Today's terror attack in New York is chillingly similar to a spate of killings in Europe in recent months where vehicles were used.

Eight people were killed by a truck driver who mowed them down on a bike path in lower Manhattan.

The driver made his way from Houston Street down towards Tribeca where he mounted the bike path on the West Side Highway shortly after 3pm, according to Daily Mail.

After striking several cyclists and runners, he came to a stop when his truck crashed into a school bus beneath the Tribeca bridge.

Advertisement

But it is not the first time a vehicle has been used to carry out mass murder in Western Europe with similar atrocities taking place in Britain, France , Germany, Spain and Stockholm and claiming well over 100 lives.

In August, Barcelona terrorist Younes Abouyaaqoub calmly walking away seconds after ploughing a van into crowds on the Ramblas murdering 14 people.

Abouqaaqoub was part of a 12-man cell who brought terror to Barcelona on August 17 and 18.

Hours after the Ramblas attack, five other members of the gang ploughed into pedestrians in the nearby seaside town of Cambrils before they went on the rampage with an axe and large knives, stabbing one person to death.

On Bastille Day in the summer of last year, 86 people were killed when a truck was driven through crowds enjoying fireworks in Nice.

Low tech attacks using stolen and hired vehicles to randomly rammed into crowds, have been increasingly used by terrorists unable to get hold of guns and explosives.

In June a team of jihadists used a hire van to drive through pedestrians at London Bridge before going on the rampage with knives.

"Whether they are going to be permanent or temporary, time will tell. It is very difficult to stop, nigh on impossible."

Advertisement

Before today's attack there had been a series of atrocities using cars and trucks in 2016 and 2017.

In June a team of jihadists used a hire van to drive through pedestrians at London Bridge before going on the rampage with knives.

On March 22, Khalid Masood, 52, drove a Hyundai 4x4 over Westminster Bridge, mowing down members of the public before crashing into a fence beside Big Ben.

He then got out of the car and attacked PC Keith Palmer with a knife.

Masood was shot twice by police and died when he was taken to hospital.

Five people died in the attack, including PC Palmer.

In April, in central Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, a hijacked truck was deliberately driven into crowds before being crashed through a corner of a department store.

Authorities investigate a truck after it plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice. Photo / AP
Authorities investigate a truck after it plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice. Photo / AP

The day after the Westminster attack, a man in Antwerp drove into a crowded shopping area in the Belgian city in an attempted attack, but no one was injured.

In April, in central Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, a hijacked truck was deliberately driven into crowds before being crashed through a corner of a department store.

An ISIS-inspired massacre took place in Germany when a terrorist drove a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin.

Twelve people were killed in the attack on December 19.

Anis Amri stole a cargo truck and killed 12 people when he drove through a Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz.

Among the dozen people killed was the original driver of the truck Lukasz Urban who was found dead with a gunshot wound in the passenger street.

An ISIS-inspired massacre took place in Germany when a terrorist drove a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin.

Amri was a Tunisian who had failed to gain asylum status in the country. He was killed in Milan four days later after an international manhunt.

But the most deadly was the driver of a tractor-trailer who targeted Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice in July 2016.

On the evening of July 14, a 19-tonne cargo truck was driven into crowds on the Promenage des Anglais.

ISIS fanatic Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was behind the wheel and after exchanging gunfire with police, the Tunisian migrant was shot dead.

Thousands had gathered on the seafront to watch the fireworks that night - 86 of them died and 434 were injured.