The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed 84 people and injured more than 200, in a statement released on Saturday, July 16.
“The man behind the running-over operation in Nice, France, is a soldier from the Islamic State, and he carried out the attack to answer the calls for targeting the nationals of countries in the coalition that is fighting Islamic State,” the terrorist group wrote in a statement via Amaq News Agency.
French authorities named 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel as the man who drove a 20-ton truck through a crowd of people watching fireworks at a Bastille Day celebration at the Promenade des Anglais on Thursday night.
According to CNN, France has not indicated whether Bouhlel was an ISIS sympathizer or an ISIS member sent to attack. The Islamic State has previously claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks even when there wasn’t any clear indication that the group played a role.
“The individual who committed this absolutely despicable, unspeakable crime was not known by the intelligence services, as he had not stood out over the past years — whether through court convictions or through his activity — for support of radical Islamist ideology,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after a cabinet meeting on Saturday morning, according to The New York Times.
Cazeneuve added, “It seems that he radicalized himself very quickly. In any case, these are the first elements that have come to light through the testimony of his acquaintances.”
French authorities have detained five individuals, including Bouhlel’s ex-wife, who will be questioned on Saturday, according to CNN.
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