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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

Thoughts on Nice attack

Posted on 15th July 2016 at 12:31pm

A short commentary from one of our Editorial Advisory Panel Members, Christophe Libeau, on the latest attacks in France.

On Thursday, July 14, on France’s national Bastille Day, a terrorist attack occurred in the evening during the traditional fireworks show, on the famous Promenade des Anglais in the city of Nice, on the French Riviera (read initial report here).

As I write this, at least 84 people lost their lives and 18 others are severely injured.

A 31-year-old man drove a truck into the crowd, killing and injuring people before being shot dead by the police – the only way to stop the attack.

Even though one real gun and some fake ones were found near the perpetrator, it must be noted that he took many lives without the use of a gun. Rather, he used a common daily tool, namely a truck, as his weapon.

If it is subsequently confirmed that Daesh, one of the main enemies of the Occident, was responsible, it is clear that it is not only attacking people, but also symbols.

The choice of the day is another way to declare war on France. The selection of the venue is designed to convey the message that people should not feel safe, wherever they are. The method of the attack is a way of telling people that even objects of everyday life can be used as potential weapons against them.

Now, however difficult it may feel, it behoves all French people not to fall into the madness and negative behaviour of racism or an attitude of civil war. This is exactly what Daesh and other offshoots of Al-Qaeda want.

Our politicians and leaders must take rational and calm decisions about what to do and how to do it.

Today, more than ever, is a time for all people to stand in brotherhood and sisterhood with those who were attacks. Today it was France. Yesterday it was other countries. Who knows which country it will be tomorrow.

Christophe Libeau

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