Terrorist Attack in Nice, France During Bastille Day Celebrations Kills 80
July 15th, 2016
July 15th, 2016
It was supposed to be a day of celebration. As fireworks flashed in the sky, tragedy occurred on the streets of Nice, France. A truck driver plowed through crowds watching the fireworks display. The driver was identified as a 31-year old Tunisian native named Mohamed Lahouiaej Bouhlel. The 19-ton truck was driven through crowds for a 1.1 mile span while an armed Bouhlel shot into the crowd and police officers. The death toll currently stands at 84 dead and 202 injured, including several children.
So far, no organized terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but members of some have praised the attacks on social media. Bouhlel was described as a petty criminal, but not particularly religious and generally without suspicion. Intelligence services did not have him on their radar, and have never flagged him for radicalization.
The third major terrorist attack in just over a year and a half has the French people reeling yet again. As tributes and prayers pour in from all over the world for yet another time, one must wonder why these prayers and thoughts are not working and how we can do more. Time after time, The Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower light up in the colors of a nation reeling from a terrorist attack. Time after time, we put their flags as our Facebook profile pictures. Time after time, it keeps happening. As we keep Nice and all of France in our thoughts as they go through yet another horrific incident, one can't help but feel helpless.
Even the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, seemed resigned to the fact that this was not something that could be stopped. "The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism," the prime minister grimly said, adding that "We will not give in to the terrorist threat."
The cruelty of a single individual must not prevail over the billions across the world hoping for peace. However, attack after attack has many of us wondering what can be done to stop this. Each time something horrific happens, it seems too many prayers and thoughts are sent, rather than solid action. What can be done? Why does this keep happening? The state of emergency in France following the Paris attacks was set to end shortly. The carnage in Nice has forced president Francois Hollande to extend the state of emergency for another three months.
Inaction from the French government and failures from national surveillance and security organizations has the French people begging for something to be done. The increasingly unpopular Hollande is expected to run for a second term next year, but one has to wonder how good his chances are after his handling of terrorist threats and attacks have been considered by many to be invisible.
World leaders have expressed their support and aid to the French people. Hopefully this time, more than thoughts and prayers will be used to answer guns and explosive.