SFAX, Tunisia (AP) – A third suspect is being held in France on Saturday in connection with a knife attack by extremists that killed three people in a church in Nice, when he The Tunisian strike suspect’s family asked to watch the video of what happened.
Investigators in France, Tunisia and Italy are trying to determine the main suspect’s motives Ibrahim Issaoui and whether he will act alone and whether he is contemplating Thursday’s attack on the House. worship Notre Dame or not.
Authorities labeled the attack, which took place amid growing tensions surrounding cartoon paintings published by a French newspaper mocking Prophet Muhammad, an act of Islamic terror. ,
Issaoui, who was in transit through Italy last month on his way to France, is in critical condition at a French hospital after being arrested and injured by the police.
A 35-year-old man who met Issaoui in Nice was arrested overnight, a judicial official said Saturday. A 47-year-old man who met Issaoui the night before the attack has been held in custody, bringing the number of suspects detained to three. Their connection to the attack is still unclear.
A previously unknown Tunisian extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Tunisian and French authorities are investigating whether the claim is justified.
In Issaoui̵7;s Sfax hometown, his family expressed shock and called for peace. But they also proved bewildered that young people who drank alcohol and showed no signs of extremism would flee to France and attack a church.
“We want the truth about how my son carried out this terrorist attack. I want to see what the surveillance camera shows. I will not give up my son’s rights outside the country. I want my son, dead or alive, ”Gamra’s mother told The Associated Press, her words often interrupted by tears.
His father and brother Wissem said that if Issaoui really carried out the attack, he should face justice.
“We are Muslims, we are anti-terrorism, we are poor. Show me that my brother carried out the attack and judged him as a terrorist, ”Wissem said. “If he is an attacker, he will take his responsibility.”
On the dusty Tina street in Sfax’s Nasr neighborhood, his friends and neighbors describe Issaoui as a salesman for motorbikes. Although not starving or homeless, he is as poor as many in the region, poverty is causing more and more young Tunisians to look for jobs and opportunities in Europe.
He had a small time breaking the law as a teenager, but nothing warned the Tunisian government of possible extreme tendencies. That means when he receives an order to deport him from Italy, he is basically free to go where he wants to go.
Italy’s Interior Minister, Luciana Lamorgese, told the AP that Italy’s overcrowded repatriation centers have no room for him, despite agreements with Tunisia on the return of citizens who are not eligible for asylum. Italian.
“Obviously, we give preference to people ordered by law enforcement or the Tunisian government,” Lamorgese said. “The number of points is not infinite, and therefore he cannot be brought into the repatriation center. ”
Charlton reports from Paris. Trisha Thomas in Rome makes a contribution.