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'Islamic Radicalism Very Strongly Represented in Nice' - French MP

© REUTERS / Eric GaillardFrench soldiers and rescue forces in Nice, France, July 14, 2016.
French soldiers and rescue forces in Nice, France, July 14, 2016. - Sputnik International
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A few hours after the terrorist attack in Nice, Sputnik France contacted Philippe Vardon, a resident of the city and member of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur from the National Front.

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“Of course, it is obvious that Nice is one of the starting points for those traveling to Iraq and Syria to join the jihad. An Islamic center exists here and it appeared rather recently, in the last ten years,” Vardon told Sputnik.

He further said that there is also a strong representation of the “fraternal” movement which is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood — the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) which is very tightly entrenched in the city.

“Islamic radicalism is very strongly represented in Nice. The investigation should continue to establish with what sphere he [the attacker] was connected,” the deputy said.

He further mentioned that this attack shows political issues of the country as well. In the coming days questions regarding compromise and even deals with jihadists may arise, pointing fingers at a weak response to Islamists operating in the country.

“Unfortunately, in my opinion, we are a country in which the punch can be easily applied from the inside using people who live next to us, that is apparently what happened in this case with this terrorist,” Verdon stressed.

On July 14, 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel of Tunisian origin drove a truck through a crowd watching the Bastille Day fireworks, killing at least 84 and injuring over 100. President Francois Hollande described the incident as an "undeniable" terrorist attack.

No terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

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