France has been attacked majorly by terrorist three times in the last 18 months; first, was January 7, 2015, when Charlie Hebdo massacre at Paris left 11 dead and another 11 injured; second, in November 13 and 14, 2015, when suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue revisited Paris leaving 130 dead; the most recent, which is the third major attack, is the Nice lorry driver with a death toll at 84.
Since the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, France had been on high terrorism alert and yesterday (July 14, 2016), the Nice attack which left 84 people dead while celebrating Bastille Day adds up to the third major terrorist attacks suffered by the French country in the last 18 months.
Here, we revisit 10 terrorism activities in Paris including the major Charlie Hebdo and the November 2015 terror attacks.
1. Saïd Kouachi, 34 and Chérif Kouachi, 32 – brothers of the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda, Yemen Branch – forced their way into the headquarters of the office in Paris armed with assault rifles and other weapons, launched a mass shooting killing 11 people and injuring another 11 in the building on January 7, 2015. They also killed a French National Police officer outside the building.
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical weekly newspaper in publication since 1969; known for its non-conformist tone which features, cartoons, reports, polemics and jokes which attracts controversies. Charlie Hebdo was unsuccessfully sued by Islamic organizations over some publications. In 2006, the newspaper’s office was fire-bombed and got its website hacked in 2011.
After the attack, staff of Charlie Hebdo continued with publication, and the following issue print ran 7.95 million copies in six languages, compared to its typical print run of 60,000 in only French.
To show support, two million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in January 11, 2015, at Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined demonstrations across France.
2. February 3, 2015, three military men guarding a Jewish community center in Nice were stabbed by Moussa Coulibaly, no death was recorded.
3. April 19, 2015, an unsuccessful attack against 2 churches in Villejuif was carried out by an Algerian jihadist killing one woman.
4. June 26, 2015, an Islamist delivery driver probably linked to ISIS beheaded a man and rammed a company van into gas cylinders at the Air Products gas factory in an attempt to blow up the building.
5. August 21, 2015, there was a Thalys train attack on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris injuring four, no death was recorded.
6. November 13-14, 2015 holds record of the single deadliest terrorist attack in French history as 130 lives were lost and another 352 injured. On the evening of November 13, 2015, series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, France. Three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis at09:20 PM, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue in central Paris. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and President Hollande named the Paris attacks an “‘act of war'”.
7. The November, 2015 attack is still recorded as the deadliest on France since World War II and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. The government had to declare a three-month state of emergency across the country to help fight terrorism.January 1, 2016, a man rammed his car twice into 4 soldiers protecting a mosque in Valence with the intention to kill troops; he ended up injuring 2 people.
8. January 7, 2016, a jihadist wearing a fake explosive belt attacked police officers in the Goutte d’Or district in Paris shouting “Allahu Akbar”; one policeman was injured while the terrorist, who was carrying an ISIS flag, was shot dead.
9. June 13, 2016, a police officer and his wife were stabbed to death in their Magnanville home by an ISIS jihadist.
10. Yesterday, July 14, 2016, an armed man, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, killed 84 people and injured many others in the French city of Nice after he drove a white truck “loaded with” grenades and other arms into a large crowd of about 1, 500 people celebrating 2016 Bastille Day around 10:30 PM.
- Seyifunmi Adebote for encomium.ng