France: Trial for 2016 Nice Terrorist Attack Begins

France: Trial for 2016 Nice Terrorist Attack Begins
Photo: Shutterstock [via The Wall Street Journal]

The Facts

  • On Mon., a French terrorism court opened the trial of eight people accused of helping Tunisian national Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drive a truck into a crowd that had gathered on the streets of Nice to celebrate Bastille Day in 2016.

  • Seven men and one woman are accused of having helped the attacker obtain weapons, rent the truck and survey the route. The attack was the second most deadly in peacetime France, claiming the lives of 86 people and injuring hundreds.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

By prosecuting suspects of terror attacks in a court of law, French authorities have given a democratic answer to these brutal incidents while demonstrating that terrorism has failed to damage the fabric of Western civilization. Defendants won't be deprived of their rights to due process, and sentences will be fair and impartial.

Establishment-critical narrative

So far, the French justice system has failed to consider that these tragic attacks must also be seen within the context of Western leaders waging war in the Middle East. By not recognizing their responsibility, terrorism trials have only widened the gap between hawkish Frenchmen and frustrated members of the Muslim community, leading to further radicalization and offering no solution to this problem.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that at least 25.1K deaths will occur as a result of terrorism in 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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