The Time For Justice
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Eight defendants went on trial this week over their involvement in the 2016 Bastille Day attack that killed 86 people in the French coastal city of Nice, one of the worst terrorist acts in the country’s history, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Six years ago, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through Nice’s crowded seaside promenade during France’s national day.
Bouhlel ran over dozens of people who had gathered to watch the fireworks before he was shot dead by police. Authorities later discovered weapons and grenades in Bouhlel’s truck.
Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack.
The trial centers on seven men and one woman who allegedly aided Bouhlel. Three defendants are charged with belonging to a terrorist organization and are accused of helping Bouhlel by renting the truck, buying weapons and surveilling the route in advance of the attack.
If found guilty, the three suspects could be jailed for life. The other defendants, meanwhile, are accused of belonging to a criminal organization or arms trafficking and face shorter sentences.
The Bastille Day attack shook France, which, at the time, was still recovering from other terrorist attacks, including the IS attack in November 2015 that left 130 people dead at a French soccer stadium, the Bataclan music hall and cafés across Paris.
The trial for the Bataclan attacks concluded in June, with a Paris court handing down verdicts on 20 men, including main defendant Salah Abdeslam, the lone survivor of a 10-man jihadist unit that terrorized the French capital, according to France 24.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the terrorist threat remains high in France: Since last year, intelligence services have prevented six attacks from taking place, he added.