Friday, July 15, 2016

Bloody Bastille Day: Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel

Our thoughts and love go to our peace loving and always tolerant cousins in France ...

The driver of the truck that ploughed into a crowd at the beachfront southern French town of Nice, leaving at least 84 dead, has been described as being of "Tunisian" background ...

Le Monde has a useful summary of what it knows about the dead suspect Mohamed Lahouaiej-BouhlelIt says he had recently been arrested for a fight after a traffic dispute and that he was armed with a pistol. It points out that although his action suggest he was terrorist, police have urged caution. It points out that in December 2014, a motorist injured several people shouting “Allahu Akbar”, in what was thought was initially thought to be a terrorist attack. It later emerged that he had a long history of psychiatric treatment and the prosecution concluded it was not a terrorist attack.

The president of the Nice region, Christian Estrosi, said the truck was loaded with weapons and grenades, and the driver had opened fire on the crowd. "An individual drove a truck into the crowd. He was killed by police," said interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.

Addressing the nation on television at 4am on Friday after an emergency meeting, French President Francois Hollande said that 77 people, including children, had been killed

Isis claims credit for Nice massacre Financial Times. Seems late to be credible.

Tomorrows Le Parisien front page @hughwhitfeld 
Hollande: Many of the Nice attack dead are children Politico. From his press conference.
Via ABC with links to Twiter links from Nice:  At least 84? people are dead and up to 202? injured after a truck crashed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice, a local official says

The truck drove at high speed for over 100 metres along the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront before hitting the mass of spectators, sub-prefect Sebastien Humbert told France Infos radio.

He said the driver was shot dead at the scene, and described the incident as a "major criminal attack".
It unfolded almost exactly eight months ago Islamic State militants killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, and local media have called the attack an act of terrorism.
At NICE France yet another tragedy on the Bastille Day

Australian Emily Watkins, who was in Nice and joined the Bastille Day celebrations, said that while she saw the truck, she did not immediately realise what had happened.
"There was a lot of screams coming from ahead of us where the truck was and people just running towards us," she said.
"Without really knowing what was going on, we turned and ran as well.
"People were tripping over and trying to get into hotel lobbies and restaurants or car parks or anywhere they could to get away from the street."
NICE FRANCE ragedy via fairfax media

Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs Pew Research Center

“More than 20 people in Germany have been injured after a man with an axe went on the rampage on a train, German media report,” the BBC reports.

U.S. military has launched a new digital war against the Islamic State

“The town of Nice is altogether indefensible, and therefore without fortifications.”
Tobias Smollett is the embodiment of the cantankerous, ever griping traveler, which is not such a bad thing. I’ve always suspected the narrator of Travels through France and Italy (1766) is a persona created because Smollett knew that complaining is funnier than a positive attitude. Sterne caricatured Smollett as “Smelfungus” in A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768), and while I love Sterne’s novel, it’s not as funny as Smollett’s travel book. The town of Nice ... 1766

MORE ON THE MURDER OF POLICE IN BATON ROUGE: Three police officers dead, three injured. One suspect dead, two others sought. Link is to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Another atrocity in The War on Cops.