Links between Nice attacker and ISIL not yet established, says minister

Links between Nice attacker and ISIL not yet established, says minister

PARIS – Agence France-Presse
Links between Nice attacker and ISIL not yet established, says minister

People walk past French flags flying at half-staff on the Promenade des Anglais as French police patrol before a minute of silence on the third day of national mourning to pay tribute to victims of the truck attack along the Promenade des Anglais on Bastille Day that killed scores and injured as many in Nice, France, July 18, 2016. REUTERS photo

Links between the Nice truck attacker and “terrorist networks,” including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which has claimed the killings, “have not yet been established by the investigation,” French interior minister said July 18.

“We cannot exclude that an unbalanced and very violent individual” has been “through a rapid radicalization, committed to this absolutely despicable crime,” which killed 84 people, Bernard Cazeneuve told France’s RTL radio.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian, rammed a 19-tonne truck into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the seaside city of Nice on the night of July 14, killing 84 people and injuring about 300.

ISIL said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack in response to its calls to target countries from the U.S.-led coalition engaged in airstrikes against the group.

Meanwhile, France fell silent on July 18 for the victims of the Nice truck attack, but the mourning was overshadowed by politicians tearing into each other over the massacre.

Prime Minister Manual Valls was booed and faced shouts of “resign” as he arrived and left the seaside promenade in Nice, in a sign of the anger and bitterness gripping France after its third major terror attack in 18 months.

Cazeneuve hit out at opposition politicians who have fiercely criticized the government for not doing enough to stop the bloodshed.

Former president and main opposition leader Nicolas Sarkozy said July 17 that “everything that should have been done the past 18 months was not done.”

Cazeneuve described the politicians as “shameful.”

“Certain members of the political class have not respected the mourning period. Arguments broke out right away which personally saddens and shocks me,” he said.