How the Nice truck attack managed to kill so many so quickly
Unlike the November assault in Paris and the twin airport bombings in Belgium and Turkey, Thursday’s attack in Nice,
France, traded explosives and small arms for the lethality of a
speeding box truck aimed at late-night revelers. With at least
84 reported killed and 52 critically injured, one man in a truck managed
to kill more people than the attacks in San Bernardino, Calif.,
Chattanooga, Tenn., and Orlando did combined. That raises the question:
How was a truck able to kill so many so quickly?
answer consists of a confluence of factors, the primary one being that
the venue the attacker singled out, the Promenade des Anglais, was a
nearly indefensible target. A long stretch of seaside road and
boardwalk, the promenade — packed with hundreds celebrating Bastille Day
— would have been nearly impossible to police and to secure, said Bruce
Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert and the director of Georgetown
University’s Security Studies Program.
The evening was ending and
security forces, on heightened alert following the European
soccer championships and the religious holiday of Ramadan, had likely
relaxed, putting their guard down as festivities concluded.
addition, the method of attack was atypical to what security officials
might have been expecting — a box truck rather than explosives or
firearms. That added to the confusion and hampered any effort to stop