The mayor of Cannes announced Thursday that, due to the terror threat in France, bags have been banned from the city’s world-famous beaches.
The Sun reported that sunbathers were told to carry transparent bags if needed or face arrest. Security officials told the newspaper they had serious concern attackers could smuggle “weapons or explosives” onto the beaches.
Since January 2015, attackers inspired by the Islamic State have killed at least 235 people in France, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country.
French citizens or French-speaking residents have committed the overwhelming majority of strikes, often employing suicide tactics alongside command of their home surroundings.
President Francois Hollande argues that France is their top enemy on the continent because of his homeland’s reputation as a cradle of human rights and democracy.
“If terrorists strike us, it is because they know what France represents,” Hollande said after this month’s Bastille Day truck attack that killed 84 people on Nice’s crowded waterfront.
Analysts agree that ISIS propagandists particularly target France as a land anchored in secular values, liberal freedoms and life’s pleasures.
But its colonial history, demographic tensions and interventionist policies against militant Muslims abroad point to deeper reasons why anti-Western killers seek so ruthlessly to bring grief to France’s door.
Some analysts doubt whether France’s military commitments play the critical role in spurring resident Muslims to answer the Islamic State call.
They say France’s fundamental challenge is that it hosts the greatest concentration of marginalized Muslims on the continent, many of whom view their adopted homeland as sinful and disrespectful toward Islamic traditions.
“Whether the guy who rented a truck in Nice was frightfully interested that Raqqa is being bombed, I don’t know,” said Francois Heisbourg, an analyst at a French think tank called the Foundation for Strategic Research.