The terrorism attack in Nice Thursday night was "totally unknown from our services," and the Tunisian man driving the truck represented one of the most dangerous threats that can be faced in the modern world: "these self-radicalized guys who suddenly decide to kill," Ambassador Gerard Araud said Friday.
"He just had a suspended sentence for violence three or four months ago," Araud, the French Ambassador to the United States, told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on her noon MSNBC
program about the truck's driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel, 31.
"The part now we are investigating is his computer, to see whether he has been in contact with ISIL or he has not been in contact with ISIL to know whether he was, what we call self-radicalized."
The French police and armed forces, since the last attacks in France, have been extremely active, said Araud, on the day after French Prime Minister Francois Hollande announced there would be a three-month extension of the nation's state of emergency, and that military reserve forces will be called into duty.
"They are protecting a lot of sites and especially all the Jewish sites in France," said Araud. "And recently there was the big Euro soccer tournament throughout France. So in a sense, we are nearly — our secretary forces are tired, they're exhausted. So since we have to keep the same level of emergency, we are going to call some reserve to reinforce them."
And since last November, there have been additional French soldiers in the streets, he continued.
"Unfortunately, when you go to a lot of French cities you see French soldiers in the streets," he said. "In front of the synagogue, you see French soldiers. So we have a very high level to ensure the security of our citizens."
He continued that there have been some "agitators" in Nice who were sending young men to Syria, "so there is a very significant number of youth who went from Nice to Syria. As you know, we have two threats in terms of terrorism. The guys who are in Syria, when they come back radicalized, military raised and the second one, self-radicalized people."
Araud called the truck driver in Nice "the self-radicalized model," and there will need to be more investigation about whether he was connected with ISIS or other groups.
"For the moment, we have no hint about an ISIL, ISIS connection," said Araud, "but what we see is that he has acted the way ISIS was calling the people to do, by using a truck or a car to kill innocent passersby."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.