A France stabbing claimed the lives of a police captain and his wife approximately 35 miles outside Paris on Monday evening. According to reports, the off-duty captain was fatally stabbed nine times outside his home as his wife and 3-year-old son were taken hostage in their residence by the assailant.
After a three-hour standoff, French police raided the house, killing the attacker. The woman was found dead, but authorities were able to rescue the little boy. President François Hollande condemned the attack as a “cowardly murder.” In an official statement, Hollande confirmed he will travel to the scene on Tuesday.
According to New York Times, sources linked to ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. This is the second attack during the Ramadan fast that was connected to the Islamic State. In the first, 49 people were gunned down in an Orlando, Florida, bar. Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the terrorist group, reportedly planned and carried out the brutal attack.
Terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have historically increased their attacks during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims and a devout time to pray and fast.
In 2015, an employee beheaded his boss and tried to blow up an American chemical and gas factory in Lyon during Ramadan. The man reportedly sent pictures of the beheading to a friend who was fighting for ISIS in Syria. The suspect killed himself in prison while awaiting trial.
Most recently, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who had not been seen in seven months, came out of hiding to call on lone wolves to carry out deadly assaults in the U.S. and Europe during the holy month.
In a statement, which was uploaded to several social media sites, the spokesman said that “the smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us.”
Several neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous, said the assailant in the France stabbing was chanting “Allahu Akbar,” which is Arabic for “God is Great,” during the brutal attack.
Authorities confirmed the 42-year-old police captain was stabbed at approximately 8:30 p.m. as he arrived at his home in northwest Paris. The attacker then barged into the man’s residence and held his wife, who worked at the interior ministry, hostage along with the couple’s son.
Elite police squads, who rushed to the scene, cordoned the neighborhood and cut off electricity to the police captain’s home.
Negotiators revealed the attacker told them that he was a soldier for ISIS. According to reports, the 25-year-old man was notorious for his radical views and was previously jailed on a terrorist conviction. Authorities confirmed the attacker spent three years in prison for recruiting jihadists to fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve commended the officers who ended the hostage situation with few casualties.
“The attacker was neutralized by raid forces who showed great composure and great professionalism and who saved the couple’s little boy. The inquiry opened by the justice authorities will establish the precise circumstances of this tragedy.”
BBC News reports the French government has implemented extreme security measures to avoid the type of attack that killed 130 people in Paris on November 13, 2015, when, in a series of assaults, ISIS fighters from France and Belgium struck a stadium, concert hall, and several bars and restaurants.
Despite the increased safety measures, the Islamic State continues to encourage home-grown extremism and lone wolf attacks that authorities find difficult to track. Although attacks like the France stabbing are still likely to occur, authorities throughout the world are taking measures to prevent as many terrorist attacks as possible.
[Photo by Thibault Camus/AP Images]