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Barcelona attack latest in disturbing terror vehicle trend

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
17th August 2017 - Quoted by Alan Gomez - USA Today

If vehicle terror attacks in Spain that killed 14 and injured at least 100 sounds familiar, that's because they follow a disturbing trend of terrorism that requires little organization, manpower or technological know-how.

Whatever the attacker's motive, the method has become commonplace.

Vehicles have been used to plow into pedestrians in the United Kingdom twice this year, including a June attack on London Bridge that killed eight people and a March attack on Westminster Bridge where four pedestrians and one police officer were killed. Suspects in both attacks were shot dead by police and have been investigated for ties to terrorist organizations.If vehicle terror attacks in Spain that killed 14 and injured at least 100 sounds familiar, that's because they follow a disturbing trend of terrorism that requires little organization, manpower or technological know-how.

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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said many Islamic State followers are incorrectly labeled lone wolves because there is little evidence showing any direct contact with the militant group. Maybe the attackers have never been to a country known to house terrorist training camps, or maybe there's no sign they communicated with an Islamic State operative online or over the phone.

But Gartenstein-Ross said the anonymity of social media and easy access to encryption software has made it easier for people to have regular conversations with terrorism groups without raising suspicions from law enforcement.

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Tags

barcelona, global-war-on-terror, homegrown-terrorism, sunni-jihadism