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Four Developments Since Nice Attack Show This is Far From Over

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The Islamic State Claimed responsibility, however, the terrorist was radicalized too fast to catch:

The terrorist who used a 20-ton truck to kill 84 people in Nice on Bastille Day was radicalized too quickly to show up on the radar of anti-terror organizations, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday.

  • The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Tunisian national Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, who carried out the attack, "one of the Islamic State soldiers" who "carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of the coalition which is fighting the Islamic State."

    "It seems he became radicalized very quickly," Cazeneuve said. "This is a new type of attack. We are now confronted with individuals that are sensitive to the message of ISIS and are committed to extremely violent actions without necessarily being trained by them."

     

    France has taken major counter-terrorism steps:

    The French government also called up 12,000 reservist policemen. The government also arrested a man and a woman in Nice on Sunday in connection with the terrorist attack, in addition to three people arrested on Saturday and two on Friday, including the attacker's wife.

    Meanwhile, the President of France, Francois Holland vowed to increase France's campaign against ISIS, saying, "We are going to reinforce our actions in Syria and Iraq."

     

    Truck Attacks Were Suggested in Alabama One Year Before Nice and Pioneered by Palestinians:

    A U.S. citizen named Hoda, 20, ran away from her home in Hoover Alabama in 2014, and travelled to Raqqa, Syria, where she became a Jihadi bride (and shortly afterwards, a widow).

    In 2015, in a series of tweets she called on Muslims in America to carry out attacks using cars and trucks.

    "Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them" she said. "Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades..go on drive by’s + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them."

    ISIS fighters praised Palestinian innovation in developing the car-attack technique, which was pioneered in Jerusalem. Between September 13, 2015 and July 11, 2016, there were 46 vehicular attacks in Israel committed by Palestinian terrorists, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

     

    Tensions in France Were Already At Boiling Point:

    Just days before the attack took place, on July 12, France's director of the DGSI (France's Homeland Security) Patrick Calvar warned, "We are on the verge of a civil war" between the far-right and Muslims, saying, "Even another one or two attacks and it will happen."

    On July 4, hooded gunmen fired on a police car in a housing estate in the city of Marseille, ahead of a visit by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Some 7,000 residents were put on lockdown while armed police and helicopters investigated.

    Meanwhile, a 2015 Pew poll indicated that 42% of French Muslims under the age of 29 believe that suicide bombings can be justified. The numbers are only slightly higher than in the UK, where 35% of Muslims under the age of 29 believe suicide bombings can be justified. In the US, 26% of Muslims under the age of 29 believe suicide bombings can be justified.

    When taken together, these factors show that the attack in France will not be the last attempt by ISIS to provoke sectarian war between Muslims and non-Muslims in France. The only question now is, will the French authorities be able to stamp out the Islamist ideology fueling terrorism before this plan succeeds?

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org