On March 28, authorities arrested Rondell Henry of Germantown, Maryland, for interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. Police believe Henry was planning to conduct a vehicle ramming attack with the U-Haul at the National Harbor—a popular tourist destination on the Potomac River in Maryland, just outside of the District. Henry, who was reportedly inspired by ISIS, stole a U-Haul van and surveilled several locations in the National Capital Region (NCR) to carry out an attack that would maximize harm to “disbelievers,” according to court documents.
In its English-language propaganda, ISIS has encouraged supporters to conduct vehicle ramming attacks. In July 2016, an ISIS supporter drove a 19-ton truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France killing 86 people and wounding more than 430. Henry allegedly was familiar with this attack, telling police that he wanted to replicate it to create “panic and chaos” the “same as what happened in France,” according to court documents.
There is no information indicating any further threat to the NCR. However, as we approach special event season, the NTIC will continue to communicate threat trends to our law enforcement partners and encourage residents to report suspicious activity.