A schoolboy had his plastic gun confiscated this week after a city-wide manhunt was launched when a member of the public mistook his A-Team ‘Mr. T’ costume for a terrorist attack in Nice, France.
The city has been on high alert since a suspected terrorist stabbed two soldiers who were protecting a Jewish centre earlier this month, and the French prime minister put the city on high alert in anticipation of more attacks. The presence of private security, police officers and even soldiers outside Jewish centres and Synagogues is now a matter of ordinary routine in many European countries faced with regular anti-Semitic violence and terrorist threats.
Police launched the manhunt, which was described by European media as “massive”, after the boy’s plastic toy was mistaken for an AK-47 assault rifle. Fearful of an impending terror attack, the whole town, and CCTV footage, was scoured for clues.
Despite having unwittingly wasted hours of police time, the boy was allowed to continue to his fancy dress party, albeit without the toy weapon.