Thursday, July 14, 2016

Possible Terrorist Attack in Nice, France against Bastille Day Crowd

By Melissa Pavlik

A truck drove into a crowd in Nice, France in a possible terrorist attack, killing up to 73 and injuring up to 100 during a Bastille Day parade. There have not yet been any claims of responsibility.

French authorities issued a warning on 13 JUL 2016 of possible ISIS-linked attacks in France in the near future. 
  • French officials briefed that ISIS will use VBIEDs and other IEDs to perpetuate attacks in France
  • French internal security cited concerns about a “serious threat” on 14 JUL 2016, which is Bastille Day
 ISIS-linked individuals have used this tactic previously in France.
  •  On 21 DEC 2014 a pro-ISIS individual rammed a car into a crowd in Dijon, France, injuring 13 individuals
  • On 22 DEC 2014 a driver rammed his vehicle into a crowd of shoppers in Nantes, France, injuring 11 individuals
An attack targeting French soldiers in Nice in early 2015 may have also been linked to ISIS.
  •  On 03 FEB 2015 French police arrested a man, Moussa Coulibaly, for using a knife to attack three soldiers guarding a Jewish community center in Nice, France.

This incident, if confirmed as a terrorist event, would advance ISIS by showing the group’s continued ability to perpetrate attacks in major European countries, even as it loses territory in core terrain. ISW has assessed that ISIS is pursuing such a strategy. It also demonstrates the limitations of European countries to prevent such attacks, even when security forces possess intelligence suggesting their likelihood.  

More information and analysis to follow.

Read ISW's report on likely ISIS actions during Ramadan in ISIS Forecast:  Ramadan 2016 (27 MAY) as well as our round-up of ISIS actions in ISIS's Regional Campaign: Ramadan 2016 (13 JUL).