It seems that using a vehicle as a deadly terror weapon in densely populated urban settings is becoming a common tactic. Earlier this week, a British man intentionally drove his car into a group of cyclists. The attack occurred outside of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament in London, England.
Security cameras showed the car slamming into the group before it jumped the curb and crashed into barricades outside of Westminster.
No one was killed in Tuesday morning’s attack. The three injured cyclists were treated at the scene.
Ironically, the barricades were erected after the March 2017 vehicle terror attack. That incident resulted in the deaths of four pedestrians, one police officer and the driver.
Police acted quickly. Hundreds of officers were on the scene within seconds, according Independent.co.uk, pulling the driver from the vehicle. He did not resist and in fact waited for officers to arrive.
The area around Parliament Square was sealed off. No one was able to enter or leave the area and workers were not able to go to their offices. The local subway station, or the Tube, was event shut down temporarily.
The man arrested was 29-year-old Salih Khater. He is originally from Sudan but is a British citizen who resides in the Birmingham area. He is being held on suspicion of preparing an act of terror and police report he is not cooperating.
The Terror Threat in Britain
According to Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain is facing a severe terror threat and there has been an increase in terror investigations since March. In 2017 the terrorism-related arrests reached 412. That’s 20% of all terror-related threats in the past seven years.
The Bottom Line
Incidents such as this should alert populations in all countries to the danger of terror attacks by lone individuals. These “lone-gunmen” can strike when we least expect it.
Unfortunately, urban areas are particularly attractive because they are target-rich environments. We can secure certain areas with barricades, but they are only effective when people are behind them. As this latest attack shows, pedestrians, cyclists and those outside of vehicles in open places are susceptible. Because of that, we all need to be vigilant and take extra steps to protect those we care about the most.
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