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Terrorism & Insurgency

US attack underlines increasing trend by single-actor terrorists to utilise vehicles against vulnerable, soft targets

31 October 2017

Event

On 31 October, a 29-year-old man drove a Home Depot trunk into a bike lane in downtown New York City, killing eight and injuring 15. The perpetrator was an Uzbek legal immigrant who had been living in the United States from 2010.

Although police at this time believe that he acted alone, they did note the presence of a letter or flag pertaining to the Islamic State at the attack scene. In response to the attack, President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to enhance its extreme vetting procedures for immigrants. According to media reports, extreme vetting could refer to allowing immigration officials access into mobile phone contacts, social media passwords, financial records, and could include questions regarding a person’s ideologies.

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