On March 27, pedestrians at the National Harbor waterfront narrowly escaped terrorist attacks. Rondell Henry, a 28-year-old man from Germantown, Maryland, had intended to run down people at this tourist site on the Potomac River using a stolen U-Haul truck.
The Proliferation of Vehicular Attacks
Vehicular attacks were almost unknown until the rise of ISIS in 2014. Since then, they have become an almost common occurrence. The most deadly of all was the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, which killed more than 80 people. This was shortly followed by one in Berlin at the city’s Christmas market.
Prosecutors believe that Henry was inspired by these and other attacks that have taken place throughout Europe and North America. Terrorists are turning to vehicles for the power to kill and injure up to large numbers of people. It is often easier to obtain a truck than weapons, the terrorist can inflict just as much damage (if not more), and it may be impossible for law enforcement to know that an attack is going to take place.
Why This Attack Failed
It was only luck that the planned attack resulted in no harm.
Henry, a computer engineer, stole the U-Haul truck from a parking garage in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 26. The following day, he drove to Dulles Airport, but he was unable to pass security. After two hours of trying, he gave up and drove to National Harbor.
Arriving at around 10 AM, he parked the truck and looked for a spot where he could cause the most devastation. As there were few people around, he decided to wait until later. He broke into a boat, where he stayed the night, intending to carry out the attack the next day.
Fortunately, police officers were able to locate the stolen truck the next morning. They saw Henry jump over a security fence in the boat dock and identified him immediately, thanks to the registration he had left in his own vehicle, which was parked next to where he had taken the U-Haul van. They were able to arrest him on the scene and avert an attack.
How You Can Prevent Such Attacks with Atlas Barriers
It was only because the terrorist decided to delay his plans that the attacks never took place at the National Harbor. In the future, we might not be so lucky. To prevent acts of terrorism, you need to take action. The best way to do this is to install equipment that makes even an attempt impossible.
Atlas Security Products Inc is located just a short distance from where the terrorist was planning to make his attack. We produce barriers, crash- rated bollards, high-security fences, and more — just the kind of equipment you need to secure your location. When you choose Atlas, you’ll receive a risk analysis to identify possible threats and determine what type of protection would be most appropriate for you. We can even design new products or customize current ones to meet your specific needs.
With terrorism becoming a growing threat, especially if you live near the DC area, it is no longer optional to protect your business. You need to take action now to prevent a possible tragedy in the future.