FRANCE

“Please Don’t Be One Of Us”: Refugees Fear Fallout From Nice Attack

Vocativ looked at several Facebook forums where Syrian asylum-seekers congregate and found dozens of posts with similar sentiments: Don't let the attacker be a refugee—more specifically, a Syrian refugee

FRANCE
Rescue workers help injured people — AFP/Getty Images
Jul 14, 2016 at 9:41 PM ET

Refugees across Europe are taking to social media to voice deep anxiety over the apparent terrorist attack in France on Thursday. Syrians, some of whom are part of the recent wave of refugees who left their war-torn country to seek safety within the borders of the European Union, are posting prayers on Facebook that say they hope the person behind the attack is not an asylum-seeker, while expressing fear that the incident would only breed more distrust towards people in their community.

“Please God and Inshallah he won’t be a refugee,” a man named Basel Saad posted on the page of one of the largest Facebook groups for Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers. Vocativ translated the Facebook status updates  from Arabic to English.

Vocativ looked at several Facebook forums where Syrian asylum-seekers congregate and found dozens of posts with similar sentiments: Don’t let the attacker be a refugee—more specifically, a Syrian refugee.

“Please don’t be from our community, Allah help,” Ahmed Zakaria posted. Another man, Abd Al Rahman Bj, posted to the same page, “Oh Allah, please don’t be a Syrian. Anything but Syrian.”

More Revenge Killing: ISIS Supporters Celebrate Nice Attack

Syrian refugees have been arriving in Europe in droves since the beginning of the country’s bloody civil war that began in 2011. Since the start of the conflict, an estimated 11 million Syrians have been displaced, many of whom have sought asylum in European countries. They have not been well-receieved in many cases, much thanks to ISIS’ use of the refugee crisis to sneak terrorists into European cities. In April, the Washington Post tracked four terrorists who hid amongst “war-weary Syrians,” slipped into Europe and staged a highly-coordinated attack in Paris in November.

“Two of the four would masquerade as migrants all the way to Paris,” the Post reported. “There, at 9:20 p.m. on Nov. 13, they would detonate suicide vests near the Stade de France sports complex, fulfilling their part in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.”

More than 70 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a truck barreled through a large crowd of people in Nice celebrating Bastille Day, a French holiday that commemorates the storming of the famous Parisian fortress in 1789, an important milestone in the French Revolution. The driver of the truck reportedly was killed by French authorities.

Nobody has taken credit for the attack as of this writing, but ISIS sympathizers are celebrating the attack, and claiming that it is retaliation for the death of Abu Omar al-Shishani—the terror group’s so-called “minister of war”—who was killed earlier this year by coalition forces while fighting in Iraq.