Man attempting attack on Paris police station cried 'Allahu Akbar': government

Published: January 7, 2016
Rescue workers are seen at the Boulevard de Barbes in the north of Paris on January 7, 2016, after police shot a man dead as he was trying to enter a police station in the Rue de la Goutte d'Or. PHOTO: AFP

Rescue workers are seen at the Boulevard de Barbes in the north of Paris on January 7, 2016, after police shot a man dead as he was trying to enter a police station in the Rue de la Goutte d'Or. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: French police shot dead a suspected suicide bomber Thursday as he attacked a police station in Paris, a year to the day since militant gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo newspaper.

The man reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) and was carrying a knife and possibly wearing what appeared to be an explosives vest, the interior ministry said.

A year on, Charlie Hebdo attack seen as start of series of militant outrages in France

News of the attack came just after President Francois Hollande concluded a sombre speech at police headquarters to mark the anniversary of the killings at Charlie Hebdo’s offices on January 7, 2015.

“On Thursday morning, a man attempted to attack a policeman at the reception of the police station before being hit by shots from the police,” said interior ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet.

Explosives experts were deployed to the scene in the multi-ethnic Goutte d’Or district, close to the Gare du Nord international station, the source added.

With France also still grieving from the massacre of 130 people by militants in Paris in November, Hollande used his speech to call for greater cooperation between the security services.

“Faced with these adversaries, it is essential that every service — police, gendarmerie, intelligence, military — work in perfect harmony, with the greatest transparency, and that they share all the information at their disposal,” the president said.

Many of the attackers in both January’s rampage and the attacks in November were known to French security services, having either travelled abroad to fight with extremists or been prevented from doing so.

Hollande said that since the attack on Charlie Hebdo, nearly 200 people in France had been placed under travel restrictions to prevent them joining up with IS in Syria or Iraq.

A year after ‘Je suis Charlie’, a divided France struggles

The president said the three police officers killed in January’s attacks “died so that we could live in freedom”.

A police bodyguard tasked with guarding the newspaper’s editor, Charb, was killed alongside him by brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi and in scenes caught on film the brothers shot dead another policeman, Ahmed Merabet, as he sprawled on the pavement near Charlie Hebdo’s offices.

The next day, a policewoman was shot dead by Amedy Coulibaly in the southern suburb of Montrouge, apparently as he was heading to attack a Jewish school.

Among changes set to be introduced in the wake of the November attacks are new guidelines allowing police to keep their weapons even when off-duty.

The president reiterated his pledge to boost the number of police and armed gendarmes by 5,000.

The speech will be followed by a concert on Sunday to mark the one million people who poured on to the streets of Paris on January 11, 2015, in an outpouring of support for freedom of expression in the wake of the deaths of Charlie Hebdo’s best-known cartoonists.

The newspaper had been in the militants’ sights since it first published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 2006.

The widow of Franck Brinsolaro, the bodyguard who was killed in the attack, said this week she has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was left vulnerable because the security around the newspaper had been reduced before the shootings.

Charlie Hebdo has continued to raise ire, rejecting self-censorship in the wake of the attacks and working from ultra-secure offices in a top-secret location.

On Wednesday it published a typically provocative special edition featuring a gun-toting God, sparking protests from the Vatican.

The cover of the anniversary edition features a bloodstained, bearded God figure in sandals with a Kalashnikov rifle slung over his shoulder under the headline: “One year on: the killer is still at large.”

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Stranger
    Jan 7, 2016 - 6:21PM

    Why do they come in hordes to France if its so ‘unfriendly ‘ ? All in coming refugees / immigrants must be sterilised first . Recommend

  • LS
    Jan 7, 2016 - 7:11PM

    Spreading more peace than it is required, I guess…Recommend

  • Stranger
    Jan 7, 2016 - 7:48PM

    Europe will realise its mistake of taking asoft stand towards these refugees only when ( in a short while ) IS HQ will come up in Paris and Munich. Recommend

  • Peace Pujari
    Jan 7, 2016 - 10:44PM

    The man was strapped with fake suicide belt. Probably he wanted to die simply and not to take lives. BBC and other channels are reporting it.Recommend

  • Raisani
    Jan 7, 2016 - 11:26PM

    What if some Jew, Christian or Hindu or atheist would have cried “ALLAH hu Akbar”? Recommend

  • Pin2
    Jan 7, 2016 - 11:36PM

    There is no bound to Islamophobia and oppression faced by Muslim in France. Since when does praising Allah became criminal act.

    Carrying a knife or vest is not a crime if they are not used to harm anyone. Recommend

  • True
    Jan 8, 2016 - 2:51AM

    That speaks of a typical mindset. Jews, Christian or any other faith followers don’t face assimilation problems nor do they ask for faith based laws once settled. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you know it’s a problem try correcting it.Recommend

  • True
    Jan 8, 2016 - 2:54AM

    and oppression faced by Muslim in France.…. Doesn’t that sound bizarre and totally out of context. I mean just revisit what you have said ……. You face what you are known for….. Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:16AM

    If these Muslims who are dying to enter Europe believe that Europeans are racists then they can go back to Syria or whichever hellhole they came from. Recommend

  • vinsin
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:30AM

    Then why they move to countries where there is no oppression.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:38AM

    @Pin2: Go to France or US and try that you will get same luck as that guy. You can not praise a fake no gender guy in public.Recommend

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