Car-Jihad or Terrorism 2.0

A whole series of terrorist attacks in Western Europe in 2017 finally confirmed, that the "old type" of terrorism, where small, tightly organized terrorist cells for months worked out plans for coordinated attacks against specific targets – is replaced by a new type of terrorism - spontaneous, which does not require weapons, explosives, combat skills and careful choice of target.

Car attack is a trend established in July 2016 by a Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel  in Nice. It became one of the key themes of the ISIS propaganda for many months and was replicated by the followers of the Caliphate in Western Europe, the United States and Canada.

Germany, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, Canada, USA: since December 2016 over 80 percent of all victims of terrorist attacks in the US and Western Europe have been killed as a result of automobile terrorism. Almost all acts of automobile terrorism were carried out not by organized cells, but by "lone wolves." The spontaneity and ease to prepare such acts of terror, freedom in choosing time, place and purpose made this type of terrorism the most massive and at the same time difficult to prevent.

If at first, "car jihad" was a weapon exclusively of Islamic terrorism, and specifically ISIS, then in June 2017, a run on pedestrians at a mosque in Finsbury Park in London demonstrated that this idea inspired radical right-wing extremists.

The growth of anti-migrant and anti-Muslim protests, xenophobia and the frenzied success of right-wing and nationalist movements are a natural reaction to the wave of deadly terrorist attacks in Western Europe, but they also carry a new threat - the growing number of ultra-right extremists.

In recent decades, terrorism has been associated primarily with the ideas of radical Islam, but in the last months of 2017 the discovery of a number of cells that planned terrorist attacks against members of the Muslim community in France, Britain and Germany demonstrated the growing threat from the supporters of neo-Nazi ideology.

What many are inclined to consider as a legitimate response to Islamic terrorism, in fact only contributes to the implementation of the ISIS strategy announced as early as in 2014: "The problem is that Muslims in the West have only one choice - to part with their religion, or to join Caliphate," that is, in fact, to unleash a war between religions.

Despite the fall of ISIS in the Middle East, the deadly idea of "individual jihad" as a universal form of protest against Western society, to which expansion over the last year contributed not only Caliphate propaganda, but also the mass media, will continue to attract new supporters not only among religious extremists, but also among people with unstable mental and suicidal tendencies, fringe groups and supporters of right-wing radical ideas.             

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.