Well, once again terrorism hits close to home for me. Edmonton Alberta Canada was subjected to a form of terrorism that seems to be the new norm for ISIS. Stabbing a police officer and using a vehicle as a weapon against innocent people just walking on a sidewalk or crossing a street seems to be the weapon of choice; a weapon in which makes it hard to spot, hard to fight and even harder to protect against. If we stop using pedestrian walkways or public areas, ISIS wins. Yet how do we protect our loved ones and ourselves if every vehicle is a potential weapon? In this incident, it was just a normal everyday white car that rammed a police cruiser and a moving truck that is a common rental unit from U-Haul.
For those who are not familiar with the area of this attack, it started in a very busy but condensed area of the capital city. The commonwealth stadium is home to the Edmonton Eskimos football team at which time was hosting a football game just ending and approximately 30,000 people were about to exit to the parking lot when the attack started. The Somalian terrorist rams a police cruiser, jumps out and attacks a police officer, continuously stabbing him before fleeing from the scene on foot. This officer was there to help with game traffic because on a normal day the roads are some of the busiest in the city and near impossible to exit onto them without some traffic control.
About 8:30 pm I received a text from a friend that was at the game “you won’t believe it but some guy just rammed a police car and stabbed an officer!” At first, I was like, “Wow, was he drunk?” Then nothing until the next text came and he said “Hey, they have roadblocks set up checking cars. Rumor has it they found an ISIS flag, but not sure if true. Looks like it will be a few hours before I get home. Talk later.” Now I was worried, rumor or not, of an ISIS presence. I knew some family and friends who are avid football fans were at the game and who knows if there’s a bomb or some other plot in the works. I started calling them but no answers from anyone.
Finally, the news started streaming and a car chase was in progress, down the most popular night hot spot in Edmonton, Jasper Avenue. This is the main strip where you can walk from one bar or lounge to the next. Many sports enthusiasts hit the strip for after event drinks and it does not hurt to have the new Hockey arena built just off the end of the strip. I had family and friends attending the pre-season hockey game as well, so I can honestly say I was really worried; especially when my 22-year-old niece lives just a block or so from the new arena and my brother often stays with her when attending the games. He always says it saves on parking when it is walking distance.
Then the reports came in that pedestrians were plowed down by the suspect in a rented U-Haul truck and I knew my friends and family were on those sidewalks. And still, with no answers to my frantic calls and text messages, I felt useless to do anything. Then the truck flipped and the suspect was apprehended, and the police announced it was a possible terror attack and confirmed the ISIS flag was found at the scene. I turned to Twitter to see if anyone knew the names of those hurt. In my fit of panic, I did not realize what time it would be in Edmonton, and a very nice lady tweeted me that no names as of yet but it was only 6 am at the time and my friends and family were probably asleep. Part of me felt like an idiot but the other part was mad as hell thinking how dare they sleep without answering me first, do they not know I would be panicked? Happy to say they are now all accounted for and unharmed, but unfortunately 5 other families did not have the same fortunate ending to the night.
The officer will recover from his injuries, 2 were released from the hospital but 2 others are still in serious condition the last I heard.
We here at ASI send our prayers to all those families that had to endure this night of terror and our thoughts are with all of you for a speedy recovery of your loved ones. We stand with you, Alberta.