Hostile Vehicle Attacks in the Northern Hemisphere

Many people have commented on Terrorist Attacks here on this page when mention of Hostile Vehicle Attacks is made. Simplistic responses such as the banning of ethnic or religious minorities, closing down immigration and punitive methodologies against those wearing religious garb have all been canvassed.

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Put simply none of these measures will prevent a hostile vehicle from causing Death or Injury. Active insurgents simply do not play by the rules. They do not announce their intentions or telegraph their beliefs. Quite simply they carry out their intended actions causing mass chaos, injury and destruction with absolutely no forward warning. The only thing that can effectively prevent such actions is a solid, well tested Hostile Vehicle Mitigation System – such as the Meridian Rapid Defence Group’s Archer 1200 Barriers. In Australia these units are available exclusively through AML Risk Management.

Take a look here at the relevant history of Hostile Vehicle Attacks in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a distinct pattern and it is evident that this is dependent on the physical accessibility of Europe and European cities to the Middle Eastern War Zones. The US and Canada are also high level targets. Australia is far more difficult for these groups but as recent events in Sydney with regard to Aviation prove – not impossible.

Terrorist Attacks by Vehicle Fast Facts

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Police evacuate Stockholm Central Train Station after a truck crashed into a department store injuring several people in Stockholm, Sweden, Friday April 7, 2017.

Editors Note: This is a selective list which only includes attacks involving civilians.

(CNN) Here is some background information on terror attacks involving vehicles used as deadly weapons by radicalized individuals or terror groups.

Facts:

Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch encouraged its Western recruits to use trucks as weapons. A 2010 webzine article, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine,” called for deploying a pickup truck as a “mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.”

In September 2014, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called for lone wolf attacks using improvised weaponry, “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.”

Timeline:

March 3, 2006 – Mohammed Taheri-azar, an Iranian-American, drives an SUV into an area crowded with students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nine people sustain minor injuries during the attack, which Teheri-azar later says is retribution for the killing of Muslims overseas. He is convicted of attempted murder in 2008 and is sentenced to 33 years in prison.

October 22, 2014 – A three-month old girl and an Ecuadorian tourist are killed when a driver swerves into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem. The driver, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi is shot and killed by police. Israeli media reported he published militant writing on Facebook and supported Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has conducted attacks in Gaza and the West Bank, but his family denied he supported Hamas or any terror organization.

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July 14, 2016 – After a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, France, a man drives a 20-ton rental truck into the crowd, striking and killing 86 people. The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a Tunisian national, drives nearly a mile on the beachfront promenade before he is shot and killed by authorities. French officials say Bouhlel seemed to become radicalized “very quickly” by ISIS propaganda before the attack. He also suffered from mental illness, according to his father.

November 28, 2016 – At Ohio State University, 11 people are injured when a student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, carries out a car and knife attack. A campus police officer shoots and kills Artan, whom police believe was inspired by ISIS and the radical cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.

December 19, 2016 – A Tunisian man drives a tractor trailer into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. In the wake of the attack, authorities conduct a manhunt for Anis Amri, 24, throughout Europe. He is shot and killed by police in Milan, Italy, four days after the attack. Hours after Amri dies, ISIS releases a video of him pledging allegiance to the terrorist group.

March 22, 2017 – A man drives an SUV into a crowd on the sidewalk along the Westminster Bridge in London, killing at least four. After ramming the car into a barrier outside the House of Parliament, the driver exits the vehicle and stabs a police officer to death. The attacker is then gunned down by a police officer. The assailant, Khalid Masood, 52, of West Midlands, reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism, British Prime Minister Theresa May says.

April 7, 2017 – Four people are killed, when a truck drives into pedestrians on a busy street in the center of Stockholm, Sweden, before crashing into a department store. A fifth victim dies from her injuries three weeks later. The attacker, Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan, admitted to carrying out a “terrorist crime,” his lawyer says. Akilov is later sentenced to life in prison.

June 3, 2017 – Eight people are killed in two terror attacks in central London before police shoot three suspects dead, the Metropolitan police say. The violence begins when a van swerves into throngs of pedestrians on London Bridge. The suspects then jump out the van and proceed on foot to nearby Borough Market, a popular nightlife spot, where witnesses say they produce knives and slash indiscriminately at people in restaurants and bars. At least 48 people are taken to hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service.

June 19, 2017 – Just after midnight, a van plows into a group of pedestrians who had attended late-night prayers at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, killing one man and injuring 11 people. The driver is arrested at the scene for attempted murder and further held on suspicion of terrorism offenses. The suspect is later identified as Darren Osborne, 47, a resident of Cardiff in Wales, according to multiple UK media outlets. Osborne is later sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 43 years.

August 16-18, 2017 – At least 13 people are killed and about 100 are injured on August 17th after a van plows through a crowd of people in a popular tourist district in Barcelona, Spain. Two suspects are arrested, but the driver gets away, according to police. ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, issues a statement claiming responsibility, saying that the attackers are “soldiers of the Islamic State.” On August 18th, in Cambrils, a coastal city around 100 kilometers from Barcelona, five attackers drive an Audi A3 into several pedestrians, killing one. The attackers are shot and killed by police. A house explosion on August 16th, in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, is also believed to be connected to the attacks.

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September 30-October 1, 2017 – On September 30 in Edmonton, Canada, a man purposely strikes a police officer with a white Chevrolet Malibu before jumping out of the vehicle, stabbing the officer several times with a knife and fleeing on foot. There is an ISIS flag in the car, which is later seized as evidence. Just before midnight that same day, a police officer stops a U-Haul truck at a checkpoint and recognizes the driver’s name as similar to that of the Chevrolet’s registered owner. The U-Haul truck then speeds off towards downtown Edmonton. During the chase, the truck deliberately attempts to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys, injuring at least four pedestrians. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, a Somali refugee, is later charged with five counts of attempted murder, dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

October 31, 2017 – Eight people are killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drives down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York. The captured suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Authorities found a note near the truck used in the incident, claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS, a senior law enforcement official said.

Source: cnn.com

In Australia it has been mentally unstable individuals who have caused damage, loss of life and injury. It is immaterial as to why someone acts so, the real issue is prevention and the protection of human life.

The Meridian Archer 1200 system is adaptable to many informal and casual street gatherings and large temporary crowds. Read about it here.

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It is portable, yet effective and can be deployed by one or two people.

Call now on 03 9326 2244 and ask for Emerald Forrest, our hostile vehicle Mitigation Services Coordinator, for a free no-obligation consultation. or leave your details here and one of our operatives will get back to you promptly.

Choose AML Risk Management and the Meridian Rapid Defence Group’s Archer 1200.

Planning, Protection, Prevention. It’s the AML Risk Management program. Strategise to Protect and Prevent.

 

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Authorities move to provide protection from Hostile Vehicles in Melbourne’s CBD

The issue of Hostile vehicle Mitigation in Melbourne’s CBD and high traffic pedestrian areas has been brought into sharp focus with 2 tragic incidents and one potentially tragic ‘copycat’ incident where harm was thankfully averted by quick thinking Police officers. The City of Melbourne is now moving to install permanent fixed planter units and is investigating hydraulic sensor operated metal bollards, both to be used to protect the city’s pedestrians.

From 1999 until 2008, the City of Melbourne featured themed floral and horticultural displays in the Bourke St Mall. The installations were mostly immovable and provided effective protection to pedestrian walkways. The central tramways still allowed vehicle access with delivery vehicles permitted in early mornings.

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The concrete bollards and in other areas the water filled plastic roadworks barriers placed strategically are in reality simply deterrents to would be attackers. A motor vehicle can relatively easily push these units aside, especially if the vehicle is a larger truck or pickup unit.

The planter units to be installed in areas such as the Bourke St Mall, the Queen Victoria Market and Flinders St provide permanent protection being firmly fixed to the ground and anchored beneath the pavement.

Here is the full article from the Age Newspaper dated 12th of June.

From ugly concrete blocks to street furniture: Anti-terror bollards to be replaced

The temporary concrete blocks that have been used across the city as anti-terror bollards will finally be replaced with permanent, reinforced street furniture to protect Melburnians from vehicle attacks.

The blocks which have dotted the city’s landscape for almost a year will be replaced with planter boxes and metal seating when a rollout begins in July, with the bollards on Flinders Street and Bourke Street the first to go.

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Stencilled concrete bollards on Southgate Promenade.

Concrete blocks outside Southern Cross Station on Spencer Street, the State Library, Federation Square, Princes Bridge, Southbank Promenade, Queen Victoria Market, and Olympic Park will eventually be replaced.

Flowerbeds that serve as bollards are already a feature of the Bourke Street Mall.

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Planter-box bollards in Bourke Street Mall.

News of the rollout follows revelations an Islamic State extremist discussed bombing landmarks including Queen Victoria Marke and St Paul’s Cath­edral earlier this year.

The state’s counter-terrorism boss Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther said Melbourne was a “very attractive target” to extremists, with police keeping a close eye on about 200 persons of interest.

Mr Guenther said more than 2500 terror-related reports were received and investigated in Victoria last year alone. He added that more than 100 Australians currently living in and near conflict zones were at risk of associating with IS supporters.

The new bollards will be a combination of planter boxes, flag poles, seating, and “other design solutions”, a Melbourne City Council spokesman said.

“The measures are being designed in accordance with national and international security standards to provide high levels of protection while maintaining the amenity and use of our premier public spaces,” he said.

“This represents the largest investment in Australia for protective measures against hostile vehicles.”

The council installed 206 temporary bollards in 10 central Melbourne locations in July last year as an urgent anti-terror measure to prevent vehicles ploughing into pedestrians.

But concerns were raised about the effectiveness of blocks, with one mechanical engineer telling The Age they could slide for 30 metres if they were hit by a car.

On Tuesday, Mr Guenther confirmed a family of amateur “jihadi hunters” in the UK had been in contact with an IS supporter who discussed bombing Queen Victoria Market, as well as Chadstone shopping centre.

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Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther, head of Victoria Police Counter Terrorism Command.

The extremist, who is based in Pakistan, discussed planting a “sequence of bombs” in the market and then driving a car, fitted with another bomb, into a crowded area before blowing up the vehicle.

“The information was ultimately shared with our law enforcement security parties who assessed that information and concluded it posed no credible threat to Victoria,” Mr Guenther said.

Mr Guenther stressed that despite the reports, there was no current threats to any locations across Melbourne or Victoria.

“Such instructional material is not uncommon,” he said. “I stress though people should not be unnecessarily concerned.”

Lord mayor Sally Capp said police had increased their presence around Queen Victoria Market “just to give people confidence”.

“But [police have] satisfied themselves and assured us that there is no current threat,” she said.

UK newspaper The Sun reported in March that a “jihadi hunter” family living in the Midlands was using encrypted apps and social media to engage with fighters, and gather information about their activities.

Their efforts reportedly helped foil a suicide bomb attack on an Armed Forces parade, and an attack on the Queen during a commemorative ceremony in 2015.

Mr Guenther said it was very unlikely any Australians were imitating the UK jihadi hunters but said if that changed he would likely know about it.

“We wouldn’t recommend that members of the public do that. It’s a very unsafe practice,” Mr Guenther said.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the security of pedestrians in Melbourne was “paramount”.

“We’re investing in more CCTV and bollards in the CBD, to ensure the safety of those who live, work and visit in our city is a priority,” she said.

Source: theage.com.au

The key issue in preventing any form of vehicular attack is a ‘hard perimeter’. There must be no access points available to hostile parties. Permanent street furniture and hydraulic bollards are effective for normal everyday crowds and are currently being installed to prevent further opportunistic attacks.

However there are many events that see large crowds for one off occasions. New Year’s Eve Fireworks, the Moomba Parade and Fireworks Displays, White nights, the Melbourne Cup and AFL parades, not to mention political rallies and marches or events like Chinese New Year both in the Melbourne CBD as well as Box Hill, Southbank and Docklands.

It is at these locations that temporary effective and portable Crash Barrier systems must be considered and deployed to prevent such vehicular attacks and protect all event participants.

The Archer 1200 System, a Meridian Rapid Defence Group product supplied exclusively by AML Risk Management here in Australia fulfils such a need.

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The Archer 1200 Barriers can be easily deployed by 1 or 2 persons and as easily removed. The units have been universally tested both in the US and Europe at the highest level and deemed well above the standards required. A one and a half tonne vehicle travelling at 50km/h will be stopped dead in its tracks by the Meridian Crash Barrier system.

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The Meridian Archer 1200 is invaluable for Sports Precincts, Public Gatherings, Street Events – anywhere where large mobile crowds gather. The units do not need to be monitored or adjusted and will continue to function after being hit by a vehicle. There are no electronics, no hydraulics and no moving components.

For further information on the Archer 1200 please view the AML webpage here or call 9326 2244 and ask for Security Supervisor, M/s Emerald Forrest who can assist you further with more information on the Archer 1200. Or leave your contact details here to arrange a free no-obligation consultation.

AML Risk Management – Plan, Prevent and Protect.

What is a Hostile Vehicle?

It is now a year ago this week that a group of ISIS motivated individuals drove a vehicle onto the London Bridge foot path and then into a crowded market filled with Restaurants and Cafés. The occupants leapt from a small van and proceeded to stab people including a serving London Transit Police Officer. This type of attack is known as a Hostile Vehicle Attack. In Australia there have been three similar incidents – in that a vehicle was used as a weapon. The similarity ends there. The drivers of the vehicles in all three Melbourne incidents suffered from mental health issues. Two of these incidents resulted in fatalities, one did not.

It’s chilling to think that such macabre behaviour in Europe can instigate ‘me too’ attacks thousands of miles away. Forget about the political or conflict motivation. It isn’t relevant yet here in Australia. What the Melbourne attacks indicate is that troubled individuals have determined that the simplest weapon to obtain is a vehicle.

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The van used in the London Bridge terror attack

This is not a time to be blasé. The attacks in North Carolina and another in London ploughed into demonstrations and those leaving a mosque. Others have attacked New Year and Christmas celebrations. It’s now time to ensure the safety of the public in open pedestrian areas. And to do this effectively for one-off events requires a purpose built and designed Hostile Vehicle Mitigation system.

Consider the following list of serious vehicle attacks in Europe and the type of locations and events involved.

Grosser Kiepenkerl, Münster, 7 April 2018

A grey Volkswagen minibus was driven at speed into the outdoor seating area of a popular pub in Muenster, killing two people and injuring around 20 more. The 48-year-old driver, who killed himself shortly after the attack, is not thought to have links to Islamist terror groups.

Las Ramblas​, Barcelona, 17 August 2017

A hired van drove down Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district on a sunny afternoon, killing 13 people and injuring 50 more.

The van is understood to have been hired from the Telefurgo rental chain. Anybody with a driving licence can hire this sort of van – prices in Spain are around £50 to £100 per day, depending on the age of the driver.

Levallois-Perret, Paris, 9 August 2017

A BMW 2-Series Active Tourer was driven into a group of soldiers in a suburb of Paris. Six people were injured, three seriously. The driver was then stopped on the A16 motorway, being shot several times in the process.

The hired BMW was equipped with a GPS tracking system, making it easy for the police to locate.

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The lorry used in the terror attack in Stockholm

Champs-Élysées, Paris, 19 June 2017

A Renault Megane containing explosives and weapons (an AK-47 rifle and handguns) was driven into a Gendarmerie vehicle on the famous Champs-Élysées in Paris. Only the attacker was killed in what is understood to be a ‘botched’ suicide attack.

Finsbury Park, London, 19 June 2017

A rented van was driven into a group of people outside a Mosque. The driver was heard saying “I want to kill all Muslims” and “this is for London Bridge”. One person died.

London Bridge, London, 3 June 2017

A rented van was driven into pedestrians in the London Bridge area. The three attackers then got out of the van and began stabbing people, before being shot by police. A further 8 people died and 48 people were injured, 21 critically.

Drottninggatan, Stockholm, 7 April 2017

A hijacked lorry was driven into crowds on a popular shopping street in Stockholm. Five people were killed, and 14 were seriously injured. A home-made explosive was found in the lorry after the attacker had abandoned it.

Westminster, London, 22 March 2017

A Hyundai Tucson was driven into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. The driver then got out and stabbed a policeman to death, before being shot. Five people were killed in the car attack, with 49 injured.

Breitscheidplatz, Berlin, 19 December 2016

A stolen lorry was driven into pedestrians at a Christmas market in Berlin. The attacker had shot the driver of the lorry in order to take it, and then killed 11 pedestrians. There were 56 non-fatal injuries.

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Debris is seen wedged in the smashed windscreen of a lorry, which was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016

Promenade des Anglais, Nice, 14 July 2016

A lorry was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day near the seafront at Nice. 87 people were killed, including the attacker, and a further 458 were injured.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

The only effective form of Hostile vehicle Mitigation suitable in such situations is a portable unit capable of stopping such vehicles at up to 50km/h. Strategically placed the units can ensure the drivers do not have the opportunity to reach higher speeds.

The Meridian Archer 1200 Crash Barrier system is an easily installed and removed purpose built crash barrier. It can absorb energy and stop a 1.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 50km/h. It can be deployed by one or two persons. The units have been thoroughly safely tested in the US and Europe.

Watch the videos here and consider how effective these units are.

For more information please click here

So if planning an outdoor event where crowds are likely to gather and congregate, consider the implications of a hostile vehicle attack.

As history tells us, both here, in Europe and in the USA, this is a real possibility.

Provide real safety, real surety for your event and its participants.

Call now on 03 9326 2244 and book a time for a free no-obligation consultation with AML Risk Management’s Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Coordinator M/s Emerald Forrest.

Be Safe, Be Sure. Plan effectively. Prevent vehicle intrusion and protect your event and its participants.

AML Risk Management – the leaders in Hostile Vehicle Mitigation strategy in Australia.

Plan, Prevent and Protect with AML.