Network Take: NYC Attacker Likely Inspired by ISIS

Police in Manhattan
Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty

The Cipher Brief asked network expert Charlie Allen, former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, to react to the deadly vehicle attack on pedestrians near the World Trade Center Memorial in New York Tuesday.

Charlie Allen: The attack has all of the hallmarks of an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack using a truck, such as that seen in Nice and Berlin. I am hesitating to use the term “lone wolf terrorist,” because we almost always find family or associates knowing that the person was becoming radicalized. We find individuals who commit these types of attack are frequently inspired by ISIS, which continues to conduct its messaging over the internet, despite its decimation in Iraq and Syria.

At the local level, we must continue local policing and community involvement. At the national level, we must continue screening and vetting of visitors and immigrants as well as increased information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement. We will never stop all attacks but we need to step up our fight domestically against extremist ideology that advocates violence against innocents.

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