How the enemy operates in environment devoid of traditional weapons

NBC News:
The violence at London Bridge has once again exhibited the model of a scary new type of terrorist threat: low-budget weapons aimed at "soft targets" in shocking, high-impact attacks.

The viciousness on the bridge and in nearby Borough Market, which killed seven people and injured dozens more, is reminiscent of recent attacks in Europe. They all have brought about tragedy with unconventional, but readily accessible objects, such as vehicles and knives.

"The grotesque violence used in this attack is sadly consistent with the current U.K. threat picture," Brian Dillon, the former head of the London Metropolitan Police's Armed Response Unit, told NBC News on Sunday. "Terrorists have deliberately encouraged the use of easily accessible items such as vehicles and knives. They know they can cause appalling violence and global publicity using a relatively low degree of sophistication."

Similar incidents have occurred in the past year in Nice, Berlin, Stockholm and on London's Westminster Bridge, killing and injuring numerous people. And the London Bridge attack only comes two weeks after the bombing in Manchester outside an Ariana Grande concert.

It is a difficult challenge for law enforcement, as they attempt to stop these attacks before they occur.

"Renting a simple van and getting a few of your like-minded friends to commit this kind of attack is essentially impossible to stop," said Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at Kings College.
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Terrorists have been using rental vehicles for attacks since at least the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York in the early 1990's.  The trend in vehicular homicides by terrorist pick up in Israel and then spread to Western Europe where larger vehicles were used for mass murder attacks.

What authorities may need to do is create a list of potential terrorists, which they apparently already have in the UK and prohibit rental agencies from allowing them to rent their vehicles.  They could do it be requiring background checks for rental vehicles similar to that used by the US in sale of guns.

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