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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Fears of extremism spike in France after driver slams car into pedestrians

    Fears of extremism spike in France after driver slams car into pedestrians

    Published December 22, 2014 Associated Press

    PARIS – A driver deliberately slammed his car into crowds around the city of Dijon in eastern France on Sunday, raising concerns at a time when Islamic extremists are calling for attacks in France.

    The Sunday night rampage came a day after a knife attack on police in another French town that counter-terrorist police are investigating. The government said the motive for Sunday's attack was unclear.

    The government stepped up security measures for police and other authorities.

    In Sunday's incident, police arrested the out-of-control driver after he injured at least 11 people, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    The Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations have repeatedly called for attacks against France
    , notably because of the French military's participation in U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq. Some extremists have specifically suggested that anyone angry at the French government could use weapons easily at hand — such as cars or knives — to stage "lone wolf" attacks.

    The Interior Ministry said the driver in Sunday's car attack, a 40-year-old driving a Renault Clio, was known to police for minor offenses in the 1990s.

    Police union official Michel Bonnet said on BFM television that some witnesses apparently heard the driver say "Allahu Akbar," or "God Is Great," and refer to the "children of Palestine." But the Interior Ministry would not confirm that.

    In an indication of how seriously the government is taking the incident, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was to head to Dijon on Monday.

    Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said it was too early to say whether there was any connection between the Sunday car attack and the knife attack in Joue-les-Tours in central France on Saturday.

    In the Saturday incident, two police officers were seriously injured and the attacker was killed, according to the ministry. While the motive remains uncertain, anti-terrorism police are involved in the investigation.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Radical Islam likely behind attack on French cops — officials

    Police probing possibility that convert who wounded three was acting as Islamic State ‘lone wolf’

    BY AFP December 21, 2014, 4:34 pm 4

    Forensic police collect evidence outside the police station of Joue les-Tours on December 20, 2014 where French police shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife. (photo credit: AFP/GUILLAUME SOUVANT)

    JOUE-LES-TOURS, France — Security was stepped up at police and fire stations across France on Sunday after a knife-wielding French convert to Islam was shot dead after attacking three police officers.

    Bertrand Nzohabonayo was killed Saturday after entering a police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours armed with a knife, seriously wounding two officers — slashing one in the face — and hurting another.

    “The investigation is leading towards an attack … motivated by radical Islamist motives,” said a source close to the probe, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The assailant, a French national born in Burundi in 1994, cried “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) during the assault, added the source close to the probe, which is being carried out by anti-terror investigators from the Paris prosecutor’s office.

    Local prosecutor Jean-Luc Beck said investigators would seek to determine whether “he acted alone or if he acted on orders.”

    Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who rushed to the scene of the attack on Saturday, said he had ordered “security measures to be stepped up” for police personnel and firefighters across the country.

    Nzohabonayo had previously committed petty offenses but was not on a domestic intelligence watch list, although his brother is known for radical positions and once pondered going to Syria, the source said.

    On Thursday, Nzohabonayo posted the Islamic State flag as his profile picture on a Facebook page identified as his by several experts on jihadist groups.

    But paradoxically, he had also liked a page called “Islamic State in Iraq: Not in my name,” for Muslims that “refuse to be associated” with the violence waged by the radical group.

    Photos circulating on social networks showed a smiling man with a shaved head and black beard.

    One of his former sports teachers said he was a quiet, reserved boy.

    “When he arrived at the football club from the Paris region, he was around 16 or 17,” said the teacher, who asked not to be named. “He wanted to be the referee, which is unusual at that age. He was devoted to justice.”

    Several people near his sister’s flat in a poor part of town refused to believe the attack was spurred by radical Islamic motives.

    “That’s not what our town is about. We have managed to install dialogue and understanding between communities,” said Ahmed Moussaoui, a retired man who heads a local association.

    A witness of Saturday’s incident at the police station said he saw four officers grab Nzohabonayo to escort him inside while telling him to “calm down”,,as he started yelling and struggling.

    “I saw a large knife, and then a policeman on the ground with his neck full of blood, squirting blood,” Sandgy Dumoulin said.

    “Then a policewoman had blood on her head, and a third one — he’s the one who fired the shots. He fired four shots.”

    The incident comes as governments around the world brace for so-called “lone wolf” attacks by individuals returning from waging jihad abroad, or who are simply following Islamic State calls for violence in the countries involved in a coalition fighting the IS group.

    Last week in Australia, an Iranian-born Islamist with a history of extremism and violence entered a cafe and held people hostage for 16 hours before being killed. Two of the hostages also died.

    Last year in France, a recent convert to Islam also stabbed a soldier in the busy Paris commercial complex and transport hub of La Defense.

    And the main suspect in the murders of four people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum in May, Mehdi Nemmouche, spent more than a year fighting with extremists in Syria.

    Authorities in France believe around 1,200 nationals or residents are involved in one way or another in jihadist networks in Iraq and Syria.

    Read more: Radical Islam likely behind attack on French cops -- officials | The Times of Israel


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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    France embroiled in free speech row after Islamophobic TV presenter is sacked for saying Muslims 'should be deported to prevent civil war'

    • Interview with Éric Zemmour prompted outrage among French Left
    • Asked if he could deport Muslims, he said: 'History is often surprising'
    • He added: 'Muslims inside French people will lead us to civil war'
    • Controversial author dropped from 11-year chat show stint by iTELE


    PUBLISHED: 03:42 EST, 22 December 2014 | UPDATED: 05:22 EST, 22 December 2014

    Row: Éric Zemmour, pictured, appeared to suggest all 5million of France's Muslims should be deported

    France is engulfed in a free speech row after a TV commentator was sacked for appearing to suggest all 5million of the country's Muslims should be deported to prevent civil war.

    The comments by Éric Zemmour, who has previously been convicted of inciting racial hatred, prompted outrage and led to him being dropped from an 11-year stint on a chat show.

    But many sprang to the best-selling author's defence including the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who declared the move 'loathsome censorship'.

    Mr Zemmour's interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera went largely unnoticed on the other side of the Alps for more than a month after it appeared in October.

    It sparked a public debate, however, after the comments were picked up by former French education minister Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

    Although the original interview has been deleted from Corriere della Sera's website, it was copied and translated several times by people on both sides of France's political divide.

    In the interview Mr Zemmour said Muslims 'live among themselves' in suburbs which French people have been forced to leave, according to one of his supporters.

    The interviewer then asked: 'Then what are you suggesting?

    To deport 5million French Muslims?'

    Mr Zemmour is said to have replied: 'I know it's unrealistic, but history is often surprising.

    'Who would have thought in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs [Europeans living in North Africa], twenty years later, would have left Algeria to return to France?

    'Or that after the war five or six million Germans would leave Central-Eastern Europe where they had lived for centuries?'

    Censorship': The sacking was seized upon by French National Front leader Marine Le Pen, pictured

    The interviewer protested that Mr Zemmour was 'speaking of exoduses triggered by immense tragedies', to which he replied: 'I think we are heading for chaos.

    'This situation of a people inside a people, of Muslims inside French people, will lead us to civil war.

    'Millions of people live here in France and refuse to live in the French manner.'

    The controversy sparked a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #ZemmourDeporteMoi - Zemmour would deport me - and outrage among leading French politicians.

    France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve wrote: 'I am committed to the fight against racism & anti-Semitism to preserve the republican pact and guarantee of our living together #Zemmour'.

    Bruno Le Roux, the leader of the Socialist Party in France's national assembly, said Mr Zemmour's inspiration appeared to date back to thinking from the Second World War.

    Tension: France is one of the few countries to ban religious veils in schools (posed by model)

    'It's time for TV shows and newspaper columns to cease harbouring such statements,' he wrote on his blog.

    'Islamophobia is racism and is not part of the Republic.'

    Others - including the journalist himself - hit back at what they described as politically-correct censorship.

    On Friday the iTELE channel, where Mr Zemmour has made a regular appearance on a debating show since 2003, said it had cancelled the latest episode and he would no longer appear.

    The channel's director Céline Pigalle told French newspaper Le Figaro, for which Mr Zemmour is also a columnist: 'We are very careful to respect freedom of expression.'

    She said the channel had hosted the controversial journalist for more than a decade 'so that his ideas are taken into account, contradicted and discussed'.

    But she added: 'Now it seems that it is he who sets the rules and what we are talking. It was less and less the feeling that we can debate.

    'The dialogue has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible.'

    France's population of 5million Muslims is the largest of any country in Europe, and France also has the largest Jewish diaspora on the continent.

    Mr Zemmour's parents were Jewish Berbers who emigrated from Algeria in the 1950s.

    His book The French Suicide, which argues France's identity is being destroyed by factors including immigration,
    homosexuality and feminism, has sold more than 250,000 copies.

    In 2011 he was convicted of inciting racial hatred in France after telling a chat show most drug dealers were 'blacks and Arabs. That's a fact'.

    Read more:


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