Tuesday, February 03, 2015

03-Feb-15: Jewish community center in France is scene of yet another stabbing attack

From the scene of today's attack
In France today, there's another reminder of how the contours of Jewish life have been upended by the mostly-unchecked emergence of terrorism and lethal racist violence. From NBC News:
A man with a knife attacked three French military personnel on an anti-terror patrol near a Jewish community center in southern France, officials said Tuesday. Two of the military personnel were wounded in the assault in the resort city of Nice. The Nice Police Department told NBC News that a suspect has been arrested and that the attacker's motive is not yet known. A justice department investigation has been launched into the attack... Sarah Baron, a union official, told The Associated Press that two other people with the attacker fled the scene, outside a building used by the Consistoire IsraƩlite de Nice, a Jewish organization. France is on high alert and has stepped up security outside such buildings in wake of the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre and attack on a kosher supermarket that left 17 people dead last month.
The attacker's motive might not be "known" but no one is going to overly shocked when it gets revealed... except perhaps the people at Associated Press. Their report [here] quotes the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, saying that
the attacker had an identity card with the name Moussa Coulibaly. The surname, which is relatively common for families of Malian descent, is the same as that of the man who seized hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris and gunned down a policewoman last month... The attacker, aged about 30, had a record of theft and violence... His motive was not yet clear... [AP]
A Tweet we just saw [here] - and now this report in the Telegraph UK - says there are French media reports that today's Coulibaly was prevented some days ago from entering Turkey, evidently en route to the slaughtering fields of Syria. The de facto wife of the other Coulibaly - the one who murdered several Jews in a Paris grocery in January - did the same early last month [says the BBC].

Coincidence, for sure.

More details from another police spokesperson:
The attacker pulled a knife at least 20 centimeters (8 inches) long out of a bag and set upon one of the soldiers, injuring him in the chin. He then swiped two other soldiers — one in the cheek, the other in the forearm — before being apprehended by riot police stationed near the building, which houses the city's Jewish community center. [AP]
Just another knifing attack, just against the Jews in France, involving a man called Coulibaly. But let's not rush to conclusions. After all, the "motive is not yet known".

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