Usually police rule out terrorism even when it’s obvious that an attack was jihad terrorism, so the police not ruling out terrorism in this case is striking.
This could be vehicular jihad. Last June, the Islamic State published a poster depicting an SUV driving over a heap of skulls and bearing the legend “Run Over Them Without Mercy.”
And the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014:
So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him….
Also, the driver “immediately gets aggressive against the off-duty officer.” This may not be jihad, but it does fit the vehicular jihad M.O.: plow into pedestrians, and then jump out of the car and continue the attack.
“Terrorism eyed after driver allegedly targets pedestrians in Philadelphia,” by Cody Derespina and Katherine Lam, Fox News, January 29, 2018:
Terrorism was being eyed as a possible motive after a man in a black Honda targeted pedestrians Monday morning in Philadelphia, seriously injuring one person before being shot in the head by an off-duty cop, officials said.
The driver, who wasn’t immediately identified, was prounced [sic] dead at 10:15 a.m., police said. The driver was initially in “extremely critical condition” after the incident and was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.
Police said they were exploring possible motives, including if the incident was terror-related.
“Anytime someone is trying to run people over we got to look at that angle and see what the investigation leads us,” a police spokesman said.
Police were alerted about 7:30 a.m. to a reckless driver attempting to mow down pedestrians. The driver struck one person, who then flipped onto the hood of his car.
Witness Marc DiBattista told KYW-TV he “heard ‘Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,’ and knew something was going down.”
An off-duty officer happened to be in the area when the commotion happened and intervened. The driver “immediately gets aggressive against the off-duty officer” which prompted the cop to fire his service weapon, Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew said.
The off-duty officer reportedly made a verbal warning before firing his gun, according to FOX29….