Earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey warned that with American and Allied forces beginning to regain ground in the Middle East, ISIS is feeling a squeeze. Their so-called caliphate is beginning to fall in Iraq and Syria and along with that, Comey warned that ISIS fighter could be spreading out and preparing to ramp up operations in western countries as they become more desperate. Repeated warning have been stressed to the US and our allies to stay vigilant. The FBI director’s remarks seem to echo those of CIA Director John Brennan, who last month warned that as our efforts are focused on striking ISIS at its core in Iraq and Syria, the terror group’s capability and reach globally has not been hampered. He warned that, “ISIS likely will intensify terror attacks around the world”.
Unfortunately, those warnings seem to have come true as France is once again dealing with a horrific terrorist attack. At a Bastille Day fireworks show, a lone terrorist used a heavily armed van to plow through a crowd gathered for a celebration of liberty. As the fireworks were concluding the truck, hit the crowd, driving at full speed down the Promenade des Anglais, a major boulevard along the Mediterranean Sea. French authorities have reported that 84 people were killed Thursday night, with 10 of them being children. The driver was killed in a shootout with police. French authorities are investigating if the driver had any help in planning and executing the deadly attack.
At this time, no organization is claiming responsibility. However, counterterrorism sources have noticed celebratory activity among accounts linked to ISIS using the hashtag “Nice”. They also point to a 2010 edition of an Al Qaeda publication that called upon terrorist to, “use a pickup truck as a mowing machine … to mow down the enemies of Allah.” President Obama used strong terms when condemning, “what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.”