Three days before Christmas, one unsuspecting holiday shopper was killed and nine others injured when a van ploughed through a crowded market in Nantes, located in western France. The attack came a day after a man, shouting "Allahu Akbar," rammed his car into crowds in the eastern city of Dijon, injuring thirteen people; this, some twenty-four hours after an assailant stabbed and wounded three police officers in Joue-les-Tours, central France, likewise while yelling "God is the greatest" in Arabic.
A day after the Dijon attack, which the perpetrator dedicated to the children of "Palestine," France's Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, called on the public "to not draw hasty conclusions since…[the driver's] motives have not been established." Nevertheless, and despite the fact that "the investigation had barely begun," Dijon's public prosecutor, Marie-Christine Tarrare, made clear that the incident was "not a terrorist act at all."
It took the third attack before French Prime Minister Manuel Valls came closest to accepting reality, conceding that, "there is, as you know, a terrorist threat to France."