A terrorist attack involving a vehicle mowing down pedestrians near Britain's Parliament that killed four on Wednesday is the latest case in what experts say is a growing threat of low-tech terrorism in the West — and bore resemblance to an attack four years ago on a British soldier.
At least 40 more people were injured in the latest incident when the 4x4 vehicle slammed into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, before crashing into a railing near Parliament. A police officer was then stabbed near Britain's House of Commons, officials said.
Two civilians and the police officer were later confirmed dead by authorities. The attacker, thought to be acting alone, was brought down by a gunshot and also died.
Security experts have warned that such terror attacks, involving vehicles and low-tech weapons, are a growing threat in Europe and the United States and by their nature are very difficult to prevent.
"There are precedents for this, and the attractiveness to terrorists is that weapons acquisition is very easy, it doesn't require you to get a firearm," Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation. "Almost anybody has access to a motor vehicle or a sharp object."