Oct 31, 2017

In U.S. and Europe, vehicular attacks pose growing threat

Bicycles and debris lies on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial. Photo: Craig Ruttle / AP

Vehicular terrorist attacks have quickly become a trend all over the world, from the 2016 attack in Nice that killed over 80 people to the New York City incident on Tuesday that killed at least eight.

Why it matters: This form of attack is now so recognizable that New York officials said Tuesday that it factored into their analysis that the attack was likely terrorism.

Nice, France
  • An attacker plowed a large truck into a Bastille Day celebration in July 2016, killing 84 people and injuring over 200 others. It was labeled an act of terror and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Barcelona, Spain
  • 14 people were killed in August and more than 100 wounded when an attacker in a van struck pedestrians in a tourist hot spot. It was investigated as an act of terror, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Berlin, Germany
  • A truck was driven into a Christmas market December 2016, killing 12 and injuring dozens more. It was investigated as an act of terrorism, and the perpetrator had pledged loyalty to ISIS.
London, England
  • Five people were killed and dozens more injured in March when a man drove an SUV onto Westminster Bridge, and then exited the vehicle and stabbed a police officer. He was killed shortly after.
Stockholm, Sweden
  • A man drove into a crowd in April, killing four and leaving another dozen injured. He was held on suspicion of terrorist crimes.
Ohio, U.S.A.
  • An attacker drove his car into a crowd of people at Ohio State University, then exited the car and charged at students with a knife, injuring 11 people. He was killed shortly after.

Worth noting: As we saw with the Times Square incident earlier this year, in which a young woman was killed, these vehicular incidents sometimes spark concerns of terrorism but prove not to be terrorism-related.

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