Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/27/16

Bastille Attack: Some troubling questions

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   5 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Tazeen Hasan
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

After brutal terrorist attacks in Orlando, Istanbul, Baghdad, Dhaka and Medina, recent French and German attacks appear to mark a new set of tragic events in Europe. The heaviest death toll has been observed in France where the Riviera city of Nice was targeted violently on Bastille day. The killer has been identified as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born French citizen, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. More than 84 people lost their lives when he used his truck to mow down the crowd assembled to watch the fireworks on the coastal promenade. This is the third major terrorist attack in France since January 2015.

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

Twitter Screenshot

According to leading French Newspapers, French anti-terrorist executive has demanded the French city authorities to delete all CCTV footage of the Nice attack. However, the city authorities have refused to delete this vital evidence, considering the order illegal. The French government has claimed that they want to prevent ISIS from gaining access to videos of the attacks for the purposes of propaganda. Does it make any sense to destroy evidence against an enemy because of fear of the enemy? What is the French anti-terror police trying to cover up and why?

Once again, the Bastille day investigations have revealed glaring inconsistencies in the official narratives, similar to the San Bernardino and Orlando shooting incidents. Is it a coincidence that since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015, almost every terrorism incident has followed the same pattern? The perpetrator is always killed and usually on the spot. The alleged terrorist of the Nice attack, Muhamad Bouhlel was also killed by the police. So no one is there to stand trial. Once again his identity papers were found in the truck's cabin like the Syrian passport found in the Paris attacks (and like the Saudi pilot's passport found in World Trade Center rubble after 9/11.)

In previous incidents, video footage 'identifying the terrorist' is never found (or at least never made public) even if the attack was carried out in a closed public area like the San Bernardino Community Centre or the Orlando night club. Ironically, independent video footage does exist in the Bastille attack but the investigative agencies attempted to destroy it. French citizens as well as the Muslim community in the west, have the right to know why French anti-terror authorities expressed a desire to destroy the evidence.

It's also worth noting that in most of the terrorist incidents, the perpetrators were already known to local intelligence agencies or police, suggesting that they were "known wolf attacks" rather than "lone wolf" ones. Unofficial news reports claimed that Bouhlel had been known to the police for violence, theft, and robbery, but not for terrorism-related charges.

Like the alleged Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, Bouhlel was also not a practicing Muslim. A report published within three hours of the incident by the British daily Telegraph cited multiple interviews with neighbors and claimed that the alleged killer was obsessed with sex, alcohol, and drugs. "Bouhlel's phone is said to be full of messages, videos and photographs, including ones of men and women he had recently slept with," said the Telegraph report. The report also claimed that Bouhlel was "regularly in trouble with the law." However, police denied that the suspect had a criminal record.

In recent mass murder incidents, it has been observed that confusion dominates the discussion of motives. Like preceding incidents of terrorism, contradictory reports emerged in French media shortly after the attack. For instance, one report said that Bouhlel had watched ISIS beheading online and dated a 73-year-old man. Recall that US authorities have been caught flip-flopping official narratives regarding links to ISIS in the San Bernardino and Orlando shootings. For instance, contradictory reports emerged about Omar Mateen that he is gay, yet still pledged to ISIS, a cult that convicts homosexuals to death. One report gave the impression that Omar Mateen wanted revenge for the American War on Terror in Afghanistan and was a supporter of the Taliban. While Taliban and ISIS both convict gays to death, they are fierce enemies of each other. Nevertheless as long as the western audience believes, media is not concerned with the difference.

Regardless of whether attackers were religiously motivated or not, these recent incidents in the west seem to have followed an almost similar pattern since January 2015, but they differ considerably from the bomb blasts and suicide attacks in the Muslim World, although both are claimed by ISIS. One pertinent question here is why were there no such frequent occurrences before 2015 or at least not on such a massive scale?

Twitter Screenshot

While French authorities haven't discovered any link, as usual, ISIS has taken responsibility via the Amaq News agency and disseminated by SITE Intelligence (Search for International Terrorism Elite) --run by the renowned terrorism analyst Rita Katz. Katz publicly claims to find ISIS released videos before anyone else since the death cult began beheading western journalists in 2014. However, this time, her claim has been mocked by French people using a Twitter hashtag #DaeshRevendique, or #ISIS Claims. Everything from losing the Euro 2016 final to climate change, and from Donald Trump accepting the presidential nomination to Brexit, has jokingly been attributed to the terrorist group under the hashtag #ISISclaims. Interestingly, SITE later removed the alleged ISIS claim regarding the Nice attack from its web-site but left an article supporting the notion that the Nice road rage has an Islamist link.

It appeared that this time the terrorist had used a truck as a weapon to carry out the carnage. According to Le Figaro, strangely the French domestic intelligence chief Patrick Calvar had predicted exactly 20 days earlier, on June 26th, that ISIS or Daesh would in future use trucks as weapons. This has also become an established pattern now that fairly accurate predictions are made by intelligence agencies, but the same institutions are powerless to prevent those terrible incidents.

It should be noted that the Promenade des Anglais was supposed to be blocked by traffic police vehicles on Bastille Day. If so, how could Bouhlel have made his way through the blocked promenade? Initially, the police was silent, but later authorities changed the narrative that the truck "forced its way through, by driving onto the sidewalk," bypassing a checkpoint where police vehicles blocked the entrance to the promenade. It added that 64 national and 42 municipal police officers had worked together to secure the area, along with 20 soldiers. Later French interior minister Cazeneuve denied that national police was present. This controversy was prolonged when a policewoman Sandra Bertin claimed that Cazenauve harassed her on the phone for an hour and pushed her to change her report on the national police presence. Bertin is said to be in charge of security cameras.

The French newspaper Liberation has claimed Mr Cazeneuve lied about the whereabouts of the national police officers and cars, and accused French authorities of lacking transparency. The lack of security and transparency as well as the narrative change by no less than the interior minister gave rise to another set of alarming questions.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Tazeen Hasan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Tazeen Hasan is a Research Fellow and campaign lead against arbitrary detentions at Justice For All Canada, a global human rights advocacy group working for a just and Genocide free world.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What are the Motives Behind ISIS Impersonators, Hoaxes and Terrorism Theater

Bastille Attack: Some troubling questions

German attacks: Cui Bono?

India's Rising Extremism: cow urine therapy spiked under government patronage

Is Pokemon Go Really Posing a Global Threat to National Securities?

Alarming: Facebook slammed for adding mobile contacts to profiles without consent

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend