At least 84 people were killed when a huge truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riviera town of Nice on the famous Promenade des Anglais seafront Thursday night in a horrific Islamist terror attack. Hundreds more were injured.
From the initial investigation of attack in the French resort city of Nice, it is clear that the large truck used to run down dozens of people on the promenade was carefully prepared for the attack, debkafile's counterterrorism sources report. .
The windshield and apparently the side windows of the cab were made of bulletproof glass. In other words, the driver carried out the attack while sitting in the protected cab that he had built for himself. It was the first time for this method to be used by terrorists.
Damage to the windshield showed that some, if not all, of the bullets fired at the cab did not penetrate it. The fact that the windshield was not broken, and the bullets left round holes without cracks, show that the windshield had been replaced with bulletproof glass or a layer of bullet-resistant protective plastic.
Our sources point out that if the police in Nice, who have already been on a terror alert for an entire year, had been properly prepared for the large-scale event on a national holiday, they would have had more powerful and effective weapons that would have hit the terrorist as he sat in the driver's seat, or at least been able to stop the truck by puncturing its tires.
Fire from the kind of handguns used by the Nice police cannot stop a speeding truck of this kind.
As it was, the terrorist lived to jump out and open fire on the crowds before being gunned down himself.
DEBKAfike earlier described the event.
At least 84 people were killed when a huge truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riviera town of Nice on the famous Promenade des Anglais seafront Thursday night in a horrific Islamist terror attack. Hundreds more were injured. Before he was shot dead by police, the driver opened fire on the throng.. People were advised to stay home and keep their cars off the roads in case of armed men out on the town Police gunfire was an attempt to stop the huge truck, which continued to plough at a speed of 70kph into the crowds of families and tourists watching a fireworks display. Guns and hand grenades were later found stowed in the truck. Police say the driver was 31 and of Tunisian origin.
This appears to be the deadliest terrorist attack in France since the Paris outrage last year. President Francois Hollande extended the national state of emergency that was due to expire next week by another three months and recalled police reservists to duty across France.