IS Urged Vehicle-Ramming Attacks in 2014July 19, 2016 in France, IS, ISIS, Islamic State
In an audio recording two years ago, the so-called Islamic State (IS) group urged its followers to attack French people with vehicles.
A speech from the jihadists’ group’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, encouraged devotees to turn to more basic methods of terrorism if they were unable to obtain guns or explosives. In the recording, he stated, “if you are not able to find a bomb or a bullet, then smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or crush him with your car, or throw him down a high place, or choke him, or poison him.” In his remarks, Adnani singled out “the spiteful French” amidst a long list of enemies, which was topped by “the disbelieving American” and their allies.
His September 2014 speech came shortly after a US-led coalition, which included France, launched airstrikes against the jihadist group’s strongholds. A month later, a man rammed his car into two Canadian soldiers in Quebec, killing one of them, in an attack that may have been inspired by Adnani’s recording. In December 2014, a man rammed a van into a crowd of shoppers at a Christmas market in Nantes, injuring nearly twenty people. That incident came just days after another driver rammed pedestrians in the central French city of Dijon, wounding about a dozen. However in both incidents, police refrained from calling the Dijon and Nantes incidents attacks because they said that both individuals had a history of psychiatric illness.
The method has become more common in various parts of the world, however many of the vehicles involved in such attacks are usually rigged with large bombs. In June 2007, two men in a burning jeep smashed into the main terminal at Scotland’s Glasgow Airport. One of the men was later jailed for life, with the judge describing him as a “religious extremist.”