CST remembers the victims of the Paris attacks five years on

9 Jan 2020 by CST

Today marks the five year anniversary of the 2015 Hypercacher attack in which four Jews were murdered by a jihadist terrorist in a kosher supermarket in Paris. This followed the Charlie Hebdo attack two days prior (7 January) in which two other jihadist terrorists killed 12 people in the offices of the satirical magazine.

The primary perpetrator of the Hypercacher attack has been used regularly in jihadist propaganda since the attack. Video footage of the perpetrator released after the attack by Islamic State, both of him going through physical training and of his final message, continues to be used as motivation for would-be attackers.

It is worth noting that the day prior to this attack, the attacker murdered a trainee policewoman, Clarissa Jean-Phillipe, who was attending a nearby traffic incident in Montrouge. This took place not far from a Jewish school whom the French prosecutor speculated may have been the intended primary target.

Jihadist groups, and those they inspire, continue to celebrate such anniversaries and may wish to exploit them to perpetrate further attacks.

The attacks in January 2015 further underlined the threat of 'secondary attacks': while Western societies as a whole are at risk from terrorism, we have to consider that the Jewish community could be a secondary target, even when Jews are not the primary targets. We also saw the tragic expression of secondary attacks in the jihadist attacks at the Jewish school in Toulouse (March 2012) and the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen (February 2015), for which the five year anniversary will be on the 14-15 February.

The Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher attacks, as well as a foiled jihadist plot in Verviers, Belgium, led to the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council raising the threat level towards the UK Jewish community that January in 2015.

Today, CST remembers the victims of these attacks. May their memory be a blessing:

Philippe Braham z”l, Yohan Cohen z”l, Yoav Hattab z”l, François-Michel Saada z”l

CST also remembers the brave actions of Muslim shopworker Lassana Bathily who sheltered Jewish hostages in the cold storage room of the supermarket.

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“"The Guardian of Israel doesn't slumber or sleep". This feeling of safety and security that we search for and need is gratefully appreciated when it's given to us by the CST. It really is a pleasure to work with the CST and to be looked after and cared for by them. Where ever I go throughout Britain, in all our Synagogues from north to south the impact and help given by the CST is warmly valued.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism