Saturday, July 16, 2016

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Attack in Nice

The fruits of fundamentalist religion
Once again religion, and fundamentalist Islam in particular, is proving that it is a scourge on humanity, as the ISIS claims responsibility for the mass murders in Nice, France on the night of July 14, 2016.   The Washington Post looks at the claim and also the Tunisian citizen who murdered so many, including 10 children.  Like the shooter in Orlando, he seems to have been a loser with a failed marriage and even a petty criminal record but without known ties to ISIS or extremists.  If the facts play out, it will be another example of religion preying on losers and promising them rewards in an afterlife with a mythical, magical friend in the sky.  It's pitiful.  Yet over the centuries religion, including Christianity,  has made such promises over and over again.  Also note that in the body of the piece ISIS references the crusaders who slaughtered Muslims nearly a thousand years ago.  The toxicity of religion simply never ends. Here are highlights from the Post story:
The Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 84 in this coastal French city, the organization’s news agency said Saturday, as French prosecutors took three more people into custody in connection with the attack.
It remained unclear whether the Islamic State had directed the attack, whether they were taking responsibility for an attack that they may have inspired, or whether they were simply seeking publicity from an attack entirely disconnected from them. The Islamic-State-connected Amaq news agency cited an “insider source” saying that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, “was a soldier of the Islamic State.” The Islamic-State-connected Amaq news agency cited an “insider source” saying that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, “was a soldier of the Islamic State.”  “He executed the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations that fight the Islamic State,” the news agency wrote.
But the oblique claim of responsibility left open the question of whether Bouhlel had acted alone or had any prior communication with the group, which has also claimed ties to the attacks that struck Paris twice last year and Brussels in March. French authorities have been scrambling to determine whether Bouhlel had a support network in Nice, where he appears to have been living for at least six years. 
Investigators on Saturday detained three additional people in connection with the attack, including one person who is believed to have spoken to Bouhlel by phone minutes before he started his deadly journey down Nice’s Promenade des Anglais,  and an additional man was detained late Friday, according to the office of Paris prosecutor Fran├žois Molins. Authorities also detained Bouhlel’s ex-wife Friday and were questioning her.
The scale of the carnage wrought by a Bouhlel came into grim focus Friday, with 10 children among the dead and 202 people injured. Among the wounded, 50 were “between life and death,” according to French President Fran├žois Hollande. 
The attack with a 19-ton rented Renault truck — the third mass casualty assault to hit to France in 18 months — shocked the nation and sparked questions about whether authorities had done enough to safeguard a country that is an obvious target of terrorist groups.
The identities of the victims testified to France’s diverse society and to the international appeal of the tony French Riviera. A vacationing father and his 11-year-old son from Lakeway, Tex. A headscarf-wearing Muslim woman who came to celebrate Bastille Day with her nieces and nephews. A French high school teacher, his wife, daughter and grandson. Others from Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Australia. 
Bouhlel was a Tunisian citizen who had lived in Nice since at least 2010, when he first ran afoul of authorities by engaging in petty theft, according to Molins, the prosecutor. Most recently, he had been given a suspended six-month prison sentence related to a January assault, Molins said. In that case, Bouhlel’s former attorney told the local Nice-Matin newspaper, a motorist complained the truck driver was blocking the road during a delivery. Bouhlel took a swing at the motorist with a wooden beam, causing a deep wound, according to the lawyer’s account. Bouhlel is divorced and has three children, neighbors said. The prosecutor said the suspect’s ex-wife was taken in for questioning. 

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