SOURCE: Transportation Security Administration / U.S. Department of Homeland Security
COMMERCIAL VEHICLES USED IN VEHICLE RAMMING ATTACKS
Commercial vehicles—distinguished by their large size, weight and carrying capacity—present an especially attractive mechanism for vehicle ramming attacks because of the ease with which they can penetrate security barriers and the large-scale damage they can inflict on people and infrastructures. Furthermore, commercial trucks and buses are plentiful and routinely arouse no suspicion because of the exceptional access they have to structures and activity centers.
Commercial vehicles may be obtained for terrorist activity in a variety of ways, including:
Several indicators may suggest terrorists are planning a commercial vehicle ramming attack. Although a single indicator may not always warrant suspicion, one or more indicators might indicate an imminent attack, based on specific facts or circumstances. It is also important to note that a commercial vehicle ramming attack can occur with little to no warning.
The commercial vehicle industry should be aware of the following potential vehicle ramming attack indicators:
HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST THE THREAT
Would-be terrorists can be stopped by some of the least-intrusive and lowest-cost means available: meaningful security awareness. Drivers and staff who both remain alert to potential threats and report suspicious activities to appropriate authorities are the most effective means of detecting acts of terrorism by a commercial vehicle.
TSA recommends vigilance and preparedness to prevent the use of commercial vehicles in terrorist attacks. Commercial vehicle owners and operators should alert their staff to possible theft or hijacking of vehicles by would-be attackers and the importance of reporting suspicious activities to appropriate authorities.
Commercial vehicle owners and operators can also help their home community’s business and law enforcement agencies by partnering to discuss the threat of vehicle ramming attacks and the security awareness, planning, and countermeasures which could mitigate the threat.
No community, large or small, rural or urban, is immune to attacks of this kind by organized or “lone wolf” terrorists. Good security is good business. TSA recommends that you take an active role in protecting your business and your community from this potential threat.