The tragic death of an American in the Barcelona terror attack shows that no one is safe and terrorists can strike any city. The man, honeymooning with his wife, was killed in the terror attack in which 13 people died.

This attack shows that terrorists have changed tactics and have modified their mode of attack. They have dispensed with bombs and IEDs and all they now need is a heavy vehicle that can wreak havoc on unsuspecting innocents and catch the police unaware. The terror attack in Barcelona is the latest in the list after similar vehicle bound attacks occurred in Nice, Berlin and London within the last year.

How it happened?

Washington Post reports that the couple, in their 40s, hailed from the San Francisco Bay area and wanted to see the world. They came to Barcelona via Paris and Venice and were enjoying their vacation when terrorists struck the Las Ramblas district and the man became one of the victims. The terrorists used a Fiat van that rammed into the crowd on the promenade and ISIS has claimed responsibility. The attack left 13 dead and more than 100 injured.

Use of vehicles in terror attack

14 July 2016 – The first vehicle bound attack was in Nice in France on Bastille Day. The terrorist drove a cargo truck deliberately into crowds of people and the attack left 86 dead with injuries to more than 450.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.

19 December 2016 – In this case, a stolen truck was driven intentionally into a Christmas market in Berlin and 12 people died while 56 others were injured. ISIL is believed to have had links to this attack also.

22 March 2017 – The third one was in London when the attacker drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and killed four pedestrians while injuring more than 50.

The attacker was killed by the police but there was no evidence to link him with any known terror group.

18 August 2017 – The latest attack was in coastal resort of Cambrils in Barcelona and it left 13 dead with hundreds injured. ISIS has claimed responsibility and four terrorists have been killed while a fifth is believed to have escaped and a hunt is on.

Security forces are already geared up to tackle terrorism activities where explosive devices are used. There are bomb detection devices, sniffer dog squads and special checks at airports because terrorists could blow up the plane or hijack and use it as a missile. They had done it in the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York. However, vehicles have now become the weapon to fear because they do not need to pass through any security check and it is easy to lay hands on a vehicle.

The police and security services are foxed at the new methods. Terrorist activities of this nature cannot be predicted and fresh strategies must be worked out to ensure the safety of people at tourist destinations.