ISIS is praising Thursday’s terrorist attack at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, where a truck plowed into a crowd of people celebrating the holiday, killing close to 80 people.
Investigators in France have not yet said who is responsible for the attack and it is not yet officially labeled as an act of terrorism, but within minutes of the attack, there were several official ISIS outlets praising the attack and threatening to carry out more attacks against France and in Berlin, Germany.
One of the more specific threats from an ISIS-linked account showed a picture of a flaming hand next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The picture made reference to the recent attack in Orlando, Florida, and threatened that Berlin would see its own terrorist attack soon.
While the accounts posting the images are related to ISIS and are sometimes seen as an official propaganda arm of the terrorist group, ISIS had not yet formally taken credit for the attack.
Video of the attack showed a large white truck driving slowly along the city’s promenade, where thousands of people were walking after having watched a fireworks display. The truck then accelerated into the crowd, plowing through people for more than a mile, officials said.
Police said that they were able to kill the attacker, who reportedly had guns inside the vehicle. The Guardian reported that witnesses heard gunshots during the attack, but it is not yet clear if it was the attacker who was shooting.
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The attack left dozens more people injured and others scrambling to help the wounded.
Live coverage of the Bastille Day terrorist attack can be seen here.
The Bastille Day attack would be the third major terrorist strike against France in the last 18 months. In January, 2015, an attack at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left 20 people dead. The largest terrorist attack in the nation’s history came in November, when gunmen opened fire and detonated bombs in a series of attacks in France that left 130 people dead.
While the two gunmen responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attack were affiliated with the terrorist group al Qaeda in Yemen, it was ISIS that claimed responsibility for the Paris attack.
The attack in Paris led France to intensify its strikes against ISIS, carrying out a series of bombings against the terrorist group in the Syrian city of Raqqa just two days after the Paris attack. French president François Hollande vowed that the nation would be “unforgiving with the barbarians” of ISIS, the New York Times reported at the time.
The Bastille Day terrorist attack in Nice bears all the hallmarks of a major terrorist attack, NBC News reported. The report added that there would have been a high level of coordination needed to pull off the attack.
“France has been on edge since a series of coordinated terror attacks in Paris in November that left 130 people dead. The terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.
“Malcolm Nance, executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project, said the incident bore all the hallmarks of a ‘major terror attack.’
“Vehicular traffic is barred from the promenade on holidays, meaning the driver of the truck would have had to negotiate several roadblocks to reach the area, said Nance, a former veteran federal counterterrorism officer.”
After Thursday’s attack, Hollande said that France’s state of emergency would be extended by three months, and that the country would continue to maintain its additional 10,000 military members working security operations, CNBC reported. Hollande added that it was not in dispute that the Bastille Day attack was the work of terrorists, though he did not link it to ISIS.
[Photo by Ciaran Fahey/AP Images]