French authorities arrested a 47-year-old man on Thursday evening in the investigation of the Nice attack. He is said to have been in contact with the man who killed three people in a church in the southern coastal city, French media report based on anonymous sources.
France is scaling up to the highest threat level
It is not yet known whether, and if so, what role the man played in the attack. He has been arrested so that he can be further questioned.
A 21-year-old Tunisian attacked people at a church with a knife on Thursday morning. According to the authorities, the man had a Quran with him and shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest). The police later shot him. The perpetrator is said to have come to Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this year.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on the radio Friday morning that France is engaged in a fight against the ideology of radical Muslims. According to the minister, “other events such as this terrible attack” must be taken into account.
The highest threat level has been in place throughout France since the terrorist attack, Prime Minister Jean Castex told a press conference on Thursday. This allows the government to take more security measures throughout France.
France has been repeatedly rocked by attacks by Muslim extremists in recent years. Earlier this month, the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty already caused shocked reactions. He had shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson.
Residents of Nice have also been targeted before. There, 86 people were killed four years ago when a man drove a truck into pedestrians on the French national holiday.