Alexei Filatov, Vice President of the international antiterrorist association Alpha, said that the 31-year-old truck driver who killed 84 people during Bastille Day celebrations at the Nice waterfront on July 14 accomplished what his terrorist brethren had failed to do during Euro-2016.
“The terrorists apparently planned something like this during Euro-2016, but they didn’t manage to pull it off. I don’t think this is a case of a security flop on the part of the French because the terrorists keep changing their tactic all the time,” Filatov told RT.
“We need to go where these terrorists are being trained and our Russian security agencies have done this before and with good results,” he added.
Dmitry Gorovtsov, a member of the State Duma’s security and anti-corruption committee, said that the French have simply loosened up after Euro-2016 even though they had been tipped off about possible attacks.
“During the final game of Euro-2016 on July 10 security was extremely tight, that’s why nothing happened then, but in this case it looks like they sort of ‘chilled out’ and let their guard down,” Gorovtsov said.
When asked why the terrorists had chosen France as a target of their attacks, Alexei Filatov brought up the millions of migrants from North Africa who now live in France but have never become part of French society.
“In a country with so many migrants like France, figuring out the perpetrators of a terrorist attack is almost a mission impossible. This is essentially a caste society where migrants from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco usually have low-paid jobs and can become instrumental in such attacks,” he noted.
Filatov also said that this could have been an act of revenge for France’s role in antiterrorist operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
“The civilized countries are trying to impose their rules on others by exporting revolutions to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. The terrorists respond with attacks on their enemy’s soil. They want Daesh to be treated as an equal,” he emphasized.
Dmitry Gorovtsov said that the French had failed to learn from previous such attacks.
“After last year’s attacks in Paris President Hollande came to Moscow and President Putin suggested setting up an international antiterrorist front. Unfortunately our French colleagues ignored this, apparently due to pressure from Washington.”
Gorovtsov added that after the tragic events in Nice, the French would keep tabs on foreigners coming to the country, even from the Schengen area.
The Nice attacker identified
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck in the Nice terror attack has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French citizen of Tunisian descent who lived and worked in Nice. He was identified by fingerprints after his identification card was found in the truck.
According to local media reports, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had told police, guarding the promenade that he was delivering ice cream.
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, is reportedly the father of a three-year-old child, the media reported. Earlier in the day, police raided his house and arrested his ex-wife. According to the authorities, he had previously been held on a number of misdemeanor charges, but his potential radicalization had gone unnoticed by police.
On Thursday evening, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove his truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on a Nice promenade killing 84 revelers and wounding dozens more before being shot dead by police.
France has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the Nice attack. The Promenade des Anglais remains closed off and all public events in the city have been canceled. President François Hollande described Thursday’s carnage as a terrorist attack and promised to ramp up the war on terror, including in Syria and Iraq.
The nationwide state of emergency has been extended for another three months.