In a vastly under-reported story by the mainstream media, the capital of the United States barely missed being the target of a Nice-like terrorism attack that killed 86 people and plunged France into grief and shock.
In that French city, in July, 2014, a Muslim terrorist drove a large truck down a popular promenade, deliberately smashing into as many innocent people out for a walk as possible, killing 86.
Jihadists have a bitter history of using vehicles to kill infidels in the West. Besides Nice, the Berlin Christmas market truck attack in 2016, for example, left 12 dead, while in 2017 a jihadist drove a van down a pedestrian promenade in Barcelona, killing 13.
It was now America’s turn.
In Washington, D.C. last March, Rondell Henry, 28, a native of Trinidad inspired by Islamic State videos of violence and death, was planning a Nice-like attack by running over a crowd of innocent people.
Henry, a naturalized American citizen who lived in Germantown, Maryland, had first driven to Virginia on March 26 where he stole a U-Haul truck he had tailed and which he intended to use as his murder weapon. He actually left his BMW parked near the parking garage where he stole the truck, probably considering it too small for his murderous purposes.
“The defendant appears to have formed a plot to harm large numbers of people and taken concrete steps to execute that plot,” said the U.S. attorney for Maryland.
With the truck, Henry next drove to Washington’s Dulles International Airport, expecting to find there large enough crowds he could mow down.
Once there, Henry got out of the truck and, according to the New York Times, spent the next two hours trying to get through airport security, but was unsuccessful. The Washington Post stated he had tried “to access restricted areas” and “obtain paperwork from a check-in kiosk.”
After his failure at the airport, Henry then drove to the National Harbor, a location just south of Washington along the Potomac River, again looking for a large crowd where he could kill “as many disbelievers as possible.”
When he found crowds at the National Harbor “too thin,” Henry postponed his homicidal Harbor plan until the next day.
The Trinidad native then broke into a boat where he spent the night. Henry was caught by police the next day when jumping over a security fence. Once in custody, police subsequently found out about his homicidal intentions and identified him through documents he had left in his BMW, found in Virginia.
“I was going to keep driving and driving and driving. I wasn’t going to stop,” Henry was quoted as saying of his intended rampage in a motion filed by federal prosecutors.
The media stated that Henry’s planned attack was to be a suicide operation. It was reported he had been spending a lot of time with family members probably knowing he wouldn’t ever see them again. He also broke his lease with his landlord only a couple of days before he embarked on his homicidal course. As well, he got up and left his place of work at noontime in mid-shift in the IT department of the company where he worked as a contract computer engineer. After this, police reported him as a “critically missing person’.” But, as regards his suicidal intentions, perhaps nothing is more indicative than the fact, as reported, that he had no escape plan.
Authorities claim Henry chose a vehicle for his terrorist attack because he was not well versed in weapons and explosives. Nevertheless, prosecutors accused Henry of plotting to “commit mass murder.”
“He wanted bloodshed, he wanted chaos, he wanted panic,’ said a U.S. District Attorney.
The question remains, though, as to why a young man with a good education, a decent job, his own accommodations and driving a BMW, would turn his back on the life he had built, including his family, to become a mass-murdering terrorist?
The answer Henry provided authorities perhaps supplies the answer as well as illuminates the twisted, hate-filled world jihadists live in and which most others can’t begin to comprehend.
“He reportedly told investigators that he hated non-Muslims and that was the motive for his attack,” reported a Trinidadian newspaper.
Perhaps as a secondary reason, the same newspaper reports Henry also wanted to gain more notoriety than Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who drove a 19-ton cargo truck into a crowd in that barbarous Nice attack. As with most terrorists, Henry “wanted to garner as much media attention as possible.”
After being taken into custody, Henry was taken away for psychiatric evaluation, although, as the Washington Post reported, he had no history of mental illness. Political commentator Alexander Maistrovsky said this is one of the most “common” methods, among the eight he lists, political elites use as a form of escapism to keep from admitting there is a problem with Islam, or, the “Arabian Nightmare,” as he calls it.
French psychiatrist Yann Andretuan concurs, saying he does not believe that Islamic terrorists, like Henry, are insane in the “psychopathological sense of the term” and attempts by elites to prove otherwise simply allows them to evacuate the “political dimension” of the problem. After all, as French writer Gilles Nadel states, one doesn’t make war against “crazy people.”
French commentator Shmuel Trigano adds that the psychiatric evasion tactic allows elites to refrain from asking hard questions about Islam and from fighting back. This leaves people without the security they deserve from their respective governments, offering them up as living sacrifices to Islamic terrorism.
Henry spent six days in hospital and was then “picked up by the FBI” after release.
Unfortunately, Dulles International airport was not the first airport in America targeted by Islamic terrorists – and most likely won’t be the last.
Four Islamic terrorists, three from Guyana, one a former member of parliament, and the fourth from Trinidad, plotted in 2007 to blow up aviation fuel lines that ran under heavily populated areas of New York to JFK airport.
Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian member of al-Qaida living in Montreal, was convicted of plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve in 1999. He was driving to Los Angeles when he was caught by an alert border guard at the British Columbia border with Washington State with a trunk full of explosive materials.
But according to the FBI special agent, Jennifer Moore, it is not foreign terrorists like Ressam that pose the greatest danger to America.
“This case (Rondell Henry) emphasizes that our greatest threat right now is homegrown violent extremism,” she said.