by Ari Lieberman
86-year-old French priest is murdered in latest Islamist outrage.
Still reeling from a truck attack in the French resort city of Nice on Bastille Day that left 84 dead and more than 300 wounded, France was hit yet again with Islamic terrorism, this time in the northern French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. The carnage began at approximately 9am on Tuesday when two knife-wielding Muslim terrorists, chanting their battle cry of “Allahuakbar,” burst into a church during morning mass and took hostages. They then proceeded to murder, Jacques Hamel, an 86-year-old priest by slitting his throat before being shot dead by police snipers. Another hostage, gravely wounded by the attackers, is reported to be hovering between life and death. The remaining three hostages survived unharmed.
The terrorists swore allegiance to ISIS and the group claimed responsibility for the attack through its propaganda outlet. At least one of the attackers was known to law enforcement. In 2015, he traveled to Turkey in an attempt to infiltrate into Syria and join an Islamist group but was apprehended by the Turks and shipped back to France. He did a brief jail stint before being released by French authorities. His liberal release terms allowed him to be unsupervised between the hours of 8.30am and 12.30pm. The Church attack occurred during those hours.
Tuesday’s outrage was eerily similar to a November 2014 attack on a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem. Two Muslim-Palestinian terrorists, armed with hatchets, meat cleavers and a pistol burst into the synagogue during morning services and brutally murdered four worshipers before being killed in an exchange with police. A policeman was also killed during the firefight and a fifth worshiper succumbed to his wounds a year later.
These attacks, whether occurring in Europe or Israel, are inspired and driven by the same radical, Islamo-fascist ideology. Those who perpetrate such bestial acts as well as those who incite them are devoid of any semblance of humanity. Enlightened Europe has still largely failed to grasp this concept, believing that rehabilitation for such individuals is still a viable option. It is not. Had French authorities understood this, at least one of the terrorists who carried out the cowardly attack would have been sitting in a damp cell or deported.
Pope Francis, whose liberal views on Muslim migrants are well known, condemned the atrocity. But The Pope is an enormously influential personality whose opinions carry extraordinary weight and persuasive moral authority. Yet he has inexplicably chosen to adopt a viewpoint that has Europe teetering on the brink and could very well lead to its demise. It is a virtual certainty that many of the Muslim migrants are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are members of ISIS or otherwise harbor extremist Islamist views and are just one degree of separation from full-fledged murderers. Indeed, many of the recent attacks, including last year’s Paris attacks that claimed the lives of 130, were perpetrated by individuals who claimed refugee status and sought asylum.
In the past eight months, Europe has been wracked by unprecedented violence carried out exclusively by Muslim terrorists.
- On November 13, 2015, ISIS terrorists struck multiple targets in Paris in a coordinated, well-planned assault killing 130 and wounding 350.
- On March 22, 2016, ISIS terror attacks at Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station claimed the lives of 32.
- On June 13, 2016, an ISIS terrorist stabbed a French police chief and his wife to death outside their home in Magnanville near the French capital.
- On July 14, 2016, a Muslim truck driver barreled his lorry down a promenade filled with pedestrians in the city of Nice, killing 84 and injuring more than 300.
- On July 18, 2016, a Muslim immigrant boarded a train in Germany and attacked passengers with an axe, seriously injuring five.
- On July 22, 2016, an Iranian shot and killed nine people in a Munich shopping mall
- On July 24, 2016, A Syrian refugee attacked a pregnant woman with a machete in the German city of Reutlingen, killing her and wounding three others.
- On July 24, 2016, A Syrian refugee detonated a bomb at an open-air music festival in the southern city of Ansbach, wounding 12.
In response to the surge in attacks, France has instituted a state of emergency and the EU has turned to Israel, recognized as a world leader in combatting terrorism, for assistance. Israeli counter-terrorism units have trained their European counterparts and Israeli intelligence has been instrumental in thwarting terror attacks on the European continent.
In 2015, Israeli intelligence tipped German authorities off to an imminent terror threat that forced the cancellation of a soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands that was scheduled to take place on November 17 at Hanover Stadium.
The EU is also seeking Israeli expertise in dealing with so-called lone wolf attacks. Israeli technology companies have developed specialized software to deal with the growing phenomena of individuals radicalized or otherwise influenced by online social media forums. Israel’s anti-terror cyber capabilities are very formidable and the EU recognizes this.
But while these measures may help in the short run, a longer term solution is required. Europe’s open door policy for Muslim migrants has turned into an unmitigated failure. Until the EU acknowledges this fact and takes the necessary measures to secure its borders, deport asylum seekers, stiffen penalties for incitement, and loosen absurd restrictions imposed on law enforcement, the dreadful attacks that we’ve witnessed in Western Europe in recent years will only intensify.
Lastly, the EU must recognize that appeasement represents the policy of a defeated people. The EU, led by France and Sweden, has kowtowed to the Palestinians who maintain an extremist ideology that parallels the Islamic State’s. And Just as ISIS celebrated the attack at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the Palestinians, of all political stripes and persuasions, celebrated the Har Nof massacre. Though their oratory may differ, Hamas, Fatah (the party of PA president, Mahmoud Abbas), ISIS, and Hezbollah are all cut from the same cloth and seek the same maximalist, genocidal goals.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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