1995 Paris Métro and RER bombings

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1995 Paris Métro and RER bombings
Location Paris, France
Date 25 July 1995 (1995-07-25)
17 October 1995 (1995-10-17)
Weapons Improvised explosive devices, school bombing
Deaths 8
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Armed Islamic Group

The 1995 bombings in France were carried out by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), who were broadening the Algerian Civil War to France. In total, these attacks killed eight and injured more than 100 people. The assassination of Abdelbaki Sahraoui, a co-founder of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) who opposed attacks in France, was a prelude of this extension of the Islamists' terrorist campaign to France.[1]

Three bombings[edit]

On 25 July 1995, a gas bottle exploded in the Saint-Michel station of line B of the RER (Paris regional train network), killing eight and wounding 80.

On 17 August, a bomb at the Arc de Triomphe wounded 17 people. On 26 August, a huge bomb was found on the railroad tracks of a high-speed rail line near Lyon. On 3 September, a bomb malfunctioned in a square in Paris, wounding four. On 7 September, a car bomb at a Jewish school in Lyon wounded 14.

Additional bombs were found and cleared during morning searches of Metro and RER stations, without any casualties. They were often found in restrooms. Increased security mandated the removal of all public trash receptacles, in order to prevent the possibility of bombs being hidden within.

A leader of the group, Khaled Kelkal, was identified through fingerprints left on unexploded bombs. He was killed on 29 September by members of the French EPIGN gendarmerie unit when resisting arrest in hills near Lyon.

Yet the attacks continued. On 6 October, a gas bottle exploded in station Maison Blanche of the Paris Métro, wounding 13. On 17 October, a gas bottle exploded between the Musée d'Orsay and Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame stations of RER Line C, wounding 29.

Arrests and trials[edit]

Members of the groups have since been prosecuted for various charges. A number of suspects fled to the United Kingdom. Extradition proceedings against suspect Rachid Ramda started in 1995 and went on for nearly ten years, during which Ramda remained detained in London's Belmarsh Prison.[2] Ramda was eventually extradited to France on December 1, 2005, in connection with the bombings.[3] On 26 October 2007, Ramda was sentenced to life in prison for financing the attacks.[4]

According to the FBI terrorism consultant Evan Kohlmann, part of the money used to finance the bombings came from people connected to the Brandbergen Mosque in Haninge, Sweden.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Rachid Ramda jugé pour l'ultime procès des attentats de 1995", in Libération, October 1, 2007 read on-line (in French)
  2. ^ "Terrorism and the law: The non-trial". The Economist, 20 October 2005.
  3. ^ UK sends back Metro bomb accused, BBC, 1 December 2005 (in English)
  4. ^ French court convicts Algerian of Paris bombings
  5. ^ Petersson, Claes (2005-07-13). "Terrorbas i Sverige" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-03.