Last night an Islamist man named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel plowed his rented truck at 40mph through a large crowd of people watching the Bastille Day fireworks at the Nice promenade:
The truck driver, who was known to police, was said to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – God is great in Arabic – before being killed in a clear suicide mission. Pro-ISIS groups have been celebrating the attack, orchestrated to coincide with France’s most important national holiday.
The Daily Mail lede lists the details:
- WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Terrorist uses lorry to mow down crowds during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice
- Local paper Nice Matin names suspect as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French Tunisian man, 31, from Nice
- Death toll currently stands at 84 and dozens more people were injured in terror attack on the French Riviera
- At least 10 babies and children were killed, some in buggies, with least 54 children also being treated in hospital
- French, Americans, Armenians and Ukrainians among confirmed dead – dozens more are injured or missing
- Eyewitnesses said driver zig-zagged at 40mph to hit crowds of people who were sent flying or jammed under wheels
- Terrorist then opened fire with a gun from cab of the lorry before being killed by a police marksman in shootout
- President Francois Hollande extends state of emergency by three months and pledges to hit ISIS even harder
Cable news mentioned that a civilian in a motorcycle tried to rush the truck to stop the driver while the police was shooting at the truck. The scene was beyond horrific.
French authorities immediately determined it was a terrorist attack, and did not refer to the perpetrator as a “lone wolf.”
The White House issued the usual boilerplate statement. If you look at it, its all-purpose platitude-rich content can be used for any terrorist attack anywhere, any time:
On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in [insert location, country], which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. I have directed my team to be in touch with [insert country name] officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with [insert country name], our [insert adjective] ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.
On this [insert appropriate date], we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made [insert country name] an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the [insert country name and modifying noun] will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.
As Scott Johnson points out, Obama believes that terrorism is one of those things we have to learn to live with.(*)
Earlier this week, French intelligence disclosed (unintentionally) that a Brazilian member of ISIS had planned an attack against the French Olympic team at the upcoming Rio Olympics. Undeniably, France is under an exceptionally serious threat environment. Intelligence agencies will examine the Nice attack, which has already been described as a security failure on a colossal level.
Obama’s not alone in his thinking (h/t Stephen Green),
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 15, 2016
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.