2014 Tours police station stabbing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2014 Tours stabbing attack
Part of Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
LocationJoué-lès-Tours, France
Date20 December 2014
TargetPolice officers
Attack type
Deaths1 (the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorBertrand Nzohabonayo
MotiveISIL-inspired terrorism[1][2]

On 20 December 2014, a man in Joué-lès-Tours near the city of Tours in central France entered a police station and attacked officers with a knife, shouting "Allahu Akbar" and injuring three before he was shot and killed. The attack was categorised as a case of religiously inspired terrorism by Europol,[2] and has been reported by Europol as well as mappings by CNN and AFP as inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[1][3][4]


The attacker was identified as Bertrand Nzohabonayo, age 20, a French citizen and former rap musician born in Burundi in 1994, he was known to the police for minor crimes but was not on any watchlist.[5][6][7][8] The attacker had taken Bilal as his new name upon conversion to Islam, and had been posting Islamist material on his Facebook page, including a photograph of the black flag of the Islamic State.[9][10]

In Burundi, police arrested the attacker's brother, a man with known Islamist sympathies and claimed that they had informed French authorities the previous year that both brothers should be regarded as suspect due to their extreme religious views.[11]


The Financial Times described the attack, along with the vehicle-ramming attacks on 21 December in Dijon and 22 December in Nantes as "the first ISIS-linked attacks" in France.[12] According to The Globe and Mail, the attack was "apparently inspired by a video" circulated by ISIL calling on French Muslims to attack non-Muslims using vehicles.[13] According to David C. Rapoport of the University of California, Los Angeles, these three attacks can be understood in the context of the rise of the Islamic State in Syria. "In September 2014, after the U.S. organized its airstrikes, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman called on Muslims in Western countries to find an infidel and ‘smash his head with a rock’, poison him, run him over with a car or ‘destroy his crops’. Two months later a video released in French contained virtually the same message and a series of strange 'lone wolf' attacks followed on three consecutive days, the perpetrators declaring “'God is Great' in Arabic. Three policemen were stabbed in Joué-lès-Tours, and vehicles were used to run over eleven pedestrians in Dijon and ten in Nantes."[14]


This attack, and others, were described by CNN as part of a "drumbeat of terror" which struck France in the weeks preceding the Charlie Hebdo shooting.[9]

The attack was categorised as "religiously inspired terrorism" by Europol, as reported to them by France.[2] Following this attack, the 2014 Dijon attack and 2014 Nantes attack, which officially were deemed unrelated, the French government heightened the nation's security.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Changes in Modus Operandi of Islamic State (IS) revisited (Report). Europol. November 2016. p. 7.
  2. ^ a b c "EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2015". EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (Te-Sat). Europol: 18. 2015. ISBN 978-92-95200-56-2.
  3. ^ Lister, Tim; Sanchez, Ray; Bixler, Mark; O'Key, Sean; Hogenmiller, Michael; Tawfeeq, Mohammed (13 February 2017). "ISIS goes global: 143 attacks in 29 countries have killed 2,043". CNN.
  4. ^ "Timeline: How jihadists have targeted soldiers and police in France". thelocal.fr. AFP. 15 September 2017.
  5. ^ "French police shoot dead knifeman who was shouting Islamic slogans". The Daily Telegraph. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. ^ Lichfield, John (21 December 2014). "Man shot dead by police in jihadist attack in Tours". The Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  7. ^ Rodrigues, Jason (16 January 2015). "Terror attacks in Europe: the five danger zones". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  8. ^ "France Dijon: Driver targets city pedestrians". BBC News. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b Cruickshank, Paul (16 November 2015). "Drumbeat of terror precedes slaughter that shocks France and the world". CNN. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  10. ^ Mulholland, Rory (21 December 2014). "French knife attacker Bertrand Nzohabonayo was Islamic convert; Man shot dead by French police had changed name to Bilal and posted ISIL flag on Facebook". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Burundi arrests brother of suspect in French police attack". France 24. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  12. ^ Jones, Sam (15 July 2016). "France emerges as main focus for terrorists". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  13. ^ Martin, Patrick (15 July 2016). "History of lone-wolf vehicle attacks suggests risk of emulation is very rea". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  14. ^ Rapoport, David (2016). "Why Has The Islamic State Changed its Strategy and Mounted the Paris-Brussels Attacks?". Perspectives on Terrorism; Terrorism Research Initiative; University of Leiden. 10 (2). Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  15. ^ "France to deploy soldiers after spate of attacks". BBC News. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.