Abstract: Terrorists likely have adopted vehicle ramming as a tactic because it can be carried out by an individual (or “lone wolf terrorist”), and because the skills required are minimal (e.g. the ability to drive a car and determine locations for creating maximum carnage). Studies of terrorist activities against transportation assets have been conducted to help law enforcement agencies prepare their communities, create mitigation measures, conduct effective surveillance and respond quickly to attacks.

This study reviews current research on terrorist tactics against transportation assets, with an emphasis on vehicle ramming attacks. It evaluates some of the current attack strategies, and the possible mitigation or response tactics that may be effective in deterring attacks or saving lives in the event of an attack. It includes case studies that can be used as educational tools for understanding terrorist methodologies, as well as ordinary emergencies that might become a terrorist’s blueprint.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation Security/Counterterrorism

Digital Object Identifier

MTI Project



Security, Critical transportation, Terrorism, Transportation security, Vehicle ramming


Defense and Security Studies | Terrorism Studies | Transportation