On Monday night, mere hours after a senior French police captain and his wife were brutally attacked and stabbed to death by a knife-wielding man in a small town northwest of Paris, the Islamic State made an announcement claiming responsibility for the murders. Police state that a young boy was rescued from the scene in Paris, while the attacker was also killed.
It has been reported that at the time of the attack, the police captain had been outside of his home in Magnanville, which is a distant suburb of about 35 miles west of Paris, when the unidentified attacker stabbed him. Witnesses say that the attacker seemed to yell “Allahu akbar” – God is greatest – while stabbing the French police officer. Debka File wrote that it seems that after stabbing the police officer the assailant entered the man’s home and took the police captain’s wife and 3-year-old son hostage. Both President François Hollande and the French Interior Ministry – via their website – released a statement informing the public of the tragic attack.
When a squad of elite police commandos arrived to storm the residence, they found the police captain’s wife had also been stabbed to death, though they did find the little boy unharmed inside. The attacker was shot and killed during the elite French police unit’s operation. The released statement also went on to say that the woman who was killed was an employee of the Interior Ministry.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, who is the spokesman for the interior minister, told reporters outside the scene about the rescued boy, his voice heavy with emotion.
“The toll is a heavy one.This commander, this police officer was killed by the individual… (and) we discovered the body of a woman. The assailant, the criminal was killed. Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He’s safe and sound. He was saved by police officers.”
Initially, the police could not immediately identify a motive for the attack, nor did they identify the attacker. It was widely speculated though that it was a part of the wave of jihadist violence against police officers and soldiers, more often than not involving a stabbing, that France and many other European countries have been experiencing.
A few hours after the attack, a news agency linked to the Islamic State, Amaq News Agency, released a statement in Arabic claiming to be behind the stabbing death of the police captain and his wife. The SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors jihadist websites, provided an English translation of the release.
“Islamic State fighter kills deputy chief of the police station in the city of Les Mureaux and his wife with blade weapons.”
According to the New York Times, Monday night’s attack marks the second attack during this year’s Ramadan that has been tied to the Islamic State. The first occurred in the United States, Sunday’s shooting at the nightclub in Orlando, Florida which left 50 persons dead and 53 more injured – making it the worst mass shooting in American history. The attack is believed to have been a hate crime committed against the LGBTQ+ community. Before the police killed the gunman, Omar Mateen, he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Ramadan is a holy month for those of the Muslim faith and is dedicated to prayer and fasting, but both Al Qaeda and now the Islamic State have become known for escalating their attacks during the time period. An Islamic State spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani had maintained silence for approximately seven months but broke that to give his annual pre-Ramadan speech, where he called upon the group’s followers to carry out attacks across Europe and America. An audio clip was uploaded to Telegram and Twitter on May 21 in which Adnani sought to empower and embolden ISIL followers.
“The smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us.”
The French police captain who was stabbed was identified by the French media as 42-year-old Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, an assistant chief in Les Mureaux, a district near the Paris suburb.
[Photo by AP Images]