by Florian Flade
Virginia, Interstate Highway 66, 9:25 a.m today morning: A blue SuperShuttle vehicle was heading west when it twice sideswiped the passenger side of a Dodge Charger. The shuttle then rear-ended a Chrysler Pacifica and a taxi, sending both vehicles off the highway. Four minutes later the shuttle bus caused a fourth crash in the westbound lanes of I-66 at the Dulles Connector Road. The SuperShuttle rear-ended a 2006 Mercedes C240, authorities said. Heading towards Dulles, the vehicle then hit two other cars, the drivers reported to the police.
The shuttle bus reportedly drove at 90-95 mph in an area with 55 mph speed limit. The passengers of the first car hit by the shuttle, a woman and hier old year old baby were injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.
Arlington County police, Virginia State Police and Metropolitan Washington Airport authorities were hunting for the hit-and-run shuttle driver and finally found the damaged car outside Dulles International Airport. The shuttle driver was arrested. He turned out to be a 25 year-old resident of Alexandria (Virginia) named Muhammad Teshale. Police later released a photo showing the suspect.
“He was going at a high rate of speed,” a police spokeswoman said, “But there is no indication of motive.” Allegedly Teshale, a shuttle driver at Dulles Airport, told the police he did the hit-and-run trail because „to be famous“. Investigation is still going on and first charges put up.
The incident in itself does not to be of huge significance if it weren´t for the picture of the shuttle driver and his Muslim name. Muhammad Teshale seems to bear all signs of a devout Salafi Muslim, sporting a beard and a bald shaven head. Till now the incident seems like a crazy-acting insane young man acting. But it could also turn out to be the result of Jihadi propaganda inspiring Teshale to attack US civilians in a very primitive way of hit-and-run driving on a highway.
Al-Qaeda´s propaganda wing in Yemen had promoted such behavior (as Jihadi activity) in a English-language Online-Magazin called „Inspire“, published back in October. In this second edition of „Inspire“, the organization urged Muslims in the West to strike civilian targets with regular cars or modified pick-up trucks. „The Ultimate Sawing Machine“, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula called this technique and called for Islamists to carry them out in Western countries.
There is a good chance today´s hit-and-run trial by Muhammad Teshale could turn out to be a Jihadi-inspired attack on US civilians – an attack that because of its nature and the involved equipment is potentially lethal even within a country with a high counter-terrorism security system.