Quiliam International condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in New York City that has killed at least 8 people and injured others.
We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this heinous act which has resulted in the unfortunate loss of innocent lives.
Investigations are ongoing, but what we know so far is that the perpetrator rammed a truck into cyclists for several blocks as he drove the wrong way in the bike lane. He then crashed into a school bus, exited the vehicle, and shouted “Allahu Akbar.” He appeared to carry two guns, which we now know were fake. This is in line with similar attacks in Europe where terrorists wore fake suicide vests.
Details are continuing to emerge on the perpetrator’s identity and motive, but at this moment we know that he was a 29-year-old male who is not believed to be from New York City. He is currently known to be alive and in police custody.
This incident has all the hallmarks of an Islamist terror attack, the likes of which we have seen far too often in Europe. Though no organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIS have for several months now encouraged its followers to commit acts of terror in cities that are accessible to them, if they cannot physically travel to Syria. It is likely that the West may see an increase in attacks of this nature as ISIS tries to save face for its heavy losses in Raqqa.
This unfortunate incident once again highlights the importance of focusing resources on deradicalization work and implementing a better strategy to prevent extremism, as incidents of this nature are extremely difficult, if not impossible, for security services to predict and stop.
As the world’s first counter-extremism organization, and with offices in North America, more than ever before, we stand firm in our dedication to counter extremism around the world. These attacks are part of a global jihadist insurgency and the response needs to equally globalized.
We stand in solidarity with our fellow Americans and the global community to identify and root out the ideological basis and motivations behind extremist activities.
Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Quilliam Executive Director, North America, and a US resident:
“We must stand firm in denouncing extremist efforts to disrupt the social order of society, including Islamist extremists with ideological links to global transnational movements. Our efforts in the United States are to address the root causes of these efforts and also to bring individuals back from the brink if they choose or go down that path. As a former US Government counterterrorism analyst for over a decade and now working at Quilliam, today reminds us all that, more than ever before, our work is not only important but absolutely necessary and vital.”
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