Was the author of the Nice attack commissioned by a jihadist network to commit a massacre in France?
Or was he a lonely and itinerant terrorist?
The day after the assassination of a sacristan and two faithful at the Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption basilica, the express journey of the alleged assailant, a 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe through the flow of migrants , leaves the anti-terrorist services to fear the return of an "exogenous" threat.
That is to say from abroad, while the latest attacks in France were perpetrated by radicalized individuals present on national soil.
Friday, October 30 in the evening, the suspect was still hospitalized in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) in serious condition and could not be heard by investigators.
Hit by several bullets fired by municipal police during the attack, he was operated on and put to sleep.
But the investigations carried out in France by the judicial police and the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), under the authority of the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (Pnat), as well as in Italy and Tunisia, from which the assailant, are progressing rapidly.
According to our information, the investigators are certain that Brahim A. arrived in Nice between October 27 and 28, that is to say twenty-four to forty-eight hours before the killing, from Italy.
However, they do not know which means of transport he used: an Italian bus ticket was indeed found in his personal effects, but it was not canceled.
The young clandestine apparently had no connection with France: he has no known domicile, had not submitted any request for residence and was completely unknown to the police.
Which, for the police, is a sign that he traveled to Nice for the sole purpose of killing.
The day before the carnage, the young Tunisian was seen by the city's surveillance cameras carrying out locations near the church.
The same day, he made physical and telephone contacts.
Two residents of Nice, aged 47 and 35, with whom Brahim A. is seen talking on the public highway, were thus placed in police custody on Thursday and Friday evening.
At this stage, we do not know the content of their exchanges.
But the future attacker seems to carefully organize his passage to the act.
Knife attack: Nice, the day after
Thursday morning, after changing clothes in the Nice train station, he entered the basilica around 8:29 a.m., as soon as it opened, and attacked a 60-year-old parishioner.
She is found almost beheaded, to the right of the entrance, a mask in her hand.
He then slaughters Vincent Loquès, the 54-year-old sacristan, and kills Simone Barreto Silva, a pious 44-year-old Brazilian, both alerted by a witness.
At 8:57 am, he was overpowered and injured by the municipal police as he tried to attack them with cries of “Allahu akbar”
(God is great, editor's note)
Three knives and a Koran will be found in the basilica.
"He is not there by chance, he may have been thrown"
Before the attack in the church in Nice, the young man had previously left Tunisia illegally on September 14, without warning his relatives.
Known in the country for acts of violence and drugs, having grown up in the modest city of Sfax, this former motorcycle repairer, who would have recently turned to religion and isolated, according to his family, docked on September 28 on the island Italian from Lampedusa with nearly 300 other migrants aboard a ship, "The Rhapsody".
Suspected of having contracted Covid-19, he was placed in solitary confinement on the boat, before being disembarked in the city of Bari.
According to the Italian daily Corrierre della Sera, his companions in misfortune then describe a young man "constantly on the phone" and who allegedly wanted to go to France to join members of his family.
The investigation has so far found no family ties on French soil.
Targeted by an expulsion decree from the Italian authorities, he escaped detention.
And thus managed to win Nice this week ...
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The assailant's migratory journey questions the intelligence services. Which do not exclude an action sponsored from abroad, as France experienced during the wave of attacks at the time of the hegemony of Daesh, the terrorist organization Islamic State. “This young Tunisian is not there by chance, he could have been thrown. He hits quickly after arriving. He is in contact with people. All this is not reassuring, lists a safe source. It can be a sponsored attack, even if it is rudimentary. No need for Kalashnikov ”. So far, no terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack. But this comes against a backdrop of repeated threats against France launched by Al-Qaeda following the republication of the Muhammad cartoons.