On October 31st, 2017, a 29-year old named Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov rented a truck, drove into Manhattan, and took his vehicle down a bike path. The result was a total of eight people killed, while another 11 were injured, before he was taken into custody. The 2017 Lower Manhattan attack is just one of many incidents in which we’ve seen vehicles be utilized as a weapon of terror. Attacks like these have been commonplace in 2017–the Finsbury Park attack, the Stockholm attack, the Barcelona attack, and beyond. Let’s take a look at how and why vehicles have become so readily utilized in terror attacks and what can be done to aid in the prevention of these attacks through vehicle security.
Why Road Vehicles?
Unlike guns, trucks and cars are readily available to just about everyone all over the world. In the case of the Manhattan attacker, he was able to rent a truck from a major chain. Accessibility alone is a large part of why we’re seeing such a rise in the number of road vehicle attacks, but there’s also been a push by major extremist groups–including ISIS–to use vehicles. Jean-Charles Brisard, director of Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, said that attackers like this “use such rudimentary weapons precisely because they know they won’t be prevented by security forces.”
For some, this problem seems almost impossible to properly address. There have been a few ideas though. First is to install more physical barriers that better protect pedestrians, like the strong metal barriers installed at this year’s Cannes Film Festival that could prevent a terrorist attack utilizing a vehicle from taking place. We may also begin to see more and more rental companies looking to vehicle security by tightening their requirements up and limiting who can rent vehicles more and more.
There’s a call for increased means of technology-based vehicle security solutions as well. This includes competent video surveillance methods capable of identifying drivers and occupants of vehicles when compared to databases, so as to limit the free movement of suspected terrorists or simply keep the wrong people out of facilities and places they shouldn’t be like certain border crossings. As technology changes, so too does the way we address vehicular terrorist attacks.
Intelligent Video Surveillance Systems from Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper Security’s suite of intelligent optical technologies provides security personnel with the tool to detect today’s threats. Our systems help those in the energy, transportation, commercial, and government sectors protect their people and their valuables by detecting threats in time to take action. From automatic under vehicle inspection systems, automatic license plate reader systems, to on the move automatic vehicle occupant identifier, we offer full 360-degree vehicle scanning to ensure any threat is found. Throughout 30 countries around the globe, Gatekeeper Security’s technology is trusted to help protect critical infrastructure. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn for updates about our technology and company.