London’s Second Vehicle Attack and Britain’s Third Terror Attack in Three Months

London’s Second Vehicle Attack and Britain’s Third Terror Attack in Three Months

Over this past weekend the Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda arm released a poster urging its supporters to run over civilians and featured a knife, handgun and truck to "gain benefit from Ramadan".

On Saturday night, London witnessed another vehicle terror attack again centered on London Bridge and the neighboring Borough district. Pedestrians were run down on the bridge by a van before terrorists disembarked the vehicle and stabbed a police officer, and people around Borough Market with 12-inch knives. Seven people died in the attack, along with the three terrorists shot dead by police, 48 others were injured, 21 of them in critical condition. The attackers wore fake suicide bomb belts to further complicate the response of police. One of the victims of the attack is a young Canadian woman Chrissy Archibald while another is a French national. Three Australian were injured in the knife attacks.

Not surprisingly, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had been carried out by “a detachment of Islamic State fighters.” One of the attackers yelled, "this is for Allah" as he stabbed a person near a Borough Market pub. The names of the terrorists have not been released but they have been identified by police. The ring-leader was reportedly known to British authorities as a 'ABZ', and previously appeared in a Channel 4 documentary in 2016 about British jihadists and unfurled an ISIS-style flag in Regent's Park. ABZ was also caught on camera along with two of the United Kingdom’s most notorious radical Islamist preachers. Another of the unidentified attackers is reportedly believed to be of Moroccan origin, and to have married a Scottish woman, and was living in Dublin prior to the attack. He was found with an Irish identity card.

The London bridge Borough Market attack was carried out just five days before the upcoming British general election on Thursday. It was Britain's third terrorist attack since the March 22nd vehicle attack on Westminster bridge and the Westminster Parliamentary Precinct. The attack in March on Westminster bridge, was carried out by 52-year-old British national Khaled Masood, who killed four people and injured more than 50. The Westminster terror attack, and recent Manchester bombing some 12 days ago, were also claimed by ISIS. Vehicle attacks were pioneered by Palestinian terrorists in Israel and have become a deadly new weapon. We have seen recent vehicle attacks by ISIS supporters in Quebec (2014), Jerusalem (2014, 2017), Nice (2016), Berlin (2016), Columbus (2016), Stockholm (2017), and London, for a second time this year.

The targets are increasingly young children and families walking together. These attacks have been effective because they come with little warning, feature ease of planning, execution, access, occur at tourist sites or outdoor markets, come with packed crowds with little room to maneuver, where people are confined by buildings and barriers preventing escape. The vehicles used are trucks and vans because of their size, speed, and weight increases their lethality. Many have featured attempted or actual stabbing or shooting of victims after the initial slaughter of those rundown by the vehicle. Little training is necessary in terms of preparing for the attacks, meaning want to be ‘jihadis’ and supporters that have become radicalized as well as experienced terrorists can carry out these types of attacks.

On a last point, this represents Europe’s twelfth major ISIS-directed or Inspired attack since 2015. Five of those terrorist attacks were carried out by gunmen, five using vehicle, and three using explosives to kill and injure innocent people. Some 175 people have been killed and more than 700 injured in these ISIS- related European attacks.

#Terror #London #ISIS #Vechicle #Radicalized #British #Westminster #Allah #Europe

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