It’s an anniversary that will bring trauma back to an entire nation. This Friday it will be five years since the Islamist attacks on November 13, 2015. 130 people were murdered in Paris by three terrorist units of the “Islamic State” (IS), responsible for the worst series of attacks in French post-war history on the Stade de France and in the entertainment areas of the 10th and 11th arrondissements.
The horrible memories of that night are returning to the neighboring country as France has been the target of attacks by Islamist perpetrators for weeks.
“I have a bad dream,” history teacher Christophe Naudin told the Journal du Dimanche shortly before the birthday. Naudin, who has incorporated his experience of terror into a book, is one of the survivors murdered by the Kalashnikovs five years ago. Volleys of the terrorists in the music club “Bataclan.” He described the recurring stress in view of the anniversary as follows: “I am very tired and a bit short-tempered.”
Due to the corona pandemic, the French will have to refrain from large-scale commemorations on November 13 this year. The city of Paris has organized a recording of a concert in the capital’s philharmonic hall, which will be broadcast on Friday from 8.30 pm.
Five years ago, at the time, the spectators in the Stade de France were looking forward to the start of the international football match between France and Germany. Forty-five minutes later, the first suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the stadium and killed a passerby. Later, 90 people died in the “Bataclan” alone.
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The attacks were a turning point in the neighboring country at the time. The then head of state François Hollande first invoked an assistance clause in the EU treaty and called for military assistance from EU partners. In practice, this led to Great Britain – then still an EU member – set off Royal Air Force tornadoes to target IS positions in Syria.
Just a few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron evoked the “spirit of the nation” and appealed to the “resilience” of the French in the face of the dual challenge of Corona and terror. On Wednesday, an explosive device detonated in a non-Muslim cemetery in the Saudi port city of Jeddah during a World War I commemoration with the cooperation of French diplomats.
French President Emmanuel Macron evokes the “spirit of the nation” Photo: dpa
The Jeddah attack, which injured several people, is part of the latest series of Islamist attacks that began since the republishment of Mohammed cartoons in the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in September. In France, just as in the terrible year 2015, the highest level of terror warning is again in effect. In particular, the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty in a Parisian suburb and the murder of three people in a basilica in Nice have again shocked the neighboring country.
Islamic terrorism has never completely disappeared from France since November 13, 2015: in the last five years, a total of 20 attacks have been committed on French soil. In 19 cases, the perpetrators’ plans failed, in 61 cases they were thwarted by the investigative authorities, AFP news agency reported, citing security circles.