Attack on Paris Churches Thwarted

French authorities captured a would-be Islamic terrorist after he accidentally shot himself in the leg and called for an ambulance. He shot one woman, apparently at random, before being apprehended.

In most respects, this would have been a typical terrorist attack. The terrorist was an Algerian who had lived in Paris for several years. He was 24 years old, intelligent and prosperous–a computer science student–rather than poor. He was already on the police radar screen because of his interest in traveling to Syria, but was not under surveillance. He was in contact with ISIS, which apparently directed his attempted attacks. He was armed with, among other weapons, multiple Kalashnikov rifles. But in one respect, his attacks would have represented something new, at least in France. He planned to murder Christians:

An Islamic extremist with an arsenal of loaded guns was prevented from opening fire on churchgoers only because he accidentally shot himself in the leg, French officials said Wednesday. …

This person [who may have been in Syria] “explicitly asked him to target a church,” Molins said, declining to answer questions about the investigation into what he termed “an imminent attack.” …

An attack on a church would be a new target in France, where Jewish sites have been under increased protection since the 2012 attack on a Jewish school and the killings at a kosher supermarket this year.

So far, Muslim terrorists in Europe have concentrated on cartoonists and Jews, two groups with whom many, especially on the Left, have little sympathy. In contrast, Islamic violence in the Middle East, Africa and Asia is directed mainly at Christians. It will be interesting to see whether this latest planned attack represents the beginning of an expansion of the terrorists’ war against the West.

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