With all of the media attention focused on the terror attack in Orlando this week it’s easy to overlook the fact that the enemy remains busy around the western world. Another attack took place in France this week which will receive far less attention but is still part of the larger picture in this war. A different Islamic terrorist murdered a police officer and his wife in Magnanville and they broadcast the killing live on Facebook. (CNN)
The killer of a French police officer and his partner broadcast the scene of the attack live on Facebook Monday night local time, a French source close to the investigation told CNN.
The man who carried out the deadly knife attack in Magnanville, which is 45 kilometers (28 miles) northwest of Paris, was Larossi Abballa, the source told CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
He stabbed the officer to death before taking the partner and their 3-year-old son hostage, French officials said.
Abballa was then killed by a SWAT team after a standoff with police.
During his live broadcast on Facebook, Abballa said he was not sure what to do with the child. Some time after, French commandos stormed the house and killed him, the source said.
This isn’t the sort of event which will find much space in the American news cycle. First, it took place in another country which lowers the wow factor for the media. There’s the fact that “only” two people died, though one of them was a law enforcement officer. And finally, the weapon of choice was a knife rather than a gun, so it’s a less politically useful incident. But the response from the French government ws the appropriate one. Francois Hollande, the President of France, set a bold tone in response, immediately going before the press and labeling the murder as “unquestionably a terrorist act.” His Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, quickly followed suit, calling the killing “an abject terrorist act.”
Why would they not? Much like the slaughter in Orlando, Larossi Abballa used his Facebook video to proclaim that he was specifically answering the call of Abu Mohammed al-Adnani to attack western targets in Europe and the United States during Ramadan. An ISIS backed news outlet quickly reported that the killings were perpetrated by “an Islamic State fighter.”
That’s really the whole point here. The French don’t need to wring their hands and wonder if Abballa was a member of some disaffected community which has a complaint with police officers. Nobody is debating whether or not he’s part of a political party which doesn’t capture enough votes in each election. The guy announced quite clearly that he was taking up the bloody flag of jihad and following the orders of his terrorist masters. Whether they had contacted him directly, supplied the knife he used or identified the target doesn’t matter. There is no question of whether he was “self-radicalized” or attended some ISIS seminars on fostering mayhem.
He was an Islamic terrorist and he acted out as part of that mission. He died the death of an Islamic terrorist. And France’s leadership has learned enough tough lessons in the past few years that they don’t mince words over it. Let’s hope that we don’t have to live through too many more of these atrocities before our own elected leaders can get to the same point.