Posts Tagged ‘Allahu akbar’

Belgium: Shooting, stabbing in Liege leaves two police officers and a passer-by dead — Gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar”

May 29, 2018

A stabbing and shooting attack in the eastern Belgian city has left two police officers and a passer-by dead. Authorities have launched a terror investigation but the terror alert level remains unchanged.

A bomb squad arrives at the scene following a shooting in Liege, Belgium on Tuesday. Photo by Michel Tonneau/EPA-EFE

A gunman stabbed and shot dead two police officers before killing a bystander in the eastern city of Liege on Tuesday, Belgian media reported.

The country has been on alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people at Brussels airport and in the subway system in 2016.

Read more: Refugee child dies in Belgium after police chase

What we know so far

  • The attack happened at around 10.30 a.m. local time (08.30 UTC) near a cafe in the Boulevard d’Avroy, located in the administrative district of the city.
  • The attacker, who was armed with a knife, approached the two officers from behind and stabbed them several times, before seizing their weapons and shooting them dead, prosecutors said.
  • He then shot dead a 22-year-old man in a vehicle parked nearby.
  • La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying the gunman shouted Allahu Akbar — God is greatest in Arabic.
  • The shooter then fled to a nearby school where he took a woman hostage.
  • Broadcaster RTBF said the gunman was later shot dead by police.
  • At least two officers were injured in the subsequent shoot-out.
  • The Belga news agency reported that the children from the school were quickly moved to a safe area.

Police and ambulance are seen at the site where a gunman shot dead three people, two of them policemen, before being killed by elite officers, in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on May 29, 2018. (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Terror probe opened

Terrorism investigators took over the case within two hours of the shooting.

“There are elements that point in the direction that this is a terrorist act,” said Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutors office.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said on Twitter: “Our thoughts are with the victims of this horrible act. We are in the process of establishing an overview of exactly what happened.”

Terror nerves: Belgium remains on edge following several years of extremist Islamist activity, most notably the March 2016 suicide bombings on Brussels airport and a metro station which killed 32 people.

Read more: Belgium charges suspect over 2016 Brussels attacks

Extremist cells, previous shooting

In January 2015, police smashed a terror cell in the town of Verviers that was planning an attack on police. The cell had links to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the November 2015 Paris attacks.

Liege itself was the scene of a shooting in 2011, when a gunman killed four people and wounded more than 100 others before turning the gun on himself.

mm/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/prosecutors-link-deadly-liege-police-shooting-to-terror/a-43971801

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In this grab taking from video Tuesday, May 29, 2018, people run in the street after hearing gun shots, in Liege, Belgium. A gunman killed three people, including two police officers, in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday, a city official said. Police later killed the attacker, and other officers were wounded in the shooting. (Victor Jay via AP)

BBC News

What happened?

The shooting unfolded late morning on Tuesday near a cafe in the city centre.

Prosecutors said the man followed and attacked police with a knife, before taking a gun from them and opening fire.

He also shot dead a man who was sitting in the passenger seat of a passing car.

The gunman then fled to a nearby school and briefly took a hostage.

A map showing the site of a shooting in Belgium

Footage on social media showed people running to safety as several gunshots rang out. Children at the school were moved to safety.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel said he was following the situation closely and expressed his support for those caught up in the shooting.

What’s the wider situation?

Belgium remains on alert after a series of jihadist attacks in the country and in neighbouring France.

A Brussels-based cell was involved in the 2015 Paris attacks which left 130 people dead in several locations.

Brussels itself saw three suicide bombings in March 2016, with 32 people killed. Both the Paris and Brussels attacks were claimed by the Islamic State-group.

Later in 2016 a man attacked two police officers with machetes while shouting “Allahu Akbar” before being shot dead.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44289404

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Reuters

Gunman kills three before being shot dead: Belgian police

LIEGE, Belgium (Reuters) – A man killed two policewomen and a woman passer-by in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday, public broadcaster RTBF said, before being shot dead in an exchange of fire that sent people scattering and scurrying to take cover.

The city authorities confirmed the death toll.

The national crisis center, on high alert since past attacks by Islamic State in Paris and Brussels, said it was looking into whether terrorism might have been a motive for Tuesday’s attack in Belgium’s third city.

RTBF named the alleged assailant as a 36-year-old Belgian who had been released on parole from a prison near Liege, close to the German and Dutch borders, on Monday.

He was serving time for drug offences and classified as “unstable”, according to RTBF. It remained unclear how the incident, during which pupils at a nearby high school were moved to a place of safety, had unfolded.

“The children in the local schools are safe,” Liege city authorities said on Twitter, adding that apart from the two police officers the passenger in a car had been killed.

RTBF said the man may have attacked the police officers with a box-cutter and then seized one of their weapons.

La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying the gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar” — God is greatest in Arabic — and RTBF said investigators were looking into whether he might have been converted to Islam and radicalized in prison.

“(Terrorism) is one of the questions on the table, but for the moment all scenarios are open,” a spokesman for the crisis center told Reuters.

Federal prosecutors took over the investigation, a further indication that a terrorist motive was possible.

Prime Minister Charles Michel, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, said it was too early to say what had caused the incident.

RTBF said the attacker had a history of minor criminal convictions but was not on a list of possible violent extremists.

Two other police officers had been injured, a spokeswoman for the Liege public prosecutors office said.

Slideshow (18 Images)

Images on social media showed people scurrying for safety on Liege’s central boulevard d’Avroy with shots and sirens being heard in the background.

Liege, the biggest city in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region, was the scene of a mass shooting in 2011, when a gunman killed four people and wounded more than 100 others before turning the gun on himself.

Belgium has been on high alert since a Brussels-based Islamic State cell was involved in attacks on Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and Brussels in 2016 in which 32 died.

The Brussels IS cell had links to militants in Verviers, another industrial town close to Liege, where in early 2015 police raided a safe house and killed two men who had returned from fighting with radical Islamists in Syria.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, Alissa de Carbonnel and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Richard Balmforth

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Knifeman in Paris terror attack was flagged as potential threat — “Allahu akbar” has become synonymous with “A Muslim is going to try to kill you.”

May 13, 2018

The terrorist behind the deadly Paris knife attackwas a French citizen born in Russia’s Chechnya who was on the police’s radar for radicalism, authorities said Sunday.

Police identified Khamzat Azimov, 20, as the man who shouted “Allahu akbar” – God is greatest – before killing one person and slashing four others in the City of Light’s lively Opera district Saturday night, AFP reported.

He was shot dead by police, who first tried to stop him using a stun gun.

ISIS called the attacker one of its “soldiers.”

French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the assailant has been categorized as “fiche S” since 2016 – meaning officials had flagged him as being a possible threat to national security on a nationwide database of thousands of people suspected of links to radicalism.

Griveaux rejected criticism that the government was not doing enough to stop terrorist attacks in the country saying, “Zero risk does not exist.”

Azimov was born in the largely Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya but grew up in Strasbourg and became French when his mother obtained citizenship in 2010. Authorities were speaking to his parents Sunday and looking into whether he had any accomplices.

The man had no arrests on his records and didn’t know any of his victims, Interior Ministry spokesman Frederic de Lanouvelle told the Associated Press.

A photo verified by officials to Reuters show Azimov clad in black sweatpants with brown hair and a beard, laying bare-chested and bloodied in the street after being shot.

Witnesses of the attack described him as looking crazed.

“I was working in the restaurant and suddenly I heard a woman screaming … he came and attacked her,” said Jonathan, a waiter working nearby who wouldn’t give his last name. “That’s when the panic started, everyone started screaming and trying to reach our restaurant. … The attacker just kept walking around with his knife in his bloodied hands.”

“Police were quickly on the scene, in less than five minutes. They encircled him and he tried to attack them with a knife but they shot him down,” he told reporters.

When police arrived, officials said the man charged at them shouting, “I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you!”

The man he killed was a 29-years-old from Luxembourg and those wounded included two men in their 30s, one 26-year-old woman and one 54-year-old woman, who was gravely hurt, according to AFP.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to the victim’s families.

“France has once again paid the price of blood but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” he tweeted.

Since January 2015, 240 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in France, keeping the country on high alert.

The deadliest of the incidents took place in November 2015, when 130 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks.

This is the first time an assailant of Chechen origin has carried out a terrorist attack in France, the BBC reported.

Jihadist groups, including ISIS, have long operated in Chechnya and are actively recruiting fighters there to send to Syria and elsewhere.

Ramzan Kadyrov, who was nominated for the Chechen presidency by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007 has tried to squash ISIS recruitment but human rights activists say his brutal measures actually help radicalization.

With Post wires

FILED UNDER         
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https://nypost.com/2018/05/13/knifeman-in-paris-terror-attack-was-flagged-as-potential-threat/

One killed in Paris knife attack by man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’

May 13, 2018

An assailant shouting “Allahu akbar” killed a passer-by in a knife attack that also wounded four others in the heart of Paris late on Saturday before he was shot dead by police, French authorities said.

Emergency vehicles in Paris after a man stabbed several people on Saturday.Credit Thomas Samson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Story by Reuters

The country has been on high alert amid a series of attacks, commissioned or inspired by the Islamic State militant group, that has killed more than 240 people since 2015.

France “will not yield an inch to the enemies of freedom,” President Emmanuel Macron said after the attack, praising officers for “neutralizing the terrorist.”

The first call to police was placed at 8:47 p.m. local time (1847 GMT), officers were on the scene within five minutes, and the attacker was “neutralized” within nine minutes of that first call, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters.

Police union representative Rocco Contento told Reuters that the assailant, after attacking bystanders with a knife, rushed at police shouting “I will kill you, I will kill you!”

He was then shot by the officers.

The attack took place in the heart of the French capital in a district popular with tourists for its many restaurants and cafes, landmark retail stores, and the Paris opera.

Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the police’s anti-terrorism unit would launch an investigation, given the aggressor’s “mode of operation.” The identity of the attacker man was not yet known, officials said early on Sunday.

A picture seen by Reuters, which a source said showed the attacker, showed a bare-chested and bearded young man dressed in black trousers.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility via its Amaq news agency, but provided no proof for its claim.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called it an “odious” attack.

Witnesses described for French media how they saw the assailant running towards police officers who shot him.

“We were told to get into a bar quickly. I was curious and went outside again. Outside, I saw a person on the ground about 200 metres from me. The police, fire brigade and ambulance arrived,” one female witness told LCI television. “I could not see anything else after that.”

Authorities did not immediately reveal the identity of the victim.

TV footage showed forensic police at the scene.

(Corrects assailant’s shouts in headline and intro to “Allahu akbar”)

Additional reporting by Julie Carriat, Bate Felix and Brian Love; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Daniel Wallis

See also:

New York Times:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/12/world/europe/paris-knife-attack-stabbing-france.html

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BBC News

A knifeman has killed one person and wounded four in a suspected terror attack in central Paris, French officials say.

The attacker was then shot dead by police in the Opéra district. Witnesses say they heard him shout “Allah Akbar”.

So-called Islamic State (IS) later said one of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack on Saturday evening.

Judicial sources told French media the attacker was a man born in 1997 in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya.

The sources said his parents had been held for questioning.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the victim of the attack was a 29-year-old man, but gave no further details.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted (in French): “France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom.”

How did the events unfold?

The attacker began stabbing passers-by at about 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on the rue Monsigny.

Eyewitnesses described him as a young man with brown hair and a beard, dressed in black tracksuit trousers.

map

The man tried to enter several bars and restaurants but was blocked by people inside. Police arrived at the scene within minutes.

They first tried to stop the assailant with a stun-gun before shooting him dead.

An eyewitness, named as Gloria, told AFP news agency: “We didn’t know what was going on, we were quickly moved inside the bar, I went outside and I saw a man lying on the floor.”

Forensic officers work at the scene of the attack in Paris, France. Photo: 12 May 2018Image copyrightAFP
Image captionForensic officers have been examining the scene of the attack

Jonathan, a waiter at a local restaurant, told AFP: “I saw him with a knife in his hand. He looked crazy.”

He said a woman the attacker had stabbed ran into into the restaurant bleeding. The assailant tried to follow her inside, but was fended off and finally fled.

Two of the wounded in the attack are in a serious condition but do not have life-threatening injuries.

Later in the evening the IS group said it was behind the attack, in a brief statement posted on its news outlet.

How did French authorities react?

The anti-terrorism unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said police were on the scene five minutes after an emergency call and the attacker was killed “less than nine minutes later”.

Mr Collomb praised police for their “cool response”. He said his first thoughts were “with the victims of this heinous act”.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted (in French): “Tonight, our city was bruised.”

“I want to tell them that all Parisians are on their side,” she added.

Police and emergency services at the scene of the attack in Paris, France. Photo: 12 May 2018Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe Opera district is renowned for its nightlife

How has France been countering security threats?

France has been on high alert following a series of attacks. More than 230 people have been killed by IS-inspired jihadists in the past three years.

The deadliest violence occurred on 13 November 2015, when gunmen and suicide bombers struck various venues in Paris almost simultaneously – killing a total 130 people.

After winning last year’s elections, President Macron pledged that fighting Islamist terrorism would be his top foreign policy priority.

Defeating IS in Iraq and Syria must go hand-in-hand with anti-terror measures in Africa, he said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44096595

French Police Officer is National Hero After Islamic State Hostage Attack — Baltrame volunteered to take the place of a female hostage, left his phone on to help police

March 24, 2018

AFP and The Associated Press

© Via @gerardcollomb (Ministre d’État, Ministre de l’Intérieur) | Col. Arnaud Beltrame succumbed to his injuries Saturday, March 24, 2018.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-03-24

A French police officer who offered himself up to an extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage has died of his injuries, the interior minister said Saturday.

Col. Arnaud Beltrame was among the first officers to respond to the attack on the supermarket in the south of France on Friday. His death, announced by French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, raises the toll to four. The gunman was also killed, and 15 people were injured in the attack.

The gunman first hijacked a car and opened fire on police, then took hostages inside a supermarket. Baltrame volunteered to take the place of a female hostage and surreptitiously left on his cellphone so police outside could hear what was happening inside the store.

Officials said the decision was made to storm the building when they heard shots fired.

 

© France24 screengrab | Col. Arnaud Beltrame succumbed to his injuries Saturday, March 24, 2018.

Le lieutenant-colonel Arnaud Beltrame nous a quittés.
Mort pour la patrie.
Jamais la France n’oubliera son héroïsme, sa bravoure, son sacrifice.
Le coeur lourd, j’adresse le soutien du pays tout entier à sa famille, ses proches et ses compagnons de la @Gendarmerie de l’Aude.

French President Emmanuel Macron said investigators will focus on establishing how the gunman, identified by prosecutors as Moroccan-born Redouane Lakdim, got his weapon and how he became radicalized.

On Friday night, authorities searched a vehicle and a building in central Carcassonne.

Lakdim was known to police for petty crime and drug dealing. But he was also under surveillance and since 2014 was on the so-called “Fiche S” list, a government register of individuals suspected of being radicalized but who have yet to perform acts of terrorism.

Despite this, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said there was “no warning sign” that Lakdim would carry out an attack.

A woman close to Lakdim was taken into custody over alleged links with a terrorist enterprise, Molins said. He did not identify her.

The four-hour drama began at 10:13 a.m. when Lakdim hijacked a car near Carcassonne, killing one person in the car and wounding the other, the prosecutor said.

Lakdim then fired six shots at police officers who were on their way back from jogging near Carcassonne, said Yves Lefebvre, secretary general of SGP Police-FO police union. The police were wearing athletic clothes with police insignia. One officer was hit in the shoulder, but the injury was not serious, Lefebvre said.

Lakdim then went to a Super U supermarket in nearby Trebes, 60 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Toulouse, shooting and killing two people in the market and taking an unknown number of hostages. Special police units converged on the scene while authorities blocked roads and urged residents to stay away.

 

Armed gendarmes stand outside the Super U after their assault Friday on the supermarket where a gunman was holding hostages in Trebes, southern France.Guillaume Horcajuelo / EPA

 

He shouted “Allahu akbar! (God is great)” and said he was a “soldier of the Islamic State” as he entered the Super U, where about 50 people were inside, Molins said.

“We heard an explosion – well, several explosions,” shopper Christian Guibbert told reporters. “I went to see what was happening and I saw a man lying on the floor and another person, very agitated, who had a gun in one hand and a knife in the other.”

Three dead after jihadist goes on shooting rampage in southern France
French security and police gather outside the Super U supermarket in the town of Trebes. Photo: AFP

During the standoff, Lakdim requested the release of Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving assailant of the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead. The interior minister suggested, however, that Abdeslam’s release wasn’t a key motive for the attack.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the attacker was responding to the group’s calls to target countries in the U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against IS militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014. France has been repeatedly targeted because of its participation.

France has been on high alert since a series of extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 200 people.

(AP)

See also:

The French officer who offered himself for a hostage now fights for his life, but his bravery saved lives

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/23/europe/france-trebes-intl/index.html

The FBI Was Warned About A School Shooting Threat From A YouTube User Named Nikolas Cruz In September

February 15, 2018

In September, a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz left a comment on a video stating, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The video’s creator alerted both the FBI and YouTube.

Posted on 
Worried parents question law enforcement officers outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida following a school shooting that left at least 17 people dead Wednesday.

Mpi04 / MPI04 / MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx

Worried parents question law enforcement officers outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida following a school shooting that left at least 17 people dead Wednesday.

Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named Nikolas Cruz.

The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment to the bureau’s tips account. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.

Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.

“They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”

FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people.

In an email on Sept. 24, Ben Bennight alerted the FBI to a "school shooting threat" made by a YouTube user named nikolas cruz.

In an email on Sept. 24, Ben Bennight alerted the FBI to a “school shooting threat” made by a YouTube user named nikolas cruz.

In the wake of the deadly shooting, questions have emerged over whether officials and acquaintances had missed warning signs about the alleged shooter, a former student who was expelled from the high school last year for disciplinary reasons.

Classmates, relatives, and neighbors have described Cruz as a troubled “loner” who often talked about guns and flaunted his obsession with weapons on his social media accounts. And Jim Gard, a math teacher at the school, told the Miami Herald that the teen had previously been identified as a potential threat to other students.

Though his name matches the YouTube user flagged in September, FBI officials would not say whether they have confirmed that the account belonged to Cruz.

But around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday — about 30 minutes after Cruz was taken into custody by police in Broward County — Special Agent Ryan Furr with the FBI’s Miami field office called Bennight and left him a voicemail.

“I think we spoke with you in the past about a complaint that you made about someone making a comment on your YouTube channel,” the agent said in the message, which Bennight provided to BuzzFeed News. “I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that’s come up, if you wouldn’t mind giving me a ring.”

A few hours later, Bennight said, FBI agents in Mississippi visited him again in person, pressing for more information about the YouTube user Nikolas Cruz.

“They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn’t. I don’t,” Bennight said. “Then they left.”

When contacted by BuzzFeed News, Furr declined to comment on the call, and directed questions about the shooting to the FBI’s public affairs office. The office did did not respond to multiple calls or emails Wednesday night.

The Nikolas Cruz YouTube account remained active until Wednesday evening. It has since been deleted, however, due to “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy on violence.” YouTube did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ questions about the account.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/briannasacks/the-fbi-was-warned-about-a-school-shooting-threat-from?utm_term=.qbAg3mG4WX#.vnWbxAy1e7

Related:

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Alleged Florida shooter appeared to flaunt weapons on Instagram

February 15, 2018

Image may contain: 1 person

Nikolas Cruz

The gunman behind the Florida school massacre appeared to be feuding with people on Instagram — where he posted pics of his “arsenal” and claimed shooting was “group therapy,” according to reports.

An account purportedly belonging to suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, features a number of disturbing images, including shots of him holding up guns and knives — and captions making fun of Muslims.

The page was taken down after the deadly shooting, but screenshots were sent to The Post on Wednesday night by people who know the young man.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Nikolas Cruz AP

In almost every picture, he can be seen wearing a black shirt or scarf over his face, to conceal his identity.

“F–k youuuuuuuuuuuuu allllll,” Cruz wrote in one caption, from Dec. 2015.

In other posts, viewed by the Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald, the high school student appears to talk about background checks and buying a rifle — which he planned to outfit with a scope “for hunting,” the papers report.

One photo in particular shows a used paper target from a shooting range and the words “Group Therapy” underneath.

“It really does f–king work,” the caption said.

A post from 2015 — featuring a photo definition for the Arabic phrase Allahu Akbar, which means “God is Great” — appeared to mock Muslims. It contained at least one slur.

Another post, from January 2016, shows an advertisement for a pump action shotgun.

“I plan on getting this but I need more information on it,” the caption said. “If someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background checks please to god let me know.”

The FBI has set up a website for social media users to report any other photos or videos that may be related to Wednesday’s massacre.

Cruz’ friends and former classmates have confirmed to multiple media outlets that the aforementioned IG page — @cruz_nikolas — is, in fact, his.

“Everything he posts is about weapons,” said one student, who spoke to ABC News.

“It’s sick.”

https://nypost.com/2018/02/14/alleged-florida-shooter-appeared-to-flaunt-weapons-on-instagram/

Five Men From Argentina; Friends Killed in New York Terror Attack

November 1, 2017

Police have arrested a man who allegedly drove a pickup truck along a busy bicycle lane, killing eight people. The terror strike has claimed the lives of five Argentinean tourists and injured at least one German citizen.

Eight people died and 11 others were seriously injured on Tuesday after a man driving a pickup truck plowed through people along a busy bicycle lane in New York City before hitting a school bus, officials said.

The incident occured in lower Manhattan shortly after 3 p.m. local time (1900 UTC) near West Side Highway and Chambers Street. The driver, a 29-year-old man, was shot and then taken into custody by police. Police opened fire after he exited the rental truck armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun. He is expected to survive.

US media identified the driver as Sayfullo Saipov, saying he was an Uzbek national who arrived in the US in 2010. The police said that there were no “outstanding” suspects. Notorious tabloid New York Post said he was an Uber driver, which was later confirmed by the ride hailing company itself.

The truck drove south on the path striking multiple people. 8 people were killed, 11 have serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Read more:

– Facebook, Google, Twitter agree on plan to counter Islamist terror

– Boston man convicted of plotting to behead blogger for ‘Islamic State’

– EU introduces new measures to combat ‘low-tech’ terrorism

Who were the victims?

Five of the victims killed in the attack came from Argentina, the country’s foreign ministry confirmed. They were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

The Belgian foreign minister said a Belgian national was also killed in the attack. At least one German woman was reported injured. Two adults and two children traveling in the school bus at the time of the crash were also among the injured.

Act of terror

Multiple bikes are crushed along a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York, (Reuters/B. McDermid)Witnesses described a scene of panic with people screaming in fear and the path strewn with bodies

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and ordered newly tightened security checks on immigrants be strengthened even further. He indicated the incident was a terror attack linked to “Islamic State.”

“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” the president wrote on Twitter.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!

Read more: US restarts stricter refugee program, 11 countries still banned

Trump also released a statement expressing thanks to the first responders “who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”

Anonymously quoted police officials told the Associated Press the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar” after exiting the vehicle.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill told journalists that the method of attack and the suspect’s statement enabled officials “to label this a terrorist event.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack, saying there was no evidence of a wider plot.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security said it was an “apparent act of terrorism.”

aw, amp/rt (Reuters, AP, dpa)

Related:

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Ariel Erlij, third from left, poses with friends taking part in a high school reunion. Five members of the group, including Erlij, were killed when a terrorist rammed a truck into pedestrians in New York, October 31, 2017. (Facebook)

Among the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center in New York were five Argentinian men, one of whom was a Jewish businessman, Ariel Erlij.

They were part of a group of eight friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation with a trip to New York City.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-man-among-5-argentinians-killed-in-new-york-attack/

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Five Argentinian men celebrating school reunion among eight killed

Five friends from Argentina were on holiday celebrating their 30th school reunion when they were killed in a terror attack in New York City.

Key points:

  • Five people killed in New York City attack were celebrating school graduation anniversary
  • US media names Sayfullo Saipov as suspected attacker
  • Eight people were killed and 11 injured when a rented ute was driven into cyclists and pedestrians

Eight were killed and 11 injured after a rented ute was driven into cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path near the World Trade Centre memorial.

The suspect, who has been identified in US media reports as Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, was shot by police and taken to a local hospital but his condition was not immediately released.

According to Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, the five men were visiting New York as part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their school graduation.

A sixth member of the group was among those hospitalised after the attack.

The incident marked the greatest loss of life from a suspected terrorist attack in New York since suicide hijackers crashed jetliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, killing more than 2,600 people.

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VIDEO: Map shows where the Manhattan ute attack unfolded (ABC News)

The five Argentine citizens killed in the attack were identified by their home government as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi, all from the city of Rosario.

According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, the men were aged in their late 40s.

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VIDEO: Aerial vision shows the aftermath of the terror attack in Manhattan (Image: Reuters/Andrew Kelly) (ABC News)

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said the five victims travelled to New York to celebrate graduating from Polytechnic College of Rosario 30 years ago.

The ministry said it stood, “with the families in this terrible moment of deep pain, which is shared by all Argentines”.

Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said he was shocked by the events in New York.

La Nacion reported the friends had taken pictures at the airport before embarking on their trip.

Mr Erlij organised the trip but did not catch the same flight as his friends because of a setback.

He got on a plane the day after instead and met his friends in New York.

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Reynders, also confirmed in a tweet one of the dead was Belgian.

Attacker shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’

Witnesses said the attacker caused bloody scenes, with bodies and mangled bikes strewn along the path.

After hitting the pedestrians, the ute collided with a school bus and injured two adults and two children.

The driver then got out of the ute and appeared to be holding two weapons, but officials said they were paintball and pellet guns.

He yelled “Allahu Akbar!”, which is Arabic for “God is great”.

The driver was shot in the abdomen and taken into police custody.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, described it as a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

US President Donald Trump tweeted it “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person”, before adding “we must not allow ISIS [the Islamic State group] to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere”.

No terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility for the bloodshed.

Ride-sharing company Uber confirmed Mr Saipov was a driver and had passed a background check.

Uber is “aggressively and quickly” reviewing his history with the company and will pass on information to investigators.

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VIDEO: Emergency crews respond after NYC truck incident (Photo: AP) (ABC News)

ABC/wires

Eight Killed in Terror Attack in New York

November 1, 2017

Police say at least a dozen were injured Tuesday afternoon when a driver mowed down pedestrians and bikers

 

Witness Video Shows Alleged Attacker in Downtown New York
Cellphone video shows the alleged driver of a truck that struck pedestrians in lower Manhattan, shortly before he was shot by police. Video/Photo: Tawhid Kabir
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Eight people were killed and at least a dozen injured on Tuesday when a truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a lower Manhattan bike path in what officials said was a “cowardly act of terror,” the deadliest attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.

The driver shouted “God is great” in Arabic when he got out of his truck and was confronted by police, a law-enforcement official said.

He was identified by officials as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old from Tampa, Fla., who came to the U.S. in 2010 and is originally from Uzbekistan. He is in custody at a local hospital after he was shot in the abdomen by an officer, police said.

A law-enforcement official said police found handwritten notes near the truck saying that the suspect carried out the attack in the name of ISIS.

The terror unfolded shortly after 3 p.m., when the suspect drove a flatbed pickup truck rented from Home Depot for nearly a mile along a picturesque stretch of a bike path along the Hudson River, leaving behind mangled bikes and bodies.

The carnage ended at an intersection in Tribeca near the World Trade Center, where the truck smashed into a small school bus. Then the suspect exited his truck, brandishing a paintball gun and pellet gun before being shot by a New York Police Department officer.

“This was an act of terror,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “A particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”

Since the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, there have been 23 incidents of radical Islamist-motivated attacks that have resulted in 119 fatalities, through the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shooting in June 2016, according to an April report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The number of fatalities caused by domestic violent extremists has ranged from one to 49 in a given year, according to the GAO report.

Sayfullo Saipov, seen in 2016.Photo: St. Charles County Department of Corrections/ZUMA Press

What We Know About the Suspect

Sayfullo Saipov

  • Age: 29
  • Background: Originally from Uzbekistan, he came to the U.S. in 2010. Mr. Saipov has lived in several places across the U.S., and Uber confirmed he worked as a driver for the company.

Many of the incidents have involved lone-wolf attackers inspired by Islamic State, allowing the terror group to become an international threat without always directing attacks itself.

President Donald Trump said in a Twitter message Tuesday: “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person.”

Later, he indicated there could be changes to U.S. immigration policy. “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program,” he said in a tweet Tuesday evening. “Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence that Tuesday’s incident was part of a wider plot. He directed state agencies to increase security at high-profile locations around the state, including subways, bridges and airports, though NYPD officials said there was no information to suggest that there was a continuing threat.

Asked if the suspect had previously been on authorities’ radar, a law-enforcement official familiar with the investigation said, “An associate was and is known to authorities,” but declined to provide further details.

The suspect worked as a driver for Uber Technologies Inc., the ride-hailing company confirmed.

“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence,” an Uber spokeswoman said. “Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance.”

The city’s fire commissioner, Daniel Nigro, said the deaths and serious injuries were caused by the truck, rather than the paintball or pellet guns. Mr. Nigro said six of the eight people killed in the attack were male and were pronounced dead at the scene, and two more were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Among the dead were five friends visiting New York City from Rosario, Argentina, according to a statement posted on the Twitter account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. Another member of the group remains in NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, according to the statement.

In a tweet, Didier Reynders, the deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister for Belgium, confirmed that one of the victims was from Belgium. Three other Belgians were hospitalized, he said.

Stuyvesant High School and the Borough of Manhattan Community College are among the schools located in the area; most were temporarily locked down until the scene was secured in the early evening, just hours ahead of the city’s popular Halloween parade, which attracts thousands to the west side of Manhattan not far from where the incident occurred.

Photos From Scene of New York Terror Attack

Officials say many are dead and at least a dozen injured in what New York’s mayor says ‘was an act of terror’

A New York Police Department officer stands over the covered body of a victim near World Trade Center memorial in New York, where a driver struck and killed several people on Tuesday.Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path in lower Manhattan. Several people were killed and nearly a dozen were injured in the incident. ‘This was an act of terror,’ says New York’s mayor.Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

Emergency crews at the scene of the incident on West Street in lower Manhattan.Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Police investigating a rented Home Depot truck used in the attack surround a white Toyota minivan in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in Passaic, N.J.Julio Cortez/Associated Press

First responders tend to a victim after the incident in New York.Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

First responders help a woman injured on the bike path.Brendan McDermid/Reuters

An aerial view shows the bike path.Mark Kauzlarich for The Wall Street Journal

Pedestrians run off the street after a motorist mowed down people in lower Manhattan.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Authorities investigate the area near a damaged school bus in lower Manhattan.Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Heavily armed police guard as people gather for the Greenwich Village Halloween parade.Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Mr. de Blasio said at the news conference that the city would deploy additional officers Tuesday evening and in the days ahead, including heavy-weapon teams and sand trucks that are used to block vehicles.

“This is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.

The police officer who shot the driver was identified by a city council member as Officer Ryan Nash. “Here’s the hero cop the world should be talking about,” Councilman Joe Borelli, a Staten Island Republican, said on Twitter.

A senior law-enforcement official said the driver entered New York City via the George Washington Bridge, more than 10 miles from the attack site.

Over the past two years, Mr. O’Neill said, police have made efforts to prevent vehicle attacks such as the ones that occurred in France and Germany. Mr. O’Neill said there are 148 truck-rental locations in the area and the NYPD has done extensive outreach to those businesses to help prevent attacks.

John Miller, deputy commissioner of the NYPD’s counterterrorism and intelligence unit, said in June that there have been about 25 terrorist plots against New York City since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, most of which were thwarted. Common targets included Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and John F. Kennedy International Airport, he said.

The lower Manhattan neighborhood was swarmed with police and trick-or-treaters late in the afternoon. Many children were in costume with their parents. Police blocked off the West Side Highway south of 14th Street and ushered pedestrians away from the scene. Traffic in the area was at a standstill.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene Tuesday afternoon as people struggled to figure out the source and nature of the threat.

Bill Tsapalas, 55, was working from home when he heard “loud pops” just after 3 p.m. Mr. Tsapalas’s apartment overlooks the West Side Highway, and he said when he got to the window he saw people running east along Chambers Street and police running west.

Ezequiel Gonzalez said he was walking west on Chambers Street toward the West Side Highway when a commotion and other pedestrians urged him to stand back. The 18-year-old Columbia University freshman said he saw a truck with a large dent and a white sheet in the street that he believed was a body bag.

Tawhid Kabir, a 20-year-old student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, said he witnessed the final moments when the suspect was shot by police.

Investigators inspect a truck following the incident in lower Manhattan.Photo: Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

“He was scared, and he was just running randomly in the street with the two guns,” said Mr. Kabir of the suspect and the imitation weapons police later said he was carrying. “When I heard the shot, then I saw him down on the ground.”

Mr. Cuomo told New Yorkers to go on living their lives.

“We’re not going to let them win,” he said at the briefing. “Live your life and don’t let them change or deter us in any manner or form.”

Related

  • New York’s Halloween Parade Goes On With Tighter Security
  • Attack Underlines Central Asia as Growing Source of Terrorism
  • Vehicles Becoming Favored Terrorist Attack Weapon (March 23)

—Leslie Brody, Mike Vilensky and Shelby Holliday contributed to this article.

Write to Melanie Grayce West at melanie.west@wsj.com, Mara Gay at mara.gay@wsj.com, Zolan Kanno-Youngs at Zolan.Kanno-Youngs@wsj.com and Kate King at Kate.King@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-least-6-die-in-lower-manhattan-incident-1509483701

Related:

http://www.cetusnews.com/news/Eight-Killed-in-Terror-Attack-in-New-York.H1lDLDI0-.html

Suspected terrorist truck attack kills eight on New York bike path –“Allahu akbar”

November 1, 2017

Investigators inspect a truck following a shooting incident in New York on October 31, 2017. (AFP)

This handout photograph obtained courtesy of the St. Charles County Police Department on October 31, 2017 shows Saifullah Saipov, the suspectecd driver who killed eight people in New York on October 31, 2017.

Law enforcement officers secure an area following an incident in New York on October 31, 2017. (AFP)

Law enforcement officers secure an area following an incident in New York on October 31, 2017. (AFP)

NEW YORK: A pickup driver killed eight people in New York on Tuesday, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians before striking a school bus, in the city’s first deadly attack blamed on terror since September 11, 2001.

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Eleven others were seriously hurt when the truck driver struck in broad daylight just blocks from the 9/11 Memorial, on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, close to schools as children and their parents geared up to celebrate Halloween.
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“This was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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Law enforcement sources identified the perpetrator as Sayfullo Saipov, 29. He was arrested in Missouri on a traffic fine last year.
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The Uzbek citizen living in Tampa, Florida had recently been staying in New Jersey, where the truck was rented, reports said.
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President Donald Trump denounced him as “very sick” and a “deranged person.”
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Confronting what could be the most serious terror-related incident since taking power less than a year ago, the Republican commander-in-chief announced that he had ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up his “extreme vetting program” on foreign travelers to the country.

I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!

The United States “must not” allow Daesh terrorists to “return, or enter” the country after being defeated overseas, Trump said, albeit as New York officials declined to link the assailant to a specific group.

We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!

Police said he drove a rented Home Depot pickup down a bike and pedestrian lane, where tourists and New Yorkers were out enjoying brilliant fall sunshine, at 3:05 p.m. (1905 GMT), before colliding with a school bus, wounding two adults and two children.

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The suspect then exited the vehicle brandishing weapons that were subsequently identified as a paintball gun and pellet gun, before being shot in the abdomen by a police officer and taken into custody, police said.
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Television footage showed the mangled wreckage of the pickup truck, bicycles crushed to smithereens and bodies wrapped in sheets and lying on the ground.
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Eight people were killed, six of them men who died on the spot, and two others pronounced dead in hospital. Eleven other people were taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, officials said.
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Five Argentines were among the dead, the Foreign Ministry said. Brussels said a Belgian woman was killed and three other Belgians were wounded.
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European allies and Mexico’s president condemned the attack. “Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Our fight for freedom unites us more than ever.”
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US media said the suspect shouted “Allahu akbar” and police chief James O’Neill confirmed that he made a statement when he exited the vehicle.
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“If you just look at the M.O. of the attack, that’s consistent with what’s been going on. So that along with the statement has enabled us to label this a terrorist event,” O’Neill said.
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He was later operated on and was expected to survive, US networks reported.
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The FBI and New York police urged members of the public to come forward with any information that could assist the investigation, which the mayor said preliminary information suggested was a lone wolf assault.
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The attacker struck in TriBeCa, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. In the aftermath of the attack, worried parents and children were seen being evacuated from a nearby public school.
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“There was a smell of gunshots,” said John Williams, 22, who arrived at the scene 30 seconds afterward en route to the park. “There was a man lying on the ground. It looked as if he’d been shot.”
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“When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down,” a witness who gave his name only as Frank told local television network NY1.
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Heavily-armed police fanned out across the city of 8.5 million, home to Wall Street, Broadway and one of the biggest tourist draws in the United States.
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Security was stringent at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems, with bag searches at Manhattan’s Grand Central transit hub and police stationed along a subway platform in Brooklyn.
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A planned Halloween parade went ahead as scheduled, albeit under tight security and a large police presence, as State Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the new World Trade Center to be lit red, white and blue “in honor of freedom and democracy.”
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Tuesday’s attack was the first deadly terror-related incident in the US financial and entertainment capital since the Al-Qaeda hijackings brought down the Twin Towers, killing more than 2,700 people on 9/11.
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It came 12 months after a pipe bomb exploded in September 2016 in Chelsea, lightly wounding 31 people. An American of Afghan descent, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, was convicted of terrorism on October 16 in relation with that attack.
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In May, a US Navy veteran plowed a car into pedestrians in Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 other people in what de Blasio said was not terror-related.
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On May 1, 2010 Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad planted a car bomb in Times Square that failed to explode. He was arrested after boarding a flight to the Middle East and sentenced to life behind bars.

French MPs to vote on tough anti-terror law

October 2, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Loïc VENNIN | French soldiers stand guard outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

PARIS (AFP) – French lawmakers will vote Tuesday on a tough new counter-terrorism law designed to end the country’s two-year state of emergency which critics say expands police powers at a cost to civil liberties.

The vote comes following a string of attacks in France since 2015 and just two days after more bloodshed in the southern port city of Marseille when a suspected Islamist knifeman killed two women.

While Interior Minister Gerard Collomb defends the bill as a “lasting response to a lasting threat”, it has come under fire from the French left and human rights groups.

“What makes us angry is that it’s a state of emergency that would become permanent and roll back our freedoms,” said Christine Lazerges, the head of the National Consultative Committee on Human Rights, a state body.

The law, designed to replace the state of emergency that France has been under since the November 2015 Paris attacks, would come into force on November 1 if approved by both houses of parliament.

The lower house will vote Tuesday on the bill which will give authorities the power to place people under house arrest, order house searches and ban public gatherings without the prior approval of a judge.

– Marseille attack –

The state of emergency was meant to be temporary but was extended six times for various reasons, such as the need to protect major sporting and cultural events, as well as presidential and parliamentary elections earlier this year.

The vote comes after a knifeman stabbed two women to death on Sunday at the main train station in Marseille shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”). He was shot dead by soldiers.

The Islamic State claimed the attacker was one of its “soldiers”, though a source close to the investigation told AFP no solid evidence linked him to the group.

The stabbings bring to 241 the number of people killed in jihadist attacks in France since January 2015, while Collomb said last month that 12 planned attacks have been foiled since the start of the year.

In an environment of widespread fear about Islamist violence, extensions of the state of emergency have met with little public opposition, with critics of the new law limited to the hard left and human rights groups.

“Gradually our public freedoms… are being eroded,” said lawmaker Alexis Corbiere of the hard-left France Unbowed party.

Last week two UN experts raised fears that the bill could see security forces discriminate against Muslims and undermine France’s standing as a beacon for human rights.

“The normalisation of emergency powers has grave consequences for the integrity of rights protection in France, both within and beyond the context of counter-terrorism,” UN human rights expert Fionnuala Ni Aolain warned.

– Too harsh or too ‘soft’? –

Under international human rights standards, “the duration of the state of emergency must be time-bound, revised regularly, and meet the criteria of necessity and proportionality,” she wrote in a letter co-signed by Michel Forst, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights defenders.

In their letter, addressed to the French authorities, they said the bill’s “vague definition of terrorism” deepened fears that “emergency powers could be used in an arbitrary way”.

Some lawmakers from the French right-wing Republicans party as well as the leader of the far-right National Front have criticised the bill for not going far enough.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, calling the proposed legislation “soft”, said it could not be considered “the great law to eradicate Islamist terrorism”.

Interior Minister Collomb said last week the bill “aims to guarantee the fullness of our individual and collective freedoms but promises that all measures will be taken to ensure the security of the French people.”

Macron, whose centrist party has a comfortable parliamentary majority, has promised that the legislation, which was approved by the Senate in July, would be reviewed in 2020.

burs-lv-gd/adp/ser

by Loïc VENNIN