It’s instructive to look at the knife. It’s a common kitchen knife, with a cheap plastic handle and a blade that’s not quite as long as Ahmadzai’s fist is wide. It’s the sort of knife that can be found in millions of kitchens worldwide, and a cheap version, at that.
The Islamic State has claimed credit for some of Europe’s most spectacular attacks in the last year. But Ahmadzai’s attack stands out for its simplicity, especially compared with the Islamic State’s Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, which involved multiple attackers, hard-to-obtain weapons, numerous rental cars, cellphones and safe houses, or the March 22 mayhem in Brussels, which featured three coordinated bombers attacking nearly simultaneously at the airport and a subway station.
Ahmadzai’s attack involved no expensive weapons, no explosives, no training and not likely much contact with or advice from the Islamic State.
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