Vehicular terrorism: Ramming attack in London marks new, go-to method of choice

by WorldTribune Staff, March 29, 2017

Attacks involving vehicles as the weapon of choice for terrorists will likely increase as they are inexpensive to organize and easier to pull off than bombings or mass shootings, analysts say.

“The success of vehicular attacks, a low-tech, inexpensive and almost unstoppable method of killing civilians and getting international headlines, shows that terrorist groups remain ‘relevant’ and that such attacks are almost certain to be used again in the future,” Dr. Jack Caravelli wrote in the new edition of

The March 22 terror attack in London is the latest in a string of attacks using vehicles as the primary weapon.

The most recent use of this new, go-to method occurred in London on March 22 when four people were killed and at least 20 injured when a jihadist plowed his vehicle into pedestrians close to parliament. The attacker was shot dead.

“This kind of attack doesn’t need special preparation, it is very low-cost, within anybody’s reach,” said Sebastien Pietrasanta, a French Socialist lawmaker and terrorism expert.

Terrorists used trucks to devastating effect last year in attacks in Berlin and Nice, both of which Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department issued a report saying that terrorists’ use of vehicle attacks is likely to trigger “emotionally disturbed persons” to conduct similar acts of violence, the Washington Free Beacon reported on March 29. “Each new incident carries the risk of inspiring others to take similar action,” the report stated.

Five non-terrorist vehicle attacks took place between December 2014 and February 2017. They included two ramming attacks in December 2014 in Dijon and Nantes, France; a June 2015 attack in Austria by a man driving an SUV into a crowd; a September 2016 attempt to drive a car into pedestrians in Vienna; and a driver who killed a pedestrian and injured two others in Heidelberg, Germany, last month.