Vehicular ramming in West Bank (July 6, 2016)

On this day in 2016, a Palestinian man lightly injured three Israeli soldiers near an illegal settlement in the West Bank: the culprit was seriously wounded.

Successful terrorists keep it simple: what is more simple than a vehicular attack?

WEST BANK — For many in the world, perhaps more accurately the Western world, the car represents a lot of things. Freedom. Achievement. Flexibility. A sense of adventure. You never really forget your first car, do you?

Me? Mine was a 1968 Pontiac Beaumont my mom got for me for $700 from a woman she worked with at an insurance bureau. It already had almost 100,000 miles on it (150,000 km) and it cost me an arm and a leg repairing this and that. But it was my ticket to the highways and byways of southern Ontario for me and my friends. Ah, the memories.

Cars are of course ubiquitous on our streets and in our neighbourhoods. No one tends to bat an eyelash these days, except for a truly stunning model (like my current bright red 2018 Ford Mustang?). They are simply part of the background.

Which makes them a great tool for terrorists. You don’t have to gain access to a firearm. You don’t have to figure out how to make a bomb without blowing yourself up first. You just get behind the wheel, find a target, and drive…right through them.

This stupidly simple MO explains why we are seeing it so often, especially these days (Barcelona, Berlin, London, Toronto..). On this day in 2016 three Israeli soldiers in a military vehicle outside the illegal West Bank settlement of Neve Daniel, just west of Bethlehem, were wounded by a Palestinian driving a car right at them. It was the Palestinian who suffered critical injuries: he was evacuated for treatment.

As long as cars are everywhere terrorists will use them. It is simply too easy a way to maim and kill.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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