Nice terror attack: Jihadist seen smiling in photo taken as he entered Europe

Pictured smiling just weeks before massacring three people at a Catholic church in Nice, this is the face of terrorist killer Brahim Aoussaoui as he entered mainland Europe.

The picture was taken by authorities in the Italian port city of Bari, where Aoussaoui was taken ashore on October 8 having spent 20 days in coronavirus quarantine - first on the island of Lampedusa, where he landed on September 20, and then on board quarantine ship Rhapsody.

The ship, carrying some 800 migrants, had been moored off the coast of Bari for 15 days where fellow migrants say Aoussaoui spent most of his time on the phone, talking about how he wanted to go to France.

As he was taken ashore, Aoussaoui had his photograph taken, along with his name, date of birth, and fingerprints. His records were also checked, but came back clean, according to Italian media. He had no criminal record, had not previously tried to enter , and had not been flagged by security services. 

The following day, Aoussaoui was informed that he had no legal right to be in , and was handed an order to leave the country within seven days. But, rather than being deported, Aoussaoui was released.

It is not clear exactly when he left Bari, but it is thought he made his way to Paris on the train on either October 9 or 10, allowing him to cross the border into France undetected. 

It is then thought that he stayed in the French capital until October 29, the day of the massacre, when he caught the early-morning train to Nice. 

Arriving in the city at 6.30am, he is known to have sent a photo of the Notre Dame basilica - the same church he would later attack - to his brother back in Tunisia, saying he wanted to spend the night there.

As the church opened at 8.30am he made his way inside, staying there for around half an hour before pulling out a 12-inch blade and launching his attack, killing three people in 'horrific'

Nice terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui is seen in a photograph taken at the Italian port city of Bari, where he disembarked from a coronavirus quarantine ship on October 8 - marking his arrival in mainland Europe

Nice terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui is seen in a photograph taken at the Italian port city of Bari, where he disembarked from a coronavirus quarantine ship on October 8 - marking his arrival in mainland Europe

Another image of Aouissaoui is held by his mother in the Tunisian province of Sfax, where she revealed that she had begged her son not to travel to France

Another image of Aouissaoui is held by his mother in the Tunisian province of Sfax, where she revealed that she had begged her son not to travel to France

The first to die was an as-yet unidentified parishioner in her sixties, who had her throat slit near the church's font in an attempted beheading. 

The next to die was the church's 54-year-old sacristan Vincent Loques, who had opened the doors to Aoussaoui just 30 minutes earlier, and was busy preparing for the first Mass of the day.

Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, another parishioner, was then stabbed multiple times but managed to escape the church, running to a nearby burger bar where she bled to death

The mother-of-three's last words to paramedics were: 'Tell my children that I love them'.

A local called police who arrived around 9.10am and shot Aoussaoui 14 times as he screamed 'Allahu Akbar' - God is greatest in Arabic - a phrase he kept shouting even after being sedated and put into an ambulance.  

Investigators found two unused knives, a Koran and two mobile phones, in addition to a bag with some personal effects. He was unknown to French security services, Mr Ricard told a press conference.

Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, receives medical treatment after killing three worshippers

Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, receives medical treatment after killing three worshippers

A picture showing Aoussaoui bleeding on the floor and being treated by paramedics after he was shot by police was tweeted by the head of the respected SITE organisation. 

Aoussaoui's family, speaking from the impoverished Tunisian town of Bouhajla where he lived before going to Europe, said he had been in contact with them since arriving in France.  

From the Tunisian province of Sfax, the mother, her eyes wet with tears, said she was surprised to hear her son was in France when he called upon his arrival and had no idea what he was planning.

'You don't know the French language, you don't know anyone there, you're going to live alone there, why, why did you go there?' she said she told him over the phone at the time. 

His brother told the Al Arabiya TV network: 'He told me he wanted to spend the night in front of the cathedral. He also sent me a photo of the building. He phoned me when he arrived in France.' 

He then told of the family's shock that Brahim Aoussaoui was responsible for the terrorist attack.

'What we saw in the images is him, our son,' they said.

Brahim had struggled to find regular work before leaving the country and did 'various jobs', a neighbour said.

Meanwhile the Tunisian judicial spokesman said Brahim had not been classified as a hardliner before leaving the country, and was not known to security forces. He said Brahim had left the country on or around September 14.

The killings, which occurred ahead of the Catholic holy day of All Saints Day on Sunday - and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet Mohammed's birthday - prompted the French government to raise the terror alert level to the maximum 'emergency' level nationwide. 

It followed warnings of further terrorist atrocities just days before the church rampage, after Al-Qaeda published a press release calling for 'jihad' (holy war) over newspaper Charlie Hebdo's caricatures of the Prophet. 

Counter-terrorism police last night arrested a 47-year-old man in Nice on suspicion of being an accomplice to the knifeman and providing him with one of two mobile phones that the attacker was found with. 

The man is believed to have been in close contact with the 21-year-old jihadist on Wednesday, the day before the attack, police sources told French media.  

President Emmanuel Macron, who quickly travelled to Nice, announced surveillance of churches by France's Sentinelle military patrols would be bolstered to 7,000 troops from 3,000.

Security at schools would also be boosted, he said. 'Quite clearly, it is France that is being attacked,' Mr Macron said, and vowed the country 'will not give up on our values'.

He threw his weight behind the Catholic church, saying: 'The entire nation will stand so that religion can continue to be exercised freely in our country.' He also called for 'unity' urging people 'not to give in to the spirit of division'.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, speaking on French radio on Friday, added that France is 'at war... against an ideology, the Islamist ideology, which wants to impose its cultural codes, its way of living... through terror.'

He said France was a 'big target' for terrorists because it symbolises freedom, secular society, and the rule of law - pointing to the ongoing trial of 14 people charged over the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine. 

'Islamism is a form of fascism in the 21st century,' he added, 'an extremism that we must fight.'  

VICTIM: Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby burger bar. Her last words were to paramedics, who she told: 'Tell my children that I love them'

VICTIM: Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby burger bar. Her last words were to paramedics, who she told: 'Tell my children that I love them'

VICTIM: Vincent Loques, 54, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church

VICTIM: Vincent Loques, 54, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church

KILLER'S MOTHER: Kmar (right), the mother of Nice attacker Brahim Aouissaoui who killed three people in Thursday's terror attack, cries at her home in Tunisia last night after being questioned by counter-terrorism police

KILLER'S MOTHER: Kmar (right), the mother of Nice attacker Brahim Aouissaoui who killed three people in Thursday's terror attack, cries at her home in Tunisia last night after being questioned by counter-terrorism police 

Forensic officers work at night in front of Notre Dame Basilica in Nice after a terror attack on a Catholic church

Forensic officers work at night in front of Notre Dame Basilica in Nice after a terror attack on a Catholic church

Forensic officers work at night in a coffee shop near Notre Dame Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack

Forensic officers work at night in a coffee shop near Notre Dame Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack

People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack

People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack

Tribute to the victims of the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, with mourners holding the tricolor flag by the church

Tribute to the victims of the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, with mourners holding the tricolor flag by the church

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during an in a church attack in Nice

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during an in a church attack in Nice

Muslim faithfuls pray at the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille, south-eastern France

Muslim faithfuls pray at the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille, south-eastern France

French police officers secure the street near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice

French police officers secure the street near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice

Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, French Prime Minister Jean Castex and President of Bishops' Conference of France Eric de Moulins-Beaufort talk to the press after their meeting at the Matignon Hotel in Paris

Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, French Prime Minister Jean Castex and President of Bishops' Conference of France Eric de Moulins-Beaufort talk to the press after their meeting at the Matignon Hotel in Paris

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during a church attack in Nice

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during a church attack in Nice

People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice in a vigil to remember the victims

People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice in a vigil to remember the victims

A woman places a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Nice attack, in front of the French embassy in Berlin

A woman places a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Nice attack, in front of the French embassy in Berlin

Darmanin also confirmed that 18 suspected Islamists will be expelled from the country in the coming days, in addition to 14 that were expelled after the last terror attack in which teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded. 

Mourners attended vigils to pay tribute to the victims of the triple killing last night. They lit candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice and in front of the French Embassy in Berlin. 

There were also tears in Tunisia where the attacker's mother, Kmar, wept after being questioned by police at her home in Sfax.  

The attack comes amid fury across the Islamic world at President Macron for defending satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet's birthday. 

Several Muslim-majority countries launched campaigns to boycott French products, while protesters burnt the tricolor and posters of Macron at demonstrations in Syria, Libya, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. 

Also on a day of terror for France:

A security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded; A man armed with a knife was arrested in Sartrouville near a church after vowing 'to do as in Nice'; An Afghan man was arrested in Lyon trying to board a train while armed with a long knife; Malaysia's ex-PM said that Muslims have a right 'to kill millions of French people' if Islam is insulted; French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against what Nice's mayor branded 'Islamo-fascism'; Online jihadists celebrated the triple killing in France and Saudi Arabia yesterday, a report by SITE said
Muslims 'have a right to kill French people', ex Malaysian PM says 

Malaysia's former prime minister said that Muslims have a right 'to kill millions of French people', shortly after a knife-wielding Islamist killed three people in a deadly terror attack in Nice. 

Mahathir Mohamad, who lost power in Muslim-majority Malaysia in February, claimed that freedom of expression does not include 'insulting other people' amid a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The 95-year-old politician said he did not approve of the beheading of a French school teacher for sharing caricatures of the Prophet, but said: 'Irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill'.

'The French in the course of their history [have] killed millions of people. Many were Muslims,' he said in a tweet which has since been removed for violating the website's rules.

Mahathir, who has drawn controversy for comments about Jews and LGBT people in the past, went on: 'Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.' 

The Malaysian politician said that 'by and large', Muslims have not applied the principle of 'eye for an eye': 'Muslims don't. The French shouldn't. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people's feelings'. 

Mahathir, who served as Malaysian premier twice for a total of 24 years, said that French President Emmanuel Macron was 'very primitive' and 'not showing that he is civilised'.  

Advertisement

In the Nice attack, the first victim - a woman in her sixties - was attacked after coming there early to pray and was found 'almost beheaded' close to the church font. 

The 45-year-old sacristan, Vincent Loques, a father-of-two, was then attacked and also beheaded. 

Another woman - now identified as Simone Barreto Silva - was then stabbed 'multiple times' and managed to flee to a bar across the street, where she died. 

Police were called and arrived at 9.10am. They stormed the basilica, shooting and arresting the attacker.

The attacker is a 21-year-old Tunisian who is thought to have arrived in France via , after being smuggled across the Mediterranean.

According to Italian newspaper Ill Messaggero, Aoussaoui arrived on the island of Lampedusa on September 20 before being transferred to coronavirus quarantine.

He was then taken to a migrant centre on the Italian mainland on October 9, before being told to leave Italian territory and released. From there, he made his way to France. It is not clear precisely when he arrived.

Italian security services are now investigating why Aoussaoui was freed rather than detained awaiting deportation.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said Aoussaoui 'kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated', and that 'the meaning of his gesture is not in doubt'. 

'Enough is enough,' he said. 'It's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.'

Estrosi said the victims had been killed in a 'horrible way'. 'The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,' he said.

Meanwhile Eric Ciotti, a local councillor, tweeted: 'I have just asked President Macron to suspend all migratory flows and all asylum procedures, particularly at the Italian border. We must protect the French!'

In Sartrouville, north of Paris, a man was arrested around 1pm after his father called police and said his son had left home and planned 'to do as in Nice.'

Police stopped the man in his car near a local church, and Le Parisien reports that he was in possession of a knife. The car was searched, but nothing else was found.

Meanwhile in Lyon, an Afghan man in his 20s was arrested while trying to board a tram carrying a long knife. The man was known to French intelligence services. 

In Avignon, a man armed with a handgun began threatening people in the Montfavet around 11.15am while shouting Allahu Akbar, France1 reported. 

Police rushed to the scene and confronted the man, who refused to drop his weapon. Police then shot the man with a Taser, which failed to stop him, so they opened fire with live ammunition, killing him. 

French anti-terror investigators have announced they are leading the probe into the attack in Nice, but have not yet taken up the investigation in Avignon. 

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, a man was arrested after stabbing a guard at the French consulate with 'a sharp tool'. The attacker was arrested while the guard was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

France's embassy in Riyadh condemned the 'attack on diplomatic premises which can never be justified'. 

A woman, believed to be the wife of the church warden (wearing the beige jumper) is seen at the scene of the attack in Nice

A woman, believed to be the wife of the church warden (wearing the beige jumper) is seen at the scene of the attack in Nice

A woman, believed to be a close friend of one of the victims, weeps in front of the basilica after three people were killed

A woman, believed to be a close friend of one of the victims, weeps in front of the basilica after three people were killed

President Emmanuel Macron visits the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

President Emmanuel Macron visits the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

Three people have died after a knifeman attacked the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, before he was shot by police

Three people have died after a knifeman attacked the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, before he was shot by police

French coroners carry out the body of one of the three people killed at the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice

French coroners carry out the body of one of the three people killed at the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice

Police storm the basilica

Police storm the basilica

Police swarmed the area around 9am, running into the church before the attacker was shot and arrested. Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated

It was initially thought police had foiled another Islamist attack in Avignon, when an armed man was shot dead, but he later turned out to be a member of a far-Right organisation

It was initially thought police had foiled another Islamist attack in Avignon, when an armed man was shot dead, but he later turned out to be a member of a far-Right organisation 

'Eradicate this plague': French politicians demand action to 'wipe out Islamo-fascism' after three die in Nice terror attack 

French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against Islamist terrorism after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice. 

The triple murder is the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France in recent years, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and the beheading of a school teacher two weeks ago after he displayed some of the magazine's cartoons. 

Nice's mayor Christian Estrosi said that 'enough is enough... it's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our country'. 

One of Emmanuel Macron's party colleagues called for 'total mobilisation' against extremism in what another called a 'war that the Islamists are waging on our nation'.  

Macron's prime minister Jean Castex said France's alert level had been raised to its highest 'attack emergency' setting after the violence. 

Within hours of the Nice attack, a gunman had been shot dead by police in Paris while a knifeman was arrested for attacking a guard at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia.  

Speaking in parliament, where he had earlier been talking about France's new lockdown, Castex said the Nice attack was 'as cowardly as it is barbaric'.  

French anti-terror prosecutors have opened

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Byron Bay recommended as 'affordable' place for first home buyers despite ...
NEXT Richmond Tigers AFL star Marlion Pickett opens up in book Belief on troubled ...