ISIS Claims Responsibility For 2 Of 3 Terror Attacks In France, Kuwait And Tunisia
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Terrorists left a bloody mark on three continents Friday, and law enforcements were trying to determine whether the brutal attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France were coordinated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, ISIS has now claimed responsibility for two attacks — one on a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and another at a beachfront hotel in Tunisia. But terror experts at the Pentagon in New York were trying to determine whether the incidents were coordinated centrally, or whether they were coincidental.
“That’s still being assessed, but it’s being assessed in the context that ISIS put out a call within recent weeks calling on attacks during the period of Ramadan,” said John Miller, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism. “So that’s something we’re going to factor into how we look at this.”
Miller is just one of dozens of terror experts all over the world trying to make sense of the terror attacks that left a trail of horror.
Meanwhile, world leaders say one thing they won’t do is cower.
“The fact that the attacks in the same day take place in Europe and in the Arab world, paradoxically leads to the opposite effect of that terrorists want. Instead of dividing us, show us very clearly that we have to be united,” said Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy.
Following the attacks, Mogherini called for an alliance of civilization to wipe out Islamic terrorism.
In Tunisia, at least 37 people were killed and 36 were injured in an attack on a beachfront hotel. Most of the victims were tourists sunbathing and swimming.
Miller said the gunman “showed up posing as a tourist in shorts and a T-shirt with an umbrella. Inside the umbrella was an AK-47. He opened fire on hotel guests by the pool.”
NYPD officials have spoken with hotel security teams across the city to brief them on the attack and to urge them to report any suspicious behavior, Miller said.
The Tunisian attack came three months after gunmen stormed a popular Tunisian museum, killing 23 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
ISIS has also claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bomb attack on the Shiite mosque in Kuwait City during midday prayers. At least 25 people were reported dead and dozens more injured.
Most of the victims were men and boys who were at prayer.
And at a gas factory near Lyon, France, a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals slammed a car into an American gas factory, exploding gas canisters.
Two people were injured in the explosion, and the decapitated head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance – along with flags and Arabic inscriptions.
French President François Hollande condemned the attack.
“We don’t see any New York City nexus there,” Miller said.
Security has been heightened in all three countries.
In New York, the NYPD is on alert in response to the attacks, with 400 additional officers assigned to terror detail.
“We’ve done the reach-out to various hotels and that no nexus as far as New York-based companies to the entity overseas,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told 1010 WINS.
Bratton said the threat of terrorism is expanding and “needs to be continually met by us.”
“We’re seeing a level, intensity and cadence of attacks that is unusual and concerning,” Miller said. “ISIS put out a call within recent weeks, calling on attacks during the period of Ramadan. So that’s something we’re going to factor in to how we’re going to look at this. As far as New York City, while we have no specific, credible intelligence coming out of today’s attacks that, if they were coordinated, that there’s a New York set to them.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the government’s crisis committee will meet later Friday in response to the attacks.
He said the attackers acted from “twisted and perverted ideology we have to confront with everything we have.”
Many fear more attacks may be in the works, as ISIS called for attacks through Ramadan – which does not end until July 17.