Israeli Police said on Monday that a soldier in uniform shot at a bus stop in Jerusalem was an act of terrorism
The Israeli soldier, identified only as a man in his 20s is hospitalized in critical condition following Monday’s attack near the Hebrew University campus in Mount Scopus. The shooting occurred just hours after Jerusalem Police said an incident involving a Palestinian man who drove an excavator into a bus near the border between western and eastern Jerusalem was also an act of terrorism. Yossi Farienti, Jerusalem district police chief, said the excavator
"hit a Jewish citizen at a construction site and then drove about 50 metres (yards) down the road, where it overturned the bus with its arm, slightly injuring three people".
Terrorists employing construction vehicles as weapons is not a new concept. In 2011, ProPublica reported that a U.S. official said Osama bin Laden vetoed a plot by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to fit rotating blades to a tractor and use it to "mow down the enemies of Allah", on the grounds that it would cause "indiscriminate slaughter"
The tractor plan was featured in Inspire, the popular Jihadist magazine that has been a successful tool for recruiting westerners. In 2009, a terrorist on a tractor plowed into a police vehicle in Jerusalem, injuring two police officers. Following the terrorist attack, members of Hamas praised the bulldozer attack:
“The operation in Jerusalem was a natural response to aggression against our people. The Zionist enemy should realize that they alone bear the responsibility for displacing our people in Jerusalem and for the killings in Gaza and the West Bank,” said Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official.
In the nearly 12 years since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on American soil, there have been several deliberate incidents of SUV's and other vehicles mowing down crowds, injuring dozens of unsuspecting victims.
On March 3, 2006, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an 22 year old Iranian-American Muslim ran his SUV onto an area of the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, striking nine students. Six of the students were hospitalized, but there were no fatalities. Taheri-Azar, dubbed the "drive-through Jihad” by locals pleaded guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder was sentenced to a prison term of at least 26 years, 2 months up to 33 years.
The United States Department of Homeland Security has been criticized by international and national security experts for its failure to establish one clear definition of terrorism and its reluctance to label incidents as terrorism.