A recent New York Post story reports that ISIS is encouraging its followers to use trucks to attack large outdoor gatherings, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
ISIS is even offering instructions on how to use trucks as weapons of mass destruction. Last summer in France an Islamic terrorist drove a box truck through a large crowd, killing and injuring scores of people that had gathered to watch fireworks in Nice in celebration of Bastille Day.
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s murderous rampage in a 19-ton truck on July 14 left 86 people dead and more than 400 injured. He only stopped after being shot to death by police.
However, Bouhlel wasn’t a lone wolf. French authorities arrested five suspects in connection with the massacre. A text from one of the suspects to Bouhlel read, “Load the truck with 2000 tons of iron, cut the brake and I’ll watch you.”
Sick, sick, sick. Not long after the killing spree it was learned that Bouhlel was able to drive right past security guards after telling them that he was delivering ice cream for the event. Security missed the fact that he wasn’t driving a refrigerated truck.
Obviously, preventive measures are key. New York City’s Department of Sanitation is always at the ready to line the streets with sand-filled trucks to help stop these murderous loons from driving onto a sidewalk and into a crowded building. That’s a big deterrent—literally—for sure. The trucks can also be used to block streets to help prevent vehicles from gaining access to areas that require greater security, like parade routes. NYPD announced this morning that DSNY will be loaning out 87 of its trucks to help protect the 2 1/2 mile long route for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The trucks will be filled with sand or rock salt.
Trucks that help stop other trucks from becoming mass weapons of destruction sounds like something out of a “Tranformers” movie, but safety demands it.
Large trucks and other barriers are among the last lines of defense, of course. Other steps need to be taken even before a terrorist gets behind the wheel.
Anyone who flies knows just how much security at U.S. airports has changed to thwart would-be terrorists from commandeering a plane and using it as a mass weapon of destruction.
Now, the question is have enough steps been taken to guard against terrorists from overtaking trucks and turning them into deadly weapons? The undertaking is far more challenging than airport security with arguably greater risks posed to life, property and commerce. There are, after all, a lot more trucks on the nation’s roads than planes and they’re much more accessible. Plus, the aftermath of such a horrific attack not only stings in terms of loss of life, it also gives the truck industry a black eye.
But what price security? Will renting a moving truck eventually require the same waiting period as a gun purchase? One hopes not. Obviously knowledge, common sense and courage is key. Not long after Islamic terrorists—a husband and wife—carried out a deadly shooting spree at holiday party late last year in San Bernadino, Calif., radio stations across the U.S. began airing U.S. Homeland Security ads asking listeners to report suspicious activities.
Given these latest instructions from ISIS on using trucks as weapons, it looks like it’s time for Uncle Sam to start once again running those “If you see something, say something” ads. One just hopes that the ads don’t become as traditional as Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas music and Black Friday ads.