January 2015 Île-de-France attacks
|Part of Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)|
|Location||Charlie Hebdo shooting: 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert, 11th arrondissement of Paris, France|
Dammartin-en-Goële hostage crisis: Dammartin-en-Goële, France
Fontenay-aux-Roses shooting: Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
Montrouge shooting: Corner of Avenue Pierre Brossolette and Avenue de la Paix in Montrouge, France
Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket siege: in Porte de Vincennes, Paris, France
|Date||7 January 2015CET –9 January 2015 18:35 CET (UTC+01:00)11:30|
|Target||Charlie Hebdo employees, police officers, kosher grocery and citizens in and around Paris|
|Mass shooting, terrorism, hostage crisis|
|Perpetrators||Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, Amedy Coulibaly|
From 7 to 9 January 2015, terrorist attacks occurred across the Île-de-France region, particularly in Paris. Three attackers killed a total of 17 in four shooting attacks, and police then killed the three assailants. The attacks also wounded 22 other people. A fifth shooting attack did not result in any fatalities. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility and said that the coordinated attacks had been planned for years.
Attack events summary
The attacks began on 7 January, when two gunmen attacked the headquarters of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and wounding 12 others before escaping. On 9 January, police tracked the assailants to an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële, where they took a hostage. Another gunman shot a police officer on 8 January. He killed four more victims and took hostages on January 9 at a kosher supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes. French armed forces and police conducted simultaneous raids in Dammartin and Porte de Vincennes, killing all three attackers. After 12 January 2015 and for an indefinite period, as part of Operation Sentinelle, nearly 10,500 military personnel were deployed in France to secure 830 sensitive places (school, churches, press organizations, etc ).
At the time, the attacks comprised the deadliest act of terrorism in France since the 1961 Vitry-Le-François train bombing by the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), which was working against Algerian independence. These fatalities were surpassed ten months later by the November 2015 Paris attacks.
In December 2014, three attacks occurred in a span of three days in France.
The first attack occurred in Joué-lès-Tours, in which a knife-wielding man attacked a police station, injuring three officers before being killed. The second attack occurred in Dijon, in which a man used a vehicle to run over eleven pedestrians in several areas of the city before being arrested. The third attack occurred in Nantes, in which a vehicular attack at a Christmas market resulted in ten people being injured and one fatality. The driver was arrested after attempting suicide.
Although the French government concluded that the attacks were not related to each other, it heightened the nation's security and deployed 300 soldiers to patrol the nation's streets.
Charlie Hebdo shooting
The first and deadliest of the attacks occurred at 11:30 CET on January 7, 2015 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine. Two gunmen, later identified as Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, entered the building and fatally shot eight employees, two police officers, and two others, and injured eleven other people. The perpetrators fled the scene following the shooting. The primary motive behind the shooting is said to be the Charlie Hebdo cartoons making fun of numerous Islamic leaders. The shooting received widespread condemnation internationally and a National Day of Mourning was held in France on 8 January.
Fontenay-aux-Roses and Montrouge shootings
On 7 January, a few hours after the Charlie Hebdo attack, Amedy Coulibaly shot a 32-year-old man who was out jogging in Fontenay-aux-Roses, in a park next to Coulibaly's home. The man suffered injuries to his arm and back and as of 11 January was in critical condition. Five shell casings were found at the scene. Coulibaly was later linked to this shooting after the shell casings were compared to shell casings found at the Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket hostage crisis on January 9.
On 8 January, Coulibaly shot and killed municipal police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe at the junction of Avenue Pierre Brossolette and Avenue de la Paix in Montrouge (a suburb of Paris), and critically wounded a street sweeper. He reportedly was heard to declare allegiance to ISIS, a radical Muslim group at war in the Mideast.
Dammartin-en-Goële hostage crisis
On 9 January, the assailants of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, went to the office of Création Tendance Découverte, a signage production company on an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële. Inside the building were owner Michel Catalano and a male employee, 26-year-old graphics designer Lilian Lepère. During the siege, Catalano told Lepère to hide inside the refectory. Throughout the crisis, the perpetrators were unaware that Lepère was in the building. During the siege, a salesman named Didier went to the building on business, and Catalano left his office, where he had been hiding. Both were confronted by the perpetrators and asked to leave. Didier realized that they were terrorists and quickly alerted the authorities.
Catalano returned to the building and helped one of the perpetrators who had been injured in earlier gunfire. He was allowed to leave after an hour. After this, Lepère, who was hiding in a cardboard box, alerted authorities about the incident. The siege ended after nine hours at 16:30 after a combined force of French Armed Forces and police stormed the building and killed both Kouachi brothers, the assailants.
Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket siege
Also on 9 January, Amedy Coulibaly, armed with several assault weapons, entered a Hypercacher kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in east Paris. He killed four people and took several hostages. He had a female accomplice, speculated to be his wife, Hayat Boumeddiene. Coulibaly was reportedly in contact with the Kouachi brothers as the sieges progressed, and told police that he would kill hostages if the brothers were harmed.
When police stormed the grocery store, they gunned down Coulibaly. Fifteen hostages were rescued. Several people were wounded during the incident. Lassana Bathily, a Muslim shop assistant born in Mali, was hailed as a hero in the crisis for risking his life to hide people from the gunman in a downstairs refrigerator room and assisting police after he escaped from the market.
French media reported that hackers breached the security of French municipality websites during the Île-de-France attacks, changing them to display jihadist propaganda. The French Defense Ministry and security bodies reported that about 19,000 French websites were targeted in an unprecedented wave of denial-of-service attacks following the publication of Charlie Hebdo with a depiction of the sacred prophet Muhammad on the cover. The websites of French businesses, religious groups, universities, and municipalities were also hacked and altered to display pro-Islamist messages.
Incidents at mosques
In the week after the shooting, the organisation "L'Observatoire contre l'islamophobie du Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM)" called for strengthening of the surveillance of mosques. The French interior department reported that 54 anti-Muslim incidents were recorded in France in the first week after the shootings; this compared to 110 complaints in the first nine months of 2014. The 2015 incidents included 21 reports of shootings and blank grenade throwing at Islamic buildings including mosques; and 33 cases of personal threats and insults.[a] After news of the January 8 attack was publicized, three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque in Le Mans, west of Paris. A new bullet hole was found in its windows. In addition, a Muslim prayer hall in the Port-la-Nouvelle was the target of shooting, but no one was injured. An explosion took place at a restaurant affiliated with a mosque in Villefranche-sur-Saone. No casualties were reported.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to January 2015 Île-de-France attacks.|
- 2014 Tours police station stabbing
- 2015 TV5Monde cyber-attack
- List of Islamist terrorist attacks
- List of terrorist incidents in France
- November 2015 Paris attacks
- Terrorism in the European Union
- Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
- Incidents like attacks, threats and insults on mosques
- nbcnews.com: "mosque in Le Mans ... found an exploded grenade inside the mosque ... a mosque in Port-la-Nouvelle ... reported shots fired at a prayer room from the outside "
- huffingtonpost.com: "Two Muslim places of worship and a restaurant affiliated to another mosque were attacked Wednesday evening and Thursday morning local time. Three grenades were thrown at a mosque in Le Mans, west of Paris, and a bullet hole was found in one of the mosque's windows, AFP reported."
- reuters.com "In what justice officials said looked like revenge attacks, shots were fired overnight at a mosque in the western city of Le Mans".
- aljazeera.com: Mentions earlier attacks on Mosques before the shooting at Charlie Hebdo "Mosques have been burned in France, Sweden and Belgium, among other places."
- bloomberg.com: speculations that the terror attack at Charlie Hebdo will give a surge in attacks on muslims.
- usatoday.com: Speculations about higher tensions 
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