Bastille Day attack was an ‘act of terrorism’


PARIS—Former French President Francois Hollande said on Monday at a special terrorism tribunal that the man who killed 86 people in a truck on Nice’s crowded seaside six years ago on Bastille Day was a terrorist, and France However, he said he was never found by security officials. In Paris he is on high alert against militant attacks following the ISIS massacre.

Thousands of people packed the famous promenade of Nice on the Mediterranean coast on July 14, 2016 to celebrate the French holiday. Shortly after the fireworks display ended, the truck drove him 2 km (1.25 mi) through the crowd like a snowplow, hitting one person after another. The final death toll was his 86, including 15 children and adolescents, and his other 450 were injured.

The attacker, Mohammed Rafayezi Bourelle, a 31-year-old Tunisian living in France, was killed by police shortly afterwards.

The ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the massacre. But French prosecutors said that while Bourel was inspired by the propaganda of a terrorist group, investigators found no evidence that ISIS orchestrated the attack.

Eight people are on trial in a special terrorism court in Paris, accused of aiding Bourrel’s attacks. The trial, which he will start on September 5, is being broadcast live to the Nice convention center for the victims’ families who have not traveled to Paris for the proceedings.

Many survivors of the attacks have given harrowing testimonies of the terror and carnage they experienced on a Thursday summer night in 2016 and the devastated lives they have lived since.

Holland, France’s president at the time of the attack, told a court on Monday he was celebrating a holiday in the nearby southern town of Avignon when he was informed of the attack in Nice. prosecutors pressed him over the wiseness of public celebrations that year.

“We’ve decided to allow people to publicly celebrate that they’re still[enjoying]life,” Holland said.

Francois Hollande
Former French President Francois Hollande participates in a debate during an event called “Demain le Sport” (Sport of Tomorrow) in Paris on September 22, 2022. (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite the fact that coalition airstrikes against the group’s strongholds in Syria and Iraq have severely weakened ISIS, the threat of extremist violence remains high, so security measures have been put in place in all major cities, including Nice. Enhanced, Holland said.

“The threat still existed, but it has changed,” Holland said, adding that officials fear radicalized ISIS loyalists who want to attack “with knives and vehicles.”

Borrell was such an individual, staying “under the radar” when he drove a rented truck into a murderous rampage, calling the attack an “act of terrorism.”

“A deliberate act aimed at killing as many people, children and parents as possible,” Holland said, striking on Bastille Day prompted Borrell to “declare war on us.” I did,” he added.

A verdict in court is scheduled for December.

By Nicolas Vaux-Montagny and Barbara Surk

Associated Press