BARCELONA (WLS) -- The deadly apparent terror attack in Barcelona Thursday afternoon follows a well-known jihadi tactic: using vehicles to mow down unsuspecting pedestrians. U.S. Homeland Security officials have been worried for years about this type of ramming attack occurring stateside for years and have sent out multiple law enforcement bulletins detailing the threat. The I-Team first uncovered this vehicle threat in 2010 when the Al-Qaeda magazine Inspire instructed terrorists how to create the "ultimate mowing machine" in an article that prominently featured the Chicago skyline. Thursday's attack in Barcelona, Spain is one of more than a dozen similar vehicle attacks by foreign terrorists in just the past two years.
The early edition of Al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine instructed radicals on how to use pick-up trucks as the "ultimate mowing machine." In one of the more high profile recent foreign truck attacks, two Americans were among the more than 80 people killed by a truck driver who attacked a Bastille Day fireworks show in Nice, France.
These types of vehicle attacks have not been limited to foreign soil nor have they been limited to jihadist motives. While the tactic hasn't been used here in Chicago, there have been vehicle attacks in other U.S. cities. Last November in Columbus, Ohio, a self-styled jihadist wounded eleven people when he rammed his car into a group of pedestrians on the Ohio State University campus. He then waged a knife attack before being killed by police. Just this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, a man is accused of deliberately driving his car into a group of protesters during a white nationalist march.
Barcelona terror attack follows jihadi playbook first aimed at Chicago
An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
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