ISIS brings war to Manhattan

 
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ISIS brings war to Manhattan

It’s the big news of the day, and I’m sure you’re seeing it everywhere, but I’m not going to avoid the elephant in the room just because everyone else is talking about it.

From the New York Times:

A driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer in what officials are calling the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.

The rampage ended when the motorist — whom the police identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29 — smashed into a school bus, jumped out of his truck and ran up and down the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before he was shot in the abdomen by the officer. He remained in critical condition on Tuesday evening.

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the rampage a terrorist attack and federal law enforcement authorities were leading the investigation. Investigators discovered handwritten notes in Arabic near the truck that indicated allegiance to the Islamic State, two law enforcement officials said. But investigators had not uncovered evidence of any direct or enabling ties between Mr. Saipov and ISIS and were treating the episode as a case of an “inspired” attacker, two counterterrorism officials said.

Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference, “Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”

Honestly I’m surprised they called it terrorism so quick, not because it wasn’t abundantly clear, but they are usually reticent to do that.

Amateur video shows Saipov on the run, and then the police grabbing him:

The use of a vehicle isn’t new either, as you will recall the attack in Nice, France was also started this way.

Ramming attacks—such as the one that left at least 84 dead in Nice on Thursday—were the subject of two warnings issued jointly by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2010.

An advisory dated June of that year was titled “Possible Indicators of Use of Large Commercial Vehicles as Weapons.” A second one issued that December was titled “Terrorist Use of Vehicle Ramming Tactics” and reads in part:

“Terrorists overseas have suggested conducting vehicle ramming attacks—using modified or unmodified vehicles—against crowds, buildings, and other vehicles.”

The document goes on, “Such attacks could be used to target locations where large numbers of people congregate, including sporting events, entertainment venues, or shopping centers.”

Unsurprisingly, much like how Al Qaeda’s magazine Inspire was the genesis of pressure cooker bombs, they also played a role in this one:

The origin of this trend is often traced back to Inspire, the web magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which published an article in 2010 entitled “The Ultimate Mowing Machine.” It called for using a pickup truck as a “mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.” It went on: “To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to maximize your inertia and be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run.”

Not much more to add for now until the investigation continues and we find out more information, but this is horrible for all concerned.  Thoughts and prayers for the injured and the families of those killed in this attack on our homeland.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.