Investigation Continues Into Deadly Bastille Day Attack In Nice, France

Jul 14, 2016
Originally published on August 1, 2016 12:07 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And now we're joined by NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, who's with us from Paris. Hi, Eleanor.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: So President Francois Hollande is scheduled to speak any moment now. What do you expect him to say?

BEARDSLEY: Well, the French media is already reporting that an ID card was found in that truck and that it's a Franco-Tunisian person, so another attacker who is probably French of Arab descent. So we're looking at someone like the November 13 attackers or a man who just slayed a police couple here, an angry, typical jihadist kind of person that we've been seeing in France. This is what the media is speculating. Everyone - it is 3:30 in the morning here, I will add, so - but I'm watching pictures of Nice. And it's just full of police cars and sirens and everything. And I heard you talking about that gunfire, and they just played a video of the gunfire. Someone had a video and an analyst on television said that was all police gunfire, so it is still unclear, but there was definitely a lot of shooting that went on for at least 45 seconds.

SHAPIRO: Of course, earlier this evening, we did see a photograph of the truck where the windshield was full of bullet holes. If this is, in fact, a French-Tunisian citizen, it brings back an issue that France has been struggling with for years now.

BEARDSLEY: Yeah, absolutely, Ari. I mean, you know, there's different schools of thought on it. There are, you know, France's Muslim population is probably upwards of almost 10 percent. And most, I will say, are integrated, but there is an angry minority of young men who are, you know, clustered out in suburbs. They don't have jobs there. Who knows? I mean, is it the radicalization of Islam or is it just the Islamization of radicals? There's, like, two schools of thought. Are these just young thugs who want something, who want some, you know, recognition or is this some sort of strain of radical Islam? I mean, it's still up for grabs.

SHAPIRO: And the attacks that we have heard about in France until now have tended to be in Paris - not this one.

BEARDSLEY: No, absolutely, and I think, you know, every time something happens, people say, it just shocks you, you know? When the Brussels attack happened, you think, you know, you go through. You get on your plane. You want to be safe in your plane, and they attack the airport. And here's another - everyone has had their bags searched - explosives, guns, things like that. No one is expecting a car to drive through crowds to plow through people, so - and no, not in Paris, in Nice, in a vacation idol where people are just enjoying life. It's too shocking.

SHAPIRO: That's NPR's Eleanor Beardsley speaking with us from Paris where we are waiting to hear from French President Francois Hollande with the latest details on the attack in Nice. We will bring you updates on those remarks once we have them. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.