Monday, June 13, 2016

ISIS takes responsibility for the murder of two police officers in Magnanville, France.

A news report detailing the incident. 

ISIS has taken responsibility for a double homicide targeting a police commander and his wife in Magnanville, France. RT. A man stabbed Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, a police commander at his home. The man then entered Salvaing's house and took his wife and 3 year old child hostage. Police then surrounded the house and attempted to negotiate. When they broke in, the wife was dead and police were forced to shoot the hostage. The man was reported to shout "Allah Akbar" during the attack and ISIS took credit for it on social media. 

My Comment:
Not a lot of good information on this attack but it seems clear that this was motivated by Islamic terrorism. ISIS has taken credit for this attack and there are reports that they posted pictures of the dead wife on the internet. The fact that the man was also heard yelling "Allah Akbar" also makes a very strong circumstantial case for this being an ISIS attack. Though it is always wise to point out that ISIS has taken credit things they didn't have anything to do with, it seems that it isn't the case here. 

The attack also follows a pattern that ISIS has employed in the past. They have been targeting cops with stabbings for quite some time. Usually those attacks fail because they target police who are on duty, but it looks like they wised up in this case. I doubt that this officer had access to weapons so he probably couldn't have defended himself. Either way, police officers seem to be a primary target for ISIS. 

This was almost certainly a targeted attack. I don't know what Salvaing's role was in the police department, but was at the very least high ranking. The fact that he was attacked right outside of his own house knows that ISIS knew who he was and where he lived. This attack is chilling because ISIS was somehow able to find out that Salvaing was a cop and were able to find him and kill him. His wife was a victim too, but it was unclear if she was a target as well because she was a cop or was simply taken hostage because she was there. The only good news is that the 3 year old child, presumably the two officers child, survived. Perhaps even an ISIS inspired terrorist was reluctant to murder a child in cold blood, but who knows what would have happened if the police didn't move in when they did?

This attack also follows the strategy that ISIS is deploying in Bangladesh. There, instead of massive terror attacks, ISIS has been focusing on assassination of people they don't like. Al-Qaeda has done the same thing, killing a gay activist there. It's an effective strategy. These attacks are even harder to defend against then the mass shootings that have become more common lately. A bombing or hijacking is hard to defend against it. A mass shooting is even harder. But murdering people? Unless they know they are being targeted and have either a weapon or armed guards, it's fairly easy to assassinate someone like this. The only thing you can do is arm yourself and to keep vigilant. 

In the wake of the Orlando attack, leftists have been calling for gun control, with the idea that it would stop Islamic attacks. This case proves that isn't the case. Even if you almost completely ban guns, like France has done, it won't stop knife attacks like this. And it won't stop bombings or attacks with illegal guns like the Paris attacks or the Charlie Hebdo shootings. 

Indeed, had either of the dead been armed in this case perhaps the situation would have ended differently. I am not sure what the standards are for off duty cops carrying weapons but this seems like a case where it would have made a difference. It might not have, it seems like the officers were caught off guard, but it might have been better if they had had the chance. 

It's starting to look like a repeat of last year. During Ramadan last year ISIS conducted several high profile attacks. That seems to be the case this year as well. Surely the attack on Florida was the worst one (so far) but that shouldn't overshadow this case. Spectacular attacks like the one in Orlando might not be as common but even smaller attacks like this one will have an impact.

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