A Short History of Vehicles Being Used as Deadly Weapons

So-called vehicle ramming is alluring to potential attackers

The truck attack that killed at least 84 people Thursday night in Nice, France, is by far the worst incident on record in which a car or truck has been used as a deadly weapon — a tactic authorities have warned about for several years, NBC News reported.

As early as December 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an alert to law enforcement warning that "such attacks could be used to target locations where large numbers of people congregate, including sporting events, entertainment venues, or shopping centers."

So-called vehicle ramming is alluring to potential attackers because it offers them an opportunity to conduct strikes without firearms or explosives and with "minimal prior training or experience," DHS said.

The bulletin advised officers to be especially alert for "commercial motor vehicles or heavy equipment being operated erratically, at unusual times, or in unusual locations, particularly in heavy pedestrian areas" — the tactic used by the driver in Thursday night's attack.

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