french national day

During the Bastille Day celebration on Thursday night, 14 July 2016, a white rental truck mowed over and killed more than 84 people, leaving 202 critically injured. We now know that during the mile-long (1.3 mi) massacre, the assailant, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was carrying weapons in the font seat and explosives inside the truck. It has now been revealed that ISIS are claiming responsibility for the Bastille Day massacre.

According to Amaq, a news agency that supports ISIS, claimed: “The person who carried out the operation in Nice, France, to run down people was one of the soldiers of Islamic State.” An ISIS telegram account claimed: “He carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of states that are part of the coalition fighting Islamic State.”

As the fireworks were coming to an end and the crowd was beginning to disperse, a rented white truck sped down the famous’ La Promenade des Anglais’, purposefully crushing and killing people over a one mile distance. The assailant was gunned down by the French police and the truck came to a frenzied halt.

French authorities on the scene were quick to theorise it was yet another terrorist attack, that many innocent lives were lost in this ‘senseless act of terrorism’.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Bastille Day Massacre

New York Times writers Alissa J. Rubin, Lilia Blaise, Adam Mossiter and Aurelien Breeden confirmed, “The Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, identified the man as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who was born on Jan. 3, 1985, and raised in Msaken, a town in northern Tunisia.” The assailant has been identified by his fingerprints and the French officials have visited his apartment in trying to piece together a motive. Mohammed was known by the French authorities for petty felonies but nothing major that could have alerted the French Intelligence Services as a potential terrorist suspect.

Reuters writers Sophie Sassard, Michel Bernouin and Tom Bergin noted“Thursday night’s attack in the Riviera city of Nice plunged France into a new grief and fear just eight months after gunmen killed 130 people in Paris.”  The article continues: “The 84 dead included 10 children and teenagers, Mr. Molins said. Among the victims were two German students and their teacher; two Americans; two Tunisians, and one Russian.”

More disturbing news according to the same Reuters article: “More than 10 children were among the dead. Of the scores of injured, 25 were on life support, authorities said on Friday.”  As new information is still being collected, French authorities are reporting more than 202 injured who are ‘between life and death’. For many, their condition at this time are critical.

Just One in a String Of French-targeted Terrorism

Just a few short eight months ago on 17 November 2015, a terrorist attack shook France with the murder of 130 people. Multiple attacks were orchestrated by a well-organized terrorist groups who exploded themselves in different locations throughout the city of Paris. Last year, shortly after the new year on 7 January 2015, the Charlie Hebdo compound and offices were taken over by two terrorist brothers who killed most of the Charlie Hebdo team for ‘making fun of the prophet Mohammed with their journalistic drawings and caricatures’. It marked the third major attack in France in less than 18 months.

As France has been a global leader in anti-terrorist efforts, it has become the target of the Islamic State and other affiliated groups. The country and its armed forces have been in Syria, Iraq and in Mali in combating Boko Haram, another terrorist group. Boko Haram terrorist cells has been terrorising and killing many African people in northern parts of Africa. The Islamic State have communicated to the French officials that if they do not withdraw their troops from Syria, Iraq and Mali, that they will ‘bring terror to the homeland of France’. Sadly, these warnings are apparently not idle threats.

French President Francois Hollande has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of Nice in the terror attack. Despite the Islamic State losing territories, Jihad fighters are still a formidable, unpredictable and radical enemy to defeat. There have been reports thaFrench  the Islamic State Caliphate is about to fall, but their resources are still potent and their means are still focused on invoking fear.

French authorities and intelligence services from around the world need to be working together to stave off future attacks from occurring. Easier said than done.
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