I visited 13 sites of Islamic terrorist attacks and asked witnesses that one question.
On April 7, 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden, Rakhmat Akilov, a Muslim immigrant and asylum-seeker, stole a beer truck in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Did he have a keg party in mind? No. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam. The killing of “infidels,” however, is not, and that is precisely what Akilov had in mind. Circling the block, he careened down a fashionable pedestrian lane. Before the rampage ended, five people were dead and 14 others injured.
A few weeks later, I walked from my hotel to the street in question. There was little to signal an unknowing visitor to this place that anything out of the ordinary had ever happened here. It was all so normal, so business as usual. Sitting at a sidewalk café, I tried to imagine the scene unfolding before me. With so many window shoppers and cyclists on this strip, it wasn’t difficult to picture the terror at the too-late realization that the truck bearing down on them had no intention of stopping.