On January 31, 2007, Ismail Yassin Mohamed engaged in a similar attack in Minneapolis, supposedly because he forgot to take his depression medication. He smashed into a taxicab, ran into a business, and stole a school van, which he then crashed into more cars. He was subdued by residents as he then tried to steal another vehicle. Throughout the attack, he yelled, “Die, die, die, kill, kill, kill,” and said that “Allah made me do it.”
These last two cases have less evidence to prove they were motivated by radical Islam, but Robert Spencer raises a good point: “Look, maybe the explanations offered for Omeed Popal and Ismail Mohamed are perfectly accurate, but it is a mounting series of curious coincidences that these Muslims have become unhinged in exactly the same way and expressed their madness in exactly the same way.”
Warning about hit-and-run jihad may sound like a laughable stretch of the imagination, but it’s not so out there to Israelis. In September 2008, a radical Muslim injured 23 soldiers with his SUV before being killed. This was followed by another attempted hit-and-run attack with two cars and one bulldozer. These two attacks came after two other attacks in Jerusalem that year, one using a bulldozer and the other using a tractor, which killed three Israelis and wounded dozens. And in March of this year, a terrorist rammed his vehicle into a school bus and police car in Jerusalem before being shot and killed.
Two more incidents bear mentioning. A disappointed Iraqi father living in Arizona committed an “honor killing” by running over his daughter this year for living an insufficiently Islamic lifestyle. And in Tennessee in February 2007, a Somali-born taxicab driver ran over two students following a religious argument. These may simply be the actions of infuriated individuals and not necessarily part of a premeditated jihad, but like Spencer said, it is peculiar that “these Muslims have become unhinged in exactly the same way and expressed their madness in exactly the same way.” Those who disagree can point to an equally disgusting hit-and-run attack by a non-Muslim on two Muslim women in August, but these other incidents have similarities that indicate a pattern.
The point of this article isn’t to make you worry next time you walk by a mosque that a Muslim will declare jihad and try to run you over. The point is that a reevaluation of what should be considered a “terrorist attack” is necessary, but with it comes the frightening realization that the smaller, less organized, but more frequent attacks seen in Israel are occurring in the U.S.