December 20, 2014: Extremist stabs police in France

On December 20, 2014 an ISIS-inspired convert stabbed three French police officers in Tours before he in turn was shot and killed.

TOURS, FRANCE – Law enforcement personnel have a tough enough job without having to look over their shoulder for terrorists to attack.

We do live in interesting times, don’t we? Everything, or at least a lot of things, we used to take for granted are being challenged as, on the one hand, facts undermine previous ‘truths‘ (think global climate change), or on the other ‘collective wisdom‘ decides that everything we thought was right isn’t.

A good example of the latter is the growing belief, at least in many Western societies, that those who work in law enforcement are inherently bad. ‘Defund the police!’ is the mantra we have been hearing. And there are those who state, I’m not sure based on what, that law enforcement agencies are ‘systematically racist‘.

Do I look systematically racist to you? (Photo: yooperann on flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The fact is that the women and men who don the uniform every day place themselves in potentially dangerous situations at any given moment and do the things most of us would prefer not to. They are the ones getting shot and stabbed, sometimes by terrorists.

On this day in 2014

Bertrand Nzohabonayo walked into a police station near Tours, in southern France, and proceeded to stab three officers before he in turn was shot and killed. He is believed to have been inspired by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.

The investigation is leading towards an attack on police forces on radical Islamist motives.

Unidentified police source

The attacker, who was born in Burundi and a convert to Islam, was not on any watch lists maintained by France’s main domestic intelligence service. Nevertheless, this was a good example of the kind of threat police face on a daily basis. It is time to acknowledge that.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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