Unfortunately, the country experienced yet another terror attack this week. This time walkers, runners and bikers on a New York City bike path were the targets.
As these types of outdoor attacks continue, security experts are developing methods for preventing them.
The New York Attack
On October 31, 2017, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov rented a pickup truck and drove it onto the bike path that located on the Westside of Manhattan. Saipov struck and killed eight people before he slammed into a school bus.
New York City Police arrested him after the attack and he is hospitalized and still in custody.
Originally from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, Saipov came to the United States in 2010 under a Diversity Visa. Before settling in Paterson, New Jersey, he lived in Ohio and Florida.
It appears that Saipov read ISIS propaganda and was motivated to take this action from it. Where and when he was exposed and to what extent is still being investigated. It is known that the mosque that he attended has been under surveillance since 2005. Authorities report finding notes and papers that contain his pledge of loyalty to ISIS.
Preventing Outdoor Attacks
Of course, the most asked question since the attack is what could have been done to prevent this? In the city where terror struck in 1993 and again in 2001, where anti-terror agencies and law enforcement are probably more prepared than anywhere else in the country, that question is a difficult one to ask.
SecurityInfoWatch.com suggests that nothing more could have been done. In other words, this attack was not the result of a failure. “Tuesday’s attack is an unfortunate but poignant side-effect of responsible government resource prioritization.” Securing larger, more public targets has forced terrorists to attack smaller, softer ones.
The Bottom Line
In this new form of attack, less is needed, as well. In this most recent example, Saipov only needed a truck to carry out his plan.
The key, then, to preventing this new style of attack is reducing the opportunity for terrorists to get to these softer targets. That will involve city engineers and planning officials to redesign access by vehicles. Can every scenario be anticipated and prevented? No, but municipalities will need to do what they can to prevent them.
Of course, citizens will have a role in prevention, as well. Each of us needs to make the protection of ourselves and our loved ones a priority. Be aware of your surroundings and what is happening around you. If something seems suspicious, don’t be ruled by curiosity. Go the other way.
If you are looking for ways to secure you property, employees or loved ones, call American Security Force at 855-722-8585.