U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer announced new bipartisan legislation -- the Darren Drake Act -- to help stop ISIS-inspired terrorists from using trucks and other vehicles as weapons of mass destruction.
The Darren Drake Act requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide rental companies and car dealers with the information they need to flag and stop a potential threat in its tracks. All rental companies will be required to report suspicious behavior at every single point of sale. The bill also requires DHS to certify to Congress that this program protects our country against terrorist attacks, and to identify any additional gaps in cooperation between rental companies and our national security apparatus.
The legislation is named in memory of New Milford resident Darren Drake, a victim of the October 2017 New York City terrorist truck attack.
“We stand in solidarity, and we look forward, with hope, and to create change. Remembering Darren also reminds of that we must always remain vigilant in the fight against terror,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “With the Darren Drake Act, if a terrorist attempts to rent a van or pick-up truck, that company will immediately alert our federal counter-terrorism agencies. Just like how the TSA checks passenger information against the no-fly list, helping stop a terrorist from boarding a plane, law enforcement will know if a potential terrorist has attempted to rent a vehicle capable of a mass terrorist attack.”
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness’ Threat Assessment put homegrown violent extremists as the single-highest threat to New Jersey for 2019.
From 2013 through 2017, terrorists carried out at least 25 known vehicle ramming attacks worldwide, resulting in 156 fatalities and 790 injuries.