NY targetted

 02 Nov 2017 - 14:45

The Peninsula

Truck. Terror. Tenacity. These three words accurately describe a new form of destructive perversion that is being used by militant groups or disgruntled individuals to kill innocent people. The truck is used as a vehicle that can ravage a site and is generally ploughed into crowds causing casualties the scale of which depends on the size and speed with which it is driven. Terror is the aim with which the pernicious exercise is undertaken. In the wake of stepped up crackdown against terrorist groups and their sympathisers, lone wolf attacks have been launched by misguided individuals who take it upon themselves to carry out a ‘mission’ against society or a group.

Tuesday’s attack in New York City sent a ripple across the world. A city that thwarted all designs against terrorism and stonewalled any major attack for 16 years after September 11, 2001 aircraft assaults on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, was held hostage by a small truck driven by a bigoted man who ploughed it into people riding bikes and pedestrians along the West Side of Lower Manhattan.

The man, identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, had entered the United States under a special immigration programme introduced by the previous government. He reportedly lived in Paterson, New Jersey. Though all terror
attacks grab global headlines, had it not been for New York, Tuesday’s attack would have drawn less attention.

Terrorism, like other crimes, is about motivation and the determination to cause maximum harm. Someone determined to go on a killing spree is very hard to stop. Tenacity — the ability to hold on and be unyielding even in trying circumstances — is the forte of the terrorist. However, during times of terror, society has become very tenacious. In spite of the terror attacks, New York City did not cancel the Halloween march and people went about their business as usual. Attacks in major cities of the word have seen people stand up against terror and the nefarious designs of groups out to create
instability.

The Islamic State has been largely emasculated in the Middle East as troops retake the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria. It is believed the group may have stepped up attempts to recruit more Jihadists abroad and may have been telling sympathizers to go after civilians in large urban settings. Trucks and other large vehicles are slowly becoming the new medium of terror. It is a challenge for stretched security forces to be on the guard and identify the perpetrators who might be planning to launch more such attacks.

These attacks on the public make use of a useful medium for egregious ends. It is for security forces and intelligence agencies to pre-empt truck attacks as it is hard to curb the use such vehicles or ban them.