ISIS Tactics Have Spread to Other Violent Actors

Yesterday’s headline writers took the afternoon off, it seems, and engaged the newsroom’s cliché machine: A van “plowed” into crowds on Toronto’s Yonge Street, killing at least 10 and wounding several. That many readers no longer blanch at this agricultural metaphor—indeed they expect it—is a mark of how far the technique of mass vehicular homicide has spread. The alleged driver does not appear to have anything to do with the Islamic State, with whom the technique is now most associated. But of course we all waited (or rather, some of us did) to discover whether his name was Muslim, and we were ready to deploy our opinions to the crime scene, depending on the result.