After airplanes, Islamic terrorists seem most fixated on attacking trains in their worldwide rampage to kill as many infidels as possible.
This was again evident in a Russian courtroom this month where seven jihadists were sentenced to “lengthy prison terms” of between 15 and 21 years in maximum-security prison colonies for plotting to stage a collision on a high-speed railway line between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
“…they were suspected members of the extremist group Islamic State and …they were being directed from abroad via the messaging app Telegram,” stated a Radio Free Europe report.
According to the evidence presented in court, the jihadists “attached a brake holder block on the tracks aiming at crashing the high-Speed, German-built Sapsan train so that it collided into another train.” The Sapsan train carries the “business elite between Russia’s two largest cities at speeds up to 155 miles per hour.”
Fortunately, the plan didn’t work. The train “rammed through the obstacle” without the engine derailing. But five railroad cars suffered damages totaling $850,000.
The terrorists were arrested mid-2017 in the midst of carrying out a new plot to again bomb the same railway line. They said they were protesting Russia’s military involvement in Syria.
The seven were citizens of Tajikistan living in St. Petersburg. Tajikistan is a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, but is now an independent, Muslim-majority country.
Russia has experienced more than its fair share of train terrorism in the past. This is the fourth time since 2007 that Russia’s Moscow-St. Petersburg train corridor, the country’s busiest, has been targeted.
In 2011, security authorities foiled a major plot to again destroy the high-speed Sapsan train. An explosive device, a fertilizer bomb, was supposed to be blown up on a deserted stretch of track twelve miles north of Moscow.
The 22-year-old ringleader was from Kabardino-Balkaria, a Muslim political entity in Russia’s North Caucuses mountains in southern Russia.
“The suspect had apparently done a stint in a terrorist camp in southern Russia last year,” stated one newspaper report.
In 2009, the Moscow-St. Petersburg line experienced another terrorist attack, but this time with much more deadly results. Jihadists detonated a bomb under the high-speed “Nevsky Express” train about 200 miles from Moscow. The train was carrying 661 passengers in 13 carriages. The explosion derailed the train, killing 27 and injuring 95.
A second bomb was detonated the following day, apparently by remote mobile phone, at the crash scene. It was allegedly targeting investigators, only one of whom was injured.
Terrorism charges were laid against 12 Ingushes from Ingushetia, a Muslim political entity in the North Caucuses. Eleven had the same last name and were related. Their leader was “an Islamist preacher.”
The fourth terrorist attack on the Moscow-St. Petersburg line occurred in 2007. Again, jihadists exploded a bomb on the railway tracks, derailing a train, And again, it was a Nevsky Express train. Through incredibly good luck no one was killed, but 60 of the 230 people on board were injured.
“The train cars left the tracks and slid onto their sides without any of them falling down the steep slope or from the overpass to the road below,” stated the New York Times.
The attack occurred in the Novgorod region about 100 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, damaging a half mile of track. No one ever claimed responsibility for the attack,
Stavropol in southern Russia also saw one of its regional electric commuter trains bombed in 2003. A suicide bomber armed with 15 pounds of explosives blew himself up as the train was leaving a station, killing 46 and injuring 170. Chechen terrorists were blamed for the attack.
Stavropol also experienced a second train terrorist attack that same year in which seven people died and 80 were injured. Unlike the first attack, in which no one was ever arrested, a Chechen official was sentenced to 20 years for the second.
While Russia has been the worst hit of Western countries for terrorist attacks on its train system, other Western countries have not been spared.
The worst terrorist train attack outside of Russia was the devastating commuter train bombings in Spain in 2004. Directed by an al-Qaeda terrorist cell, ten bombings occurred almost simultaneously on four commuter trains during peak rush hour traffic in Madrid, killing 193 people and injuring about 2,000. It was later stated that 13 bombs had been placed on the trains.
Only through luck, Germany escaped a deadly terrorist attack on one of its own trains in 2006. Two suitcase bombs had been placed on two different commuter trains in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Luckily, both failed to explode.
“If the bomb had exploded, the train would have been destroyed,” said an official of the Dortmund Federal Prosecutor’s Office of one of the bombs.
According to a report that appeared in “Focus Online”, a German news publication, police suspect the only reason the bombs didn’t detonate was because the gas bottles that were to ignite them were too full.
“With the Dortmund bomb, the gas bottle was filled to the brim and the gas concentration too high,” said one police expert.
The two Muslims arrested in the case were from Lebanon.
Another fortunate escape in Germany, and perhaps the strangest attack on a train of all, occurred on the high-speed Nuremberg-Munich line. “An Islamic State supporter” was arrested for a sabotage operation that saw him stretch a thick cable across the track. His first attempt was unsuccessful, but his second cracked a train windshield. The jihadist lived in Austria and was arrested in Vienna. He was an Iraqi father of five who had been granted refugee status 20 years earlier.
Another deadly Islamic terrorist plot to destroy a train occurred only this time in North America. Two non-citizen Muslim residents in Canada had plotted to blow up the New York to Toronto Amtrak train as it passed over the Niagara Gorge near Niagara Falls, but the attack, fortunately, was foiled.
The terrorists, one of whom was 30 years of age and the other 35, wanted to drop the train, its crew and passengers from a dizzying height to their deaths down into the gorge. One of the terrorists was reported to be from Tunisia and the other from the United Arab Emirates.
“[The two terrorists] were receiving support from al-Qaeda elements located in Iran,” according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The train was travelling from Penn Station in New York to Canada. There is one train making this 12-hour trip from New York every day with one going daily in the opposite direction from Toronto. The train crews change at the border.
“These individuals had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts,” said the RCMP, adding the two terrorists had been watching “trains and railways in the greater Toronto area.”
Russia has been the worst hit of western countries for terrorist attacks against trains, losing dozens of her people. This does not include several, very deadly Islamic attacks against Russia’s subway train systems.
Russia’s train and subway casualties dwarfs that in any other western county. And it is for this reason, combating Islamic terrorism, that a new start must be made in U.S.-Russia relations. The Russian collusion hoax and the anti-Russian Beltway types must be ignored. Russia, with its large Christian population and similar culture and outlook, is America’s and Western Europe’s natural ally in combating Islamic jihad and upholding civilization.
Years ago, a deputy Russian foreign minister suggested a “northern alliance” of European and North American countries with Russia to combat Islamic terrorism, believing this was the way it could be stopped. Hopefully, President Trump can forge such an alliance, or at least a new, positive relationship with Russia. The times now require such a step. It is very necessary and may be civilization’s savior.
Photo Credit: Tass.