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An Attack Waiting to Happen

Binyamin Rose

France searches for solutions to thwart homegrown jihadis.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three Orthodox synagogues are situated within the immediate vicinity of the fashionable French bistro, La Belle Equipe, on Rue de Charonne, which runs southwest to the Bastille section in the city center. On one stretch of this street, as many as 30 to 40% of the residents are shul-goers. During davening times on Shabbos, Rue de Charonne is full of Jewish passersby. All of them were safe and sound last Friday night at 9:36 p.m., including Jean-Yves Camus, who had returned home to that very street earlier in the day from Stockholm. It was exactly at 9:36 p.m. when the sixth of Friday night’s nine deadly terrorist attacks occurred at La Belle Equipe. Gunmen sprayed rifle fire from a black vehicle at diners on the bistro’s terrace, killing 19 and critically wounding nine others. “I heard the ambulance sirens,” said Camus, who is Mishpacha’s longstandingParis correspondent. “We had finished our Shabbos meal, and we knew something was wrong because there were so many sirens, but I thought maybe it was just a big car accident, so I didn’t see any need to go out and check.” By Shabbos morning, however, the bad news had spread fast. In a span of 33 minutes, three jihadist terror squads, with determination, know-how, and heavy weaponry, had slaughtered 129 people. Some 89 of them were murdered at the Bataclan concert hall long associated with Jewish causes and until recently owned by a Jewish family. The attack was startling, in part, because it marked the first appearance of suicide bombers on the streets ofParis. It was also the deadliest set of foreign attacks on French soil since the end of the eight-year war between France and Algeria (1954 to 1962), in which Algeria won its independence from its colonial patron.  

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