Another French Terror Attack

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Another French Terror Attack

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:56 pm UTC

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... ce-france/

Drove a truck into a crowd, looks like. They had guns as well, reports have them exchanging gunfire with the police.

Casualty estimates range from 40-60, with estimates being suspiciously round numbers. Likely will have to wait a bit for more detailed information.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:10 pm UTC

The only thing stopping a bad guy with a truck is a good guy with a truck.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Diadem » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:12 pm UTC

I have to say that "Nice terrorist attack" makes for some unfortunate headlines

This shows again how easy it is to kill many people if you are determined.

The topic title is depressingly accurate. This is starting to become a regular thing.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:25 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The only thing stopping a bad guy with a truck is a good guy with a truck.


That's the thing about these kind of attacks. There really is almost no way of preventing them. Not without making some huge, intrusive changes to the country - massive barriers along all roads (well, along the bits near pedestrian bits)? Software on board all trucks that shuts them down if they detect the driver is doing something like this? Go for anything like that and you've done the terrorists work for them by wasting so much effort and expensive.

As incredibly hard as it is to keep ak-47s from being smuggled into the country, at least there's something to even look for.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Whizbang » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:55 pm UTC

@Mutex

You missed the point of that post. If you replace the word "truck" with "gun" you will get a common saying made by gun enthusiasts/nutjobs.

He was making a snide comment aimed at said enthusiasts/nutjobs rather than any sort of commentary on anti-terrorism methods.
Last edited by Whizbang on Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:57 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:56 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:@Mutex

You missed the point of that post. If you replace the word "truck" with "gun" you will get a common saying made by gun enthusiasts/nutjobs.

He was making a snide comment aimed at said enthusiasts/nutjobs rather than any sort of commentary on anti-terrorism methods. Except perhaps to say the more common firearms are the more common firearm violence becomes.


I didn't miss his point, I was just making another one.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Whizbang » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:59 pm UTC

Then why quote his post if not to make commentary on it? Your point seems entirely unrelated to his.

Anyway, I am glad that is all cleared up.

I hope we all learned an important lesson today.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Mutex » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:40 am UTC

Sorry, I was just using it as a springboard. The connecting theme was "how to stop attacks like this from happening".

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:44 am UTC

I should be sorry for being condescendingly nit picky and sarcastic.

See terrorists? This is how you resolve differences and behave like civilized human beings.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby pogrmman » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:33 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:I should be sorry for being condescendingly nit picky and sarcastic.

See terrorists? This is how you resolve differences and behave like civilized human beings.


Well, in their mind, trying to resolve it like civilized people doesn't work.

It looks like the death toll is 77, according to Univision.

It's depressing that this kind of stuff happens as frequently as it does. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the attackers were French citizens, much like the Paris attacks.

I'm not really sure as to the best way to resolve this stuff...


EDIT: It also seems as if the driver jumped out of the truck, but was apprehended.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:38 am UTC

You can bomb Syria, if it makes you feel better.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby pogrmman » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:08 am UTC

sardia wrote:You can bomb Syria, if it makes you feel better.


That's the thing, it shouldn't make you feel better. It's not really an attempt to fix the problem. It's just something that looks good -- hearing "an air strike took out a leader of ISIS" makes many people think that the problem is being solved, even when it's not. Taking out a handful of people isn't going to stop the ideology.

There is probably a solution out there, but bombing and air strikes certainly aren't the answer.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby ucim » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:30 am UTC

pogrmman wrote:hearing "an air strike took out a leader of ISIS" makes many people think that the problem is being solved, even when it's not. Taking out a handful of people isn't going to stop the ideology.

There is probably a solution out there, but bombing and air strikes certainly aren't the answer.
Depends. I don't know enough about the specifics of these particular enemies, but if there is an organized violent group set to do us harm, taking out the leader goes a long way towards solving the immediate problem. (I do admit that this is different from solving the underlying problem.)

Taking out people at random who look like the enemy however does not.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:10 am UTC

The official death toll now seems to be 84. This might still rise as there are many wounded in critical condition.

The attacker is a Frenchmen with a Tunisian background. I haven't seen anything in the media yet about his reasons, but Hollande called it an "Islamic terrorist attack". He either knows more than has been released to the media or he's being somewhat presumptive.

The truck was apparently full with fake firearms and explosives, which seems distinctly weird.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:19 am UTC

Diadem wrote:The truck was apparently full with fake firearms and explosives, which seems distinctly weird.

So the attacker had an actual weapon he used to shoot at people but also a bunch of fake firearms? Strange.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby HES » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:47 am UTC

Mutex wrote:[Not without making some huge, intrusive changes to the country - massive barriers along all roads (well, along the bits near pedestrian bits)?

Obviously this can't be done with every single place that crowds gather, but we are actually pretty good at making sensitive sites truck-proof. Problem is, they'll just pick a different target instead.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Alexius » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:27 am UTC

HES wrote:
Mutex wrote:[Not without making some huge, intrusive changes to the country - massive barriers along all roads (well, along the bits near pedestrian bits)?

Obviously this can't be done with every single place that crowds gather, but we are actually pretty good at making sensitive sites truck-proof. Problem is, they'll just pick a different target instead.


Image

It doesn't even have to be obvious- the large concrete letters here (outside Arsenal FC's stadium in London) were designed as truck-proof barriers.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:10 pm UTC

Aren't those to prevent truck bombs from getting close to areas, not to prevent running over crowds.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:49 pm UTC

Unless I'm mistaken, this is apparently a new record for mass murder by an individual in Europe. So this might overtake gun assaults as a tactic, because it's much easier and less suspicious to get a truck than to get a bunch of assault rifles.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby elasto » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:05 pm UTC

If you're willing to die, there are a ton of easy ways to kill loads of people. Biological is probably the scariest: Infect a mule with something nasty and sit them in an airport for a day or two.

Most people are not willing to die and are not capable of hands-on murder though (thankfully).

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby HES » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:10 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Aren't those to prevent truck bombs from getting close to areas, not to prevent running over crowds.

Primarily, but preventing the former also prevents the latter.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:16 pm UTC

So your brilliant plan to fight terrorism is to block all major roads with huge concrete blocks?
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Dauric » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:19 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:So your brilliant plan to fight terrorism is to block all major roads with huge concrete blocks?

Giant block letters even. Every street can be Sesame Street! The terrorists are the ones not wearing a muppet outfit.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Mutex » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:23 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:So your brilliant plan to fight terrorism is to block all major roads with huge concrete blocks?


Not the roads. The area where the side of the road meets a large pedestrian area where there's likely to be big crowds of people. I'm not sure how feasible that is but it seems it's been done in a few places already to thwart an attack like this.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Grop » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:28 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The attacker is a Frenchmen with a Tunisian background.


I hear he was a Tunisian man with no French citizenship (as opposed to what some papers may have claimed).

Also the thing about dropping huge concrete lumps where that happened (so as to prevent trucks from going there) wouldn't be very practical. There isn't much room between the road and the sea. Possible but not popular I suppose.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby HES » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:38 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:So your brilliant plan to fight terrorism is to block all major roads with huge concrete blocks?
HES wrote:Obviously this can't be done with every single place that crowds gather

However, it can completely eliminate this particular attack vector at specific large-crowd events. The "huge concrete blocks" only need to be there for as long as the event is. "All major roads" only need to be the ones that are closed anyway for said event.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:47 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:So your brilliant plan to fight terrorism is to block all major roads with huge concrete blocks?
Not everything needs to be that obvious, but it's easier to be proactive than to bury the people. They could place traffic barriers designed to look like seating at outdoor events in a random pattern designed to slow any vehicle down, or simply ban traffic and place temporary barriers. Event organizers need to add it to their repertoire. This will be an ongoing danger.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:52 pm UTC

Look, you can protect sensitive points, and that's already done in fact. You can also protect some points where large crowds often gather. But on these kind of holidays, the place where large crowds gather is the public roads. Often many public roads, all over town.

Solutions like this (commentary is in Dutch, but the video speaks for itself) exist. And they are awesome. But putting those in every major road would be ridiculously expensive. Also it would create a huge bureaucracy. You'd have to keep track of when to raise them and when to lower the barriers. Accidents are bound to happen. And then you'd have to give remote controls to police, ambulances, fire brigades, all kind of other utility vehicles. Which leads to security problems in making sure those remotes don't fall in the wrong hands.

If we're really going to have to go to such lengths to protect ourselves, the terrorist have already won.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby PeteP » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:22 pm UTC

I am pretty sure the commentary is in english, just the title and the comments are in dutch .

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:35 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:
sardia wrote:You can bomb Syria, if it makes you feel better.


That's the thing, it shouldn't make you feel better. It's not really an attempt to fix the problem. It's just something that looks good -- hearing "an air strike took out a leader of ISIS" makes many people think that the problem is being solved, even when it's not. Taking out a handful of people isn't going to stop the ideology.

There is probably a solution out there, but bombing and air strikes certainly aren't the answer.


If that information is correct, that at least sounds like a good start.

I don't think we can actually add significant protection to every place large crowds gather.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:37 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:I am pretty sure the commentary is in english, just the title and the comments are in dutch .
I admit I only watched it with the sound off, so I was just making entirely unsupported assumptions. For all I know the audio is some guy shouting insults, or singing Let it Go in the shower. Who knows :)
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:If we're really going to have to go to such lengths to protect ourselves, the terrorist have already won.
It's the cost of being alive at this time in history. It's relatively cheaper than the money we've (the US) spent trying to bomb the problem away. And it doesn't require you to give away your civil rights.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:47 pm UTC

Giving away civil rights seems to be particularly ineffective. In general, rather than the tradeoff that is so popular, I view suggestions requiring such to be a sign that the speaker has gone down the wrong path.

Bombs are all well and good, but you can only bomb what you know. It's unlikely you'll ever know about all threats.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:59 pm UTC

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/c ... day-225601
Justice Thomas escaped Nice before the attack. He was there teaching.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Vahir » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:59 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/clarence-thomas-nice-attack-bastille-day-225601
Justice Thomas escaped Nice before the attack. He was there teaching.

Imagine what THAT would have done to the SCOTUS vacancy shitshow.


A question for anyone who might know: Why is it always France and/or Belgium? It seems that these kinds of high profile attacks never happen in, say, Germany, or Britain, or even the U.S., at least nowhere near as often as in the hexagon. Seems strange.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:02 pm UTC

France and Belgium are in the top three countries for ISIS fighters per capita.

Vahir wrote:A question for anyone who might know: Why is it always France and/or Belgium? It seems that these kinds of high profile attacks never happen in, say, Germany, or Britain, or even the U.S., at least nowhere near as often as in the hexagon. Seems strange.



Image

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-ea ... hotheremum

At least in 2014 they were.

In any case, as ISIS is losing the fight and territory in Iraq / Syria, the ISIS fighters will naturally "return home", which means going back to Belgium or France. Basically, this is only going to get worse the more we win. Even after ISIS is completely obliterated (whenever that happens), former ISIS fighters will continue to live at home... angry... and possibly conducting attacks.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby Vahir » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:12 pm UTC

But countries like Denmark and Australia top that chart too, and they haven't really been affected by terror attacks.

Or hell, Jordan and Tunisia contribute way more, so they should logically be targeted much more.

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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:21 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:But countries like Denmark and Australia top that chart too, and they haven't really been affected by terror attacks.

Or hell, Jordan and Tunisia contribute way more, so they should logically be targeted much more.


France has the highest number actually contributed, while Belgium has the highest number per capita.

Furthermore, these numbers are estimates from 2014. So we can't 100% rely on these numbers (even if they were accurate... they're two years out of date). But they paint a picture of why France and Belgium are going to be feeling the most pain from these sorts of attacks.

I know that France bans religious jewlery / icons / dresses: including crucifixes, scapulars, yamakas, and hijabs in a lot of places. They're culture is extremely secular in general, and that may contribute to some aggravation to the Muslim community (even if it is "fairly" applied across a lot of religions). Even then, as the home to the highest number of European ISIS fighters... France will just naturally have some of the biggest problems. Regardless of policy.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby svenman » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:22 am UTC

HES wrote:
Mutex wrote:[Not without making some huge, intrusive changes to the country - massive barriers along all roads (well, along the bits near pedestrian bits)?

Obviously this can't be done with every single place that crowds gather, but we are actually pretty good at making sensitive sites truck-proof. Problem is, they'll just pick a different target instead.

Locations like the one in Nice, regular roads that are temporarily closed to traffic for crowds to gather there, could be blocked off simply by parking trucks or buses across the entries. Maybe not perfect protection, but pretty effective if done right (you need to still allow enough room for pedestrians to pass through without causing significant bottlenecks, but not quite enough for trucks) and certainly cost-effective without any need for permanent installations. I expect to see much more of this in the future at any kind of public event where many people gather in the open.

Another thing that is giving me a lot of thought: What exactly is it that makes this horrible thing that happened at Nice a terror attack? Yes, it fits one of the profiles of attack against Westerners that have been promoted by IS, but the same is true for any kind of killing spree. So far, to the best of my knowledge, no link of any kind has been demonstrated between the perpetrator and IS, no claim of allegiance from either side, nothing even as tenuous as a shouted "Allahu akbar" from the killer. By all accounts, the guy has never even acted particularly religious in the past (though he seems to have displayed signs of mental instability).

I find the idea troubling that the ethnicity of the perpetrator might be all it takes to make the difference between something being labeled a killing spree and a terror attack.

Edit: I forgot to take into account the symbolism of the attack (or whatever label you prefer) taking place on the French National Holiday, against a crowd gathered to celebrate exactly that. This can be seen as a kind of political message in and of itself (although far from unambiguous). My concern still stands, though slightly mollified.

Edit 2: IS has according to news reports meanwhile claimed responsibility for the attack, which nullifies one of my arguments. Of course, as in other cases including the Orlando shooting, that is no proof of any factual connection. If nothing else, we have at least one more example here for a pattern of IS successfully blurring the lines between killing sprees and terror attacks.
Last edited by svenman on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another French Terror Attack

Postby elasto » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:25 am UTC

Btw, the truck did have to force itself through barriers in order to access pedestrians.

So it's that they weren't sufficiently robust rather than not being in place at all. Presumably they were there to prevent accidental ingress (a low speed car crash) rather than to stymie a determined foe.


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