The Transportation Security Administration has issued a new security alert warning the nation’s trucking companies and their drivers about the use of stolen trucks as low-tech methods of attack. The six-page report focuses on the current threat landscape and points out that from 2014 to date, terrorists have carried out 17 known vehicle-ramming attacks worldwide, resulting in 173 fatalities and 667 injuries.
The TSA defines vehicle-ramming as a form of attack in which a perpetrator deliberately aims a motor vehicle at a target with the intent to inflict fatal injuries or significant property damage by striking with concussive force.
Last July, at least 84 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck plowed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day. Hundreds of other pedestrians were injured that day.
The nation’s largest police departments, including New York’s, have been focused on this security threat. A top NYPD official said that it’s an issue the department focuses on every day.
The report shares indicators that may suggest terrorists are planning a vehicle-ramming attack and lists countermeasures that can be taken with a focus on meaningful security awareness. One of the messages contained in the report is the reinforcement to drivers, staff and passengers of the importance of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
The report suggests drivers and staff who remain alert to potential threats and report suspicious activities to appropriate authorities are the most effective means of detecting acts of terrorism by a commercial vehicle. The report also states that no community, large or small, rural or urban, is immune to attacks of this kind by organized or “lone wolf” terrorists. TSA recommends that the trucking and bus industries take an active role in protecting their businesses and communities from this potential threat.