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July 15, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - Thursday evening as scores of people celebrated the 14th of July in Nice, France, a truck driver swerved into the crowd. At least 84 people were killed as a result and many more were injured. While certain political figures were quick to jump on blaming foreigners and refugees, the attacker was identified by local media as a French national.
After attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, and Orlando, many political figures have used the opportunity to turn on refugees. But in each of these instances the attacker or attackers were often locals.
In the attacks in Paris in November 2015, police identified Salah Abdeslam, Brahim Abdeslam, Omar Ismail Mostefai, Chakib Akrouh, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Samy Amimour, Foued Mohamed-Aggad, and Bilal Hadfi. All these men were French or Belgian citizens and were born in one of the two countries. While some of them are thought to have radicalized and then subsequently traveled to Syria, all had spent the majority of their lives in Europe.
Brussels attackers Ibrahim and Khalid El-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui were also European nationals. Laachraoui was born in Morocco but raised in Brussels while the El-Bakraoui brothers were Brussels born and raised.
San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook was born in Chicago and lived and worked in San Bernardino as an environmental health specialist. His co-conspirator and wife, Tashfeen Malik, was not an American citizen but entered legally on a K1 visa for fiancees of U.S. citizens in July 2014 — more than a year before the attack.
In Orlando, the attacker was New York-born and Florida resident Omar Mateen.
Blaming refugees for terrorism is not only setting a dangerous precedent for some of the world's most vulnerable people, but it is also factually incorrect.
"It is factually wrong for blaming refugees for the very terror they are fleeing, and it is legally wrong because it violates our laws and the values on which our country was founded,” Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said.
The attacker in Nice was a French-Tunisian dual national who lived in Nice and was identified by local media as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. In fact, the attackers in November's Paris attack and the subsequent one in Brussels were all citizens of France or Belgium.
To date, no refugees have been identified in any of the attacks in Europe and not a single refugee has been arrested in the United States for domestic terrorism since 9/11.
"The real problem here isn't refugees or migrants," Vox reported in March. "There's no reason to believe that refugees or foreigners are the source of these terrorist attacks, so keeping them out won't prevent further attacks. And even if fighters returning from Syria are a potential source of danger, they're citizens — even the most stringent immigration controls wouldn't keep them out."
@2005-2016 CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND
France reels as attack leaves 84 dead in Nice: A large truck plowed through revelers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, killing at least 84 people and sending others fleeing into the sea as it bore down for more than a mile along the Riviera city's famed waterfront promenade.
Why so many children were injured in the Nice attack: More than 50 children were injured by the suspected terrorist attack, and French officials said that more than 10 of the 84 dead were children too.
Pictured: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel who was gunned down by police in the vehicle he used to kill 84 people: ID card belonging to Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French Tunisian man, 31, from Nice, found next to his body
What we know about Nice suspect: Father of 3, solitary & not very religious : The neighbors described the attacker to Nice Matin newspaper as a solitary figure who even didn’t return greetings when their paths crossed.
Terrorism: the 'new normal' for today's traveller: I've been to Nice. Paris and Brussels, too. Chances are you probably have as well. A bomb goes off in Baghdad, killing hundreds, as was the case the other day, and it hardly hits the homepage.
Newt Gingrich's Response to Nice Terror Attack: Rip Up the Constitution: "Western civilization is at war," adding, "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization."
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