Paris, Conflans, Nice: the attacks are increasing but are not alike

Since the republication of the cartoons by Charlie hebdo and the start of the trial of the 2015 attacks, France is facing a series of threats unlike any it has known for a long time. Chopper attack in front of the former Parisian premises of Charlie hebdo on September 25, which left two journalists injured by the Premiers Lines agency. Beheading on October 16 in Conflans-Saint-Honorine of teacher Samuel Paty. Attack on October 29 in the basilica of Nice, which left three dead.

Terrorism, the hypothesis of a ripple effect

“We are obviously facing a resurgence of Islamist attacks, estimates Jean-Michel Fauvergue, former boss of the Raid unit, and today LREM deputy. All things considered, this period reminds me of what we experienced in 2016 when we had an attack or an attempted attack every two months and where we arrested no less than 186 people. “ Nevertheless, he continues, “The situation is different because, in the years 2015, we were faced with attacks conceived abroad, with an organization pulling the strings and several terrorists who acted in a coordinated manner”.

In the case of the Conflans-Saint-Honorine and Nice bombings, investigators are still trying to determine whether the perpetrators had accomplices. The first, a refugee of Chechen Russian origin and murderer of Samuel Paty, was apparently in contact with a Russian-speaking jihadist based in Syria.

→ MAINTENANCE. Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort: “We are at war against this ideology of Islamism”

As for the second, author of the attack on the Basilica of Nice, his career intrigued the police. This 21-year-old Tunisian, who has not yet been questioned because of his injuries following the intervention of the police, who left Tunisia in mid-September arrived in Nice only the day before the incident. “He obviously came here to kill. How else to explain why he armed himself with several knives barely arrived? “, thus noticed Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior. Six people suspected of having known him were taken into custody.

In Lyon, caution

To these proven attacks were added a series of attacks, or attempts, which seemed to add to the list of Islamist-inspired threats. However, caution is necessary because, as Jean-Michel Fauvergue reminds us, “Media time and judicial time do not go at the same pace and it sometimes turns out that initial assumptions turn out to be inaccurate”.

Thus, on October 31, in Lyon, the attack on an Orthodox priest, shot and wounded by a single man while he was closing his church, could have been presented by certain political figures as a terrorist attack. However, at the Ministry of the Interior, we call for caution, the tracks of a villainous act or personal conflict not being ruled out. The terrorist prosecution was not seized on Sunday 1er November afternoon.

As for the indictment, on October 29, still in Lyon, of a man of Afghan nationality, in a regular situation, armed with a large knife while he was going to board a tram, the investigation is still ongoing to determine his motivations. Psychiatric expertise could be requested.

We know even less about the placement in police custody, on October 27, in Moselle of a 15-year-old schoolboy, suspected by the intelligence services of having uttered threats of attacks. And things are even more tenuous concerning the arrest, then the release, of a young man, unarmed, arrested in Sartrouville on October 29, following the report of his father who feared that his son was seeking to “Do as in Nice”. “The state of tension is such that the intelligence services are trying to intervene earlier so as to hinder a possible passage to the act “, decrypts Jean-Charles Brisard, president of the Terrorism Analysis Center (Cat).

In Avignon, a complex profile

In addition, it should be noted that not all attacks or threats in recent weeks come automatically from individuals claiming to be radical Islam. “In these times of extreme tension, resumes Jean-Charles Brisard, the intelligence services still fear a resurgence of violence from the ultra right, or from individuals who can draw inspiration from it. “

On October 29, in Avignon, a man threatening people in the street with a handgun was killed by police. This 33 year old man wore “A blue jacket in the color of Generation Identity”, an extreme right-wing group. However, his profile is complex because he had psychiatric follow-up.


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