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Barcelona Van Attack

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Dec 10, 2012
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804
#1
Barcelona crash: Van ploughs into people in Las Ramblas | Daily Mail Online
At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured after a van in Barcelona ploughed into pedestrians before two men entered a restaurant with guns.

Pictures and video emerging from the scene show armed police and paramedics rushing to Las Ramblas, a busy tree-lined promenade in the centre of the city.

Horrifying footage from the scene shows dozens of victims lying injured on the floor.

Police have confirmed that 32 people are injured, with Catalonia's interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is 'very possible' that the number of dead will rise because of the 'very serious' wounds to victims.

Gunfire was heard at the Corte Ingles store in the area after police announced a 'massive crash'.

Police officers were said to be negotiating with two attackers in a Turkish restaurant where they have taken hostages.

Officers were also searching for a second van the attackers may have hired as a getaway vehicle.
Vehicles are quickly becoming the weapon of choice.

If you've never been there, Las Ramblas is very long (over a mile) pedestrian mall and very popular with tourists; it's a huge shopping/retail district. Ease of access to vehicles, high element of surprise, and high number of pedestrians would make an attack like this very difficult to defend against.
 
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policemedic

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#10
Barcelona crash: Van ploughs into people in Las Ramblas | Daily Mail Online

Vehicles are quickly becoming the weapon of choice.

If you've never been there, Las Ramblas is very long (over a mile) pedestrian mall and very popular with tourists; it's a huge shopping/retail district. Ease of access to vehicles, high element of surprise, and high number of pedestrians would make an attack like this very difficult to defend against.
It's easy to defend against. People are just too short-sighted and cheap to do it.
 

policemedic

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#12
Bollards, decorative heavy planters....you get the picture. In fact, these are commonly used architectural design features in many places for specifically this purpose. But these require money and a bit of threat assessment and stratification.
 

Ooh-Rah

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#13
Bollards, decorative heavy planters....you get the picture. In fact, these are commonly used architectural design features in many places for specifically this purpose. But these require money and a bit of threat assessment and stratification.
Those big red ball you see in front of most Target store are not there just for decoration.
 

CQB

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#15
So the attack looks to have succeeded and as acknowledge, it is very difficult to mitigate against this type of attack. In the broader context there was a gas explosion nearby the day before which it is believed was linked to the van attack, killing one woman and wounding a man. There was also another attack by a small group at Cambrils on the same day, a nearby town which was snuffed out, with the local security guys killing five. Current thinking believes that these were co-ordinated; so the success rate is 33.33%.
 
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Joined
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#16
Bollards, decorative heavy planters....you get the picture. In fact, these are commonly used architectural design features in many places for specifically this purpose. But these require money and a bit of threat assessment and stratification.
I hear you and agree that quality bollards, concrete barriers, etc. are helpful but I think they only go so far. This is still a challenge especially for established, and/or historic areas where available space may be an issue. As you point out, costs can be significant and there will always be a question of aesthetic (even if there shouldn't be). This is not a trivial undertaking in European cities and urban areas with established infrastructure and buildings.

The real challenge is that any area where people congregate is a potential target...tough to put bollards, barriers, tress, etc. around them all. A vehicle only needs 6 - 8 ft to travel through. Pedestrian malls, outdoor cafes, and large spaces that put vehicles and pedestrians in close proximity will always be at risk. But risks can also be a rally, parade, or as we've seen even the exit/crossing the street to and from large venues like a stadium, concerts, etc.
 

Ocoka

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#17
...The real challenge is that any area where people congregate is a potential target...
There it is.

The real big events--the Olympics, the World Cup, The Super Bowl, Times Square on New Year's Eve, etc--those get plenty of security pre-planning. The pens, the barricades, the checkpoints and the personnel are there.

It's the thousands of other events or venues that draw big crowds that are the challenge.
 
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policemedic

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#18
This is not a trivial undertaking in European cities and urban areas with established infrastructure and buildings.

The real challenge is that any area where people congregate is a potential target...tough to put bollards, barriers, tress, etc. around them all. A vehicle only needs 6 - 8 ft to travel through. Pedestrian malls, outdoor cafes, and large spaces that put vehicles and pedestrians in close proximity will always be at risk. But risks can also be a rally, parade, or as we've seen even the exit/crossing the street to and from large venues like a stadium, concerts, etc.
With all due respect to our brothers and sisters across the pond, Europe isn't my primary concern.

I agree that places where large numbers of people congregate will remain targets. However, knowing that allows us to stratify the risk and plan for the best use of public and private dollars to mitigate against predictable threats. You aren't going to see decorative vehicle barriers everywhere, but it is possible to place them strategically.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you get merchants associations and special services districts engaged as partners.

There it is.

The real big events--the Olympics, the World Cup, The Super Bowl, Times Square on New Year's Eve, etc--those get plenty of security pre-planning. The pens, the barricades, the checkpoints and the personnel are there.

It's the thousands of other events or venues that draw big crowds that are the challenge.
You'll never be able to prevent every attack, although that should certainly be the goal. What we in local and state LE have to do is work with our federal partners to engage with municipalities and venues that we've identified as at risk for particular kinds of attacks and assist them in planning to harden them.