The driver who plowed her car into five people in an Aldi parking lot in a Charlotte suburb might be an Islamic extremist – but don’t expect the media to get to the bottom of it.
“Authorities say the killing of a 79-year-old pedestrian in an Aldi parking lot in Matthews was intentional, and police believe the accused woman tried to run down at least four other people before fleeing the scene,” according to The Charlotte Observer.
Matthews is an upper middle class suburb just outside the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, which is one of the fastest-growing cities in America.
“Investigators identified the suspect as 54-year-old Sawan Alshabani of Matthews, who turned herself into police an hour after hitting the other woman,” according to the report. “Alshabani was under ‘medical evaluation’ at a hospital for a week before being arrested on Oct. 21, Matthews Police Chief Clark Pennington said.”
Jihad Watch reported that Alshabani is a common surname in Saudi Arabia, one of the strictest Islamic nations on earth. Local media has not given any personal details about Alshabani, and national media has chosen not to cover the story at all. Whether she is an immigrant, naturalized citizen, or was born in America remains uncertain.
One thing that is certain, though, is that car rammings are a common form of terror used by Islamic extremists, especially in Europe. But a Somali-born terrorist wounded 11 in a car ramming attack at Ohio State University in late 2016, and in 2017, there was a vehicular terror attack in Edmonton, Canada that wounded five.
Counter Extremism summarized the prevalence of car ramming attacks by Islamic terrorists.
“Vehicular attacks continued into 2017 and 2018, leaving at least 34 people dead and more than 240 wounded,” the site said.
Despite the recent uptick in ISIS-claimed attacks, vehicular attacks are not a new phenomenon. Terrorists have carried out car-ramming attacks for more than a decade, in locations ranging from North Carolina to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Quebec, Dijon, Nantes, the West Bank, Graz, and Xinjiang. The recent uptick in vehicular attacks, however, appears to have been in large part inspired by ISIS’s explicit calls to employ cars as weapons. In May 2017, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a warning to truck and bus companies urging companies to watch out for potential vehicular terrorist assailants and listing more than a dozen car-ramming attacks since 2014 that have collectively killed more than 170 people. As the TSA wrote in its memo, terrorists groups will likely continue to encourage “unsophisticated tactics such as vehicle-ramming” since these types of attacks are difficult to prevent and “could inflict mass casualties if successful.”
ISIS claimed responsibility for the worst car-ramming terror attack in history, when Tunisian-born Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a truck into a Bastille Day Parade in Nice, France, killing 86 and wounding 430 others. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was described as a “soldier of the Islamic State.”
Alshabani faces first degree murder charges, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to WCNC.
This story is developing. Check back with LauraLoomer.us for updates.
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