TEL AVIV — The heart of Europe has once again been shaken by a vehicle-ramming terrorist attack that evidences time-tested tactics deployed against Israelis by Palestinian terrorists here in the Jewish state.
The Washington Post reported on the carnage in Barcelona’s popular Las Ramblas area, which took place in a tourist district at the height of the season:
A driver swerved a van onto a pedestrian area Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, ramming into crowds and leaving at least 13 people dead and more than 50 injured scattered along a stretch of tree-shaded sidewalk. Authorities described the incident as a terrorist attack.
Joaquim Forn, the interior minister of the Catalan regional government, confirmed the casualty toll in a Twitter message. Some of those injured were in serious condition, raising the possibility that the death toll could rise. Earlier, Spanish police described the carnage as “massive.”
The Islamic State (ISIS) used its affiliated Amaq news agency to claim responsibility for the deadly attack. “The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states,” an Amaq dispatch stated, referring to the U.S.-led coalition targeting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Thursday’s attack in Barcelona was the latest vehicle-ramming to strike inside Europe. In June, an attack near the London Bridge and city’s Borough Market included use of a vehicle to plow into pedestrians.
Last December saw the Berlin Christmas market massacre in which a heavy truck plowed into pedestrians at a market.
That incident mirrored an attack in Nice, France, last July in which a 31-year-old Tunisian national plowed a cargo truck into crowds of civilians celebrating Bastille Day, killing 85 people and injuring 434. The Daily Mail reported that a “huge cache of guns, grenades and ‘larger weapons’ were later found inside the lorry.” The newspaper cited witnesses who said that after plowing through the crowd in Nice, the gunman jumped out of the truck and opened fire before being shot dead near the scene.
Europe, which has a mixed record on supporting Israel, may do well to note the assailants seem to have taken a page out of the Palestinian jihadist playbook of vehicular terrorism targeting Israelis. For several years now, Palestinian terrorists have deployed the same deadly tactic of plowing vehicles into pedestrians and then attempting to continue their assaults with stabbings or shootings.
Israel has long been the canary in the minefield in the battle against global Islamic terrorism. Throughouts the decades, Palestinians have pioneered or popularized terror tactics such as airplane hijackings and suicide bombings that were later picked up and expanded upon by terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
As Breitbart News reported after the Bastille Day jihad attack:
Such vehicular attacks and attempted attacks have become almost a routine throughout the most recent so-called Palestinian wave of terror targeting Israelis for over a year now.
Moreover, Palestinians have been utilizing the bloody tactic for at least eight years, with assailants at times using heavy vehicles such as tractors.
In March, a Palestinian teen attempted to ram Israelis with a vehicle outside the Etzion Junction in the West Bank.
Last October, three Israeli officers were wounded when a Palestinian driver plowed his car into them and was shot dead.
As far back as July 2008, a Palestinian terrorist driving a large construction vehicle plowed into cars and pedestrians in central Jerusalem, killing three people and wounding more than 40.
Three weeks later, a Palestinian tractor driver rammed into an Israeli public bus and five cars, wounding 15 people.
Two months later, a Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem deliberately drove his BMW into a crowd near the Old City, wounding 17.
In August 2014, a Palestinian drove a tractor into a bus in central Jerusalem, wounding six victims.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.