The stabbed suspect, named Ibrahim Issaoui according to investigators, is a 21-year-old Tunisian national who entered Europe a little over a month ago. He is now in critical condition after being shot by police.
A 35-year-old man was arrested overnight, The Associated Press reported, citing a court official. This suspect had met Issaoui in Nice. Another man, 47,. Officials say he was in contact with Issaoui the day before his stabbing frenzy.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the killings as an “Islamist terrorist attack”.
Since September, there have been three separate attacks related to cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad that were first published in 2015 by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – and were republished in September.
The images, seen as a gratuitous insult to Islam, have sparked protests in several Muslim countries. Much of the fury is directed directly against French President Emmanuel Macron, whose defense of crass cartoons, as part of France’s secular values, has opened him to accusations of deliberately stoking anti-Muslim sentiment in for political purposes.
Macron’s approval ratings are low and, with an election just under two years away, critics say he is bending over to his country’s politically powerful far-right to gain support. The strategy may have backfired internationally, but seems to be gaining influence at home, despite the enormous cost.
Macron has more than doubled the number of soldiers on the streets of France, with many fearing the latest violence is just the beginning.