FRANCE: Islamic terrorist target NUMBER ONE in Europe

The Sun

FRANCE has become the number one target for extremists in Europe, with yet another attack increasing tension in the country today.

A series of horrific attacks have seen scores of citizens murdered as they go about their day-to-day lives and as a machete-wielding man pulled a knife on guards at the Luovre this morning many will have feared that total would rise again.

Here are just some of the atrocities committed in the country.

Charlie Hebdo attack – January 2015

January 7

Gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles stormed their way into satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices.

The attackers – brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi – threatened a cartoonist to gain access through security doors before opening fire on an editorial meeting.

Witnesses said the gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.

In total 12 people were murdered during the raid on the magazine’s office, including a police officer.

The gunmen escaped the scene and the following day robbed a service station in the Aisne region.

January 8

Just a day after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity a gunman armed with a machine gun shot two people in the Paris suburb of Montrouge.

A policewoman died in the shooting and a man was injured. Police later linked the killing to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

January 9

On the morning of January 9 police caught up with the Kouachi brothers, holed up at a printing firm.

After an eight hour stand off armed cops shot the brothers who had emerged firing at officers.

While hundreds of cops surrounded the printing firm a gunman took several people hostage at a kosher supermarket in the east of Paris.

The gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, threatened to kill people if the Kouachi brothers were not released.

Four hostages were killed in the attack.

Coulibaly was later linked to the murder of a jogger in a park on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

An outpouring of support followed the attacks with marches held in major cities around the world under the banner Je Suis Charlie.

Thalys train attack – August 21 2015

Six passengers on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris tackled a man who emerged from a toilet cubicle wearing a backpack on his chest and carrying a rifle.

As the struggle unfolded the gunman fired several shots and one man was hit in the neck.

The men who tackled the attacker included three off-duty American serviceman.

A British businessman helped them restrain him until he was arrested at Arras station.

The attacker was Ayob El-Khazzani a 25-year-old Moroccan.

He had been flagged by the Spanish authorities in February 2014 as affiliated to a radical Islamist movement.

The Paris attacks – November 2015

On the night of Friday November 13 a series of co-ordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 and injured hundreds.

Just after 9.20pm local time the first of three suicide bombers struck at the Stade de France, where France were due to take on Germany in an international friendly attended by the French president.

Five minutes later shots were fired at people enjoying an evening at a Le Carillon in the 10th district – a popular nightlife spot.

After firing at the bar a gunman turned and shot at people dining at a restaurant on the other side of the road.

Less than 10 minutes later more gunmen opened fire on diners just a few streets away.

At 9.40pm local time an attacker detonated a suicide bomb at another restaurant.

At the same time the deadliest attack of the night saw gunmen open fire on a sold out concert at the Bataclan, in the 11th district.

Kalashnikov-type assault rifles were fired into crowds, with reports of the gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

At about 12.20am elite security forces were sent into the security hall. One gunman was shot and two others blew themselves up.

President Francois Hollande described the attacks, claimed by Islamic State, as an “act of war”.

Police station attack – January 7 2016

A year after the Charlie Hedbo attack a man wielding a meat cleaver and yelling “Allahu Akbar” tried to attack a police station in northern Paris.

Sallah Ali, 20, was shot dead by cops. He was later said to be a Moroccan national obsessed with ISIS.

A suicide belt he was wearing turned out to be a fake.

Bastille Day massacre – July 14 2016

A 19-tonne lorry ploughed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, leaving 86 dead and injuring hundreds.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, was in possession of an automatic pistol, bullets, a fake automatic pistol and two replica assault rifles and an empty grenade when he drove the lorry into families watching a fireworks display.

He had been seen driving erratically close to the scene of the attack and police had already opened fire when the driver sped up and deliberately aimed at crowds.

ISIS later claimed the Tunisian driver, shot dead during the attack, was one of its followers.

Police believe the driver had help in the planning of the attack and a number of further arrests have been made.

Catholic church killing – July 26 2016

Father Jacques Hamel, 86, was murdered at the altar by two fanatics at a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, while holding a morning service.

He was reportedly beheaded by a knifeman who took two nuns and several worshippers hostage before he was shot dead by police.

The attackers Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean had pledged allegiance to ISIS, who claimed responsibility for the attack.

Louvre attack – February 3 2017

machete-wielding knifeman attacked a French soldier at The Louvre art gallery in Paris before being shot five times in the stomach.

The attacker had yelled “Allahu Akbar” while brandishing a machete and two knives.

A police chief said the man attacked soldiers when they told him he could not enter the Carrousel du Louvre – an underground shopping mall beneath the gallery – with his bags.

Witnesses described scenes of panic and confusion as terrified tourists were rushed into the gallery’s basement amid fears of a lethal attack.