NYPD analysis and response to Toulouse attack
Although there is no known specific threat against New York City, the NYPD has taken the precaution of stepping up coverage of Jewish neighborhoods and institutions in the city, including special attention by the NYPD Patrol Bureau to synagogues, and the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau’s assignment of the Critical Response Vehicles to Jewish institutions and neighborhoods.
Details of today’s incident
At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 19, an individual riding a black scooter pulled up in front of the Ozar Hatorah School in the Jolimont area of north-east Toulouse and opened fire on an area that serves as the drop-off point for nursery- and primary-age children. A 30-year-old religious studies teacher from the school and his two sons aged three and six were killed, along with the 10-year-old daughter of the director of the school. A 17-year-old boy was left in critical condition (see the full report here).
French officials have announced that, in addition to using a 9mm handgun, the perpetrator also used a .45 caliber handgun that has been connected to two separate attacks on French paratroopers in Toulouse and nearby Montauban on March 11 and March 15, respectively. In the March 11 attack, a lone gunman riding a “motorcycle” and wearing a helmet fatally shot a 30-year-old French paratrooper near a gymnasium. In the March 15 attack, a lone gunman on a “motorbike” opened fire on three French paratroopers who were using an automated bank machine, killing two and wounding one.Initial autopsy reports indicated that the two soldiers who were killed were shot in the head in a barrage of 13 shots, some of which were fired at point-blank range. All three soldiers were of North African and Caribbean descent, possibly suggesting the shootings were racially motivated. An alternative theory, however, holds that because the soldiers were in uniform at the time of the shooting, they were selected because they were viewed as symbols of the French military presence in Afghanistan.
Implications for New York City
Two-wheeled motorized vehicles have been used in recent attacks against Israeli diplomatic targets in New Delhi, India and Tbilisi, Georgia. Active shooters firing from two-wheeled motorized vehicles are ideal tactics for urban terrorist attacks because the vehicles’ speed and maneuverability in congested urban areas offer the gunmen effective means of escape.