On Friday, a 49-year old civil servant named Stéphanie, mother of two girls aged 13 and 18, stepped out of the police station where she worked to change her parking disc. (Disc parking is a system of allowing time-restricted free parking through display of a parking disc or clock disc showing the time at which the vehicle was parked.)
Returning to the police station, the woman was followed by her assailant who stabbed her twice in the throat while crying “Allah Akbar!” Minutes later, two people were dead: the 49-year old victim and the assailant, shot by a police officer.
He was a 36-year-old Tunisian national, arrived in France in 2009 in an irregular situation but since regularized.
What, exactly, is “an irregular situation”?
Concretely, a person in an irregular situation is someone who arrived in France illegally (clandestinely) or who remains in France beyond the validity of his or her residence permit at the end of a tourist entry or visa.
Located on the outskirts of Paris, the town where the terrorist attack occurred is Rambouillet, in the department called the Yvelines. The Yvelines is no stranger to terrorist attacks.
On June 13, 2016, Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and Jessica Schneider, two police officers, were stabbed to death in their home, in front of their 3-year-old son. The assailant claimed responsibility on behalf of the Islamic State.
It is also in the Yvelines where the history and geography teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded last year on October 16, 2020. In addition to decapitating Paty, the killer Abdoullakh Anzorov inflicted a number of wounds to his head, abdomen, and upper limbs. He could be heard shouting “Allah Akbar!” during the attack.
Minutes after the murder, an account named @Tchetchene_270 (French: Chechen 270), identified by prosecutor Jean-François Ricard as belonging to Abdoullakh Anzorov, posted an image of Paty’s severed head on Twitter. The photo was accompanied by the message: “In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful … to Macron, leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hellhounds who dared to belittle Muhammad, calm his fellow human beings before a harsh punishment is inflicted on you.”
(Juliet in Paris says – I know this is disturbing, but I posted it purposely. People need to know.)
What do the two jihadists have in common?
The commonality of the two jihadists is that they were both recipients of resident and/or refugee status granted to them by the French government.
The 18-year-old who decapitated Samuel Paty was a Russian refugee of Chechen ethnicity. It should be known that Chechens have a long history of conflict and persecution in Russia. In 1994 there was a near-genocidal repression of them in Chechnya. Anzorov came to France as a six-year-old boy. Offering shelter and safety, the French government granted refugee status and ten-year renewable residence cards to his family.
The Tunisian who murdered the French police employee this afternoon arrived in France in 2009. Offering residence status and the chance to work, the French government granted him an exceptional residence permit in 2019.
But the French people want to know: how is it possible that he escaped identity checks and managed to live and work in France for ten years without papers (undocumented)?
Later, these two individuals became radicalized. Targeting symbols of the French Republic – Education and Law Enforcement – they carried out their heinous acts. Did they work alone or are they part of a network? Since 2017, thirty-two terrorist attempts have been thwarted in this country including two major ones in 2020.
Regrettably, these recent attacks will only serve to strengthen Marine Le Pen’s candidacy for President next year. Because another attack is not a question of “if” but “when”.
Watch this edifying TED TALK called Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist, over a million views –
(294) Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist | Manwar Ali – YouTube