Worshippers at Saint-Nicolas-and-Saint-Alexandra’s church in the French Riviera city of Nice, who are descendants of émigrés who fled the 1917 Russian Revolution, say they fear they will be turned out after the Russian Federation asked a French court on Wednesday to declare it as the legal owner of the building.
The terrorist knife attack last Thursday against a church in the Riviera city of Nice, when a 21-year-old Tunisian murdered two women and the basilica’s warden, has deeply shocked the local population. For many, the traumatic events brought back the horror of one of France’s worst terrorist attacks, on July 14th 2016, when a truck was driven into Bastille Day crowds on the city’s seafront boulevard, the Promenade des Anglais, killing 86 people. Sana Sbouai reports from Nice where locals tell her of their mixed feelings of anger, fear and despondency.
The attack on a church in the French Riviera city of Nice on Thursday, which left three people dead from knife wounds, was the third in the space of a month in a long series of terrorist attacks in France perpetrated by lone knifemen who have often escaped the attention of intelligence services. In the jargon of those services, they are called attacks of “low intensity”, meaning of little means and organisation, but which have a major impact on public opinion. Matthieu Suc reports.
Brahim Aouissaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant has been identified by France's prosecution services as the assailant who killed two women and a man in a knife attack in a church in the south-east city of Nice on Thursday, and who had reportedly arrived in France in early October with identity papers issued by the Red Cross after disembarking on the Italian island of Lampedusa in September.
A 16-year-old boy was detained on suspicion of taking part in a false alert of a hostage-taking in a church in Le Marais district of Paris on Saturday, which led to a major anti-terrorist police operation.
Adel Kermiche, one of two men who attacked a church in Normandy on Tuesday morning and committed the horrific murder of an 86-year-old Catholic priest in the name of the Islamic State group, was at the time on conditional release from preventive detention. The revelation that he was wearing an electronic tag with permission to leave his home near to the church on weekday mornings has caused a storm of controversy in France, and fierce criticism of the judges who decided his release from prison in March, despite the objections of the public prosecutor's office. Mathilde Goanec hears from fellow magistrates of what they describe as a fine line in assessing the true danger individuals like Kermiche represent.