France: Attack on Mosque in Paris Continues Europe’s Recent Vehicle Ramming Trend
On 29 June, a man attempted to drive into a Paris mosque, allegedly to avenge attacks previously linked to the so-called Islamic State. Barriers protecting the mosque prevented pedestrian injury and the attacker has been arrested.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, the vehicle circled the mosque in the suburb of Créteil three times, then attempted to attack pedestrians. The driver attempted entry into the mosque multiple times but was blocked by the median and the high pavement.
Ultimately, the driver managed to escape but was later arrested in his own driveway. The newspaper suggests that the attacker is of Armenian descent and wanted to “avenge the Bataclan and the Champs-Elysees.”
The Bataclan concert hall was attacked with bombs and guns in 2015, while a shooting occurred on the Champs-Elysees earlier this year, both incidents attributed to the so-called Islamic State. “A police statement said the suspect's 4x4 vehicle repeatedly struck bollards and barriers designed to protect the mosque in the south-eastern suburb of the French capital,” BBC news reported.
The attack comes in the midst of a series of vehicle ramming attacks that have occurred throughout Europe within the past year. One occurred last week in London on 19 June, when somebody drove into a group of Muslims leaving a mosque, resulting in one man’s death.
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