Macron speaks of a terrorist attack: a few weeks ago the Nice bomber entered illegally – after that his trail is lost
A murderous attack in a church in Nice opens new wounds in France. The path of the alleged violent criminal to the south of France raises many questions. What exactly happened in Italy?
After the brutal knife attack in the Mediterranean metropolis Nice, which left three dead, anti-terror investigators want to find out whether the suspect may have been supported by accomplices. They also want to know more precisely how the man who is said to be from Tunisia came to the south of France. The terror suspect, seriously injured by the police, was taken to a hospital and is in mortal danger, as anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard reported on Thursday evening.
French President Emmanuel Macron wants to discuss how to proceed on Friday morning at a national security and defense council. The 42-year-old had spoken of an “Islamist terrorist attack” at the crime scene and assured the Catholics of support.
Highest terror warning level declared
France has been hit hard by terrorism again for several weeks. The highest terror warning level has been declared in the country.
It was only in the middle of the month that the brutal murder of teacher Samuel Paty caused great horror across the country. According to investigators, the motive of the 18-year-old attacker was that Paty had shown caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in a class on the subject of freedom of expression. Paty’s body was found beheaded. Even after this alleged terrorist attack, Macron and the central government announced that they would crack down on radical Islamism.
Woman’s throat was cut
The new attack occurred at around 9 a.m. on Thursday in the Notre-Dame church in central Nice. The alleged assassin shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic). A 60-year-old woman had had her throat cut, Ricard spoke of a kind of beheading. The killed 55-year-old sexton was also seriously injured in the neck. A third, seriously injured victim had fled. The 44-year-old then succumbed to her injuries outside of the church.
The attacker carried a document from the Italian Red Cross made out to a Tunisian citizen born in 1999. Ricard said he entered the Italian island of Lampedusa in September. On October 9th, he was then in Bari, southern Italy.
The assassin entered illegally
Italy’s authorities said they had not been warned by Tunisia about the perpetrator. The Interior Ministry in Rome reported that the attacker had been identified as a 21-year-old Tunisian. The man arrived illegally on Lampedusa. According to Italian agency reports, he went ashore with other boat migrants and was brought to Bari in October. There he should have gone underground.
Sources in the Ministry of the Interior in Rome only said that the Tunisian had been sent a decree of refusal to stay on October 9. He had been asked to leave Italy within seven days.
“Act of hideous violence”
The murderous attack sparked global sympathy. The top of the EU institutions gave France their solidarity. All of Europe is in solidarity with the country, wrote EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned the act as an “act of heinous violence” and emphasized: “We must counteract the violence and the Islamist motives that are apparently behind it with all determination.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed his “deep sympathy”. Pope Francis expressed his closeness and compassion for the mourners. UN Secretary General António Guterres called the attack “hideous”. US President Trump wrote on Twitter that the US was “on the side of France in this fight”.
Tunisian authorities are investigating 21-year-olds
The Tunisian authorities are now investigating the suspect. According to the law of the country, every Tunisian who is involved in acts of terrorism, whether at home or abroad, said a Tunisian judicial spokesman on Thursday evening. The aim is to determine whether the perpetrator may have had accomplices in Tunisia.
No evidence of terrorist background in Avignon
In Avignon, the police killed a man on Thursday who is said to have threatened passers-by with a gun. According to police circles, there was initially no evidence of a terrorist background.
The French news agency AFP reported that the man had mental problems and, according to the prosecutor, made confused statements. The agency quoted investigators as saying that the man was wearing “a blue jacket the color of Génération Identitaire,” a right-wing extremist group. According to the report, the public prosecutor said that they could neither confirm nor deny that the man belonged to “a right-wing extremist movement”. According to AFP, a spokeswoman for Génération Identitaire wrote on Twitter that the man had never been active in the group, “nobody knows him”.
The majority of Germans want the lockdown, but there is one point where it goes too far
glö / cvh / mmo / cba / AFP / dpa