France Marks 5 Years Since November 2015 Paris Attacks
Five years after the deadly Paris attacks that killed more than 100 people in November 2015, the country paid tribute to the victims Friday. This anniversary is taking place amid a new terror threat as France has been targeted by radical Islamists in recent months.
The horrible scenes and sad memories of the night of November 13, 2015, are still vivid among French people. Five years ago, 130 people were killed and 350 were injured when Islamist jihadists attacked a stadium near Paris, bars, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
Francois Hollande, French president at the time of the attacks, was among those who paid tribute to the victims and remembered the tragic events.
Hollande acknowledged the memories remain quite vivid even five years after. The time-frame could seem long for a generation but not for a head of state who faced this horrific reality that night, he said. Hollande said the victims must endure painful memories after being hurt or taken hostage during a situation that created traumas for them and for the nation.
Prime Minister Jean Castex and cabinet members attended memorial ceremonies Friday in Paris. Gatherings were scaled down this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This fifth anniversary occurs as France was recently hit by three terror attacks – a knife attack outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine in late September, the decapitation of a teacher a month later, and the stabbing of three people in a church in Nice just days later in late October.
Even if the Islamic state terror group was defeated in Iraq and Syria, the threat has evolved, and lone wolf radical Islamists are now the major threat, according to Laurent Nunez, French national intelligence coordinator.
He says that France is being wrongly accused of Islamophobia, and that there is a major and ongoing propaganda campaign being waged by al-Qaida and the Islamic State that is urging lone individuals, already present on France’s soil, to stage attacks using basic weapons, like what happened in Nice with a knife.
The trial of those accused of involvement in the November 2015 attacks will begin early next year.