Written by: Greg Ellifritz
A couple weeks ago, I posted THIS ARTICLE about Islamist terrorists using a car (rather than a gun or bomb) to commit a mass killing. Did you know that the same thing has occurred in the United States as well?
Soon after I published the article, my friend Ron Borsch informed me about some similar incidents he remembered. Check these out:
– May 2006 — Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, rented an SUV and drove it through a crowded part of the campus — intentionally trying to hit people. He wounded nine. In a series of letters to the student newspaper, he explained that he acted in obedience to Koranic dictates.
– August 2006 — Omeed Aziz Popal, a Muslim Afghan refugee, used his SUV as a weapon and ran down at least 14 people and a bicyclist in the San Francisco Bay area. He was specifically targeting Jewish neighborhoods.
– January 2007 — A 22-year-old man, Ismail Yassin Mohamed, stole a car in Minneapolis and rammed it into other cars before stealing a van and doing the same, injuring several drivers and pedestrians before police finally caught up with him. Mohamed called himself a “terrorist.”
– February 2007 — Ibrihim Ahmed, a Nashville cab driver, was enraged that two passengers did not agree with him about Islam. When they got out of the cab, he tried to run them down, striking one in a parking lot.
More information about these (and other) attacks at the links below:
Did you know about these incidents? I certainly didn’t. I thank Ron for sending their summaries to me.
Most of the terrorist attackers in these events seem more like mentally ill nutjobs than terrorist masterminds, but that means little to the people they have killed or injured. I don’t know if using a vehicle as a weapon is a formally trained terrorist tactic or just the acts of desperation from crazy people who have delusions of being “terrorists.” It doesn’t really matter.
We all need to be aware that these types of attacks can happen. Cars aren’t likely to be banned anytime soon, so there isn’t much we are likely to be able to do to prevent terrorist attacks like these.
The most important thing we can do is recognize that they can happen. If you are out in public and see a car run into a large group of people, don’t automatically assume that it is an elderly driver or a drunk. Take time to assess the situation before running up to give aid. Realize that the terrorists may not be finished and may be in the act of blowing up a car bomb or setting the car on fire.
Be careful out there.
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