UPDATE: “An Islamic State-run media outlet says the man who barreled his truck into a crowd in the French coastal city of Nice is a ‘soldier’ of the group,” reports the Associated Press. “The Aamaq news agency on Saturday cited a ‘security source’ as saying the attacker ‘carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State.'”
ORIGINAL POST: The man who killed 84 people — including at least two Americans — in Nice, France, last night was a 31-year old French resident of North African origin named Lahouaiej Bouhlel.
Born in Tunisia, Bouhel used a large commercial truck to drive over crowds of pedestrians and tourists, often accelerating along his two kilometers killing spree, before being stopped, shot and killed by French police. Inside the truck, authorities found “a pistol, a larger gun, and a number of fake weapons and grenades.”
French President Francois Hollande called the event a “terrorist” attack even thought no terror organization has yet claimed responsibility. Still, the Islamic State has called for Muslims to killed Americans and Frenchmen in any way possible, including plowing into them with cars.
“If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies,” said ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani in one of his first speeches, according to a translation from the SITE Intelligence Group. “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.”
A French newspaper reports: “We can confirm the identity of the driver of the truck that drove into the crowds Tuesday night, according to our information. It is the owner of the identity card that was found in the truck by police. He is from Nice and is of Tunisian origin, aged 31, called Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Police raided his apartment in the Nice Nord district this morning. He works as a delivery driver and is known for criminal acts, including violence, but any radicalisation has gone unnoticed. His act seems yet to have been premeditated. He may have hired the truck on Wednesday in a neighboring town of Nice. The investigators are still is looking for possible accomplices.”
Please be praying for the wounded, and for the family and friends of all those who were killed. At the same time, please be praying for French authorities as they deal with yet another terrorist attack. Indeed, we need to be praying for leaders in the U.S., throughout Europe and around the world to be far more serious and decisive in combatting the threat of Radical Islam.
“A Bastille Day fireworks celebration was shattered by death and mayhem on Thursday night in the southern French city of Nice when a large truck barreled for more than a mile through an enormous crowd of spectators, crushing and maiming dozens in what France’s president called a terrorist assault,” reported the New York Times. “It came eight months after the Paris attacks that traumatized the nation and all of Europe.”
“Officials and witnesses in Nice said at least 84 people, including children, were killed by the driver of the rampaging truck, who mowed them down on the sidewalk,” the Times added. “He was shot to death by the police as officers scrambled to respond on what is France’s most important annual holiday. Graphic television and video images showed the truck accelerating and tearing through the crowd, dozens of victims sprawled in its path, and the bullet-riddled windshield of the vehicle. Municipal officials and police officers described the truck as full of weapons and grenades.”
“The horror, the horror has, once again, hit France,” President François Hollande said in a nationally televised address early Friday. He said the “terrorist character” of the assault was undeniable, and he described the use of a large truck to deliberately kill people as “a monstrosity.”
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