Episode 13: Vehicular Terrorist Attacks - Strategies for Safety and Survival

Terrorists—particularly homegrown violent extremists (HVEs)—will likely continue using vehicles as weapons. Foreign terrorist organizations promote this tactic, past attacks have been successful, and it is easy to get vehicles. An NJOHSP review of vehicle-ramming attacks in the West over the last 10 years found increased use of this tactic and resulting casualties. In fact, the November 2016 edition of ISIS’s English-language magazine, Rumiyah, encouraged followers to use vehicles in operations, stating, “Vehicles are like knives, as they are extremely easy to acquire [and] . . . arouse absolutely no doubts due to their widespread use throughout the world.” Additionally, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula has referred to trucks as the “ultimate mowing machine.”

As such, we sat down with Steven Crimando, the Director of Training for the Disaster and Terrorism Branch of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, to talk about this emerging threat and explore different mechanisms and strategies individuals can utilize to mitigate the personal impact of these attacks.





Director of Training, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, New Jersey Department of Human Services

Steven M. Crimando, MA, BCETS, CHS-V is the Director of Training for the Disaster & Terrorism Branch of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services. He is an internationally-recognized expert in the prevention, response and recovery from active shooter incidents and other forms of mass violence. He has developed violence prevention and response programs for government agencies, hospital and healthcare systems, and multinational corporations. Mr. Crimando has published many professional articles on this topic and serves as an expert to the media and the courts in the area of crisis intervention. His major contributions in this area include collaboration on the New York City Police Department-Counter-Terrorism Division: “Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation” project, and the National Criminal Justice Training Center: “Comprehensive Active Shooter Incident Management (CASIM)” curriculum funded by U.S. Department of Justice. He has provided high-level active shooter and mass violence response training programs to professional and academic audiences in business, military and first responder organizations.

Mr. Crimando is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS), a Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS), and holds Level 5 Certification in Homeland Security (CHS-V). He is a Diplomate of both the American Academy for Experts in Traumatic Stress, and National Center for Crisis Management. He is certified by the New Jersey Police Training Commission as a Police Instructor, and is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), the International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association (ICTOA), and Society for Police and Criminal Psychology.

With more nearly 30-years’ experience as a front line crisis responder, both as an EMT and disaster behavioral health specialist, he has served as the mental health specialist on police hostage response teams, and is a mental health specialist on several regional law enforcement Critical Incident Response Teams, as well as a member of the advisory board for the Morris County (NJ) Active Shooter Rescue Task Force.