The French government has faced severe criticism for security flaws that may have contributed to the deadly terrorist attack in Nice this month. Now, the outrage over the issue has intensified, with a local security official claiming authorities are attempting a coverup.
The latest chapter in this unfolding drama began Sunday, when Sandra Bertin, who runs Nice’s video surveillance network, told the weekly Journal du Dimanche newspaper that Interior Ministry officials “pressured” her to doctor a report on policing in Nice on the night of July 14, when 84 people were killed in the third major terrorist attack on French soil in less than two years.
The local official said she was urged to “make clear that we also saw the national police at two points” on the Nice promenade where they were not visible. The Interior Ministry fiercely denied the claim.
This revelation came days after Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve admitted that no national police units had been patrolling the entrance to Nice’s seaside promenade, where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old local resident of Tunisian origin, plowed a 19-ton rented truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.
Cazeneuve previously had said that national police units had been at the entrance. Such units are usually better equipped to deal with major attacks than municipal police units.
SOURCE: James McAuley
The Washington Post