Wednesday, 01 November 2017 17:35

New York terror attack, suspect apprehended

At least eight people have been killed in a terrorist attack in New York City. Alleged terrorist, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipovd, a 29 year old Uzbek-American, drove a rented Home Depot van onto a pedestrian sidewalk and drove for several blocks hitting dozens. Sayfullo then T-boned  the van into a school bus. After the collision, Sayfullo exited the van with a pellet gun in one hand and a paintball gun in the other. He was shortly thereafter shot and captured by NYC police. He remains in custody.

 

Multiple sources report Sayfullo left a handwritten note at the scene of the crime, written in Arabic, detailing his support of ISIS.

 

Terrorists attacks by vehicle are becoming more common. In 2010, Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch published an article called, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine” and told readers to use trucks to "mow down" the enemies of Allah.

 

In 2014 ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani said:

 

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be … If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchmen are any of their allies. Smash his head with rock, or slaughter him with a knife or run over him with your car (emphasis mine) or throw him down from a high place or poison him.”

 

Up to and including the October 31st NYC attack, there have been almost a dozen instances of radicalized Islamic extremists using trucks or vehicles to commit terror attacks. Most of these instances involve a Lone Wolf attack and while it's true that Lone Wolf attacks are extremely difficult to predict and prevent, they can be diminished.

 

In Daniel Byman's “Can Lone Wolves Be Stopped?” for Lawfare (online), he writes:

 

“One of the most important measures involves keeping Lone Wolves lonely: the less they can interact with potential co-conspirators, and in particular with dangerous groups that give them direction and training, the less dangerous they will be. Intelligence gathering and arrests of suspected cell leaders and targeting terrorist command and control via drone strikes is thus vital.

 

The Islamic State’s heavy reliance on social media to publicize its message and share information with recruits is a vulnerability as well as a benefit for the group. U.S. intelligence should continue to exploit social media to identify potential group members and to disrupt their activities. Such monitoring is particularly important when seeking to identify potential Lone Wolves or those with no direct international connection, as they may be encouraged by online operatives or post their intentions online as a form of bragging and belonging.”

 

Byman is a foreign policy editor and professor at Georgetown U. School of Foreign Service.



Note: This is a continually developing story and will be updated as further information arises.

 

 

Published in News & Information

I had family in Las Vegas this week, so when I read that one man -- just one -- killed 58 people and injured another 515 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, I naturally called to make sure they were alright. They were, because they’re not into country music, which might have been why the concert was targeted.

My aunt said despite being just “next door” at the Luxor (half a mile away), they couldn’t hear gunfire coming from the 32nd-floor window at Mandalay Bay, where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired upon thousands of innocent concert-goers.

While ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, of course they have. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in United States’ history, which is exactly the kind of press ISIS seeks. But despite FBI Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse saying they’ve found no connection between the shooting and an international terrorist organization, it would make more sense if they do find a connection with ISIS.

If Paddock was indeed acting as an agent of ISIS, an outdoor, country music concert in Las Vegas is a prime target for an ISIS attack. It certainly makes more sense than an Eagles of Death Metal concert in France. First, it’s Sin City, so regardless of who the terrorist shoots, in his mind, she’s a sinner -- guilty by association. Secondly, the country music fan is almost certainly an American infidel, which couldn’t be said about any other genre.

A thoughtful editorial by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria opines that radical Islam is the product of "broken politics and stagnant economics of Muslim countries," so while the Quran endorses violence, it specifies a very vague enemy. Even Muslims trying to make it in America are targets of terrorism because they’re accepting the vulgarities of the modern world that’s left the Muslim world behind.

Regardless of whom a follower of Allah determines to be an enemy of Islam, they should not be able to injure over 500 people and kill more than 50 in a matter of minutes without strapping a bomb to their chest. Had the gunman been forced to shoot people with a single shot rifle or pistol, he would have been killed by police before he could reload. Automatic weapons with detachable magazines serve no purpose but to wage war; recreational entertainment is not a purpose.

Our entertainment is not reason enough to continue to allow more people to die en masse from gun violence than any other country in the world. I like firing automatic weapons, but I don’t need to fire automatic weapons, and neither do you.

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