Illinois State Police have revealed that a horrific incident which left four dead and many more injured was carried out by a 53-year-old man by the name of Mohamed Yussuf Jama. While it is unclear exactly which country Jama descends from, the killer’s identity has sparked fears that the lethal incident might have been motivated by other, similar attacks conducted by ISIS sleeper cells across the West.
The attack unfolded along a busy section of the I-55 when Jama slammed his 2016 Freightliner Cascadia into at least seven other vehicles, killing four young women before his truck ground to a halt. Jama made “no attempt to stop,” Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. told the media, before saying “this is one of the worst crashes some of us have ever seen.” Another detective investigating the case made a similar declaration, announcing that Jama’s truck “crashed into multiple passenger vehicles in front of it without braking” after reviewing surveillance tapes from surrounding businesses.
While there are no ties yet to directly link Jama to any radical Islamic organizations, terrorists have been known to use trucks in the past to inflict casualties on civilians. This Halloween, Uzbek-born radical Sayfullo Saipov drove his rented truck along a crowded bike lane in downtown Manhattan, killing 8 people, and last year a madman slammed his truck into a bustling Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12. The worst, however, occurred last July, when a Tunisian-born terrorist mowed down 85 people on the streets of Nice, France.
Most mysteriously about this latest incident is the reported disappearance of the driver’s cell phone. Jama had told police that he had a cell phone on him in the vehicle, but two separate searches failed to find any phone in the truck or in the area around the crash site. A second individual was also believed to be in the vehicle, 38-year-old Ahmed Mahdi Hussein, but he denies any knowledge of the whereabouts of the phone and says that he was asleep at the time of the incident.
The crash killed 20-year-old Tori Carroll of Alhambra; 20-year-old Hailey Bertels and her 17-year-old sister, Madisen Bertels, of Staunton; and 19-year-old Vivian Vu of Joplin, Missouri, and left twelve others injured. Mr. Jama has yet to be charged with any crime, but police say that an investigation is still ongoing.
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