It has been over 5 years since the 9/11 terror attack which was one of the most horrific terror attacks of the time. The world has come a long way since then and terror attacks have certainly become more frequent and are being carried out in more varied forms, one of which includes vehicle-ramming attacks.
Vehicle-ramming attacks which involve deliberately ramming a motor vehicle into a building, a crowd of people, or another vehicle are nothing new. In fact, vehicle-ramming attacks became a major terrorist tactic in the 2010s.
Still, they seem to be taking place even more frequently in recent times. Just after midnight on Monday, a van plowed into worshippers near a London mosque. The casualties from the attack by the time of writing this article was one person dead and 10 injured. The police tagged it as a deliberate attack on Muslims and began treating it as a terrorist incident.
Neil Basu, senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing said;
“This had all the hallmarks of a terrorist incident, this was an attack on London and all Londoners.”
If the authorities, including Basu, are right, this will be the third vehicle-ramming attack to have occurred in Britain since March! That spells out the frequency of the vehicle-ramming attacks as we mentioned earlier.
Vehicle-ramming attacks seem to be attractive to terrorists because they require little skill to perpetuate and they do have the capacity to cause some significant casualties. The view of terrorism keeps changing as more and more of these attacks are carried out and this article seeks to provide just a few ways that terrorism has changed in recent times.
Here are five ways terrorism has changed in recent times;
Radicalization has become easier
It seems that everyone has a reason to be angry these days. This anger can be easily taken advantage of by terrorist organizations to recruit new believers in their ideology.
Scott Atran, an anthropologist who has advised the United Nations and the White House on terrorism, earlier this year said that;
“Most foreign volunteers and supporters [of terrorist groups] fall within the mid-ranges of what social scientists call ‘the normal distribution’ in terms of psychological attributes like empathy, compassion, idealism, and wanting mostly to help rather than hurt other people.”
They, however, often believe that terrorism can actually be a path to defeating the thing they are angry at be it corruption, perceived immorality or any other number of factors.
Mediums for radicalizing people are more now than ever
We have heard of people being radicalized through social media as well as through face to face meetings. Some pages on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are used to publish terrorist propaganda and those messages often spread before the pages are reported and taken down.
Terrorist groups still require financing but they have gotten smarter
Terrorist groups probably still require financing but it takes less money to plan a series of vehicle-ramming attacks than what it must have taken to carry out the 9/11 attack.
Some radicalized people have also carried out attacks with knives, guns and even homemade bombs. The effectiveness of radicalization have enabled terrorist groups to carry out widespread attacks with little financing.