts that are readily available, provide the capability for genuine
automatic fire from the rifle. The "drop-in" automatic sear was available from
various sources and was not subject to special controls before 1986. It has since
1986 been subject to the same controls imposed by the NFA on automatic weapons
("machine guns"), but there are undoubtedly unregistered specimens of the "drop-in"
sear still in existence. Given one specimen as a pattern, a skilled machinist,
having access to a milling machine with appropriate tooling, could produce
serviceable "drop-in" automatic sears.


4.1 It is my conclusion that the quantities and types of military and/or
paramilitary items purchased by Koresh and his followers between February 1992 and
December 1992 indicate that he was preparing for what he perceived would be all-out
armed conflict against the forces of civil authority. If that is so, he would
probably have perceived some advantage in arming his followers with automatic
weapons for the occasion, and he would have had little concern for the comparatively
trivial infraction of violating the National Firearms Act by assembling automatic

4.2 It is also my conclusion, based on the aforementioned records of purchases made
by Koresh and his followers, that they had by January 1992 acquired all of the parts
necessary, with the possible exception of automatic sears, for assembling a
substantial number of M16-type automatic rifles. Furthermore, it is my conclusion
that Koresh and his followers had equipment capable of modifying the lower receivers
of AR15-type semiautomatic rifles to accept the M16-type automatic sears, and also
equipment capable of making

"drop-in" automatic sears for use in unmodified AR15-type lower receivers.

4.3 In summary, it is my conclusion that the information available to the BATF on
or before 31 December 1992 was sufficient to justify a reasonable inference that
Koresh and his followers in the compound of the cult were engaged in the assembly
of automatic weapons, in violation of the National Firearms Act.

SUBMITTED:     [signed]
               Wm. C. Davis, Jr., P.E.

1. Compilation of data on materiel acquired.
2. Source documents from which data were compiled.

 8/04/43                     DELIVERIES
                            (DESC. SORT)

Date Desc                        Qty    From           Cost

4/30/92   AMMUNITION, .308 (1200 RDS PER CASE-20 CASES)          24000    UNKNOWN
8/18/92   AMMUNITION, .308 (1200 RDS PER CASE-9 CASES)      10800     UNKNOWN
7/06/92   AMMUNITION, 7.62 (#026529, PIECE #O26529)         1000 CENTURY INTERNATIONAL ARMS
5/10/92   AMMUNITION, 7.62 (1200 RDS PER CASE-1 CASE)       1200 UNKNOWN
4/22/92   AMMUNITION, 7.62 (1200 RDS PER CASE-30 CASES)          36000    UNKNOWN
3/31/92   AMMUNITION, 7.62 (1200 RDS PER CASE-60 CASES)          72000    UNKNOWN
5/22/92   AMMUNITION, 7.62 X 39 STEEL CORE
               (1200 RDS PER CASE-48 CASES)       57600     UNKNOWN
8/07/92   AMMUNITION, 9MM                         2800 L & N SHOOTERS     280.50
8/01/92   AMMUNITION, 9MM                         2800 OLYMPIC ARMS, IUC  280.50
8/07/92   AMMUNITION, 9MM                         2800 UNKNOWN
2/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     13   UNKNOWN
3/09/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     2    UNKNOWN
4/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     56   UNKNOWN
5/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     31   UNKNOWN
6/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     18   UNKNOWN
7/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     13   UNKNOWN
8/01/92   ASSAULT RIFLES                     3    UNKNOWN
7/08/92   BELT FEED (AR15)                             JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER
5/26/92   CAR. KIT, M16                      2    NESSARD GUN PARTS CO.   550.00
     CLEANING KIT, M16                  1    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC   10.00
7/30/92   CONVERSION KIT, .22LR, AR15,MINI14 & AK47 (#451221)    JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER
6/18/92   CONVERSION KITS, AR15/M16, (M261 RIFLE CONVERSION KITS)  2         SARCO, INC                        249.50
6/18/92   CONVERSION, AR15/M16 KIT, (EXCEPT LOWER RECEIVER) 3    SARCO, INC                                    824.85
5/26/92   EZ KIT, M16, W/AZ, 20" BBL                   2    NESSARD GUN PARTS CO. 620.00
6/10/92   GRENADES, M-31 RIFLE                    200  UNKNOWN
6/17/92   GRENADES, M31 PRACTICE RIFLE                 50   ROCK ISLAND ARMORY, INC                            162.50
6/29/92   GRENADES, M31 PRACTICE RIFLE                 150  ROCK ISLAND ARMORY, INC                            487.50
     GRENADES, PRACTICE (CASES)              2    UNKNOWN
6/18/92   HANDGUARDS, M203                   4    SARCO, INC          79.80
6/15/92   HANDGUARDS, M203 FOR M16                     2    TAPCO-SPECIALIZED WEAPONS    44.00
7/02/92   IGNITER CORD, 1 LB (CLASS C Explosive)                 UNKNOWN
8/03/92   KNIVES                                  P.L. & T. TIFFIN KNIVES 374.00
6/15/92   LAUNCHER, FLARE CM-2037                 2    TAPCO-SPECIALIZED WEAPONS    355.50
6/30/92   LAUNCHER, FLARE W/C.A.R. MOUNT                    2    TAPCO, INC                                    299.90
6/19/92   LAUNCHER, GRENADE, M76                  1    NESSARD GUN PARTS CO.
7/08/92   LAUNCHERS, M203                              JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER
6/07/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG                    12   UNKNOWN
6/09/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG                    3    UNKNOWN
4/01/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (M16)                   11   UNKNOWN
4/07/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (M16)                   15   UNKNOWN
4/30/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (M16)                   5    UNKNOWN
5/12/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (M16)                   6    UNKNOWN

          B- 168              Enclosure                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1- I

Date Desc                          Qty  From                Cost

5/18/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (M16)                   6    UNKNOWN
7/20/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (H16)                   8    UNKNOWN
7/27/92   LOWER RECEIVERS, SWG (H16)                   2    UNKNOWN
     (FOR G.l. H261 CONVERSION UNIT)                   6    SARCO, INC                                         49.95
3/26/92   MAGAZINES, 7.62, (30 RD)                     100  UNKNOWN
4/22~92   MAGAZINES, 7.65 (30 RD)                 100  UNKNOWN
11/23/92  MAGAZINES, AK47, 100 RD            20   UNKNOWN
11/23/92 MAGAZINES, AK47, 100 RD                  20   UNKNOWN
6/17/92   MAGAZINES, AK47, 100 RD.                     20   ALPHA TRADING COMPANY                              1,200.00
8/06/92   MAGAZINES, AR15/M16, (30-RD)                 200  UNKNOWN
8/12/92   MAGAZINES, M14, (.308 CAL, 20-RD)            30   UNKNOWN
6/08/92   MAGAZINES, M16/AR15                60   UNKNOWN
8/06/92   MAGAZINES, USED AR15,30                 200  ALPHA TRADING COMPANY                                   540.00
8/12/92   MAGAZINES, USED M14                30   ALPHA TRADING COMPANY           150.00
7/02/92   MAGNESIUM METAL,                   5 LBS     UNKNOWN
5/26/92   PARTS, M16, SET KIT "A" W/SLING & MAG
     (NO LOWER RECEIVER)                1    SARCO, INC               274.95
2/01/92 PISTOL                          1    UNKNOWN
4/01/92 PISTOL                          11   UNKNOWN
5/01/92 PISTOL                          4    UNKNOWN
7/01/92 PISTOL                          1    UNKNOWN
8/01/92 PISTOL                          9    UNKNOWN
     PISTOL                             2    UNKNOWN
     PISTOL                             1    UNKNOWN
7/12/92 POTASSIUM NITRATE, (OXIDIZER), (LBS.)               30   UNKNOWN
6/05/92 POWDER, ALUMINUM                          UNKNOWN
     POWDER, BLACK                           UNKNOWN
2/01/92 SHOTGUN                              4    UNKNOWN
6/15/92 SIGHT ASSEMBLY, M203 H.G.            2    TAPCO-SPECIALIZED WEAPONS       65.50
5/26/92 SUPPRESSOR, FLASH, REVERSE FLASHHIDER               1    NESSARD GUN PARTS CO.                                                                                                                                                                          10.00
7/08/92 SUPPRESSORS                          JONATHAN ARTHUR CIENER
7/16/92   UNKNOWN                                 SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.          387.51
7/17/92   UNKNOWN                                 SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.          68.88
7/20/92   UNKNOWN                                 SHOOTERS EQUIPMENT CO.          122.76
7/14/92   UNKNOWN                                 TAPCO, INC              1,386.86
7/17/92   UNKNOWN (CONT #309912, SHIP #409992)                   CENTEC FIRE SYSTEMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                       411.29
7/09/92   UNKNOWN (SHIPPING #383833, CONTROL #039756)       2    KENGS FIREARM SPECIALTY                                                                                                                                                                        290.56
7/09/92   UNKNOWN (SHIPPING #622836, CONT. #473126)              NESSARD GUN PARTS CO.                                                                                                                                                                          1,250.65
S/14/92   UNKNOWN, (SHIPPING #622836, CONT. #443693)             NESSARD GUN PARTS CO.                                                                                                                                                                          720.00
4/24/92   UPPER ASSEMBLY, 16" BBL, CAR-9 (9MM)              4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,304.00
4/24/92   UPPER ASSEMBLY, 16" BBL, CAR-9 (9MM)              4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,304.00
7/13/92   UPPER ASSEMBLY, CAR-45 (.45AUTO)                  2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              616.00
7/13/92   UPPER ASSEMBLY, CAR-9 (9MM)                  2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  586.00
4/02/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL                 1    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC          243.00
4/02/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL                 1    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC          243.00
4/28/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL                 8    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC          2,104.00

               B-169              Enclosure  1-2

Date Desc                          Qty  From                Cost

4/28/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL                 8    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC          2,104.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, (W/AZFS)            5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  1,215.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, (W/AZFS)            5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  1,215.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, (W/AZFS)            5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  1,215.00
4/28/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, (W/EZ)                   2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              620.00
4/28/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, (W/EZ)                   2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              620.00
3/26/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, ASSEMBLED & TEST FIRED        5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                         1,215.00
3/26/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, ASSEMBLED & TEST FIRED        5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                         1,215.00
3/26/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, ASSEMBLED & TEST FIRED        5    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                         1,215.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 16" BBL, ASSEMBLED & TEST FIRED        4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                         972.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20 "MATCH BBL,(W/EZ & AZFS)       4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,152.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL, (W/EZ & AZFS)      4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,152.00
4/24/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL, (W/EZ)             4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,228.00
4/24/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL, (W/EZ)             4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,232.00
4/28/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL, (W/EZ)             4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,232.00
     (W/EZ UPPER & AZFS FLASH SUPP)                    2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  516.00
4/02/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL,(W/EZ UPPER & AZFS) 2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              576.00
4/24/92   UPPER RECEIVER, 20" MATCH BBL,(W/EZ)              4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              1,228.00
4/02/92   UPPER RECEIVER, BBL,(W/EZ,UPPER)                  3    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              879.00
3/30/92   UPPER RECEIVER, BBL, ASSEMBLED & TEST FIRED       4    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                                                                                                                                                              972.00
4/24/92   UPPER RECEIVER, BBL,(W/EZ)                   2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  598.00
    /92   UPPER RECEIVER, BBL,(W/EZ)                   2    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  598.00
    /92   UPPER RECEIVER, BBL,(W/EZ, UPPER)            3    OLYMPIC ARMS, INC                                  879.00
5/14/92   VESTS, 4-POUCH EACH FOR AK47, 30 RD. MAGAZINES         50   UNKNOWN
4/15/92   WALKIE-TALKIES                     6    UNKNOWN
4/22/92   WEB BELTS                     144  UNKNOWN
6/18/92   WRENCH, COMBO (FOR AR15/M16)                 3    SARCO, INC                                         30.00


          P.O. Box 913, 13 Cone Street
               Wellsboro, PA 16901
Charles R. Fagg 724-3533

(717) 724-3533
(717) 662-2730
FAX (717) 662-3347

                        August 5, 1993

                  LETTER REPORT


Investigation of the Circumstances Leading to the February 28, 1993 Raid and
Subsequent Siege of the Branch Davidian Compound, Waco, Texas.


Joseph A. Masonis
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W., Rm. 4121
Washington, D.C. 20220


     In the Spring of 1993, virtually every television and radio station in America
broadcast the events which occurred at the Branch Davidian Compound at Waco, Texas.
This extensive coverage, coupled with the tragic ending, raised questions in the
minds of both the American people and the Government responsible to those people.
In order to provide answers to these questions, the Government has mounted a massive
investigation into the events which led to the raid, and into the execution of that
raid. Mr. William C. Davis, Jr. and the undersigned, both of Tioga Engineering Co.,
Wellsboro, PA, were asked to participate in this investigation. To provide the
necessary information and an understanding of the part we were to play, Mr. Joseph
A. Masonis, of the Treasury Department, provided a briefing on July 1, 1993, at the
test facilities of Tioga Engineering. At that briefing, we were provided written
information and verbal direction. This took the following form.

     1. The written material consisted of lists of the firearm and explosive-related
materials known to have been received prior to February, 1993, by the "Mag Bag
Corp.", a mailing address of the Branch Davidians.

     2. The verbal direction consisted of an overview of the investigation and a
clear delineation of the scope of our involve-

ment. My understanding of this direction was that Mr. Davis and I were to
independently review the information available to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms prior to the incident, and to determine if they acted reasonably in seeking
and executing a search warrant.

Information Provided

1. A five-page list of deliveries to "Mag Bag Corp." from March 26 through August
12, 1992, This document is undated but contains the number I. N. 53110-92-1069X.
(see Appendix 1.)

2. Olympic Arms, Inc. retail catalog, dated January, 1992. (example not enclosed)

3. A two-page document "Firearms Technology Branch Report of Technical Examination"
dated Dec. 15, 1992. This document refers to 53110-92-1069 X, and lists some of the
same materials listed in document number 1., above. (see Appendix 2.)

4. A two-page, undated document purported to provide a history of weapon-related
transactions of certain members of the Branch Davidians from February, 1992 to
February, 1993. (see Appendix 3.)

5. A two-page "Report of Investigation (Law Enforcement)", dated 23 July, 1992,
referring to Investigation No. 53110-92-1069-X (see 1. and 3. above). This document
lists the known firearms parts and accessories received by "Mag Bag Corp." from
March, 1992 to July, 1992, and requests an evaluation as to whether Vernon Howell
and Mike Schroeder were "possibly converting or manufacturing Title II weapons".
(see Appendix 4.)

6. A list containing the names, addresses and telephone numbers of other parties
involved in the investigation. (copy not included)

7. A written outline and verbal review of the overall scope of the investigation.
(copy not included)

8. At a later date, in response to a verbal request for further information, Mr.
Masonis reported that an engine lathe and a milling machine were known to be within
the compound.


     Though the information upon which this study is based was prepared by the
organization under scrutiny, there is no reason to doubt its accuracy or

     The lists of materials are difficult to interpret because they often, but not
always, include the same equipment as duplicate entries. Some items appear on more
than one list, and others do

not. In document number 4., lower receivers are listed as "lower receivers" in the
monthly acquisitions, but are listed as "fire arms" in the totals. Whether or not
the "lower receivers" are also counted among the monthly firearms acquisitions is
unclear. To overcome these problems, only approximate quantities are included in the
recap list below.

     Since the ammunition acquisitions are sometimes listed in case lots without
indication of the size of these cases, and since the 5.56 mm ammunition is listed
only by dollar value, it is impossible to establish the exact amount of ammunition
received. Here, again, quantities are estimated.

Partial List of Materials Present:

     The following is an approximate recap of the firearm and explosive-related
materials known to be within the complex by 28 February, 1993.

1. 249 firearms (over 60 % of military derivation)
2. Parts to construct an additional 68 AR-15 rifles
3. Incomplete parts kits to construct 52 AR-15 rifles
4. One belt-fed AR-15 rifle
5. 260 magazines for AR-15 rifles
6. 20 100-round magazines for AK-47 rifles
7. 100 magazines for 7.62 mm weapons (probably AK-47 rifles)
8. 6 caliber .22 conversion unit magazines
9. 30 magazines for M14 rifles
10. M203 Grenade launcher (quantity unknown)
11. 1 M76 (?) grenade launcher
12. 6 Walkie Talkies
13. Kits for converting AR-15, AK-47 and MINI-14 to fire cal. .22 Rimfire
ammunition (quantity unknown)
14. 2 kits for converting AR-15 to fire cal. .45 ammunition
15. 10 kits for converting AR-15 to fire 9 mm ammunition
16. 4 Flair Launchers
17. Over 200,000 rounds of assorted ammunition
18. 200 M31 practice rifle grenades
19. 2 cases of practice grenades (quantity and type unknown)
20. 5 manuals for activating M31 practice rifle grenades
21. Black powder (quantity unknown)
22. 90 pounds of aluminum powder
23. 5 pounds of Magnesium (assumed to be powder)
24. 30 pounds of potassium nitrate
25. An engine lathe and a milling machine


     The above is an approximate list of the firearm and explosive related
materials known to have been acquired by the Branch Davidians before Feb. 28,
1993. Most had been acquired between March 26, 1992 and Aug. 12, 1992. During
this brief period of 4

1/2 months, their expenditures for weapon-related materials was in excess of
$43,000. Had they been functioning as dealers, had they been acquiring
collector-type materials, or had the firearms market been such as to make investment
lucrative, these acquisitions might be explained as some form of peaceful endeavor,
but when none of these conditions exist, the only logical explanation is that the
Branch Davidians were preparing for a massive, armed confrontation.

     Particularly revealing is their acquisition of practice rifle grenades, manuals
for activation of these grenades, black powder and materials for manufacturing
explosives. This, more than any other item of information, indicates their
willingness to modify material to enhance their capability of armed resistance.

     Having concluded that the Branch Davidians were arming, and that they were
willing to modify materials to meet their needs, it is reasonable to assume that
they were also contemplating means of increasing the effectiveness of other weapons.
Since it is popularly believed that the combat effectiveness of automatic weapons
is superior to that of semiautomatic weapons, it is highly probable that attempts
were being made to convert some, or all, of their semiautomatic weapons to fire
automatically. To do so, and at the same time retain acceptable reliability,
requires the installation of some form of automatic sear, and an appropriate
selection of parts of M16 configuration. Except for automatic sears, the remaining
M16 configuration internal parts are easily and legally obtainable. Appendix 5.
indicates the ease with which these parts may be obtained. While not specifically
stipulated in Appendix 3., the 120 parts kits called "machinegun kits" probably
consisted of such parts.

     Automatic sears for the AR-15 or M16 rifle are of two basic types. The
military-type and the drop-in type. Unless modified through the use of machine
tools, specifically a milling machine, the design of the lower receiver of the AR-15
rifle prevents installation of the military-type automatic sear. The drop-in
automatic sear, however, is specifically designed to function in conjunction with
the aforementioned M16 parts, but to be capable of installation in an unmodified,
AR-15, lower receiver. They are a simple assembly, and can be installed or removed
in less than one minute by an inexpert craftsman.

     The material made available does not indicate that the Branch Davidians
received shipments containing automatic sears. However, with the machine tools known
to exist within the compound, a knowledgeable and motivated individual could easily
modify AR-15 lower receivers for installation of military-type automatic sears, or
fabricate automatic sears of the drop-in type.


Applying the above rationale leads to the following conclusions.

     The Branch Davidians were arming with the intent of entering into an armed

     In their pursuit of arms, they were attempting to activate grenades through
use of black powder or other crude explosives.

     In an attempt to increase the combat effectiveness of the weapons available
to them, it is highly probable that they were attempting to convert semiautomatic
weapons to fire automatically, and it is possible that they had succeeded.

     In view of the information available prior to February 28, 1993, the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was fully justified in seeking and attempting to
execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas.

                                   Respectfully submitted,
                           Charles R. Fagg, P.E.