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Government Alert App Fails to Send Warning During Nice Attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The French Interior Minister stated that an application it launched last month to alert users to attacks failed to flash a warning until more than three hours after a truck rammed into crowds in the city of Nice on Bastille day.

The app, called SAIP, was launched by the interior ministry just before the Euro 2016 soccer championship and was supposed to flash a warning on a user’s mobile phone screen if there was an attack close to their location or suspicion of an imminent strike.

The app did not send its first notification until 0134 am local time (2334 GMT), more than three hours after the 31-year Tunisian drove down the Promenade des Anglais seaside boulevard, killing 84 people and injuring scores more.

“Information related to the attack in Nice on July 14 was sent out much too late by the SAIP app,” the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that the app’s designers had been summoned to a crisis meeting on Friday afternoon.

“An action plan has been demanded without delay so that such an incident cannot happen again,” the ministry said.

The message prepared by the local prefecture was ready to go at about 23:15, but a technical glitch prevented the app designed by French company Deveryware to send out the warning, Les Echos newspaper said, citing government sources.

Deveryware did not immediately return a request for comment.

One Nice-based Twitter user called Nathan Lellouche, who posted a picture of the app showing a “no incident ongoing” message the night of the attack, tweeted: “This app had one job and it doesn’t even do it.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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