Tags: france | terrorism | attack | iraq | syria | defense

Anti-Terror Prosecutor Warns of Islamic State Attack on French Soil

Anti-Terror Prosecutor Warns of Islamic State Attack on French Soil

People gather and lay tributes on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, on July 17, 2016. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the truck attack that killed 84 people in Nice on France's national holiday. (Pierre Rousseau/CIT'images/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 02 September 2022 06:46 PM EDT

A prominent French official fears that his country will soon be the target of an Islamic extremist terror attack.

While speaking to French broadcaster BFM TV on Friday, Jean-Francois Ricard, France's anti-terrorism prosecutor, warned that imminent acts of terror could be carried out "by individuals coming from areas where terrorists are operating, especially the Iraqi-Syrian area."

Ricard's comments likely coincide with the impending trial of eight suspects in connection with the 2016 Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, France, which resulted in 86 deaths. 

Ricard's suspicions might also be tied to a January attack in Syria, in which Islamic State militants raided a prison holding suspected extremists in the northeastern city of Hassakeh.

"For two years, we've been able to see how the Islamic State group was regaining some pieces of territory, was restructuring itself" in Iraq and Syria, says Ricard, while adding that extremist threats to France have greatly increased since 2020.

Ricard also acknowledged how some extremists — who were formerly convicted on terror-related charges in France — garnered lenient sentences before, but now pose a new threat to his country.

"Very often they have abandoned none of their convictions," said Ricard, while adding that France's judicial and intelligence services closely monitor released inmates.

Ricard says he feels that French authorities must do "everything we can" to preclude terrorists from attacking any city or province in France.

"It's a true problem that we must certainly not deny," says Ricard.

On July 14, 2016, an Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack in Nice. On that day, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel reportedly plowed a 19-ton truck into an unsuspecting crowd waiting for a fireworks display.

Soon thereafter, Bouhlel was shot dead by French police.

According to The Associated Press, French authorities assert that Bouhlel, a Tunisian with French residency, was inspired by the extremist group's propaganda.

Three months ago, 20 men were convicted in connection with the 2015 Paris terror attacks on the Bataclan theater, Paris cafes and the national stadium.

This tragedy resulted in 130 deaths. 

The lone surviving member of that Islamic State attack team is Salah Abdeslam, according to AP.

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A prominent French official fears that his country will soon be the target of an Islamic extremist terror attack. While speaking to French broadcaster BFM TV on Friday, Jean-Francois Ricard, France's anti-terrorism prosecutor, warned that imminent acts of terror could be ...
france, terrorism, attack, iraq, syria, defense
351
2022-46-02
Friday, 02 September 2022 06:46 PM
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