Though French police believe the attacker who killed three people in Nice on Thursday is a Tunisian, the North African democracy has made big strides in tackling the ‘jihadist’ threat in recent years.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
A French police source told Reuters the man who beheaded an elderly woman and killed two others in a church in the French Riviera city was thought to be a 21-year-old Tunisian who recently entered France via Italy.
How attack in France happened: Church sexton had throat slit while preparing for Mass
Five years after ‘militant Islamists’ killed scores of tourists in two mass shootings in Tunisia, police in the North African state have grown far better at disrupting plots and responding quickly when attacks take place, diplomats say.
However, a steady series of smaller attacks has shown that the threat remains.
Tunisians made up one of the largest contingents of foreign fighters for ISIS, and though many died in wars in Syria and Iraq, some returned home and were imprisoned.
An al Qaeda group is meanwhile entrenched in a hilly, inaccessible part of the border region between Tunisia and Algeria but has proven unable to stage attacks beyond that area.
The last major attack in Nice was also carried out by a Tunisian man who had emigrated to France in 2005 before driving a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in 2016, killing 86 people.
Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the latest Nice attack and a branch of the judiciary said it has opened an investigation into the suspect.
Though the 2011 revolution brought Tunisia democracy and freedom of expression, it did not translate into an improvement in living standards or economic opportunity, and ever more young people have sought to emigrate.
In September, Italy said the number of migrants arriving over the past year in boats across the Mediterranean -- often to the small island of Lampedusa -- had risen by half thanks in part to Tunisia's economic woes.
Lampedusa is only 130 km (80 miles) from the Tunisian coast and young Tunisians living in port towns have told Reuters of a constant temptation to board the ever-present boats departing at night and seek their fortunes in prosperous Europe.
Trump on attack in France: ‘Radical Islamic terrorist attacks’ must stop immediatelyUS President Donald Trump described the knife attack that killed three people at a church in the French city of Nice as a “radical Islamic terrorist ... World News
How attack in France happened: Church sexton had throat slit while preparing for MassAs he did every day, the sexton of the Notre Dame church in the French city of Nice opened up the doors around 8:30 a.m. There were few people around; ... World News
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry condemns Nice's terrorist attackThe Saudi Press Agency, quoting a foreign ministry statement: The Kingdom expresses its strong condemnation and condemnation of the terrorist attack ... Gulf
UAE condemns the terrorist attack that took place in the French city of NiceThe UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist act that took place in the French city of Nice, which resulted in the deaths of a number of victims and ... Gulf
France’s Macron vows country will not yield after ‘Islamist terrorist attack’ in NicePresident Emmanuel Macron vowed Thursday that "France will not give up on our values" after a knife-wielding man killed three people at a church in ... World News
French investigators identify Nice attacker as a 21-year-old Tunisian migrantThe man suspected of killing three people at a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday is a 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe ... Middle East