Attempted fire on a synagogue in Rouen: what we know

Attempted fire on a synagogue in Rouen: what we know
Attempted fire on a synagogue in Rouen: what we know

This Friday morning, a man “armed with a knife and an iron bar”, according to a police Source, attempted to set fire to a synagogue in Rouen before being shot dead by police officers.

According to the prosecution, two investigations have been opened.

TF1info looks at what we know about this attack.

The police probably avoided a tragedy this Friday, May 17 in the morning in Rouen. Around 6:45 a.m., an armed man who tried to set fire to a synagogue in the city was killed by the police, announced Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

The police are “intervened on a report of smoke near the synagogue”, indicated a police Source. A Source close to the matter added that the individual “was armed with a knife and an iron bar, he approached the police officers who fired, the individual died”, which was confirmed by the Rouen prosecutor, Frédéric Teillet.

The mayor of Rouen, Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, explained that there was no “a priori no victims other than the armed individual.”

According to a police Source, the man shot dead by the police was not immediately identified.

Two open investigations

“An individual appeared in front of the synagogue in Rouen. (…) He tried to set fire to the synagogue. The latter being under video surveillance, the firefighters and the police approached very quickly. On the spot, the “individual turned on our police colleagues”, developed on LCI, before 9 a.m., Frédéric Desguerre, Normandy regional secretary SGP Police Unit. He added that one of the agents, “after intimidating the suspect with the order to lie down and stop, he used his weapon to neutralize him.”

The Rouen prosecutor, Frédéric Teillet, then clarified that “two separate investigations” were opened: “A first on the arson targeting a place of worship and on intentional violence against persons holding public authority, and a second on the circumstances of the death of the individual”. The first investigation was entrusted to the General Directorate of the National Police (DGPN) and the second to the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), according to Frédéric Teillet.

Asked by AFP, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office indicates that it is currently assessing whether it will take up the case.

The intervention of the police unanimously welcomed

On the social network “felicity” the police men “for their responsiveness and courage”.

City councilor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol also sent his thanks “to the national forces, the municipal police, the SAMU, the firefighters who are currently controlling the outbreak of the fire.” He also expressed his “thoughts and total support for the Jewish Community of Rouen.”

Jean-Benoît Albertini, prefect of Seine-Maritime, also welcomed the intervention of “police officers, firefighters and SAMU teams who intervened immediately.” He also affirmed his “support for our Jewish compatriots in the face of this aggression. The State is and will be at their side for their security, that of their places of worship and to guarantee the exercise of their faith.”

“Attempting to burn a synagogue means wanting to intimidate all Jews. Once again, we want to create a climate of terror on the Jews of our country. Fighting anti-Semitism means defending the Republic”said on X the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif), Yonathan Arfi.

A tense security context

The attack occurs in a context of increasing anti-Semitic acts in France: at the beginning of May, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced “366 anti-Semitic facts” recorded in the first quarter of 2024, i.e. “an increase of 300% compared to the first three months of 2023”.

On April 14, Gérald Darmanin asked prefects to strengthen security in front of Jewish places of worship as well as in front of religious schools, the day after the attack carried out by Iran against Israel.


The editorial staff of TF1info

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