One French police officer was shot dead and several were injured on Wednesday evening while on duty on the Champs Elysees. The Islamic State group (IS) have claimed the attack, naming the attacker, Abu Yusseff, as “one of the Islamic State’s fighters.”
The French officer who died and his colleague who was wounded were shot while sitting in a stationary police car. The assailant drove up alongside the police car before opening fire, according to French interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet.
“A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding one police officer.”
The latest in a string of terror attacks in Europe, these Paris attacks come just days before the French presidential elections.
Terror In Europe
In recent years, Paris and France have been a particular focus for terror attacks. Numerous deadly acts of terrorism have occurred in the French capital over the past three years. These include the Charlie Hebdo killings in January 2015 and the coordinated attacks on the Bataclan, Stade de France, and other sites in November 2015.
But it is not only France that has experienced these acts of terror. In towns and cities across Europe, a wave of terror activities has led to an increased security presence and heightened tension. From Brussels to Sarajevo and from London to Istanbul, Europe is experiencing a period of extreme instability, the likes of which were last seen in the 1970s when the IRA were actively targeting the U.K.
Here, we take a look at some of the terror attacks that have besieged Europe since 2014.
May 24, Brussels, Belgium.
Three people were shot dead at the Jewish Museum, while a fourth victim died later in hospital. The terrorist was believed to have been an anti-Semite.
December 20, Tours, France.
A man wounded several police officers after entering a police station in the French town of Tours. He was shot dead at the scene. Earlier, the attacker, Bertrand Nzohabonayo, had posted an Islamic State (IS) flag on his Facebook account.
December 21, Dijon, France.
13 people were injured by a man who ran them down in his Renault Clio while shouting “Allahu Akbar”, which translates as “God is greatest.”
December 22, Nantes, France.
Eleven people were injured as a driver plowed into a busy Christmas market. He then repeatedly stabbed himself, though survived.
January 7, Paris, France.
Two attackers entered the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and shot dead 12 members of the satirical magazine’s staff. This followed the magazine’s publishing of a cartoon featuring the prophet Muhammad. The phrase “Je Suis Charlie” was adopted across the world in solidarity with the magazine.
January 8, Paris, France.
A police officer was killed and another man injured by a man in Montrouge, a suburb in the south of Paris.
January 9, Paris, France.
The third consecutive day of terror in the French capital. Four people were taken hostage and later killed at a kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes.
February 14-15, Copenhagen, Denmark.
A free-speech event descended into tragedy when gunmen opened fire. A second shooting outside a synagogue later left a total of two people dead and five injured. The event had included the cartoonist, Kurt Westergard, who had caricatured the prophet Muhammed in no less than 12 cartoons featured in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper over the previous decade.
April 19, Paris, France.
One woman died after a failed terror attack at a church in Paris. The gunman, Sid Ahmed Glam, accidently shot himself in the leg.
April 27, Zvornik, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A terror attack featuring a lone gunman killed one police officer and injured two others before being shot dead. It is claimed he shouted “Allahu Akbar” while carrying out the attack.
June 5, Diyarbakir, Turkey
In the Kurdish region of Turkey’s south, two explosions killed four and injured more than 100 people who were attending an election rally for the Peoples’ Democratic Party. The Turkish President called the attack a “provocation” on the eve of national elections.
June 26, Lyon, France.
In arguably the most directly linked IS attack to date, a man was beheaded in south-east France and his head was presented on the gates of the American-owned factory wrapped in Islamist flags.
October 10, Ankara, Turkey.
Terror struck the Turkish capital in mid-Autumn when two explosions killed 102 people and left more than 400 injured. The victims had been attending a peace rally.
November 13, Paris, France.
These were the terror attacks that truly rocked Europe.
Coordinated attacks on the Bataclan nightclub, downtown cafes, and the Stade de France left 130 people dead and many more injured. The terrorists are all believed to have died, blowing themselves up while wearing suicide vests. President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency after labeling the terror attack an “act of war.”
November 18, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Two soldiers died and another five were injured in an attack in the Bosnian capital.
January 1, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Nasha’at Melhem fired into a pub and several other buildings on Dizengoff Street, killing one person and injuring seven others in a terror attack in Israel’s capital. He fled the scene in a cab then shot the driver dead too. Melhem was later killed in a shootout at his home by police on January 8.
January 1, Valence, France.
An assailant was shot and wounded as he repeatedly drove his car at four soldiers as they guarded a mosque.
January 14, Diyarbakir, Turkey.
A car bomb near police headquarters killed six people and injured more than 39. The blast from the terror attack hit nearby residential areas too, leaving a woman and her infant child dead.
February 15, Derbent, Russia.
A terror attack that was claimed by IS. Two people died and at least 17 were injured by a car bomb.
February 18, Manchester, U.K.
An IS supporter beat an Imam to death in a Rochdale playground as the 64-year-old religious leader returned from Thursday prayers.
March 22, Brussels, Belgium.
Another terror attack on the center of the EU. The Brussels Airport in Zaventem was torn apart by homemade bombs carried in luggage which exploded nine seconds apart. These were followed by a third blast on a train in the Maalbeek metro station an hour later. In total, 35 people died and more than 300 were wounded.
June 28, Istanbul, Turkey.
Another airport terror attack, this time in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. 41 people died and over 230 were injured by three suicide bombers.
July 14, Nice, France.
Known as the Bastille Day attacks, a lorry plowed through crowds along the beachfront Promenade des Anglais following a fireworks display. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel also fired shots from the lorry cab before being shot dead by police.
July 18, Wurzburg, Germany.
Four people were seriously injured in an axe attack on a commuter train that IS claimed was the bidding of a “soldier of the caliphate.” The attacker was 17-year-old Riaz Khan Ahmadzai.
July 22, Munich, Germany.
On the fifth anniversary of Anders Brevik’s attacks in Norway, an 18-year-old shot and killed nine people in the German city of Munich. The terror attack, which left 15 people injured, occurred in a shopping center and was the third act of terrorism in eight days in Europe.
July 24, Ansbach, Germany.
A Syrian man exploded a suicide bomb outside a music festival in the town of Ansbach, injuring 15 people. The attack was claimed by IS.
July 26, Rouen, France.
Another attack on Europe purported to have links to IS. An elderly priest was killed and several others were taken hostage by two attackers wielding knives. French police shot dead the terrorists at the scene.
August 26, Cizre, Turkey.
Eleven people died and around 78 were injured by a car bomb which exploded near an army checkpoint. The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the terror attack.
October 5, Brussels, Belgium.
Police were the focus of this terror attack in the Belgian capital. Three police officers were wounded, two with knife wounds, before the assailant was arrested.
December 19, Berlin, Germany.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack on a Berlin Christmas market in which 12 people died. The assailant was located and shot dead in Milan four days after the terror attack.
January 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
Shortly after the bell gonged to mark the New Year, a gunman opened fire in an Istanbul nightclub. The terror attack which began at around 1:30 a.m. saw 39 people die and more than 70 people injured.
February 3, Paris, France.
A man wielding a machete attacked guards at the Louvre Museum in Central Paris. One soldier was injured along with the assailant, who was arrested at the scene.
March 22, London, U.K.
A police officer was stabbed to death and four pedestrians were killed as a man attempted to gain access to the British Parliament. Khalid Masood mounted the pavement on Westminster bridge, leaving up to 50 other people injured, before crashing his car and entering the Parliament compound on foot. He was shot dead by a plain clothes police officer at the scene.
April 3, Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Three people died in a terror attack in south-east Turkey. The PKK claimed responsibility for this car bomb attack.
April 11, Dortmund, Germany.
The team bus of the football team Borussia Dortmund was attacked en route to their Champions League match versus AS Monaco. The terror attack left one player injured.
April 20, Paris, France.
Today’s terror attack, as featured at the top of the article.
[Featured Image by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]