By Anna Lawson and Ryan Hack
Vehicle-related terrorist attacks are on the rise, as there have been at least thirty over the past decade around the globe. One third of all vehicle terrorist attacks since 1981 have occurred this year alone. This increase is due to their simple nature and difficulty of prevention. As more terrorist groups continue to see these occur, the rate of attacks will grow even more. To see the change of strategies that these groups are having since major terrorist attacks such as 9/11, previous recent attacks need to be closely analyzed.
Most recently, on October 31, 2017, Sayfullo Saipov ran down dozens of people in a New York City bike path, injuring fifteen and killing eight. Saipov is a green card holder, originally from Uzbekistan, who pledged his allegiance to ISIS during the attack. He used a rented Home Depot truck in order to carry out this horrific massacre. The simplicity of planning attacks similar to this one make them appealing to terrorists. In addition, it is almost impossible to detect and prevent vehicle attacks in contrast to the easier nature of detecting bombs, such as the Times Square Bomber of 2010. Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a car bomb in the busiest area of New York City. However, his plan went askew when two street vendors notified security of smoke coming from his car. Fortunately, the bomb was diffused and nobody was injured.
A couple of months before the New York attack, eight people were killed, and forty-eight people were injured in terrorist attacks in central London before police shot and killed three suspects. The alarming violence began when a van drove through a crowd of pedestrians on the London Bridge. The suspects then jumped from the van and made their way to Borough Market, a densely populated nightlife and tourist area, where they stabbed people in restaurants and pubs. Over 50 people were taken to the hospital.
Glenelg students agree with the idea that these types of terrorist attacks will not stop anytime soon. When asked about these vehicle attacks Lucy Loazer, a Junior, said that “this is a big dilemma, since it is so easy to carry out an attack like this without detection by law enforcement”. Josie Stubs, a Junior, said that vehicle-related attacks are increasing because “there are so many drivers on the road, and it would be almost impossible to detect when one wants to commit an atrocious attack and run people over.” Because there is not currently a complete strategic procedure for preventing these attacks, they will continue to occur this way until a plan is developed to stop them.