French prosecutor: Nice attacker not on intelligence radar

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said the Nice attacker was not on the radar of intelligence agencies as a potential threat, AP reported. At a press conference late Thursday Jean-Francois Ricard said the man who killed three in a Nice church was a Tunisian aged about 20 who entered France from Italy, and was carrying a copy of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, on him at the time of the attack.

The man arrived in Italy by reaching the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa on 20 September, and traveled to Paris on 9 October. The travel information came from a document on the man from the Italian Red Cross, Ricard said. The attacker was seriously wounded by police, who fired at least 14 bullets at him, and is being treated in a hospital.

All EU member states have expressed their solidarity with France following the knife attack. Leaders from the 27 countries gathered on Thursday during a video conference focusing on COVID-19. In a joint statement they condemned “in the strongest possible terms these attacks which represent attacks on our shared values.” They added: “We call on Leaders around the world to work towards dialogue and understanding among communities and religions rather than division.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel “unites in shock and condemnation of the atrocious attack” at the Notre-Dame Basilica.

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif in a tweet also strongly condemned the deadly knife attack in France and called it a “terrorist attack.” Zarif referred to French President Emanuel Macron’s staunch support of secular laws that protect caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an exercise in freedom of expression.

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