The attack on one of Barcelona’s historic streets Thursday is the latest in a series of vehicle ramming incidents in the West that have killed 128 people since 2014.
At least 13 people were killed and 80 injured when a van, which witnesses said was traveling at a high speed through the tourist area, mowed down people in Barcelona.
Since 2014 there have been 14 vehicle ramming attacks in the West, according to a count by New America, a nonpartisan think tank.
Like school shooters, terrorists learn from other attacks. Vehicle attacks have become a method of choice for terrorists in the past three years since they require no training or expertise and they inflict just as much terror as more conventional tactics such as bombings.
The author, Peter Bergen, is CNN’s national security analyst and a vice president at the New America thinktank that he quotes.
Indeed, there have been exactly 14 car ramming attacks (more if you count non-terror attacks) aimed at people (as opposed to buildings) since 2014 in the West.
But if you count all the terrorist vehicle attacks against people listed by Wikipedia, you see that a significant percentage were in Israel:
2006 UNC SUV attack, University of North Carolina, United States (ramming people)
2008 Jerusalem vehicular attack, Israel (ramming people)2008 Jerusalem bulldozer attack, Israel (ramming people)2011 Tel Aviv nightclub attack, Israel (ramming + stabbing)May 2013 Murder of Lee Rigby, London, England (ramming + stabbing)
2013 Tiananmen Square attack, China (ramming people + bursting into flames)
2014 Jerusalem tractor attack, Israel (ramming people + bus)2014 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ramming attack, Canada (ramming)
October 2014 Jerusalem vehicular attack, Israel (ramming people)November 2014 Jerusalem vehicular attack, Israel (ramming + hitting with a metal crowbar)2014 Alon Shvut stabbing attack, West Bank (failed ramming + stabbing)2014 Dijon attack, France (ramming people)
2014 Nantes attack, France (ramming people)
2016 Nice attack, France (ramming people + gunfire)
2016 Ohio State University attack, United States (ramming + stabbing)
2016 Berlin attack, Germany (shooting truck driver + ramming people)
2017 Jerusalem truck attack, Israel (ramming people)2017 Westminster attack, London, England (ramming + stabbing; some victims were thrown off Westminster Bridge by the ramming)
2017 Stockholm attack, Sweden (ramming people)
June 2017 London Bridge attack, England (ramming + stabbing).
2017 Finsbury Park attack, London, England (ramming people)
June 2017 Champs-Élysées car ramming attack, Paris, France (ramming a police car)
2017 Levallois-Perret attack, Levallois-Perret, France (ramming soldiers)
2017 Charlottesville attack, during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States (ramming people)
2017 Barcelona attack (ramming people)
8 out of 23 recorded vehicular terror attacks – 34% – were in Israel, with 13 murdered (plus one stabbed to death after a failed car ramming.)
The deliberate attempt to minimize the ramming attacks in Israel continued at CNN, with a list of notable attacks since 2006 including only one attack in Israel even as it highlights non-fatal attacks in the US.
The New York Times has an analysis on why car-ramming attacks are such effective terror weapons – but the implication in that article is that it makes people fearful only if it happens in the West. There is a clear implication that most of these stories have: Those Israelis who suffered from such attacks since 2008 are not considered one of us, and their fears don’t count. But European attacks are the ones that make us fearful. Europeans are more like Americans than a Israelis are.
And one reason for that is because the New York Times and other media treat Israelis as a separate category of terror victims to begin with. To an extent, those Israelis deserve it more than innocent Europeans. To an extent, Palestinian terrorists are more justified in their murder of Israeli civilians than ISIS is in their murder of Europeans.
These attempts to minimize Palestinian innovation in car ramming terrorism become even more obvious when you read this 2008 Stratfor analysis that essentially predicted this trend:
Israel has seen three attacks in three months in which Arab Israelis from East Jerusalem used vehicles as weapons. No single group has claimed responsibility for all three attacks, but their similarities suggest that Palestinian militants have discovered a new tactic that, while not thus far as deadly as suicide bombing, could prove more difficult to prevent.
The casualty rate for these most recent attacks appears to be lower than suicide-bomber attacks, but as militants carry out more of these attacks, they could learn, improve their tactics and indeed increase casualties.
Palestinians are the first to use this tactic more than once as a means of terror (there were some isolated vehicle attacks beforehand.) There can be no doubt that ISIS learned this method from the Palestinian terrorists. To write an analysis about vehicle attacks without mentioning this history of Palestinian vehicle attacks is simply dishonest.
But the Western media is loathe to put Palestinian Islamic terrorists on the same level as ISIS.
So we see whitewashing instead of actual analysis.
Deep down, reporters and analysts and politicians want to believe Palestinian terror is anomalous – and at least partially justified – which is why we see such a consistent pattern of bad reporting and bad analysis.
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