The van attack: a growing trend

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
The van attack: a growing trend

<p>Thursday’s attack in Barcelona is part of a growing number of incidents in which vans have been used to kill civilians.</p> <p>In July 2016, 84 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in Nice, when a 20-ton truck ploughed into crowds gathered to celebrate Bastille Day in the French Riviera town.</p> <p><span class="caps">ISIL</span> claimed responsibility.</p> <p>A festive gathering was also the target of a December 2016 attack in Berlin, when a tractor-trailer rammed crowds at a popular Christmas market.</p> <p>Back in 2010, Al-Qaeda had called for the use of vehicles to “mow down the enemies of Allah”, using speed for “maximum carnage”.</p> <p>It was a low-tech strategy employed in March by Khalid Masood when he drove into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge.</p> <p>Also in Stockholm, where an extremist sympathiser barrelled a stolen beer truck into shoppers on a busy street, killing 4 and injuring 15. </p> <p>Ironically the trend may result from improved security within Europe, as terrorists turn in desperation to cruder but less preventable means of mass devastation.</p> <p>As the June attack on London’s Borough Market demonstrated, however, less sophisticated does not mean less effective.</p> <p>Welshman Darren Osborne proved that it’s not just Islamist terrorists attracted by this tactic when he drove a van into pedestrians near a London mosque.</p>