Nice, July 15 (IANS) A senior Islamic State leader, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, had urged his supporters to “run over” the “filthy French” two years before the devastating attack in Nice, France.
Adnani exhorted his followers to attack Western citizens in countries such as France, Britain and America.
He advised IS supporters to use a variety of methods to kill people, including “run him over with your car”, mirror.co.uk reported.
At least 84 people were killed on Thursday night in Nice when a terrorist drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the Mediterranean city.
In a September 2014 speech, Adnani exhorted followers to kill “disbelievers waging war” including the citizens of those countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State.
He asked them to “kill him in any manner or way, however it may be. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
A 31-year-old French-Tunisian is believed to be the terrorist driver who mowed down at least 84 people in Nice. The man, a Nice resident, was known to police for common law crimes.
The attack has not been claimed by any group, but French President Francois Hollande said in an address to the nation early on Friday that the attack was of an “undeniable terrorist nature”.
France has seen two previous cases of people being mowed down, but not of Thursday’s massive scale.
In December 2014, two men ploughed their vehicles into pedestrians in two days in separate incidents that left France reeling.
The first driver shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as he drove into people in the eastern city of Dijon, injuring 13.
The 40-year-old had a long history of mental illness, and no ties to jihadist groups, the government said, according to France24.
A day later, a man rammed a white van into a Christmas market in the western city of Nantes, killing one person and injuring nine others. He then stabbed himself several times.
Prosecutors said a notebook was found in his vehicle in which he spoke of his “hatred for society” and said he feared “being killed by secret agents”.
The man committed suicide in his prison cell in 2016 while awaiting trial.
In Thursday night’s killing spree, the truck ploughed two kilometres (1.3 miles) through the crowd gathered for Bastille Day celebrations. The crowd had just finished watching the fireworks show.