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Nice Attack a 'Security Failure on a Colossal Level' Says Terror Expert

Aaron Cohen, a counterterrorism expert and former member of the elite Israeli special forces unit, said on CNN early Friday that the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, was a "colossal" security failure that could have been stopped. At least 80 people were killed on Thursday when a truck barreled through a crowd of people celebrating on Nice's Promenade des Anglais.

Cohen said, "This is a security failure on a colossal level. This is a colossal failure on a basic security level for event planning. There should have been some kind of physical barrier, where armed, present, properly trained, heavily-armed police officers were checking vehicles. There were grenades in the car. There was an AK-47 in the car. There was somebody who was about to commit an act of of murder."

He said that if the vehicle had been checked and the driver screened, "with a proper physical barricade in place, they would have been stopped."

Cohen said that an Israeli-style triple security layering needs to be in place for events like the Bastille Day celebration in France. "That truck was moving in slowly, which leads me to believe that the person was going to a specific place for a specific reason," he said. "There was surveillance that was being conducted for the terrorist to inflict the most damage."

"Israelis deploy a Triple-D system, which stands for deter, detect, and deny." He said if a similar event had been held in Israel, cars would have had limited access to the street. "The deterrence would also involve heavier armed security personnel."

"There is already a heavy military feel to feel to France, I don't know how much more you can get," he said. But he suggested that assault weapon-carrying police officers should be placed anywhere you have massive crowds. "That's where terrorists go."