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Paris Terror Attack Near Eiffel Tower Leaves German Tourist Dead and Two Hurt

French police secures the access to the Bir-Hakeim bridge after a security incident in Paris, France December 3, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

A German tourist died and two other people, including a British citizen, were hurt after an attack by a man armed with a knife and hammer near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday, in what President Emmanuel Macron described as “a terrorist attack”.

Police quickly arrested the 26-year-old man, a French national, after subduing him with a Taser stun gun, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters on Saturday.

The suspect had in 2016 been sentenced to four years in prison for planning another attack, and had been on the French security services’ watch list, the minister said, adding that he was also known for having psychiatric disorders.

The man attacked a tourist couple on Saturday evening with a knife on the Quai de Grenelle, a few feet from the Eiffel Tower, mortally wounding the German national.

He was then chased by police and attacked two other people with a hammer, including the Briton, before being arrested.

“We are supporting a British man who was injured in Paris and are in contact with the local authorities,” said a spokesperson for the British foreign ministry.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on X that he was “shocked” by the attack.

The suspect had shouted out “Allahu akbar” (God is Greatest) and told police he was upset because “so many Muslims are dying in Afghanistan and in Palestine” and was also upset about the Gaza situation, Darmanin said.

French anti-terrorism prosecutors are leading an investigation into the incident and will hold a press conference later on Sunday.

European security officials have warned of a growing risk of attacks by Islamists amid the Israel-Hamas war, with the biggest threat likely from “lone wolf” assailants who are hard to track.

“I send all my condolences to the family and loved ones of the German national who died this evening during the terrorist attack in Paris and think with emotion of the people currently injured and in care,” President Macron said on the social network platform X.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne expressed defiance in the face of such attacks, saying on X: “We will not give in to terrorism.”

France has been on high alert since raising its security threshold in October, when a Chechen-origin man with a knife killed a teacher in a school in northern France.

PARIS OLYMPICS SECURITY

The attack in central Paris comes less than eight months before the French capital is due to host the Olympic Games and could raise questions about security at the global sporting event.

The city was planning an opening ceremony on the Seine river with the potential to attract as many as 600,000 spectators.

Opponents to President Emmanuel Macron were quick to react.

Jordan Bardella, president of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party, the largest single opposition party in parliament, said on X: “The French will wonder how a man on a watch list already convicted of having planned an attack, who was a notorious psychiatric case, in the current context, was able to walk freely and armed on a Saturday evening through the streets of Paris”

Didier Fleury, a 63-year old entrepreneur who lives near the site of the attack, told Reuters: “If we look at the news at the moment, you can’t be completely surprised by that. Since those are random attacks, it’s very complicated to prevent. We’ll probably have more. The holiday season is approaching and, unfortunately, I’m afraid it won’t be the last.”

The post Paris Terror Attack Near Eiffel Tower Leaves German Tourist Dead and Two Hurt first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Brown University Investigating Threats of Violence Sent to Hillel Officials

More than 200 Brown University students gathered outside University Hall where roughly 40 students sat inside demanding the school divest from weapons manufacturers amid the Israel-Hamas war. Photo: Amy Russo / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Two officials of Brown-RISD Hillel, a Jewish life  center serving both Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, were sent “violent threats” early Sunday morning, according to a report by The Brown Daily Herald.

After being alerted of threats, which were sent via email, the university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a search of Brown-RISD Hillel and determined there is “no evidence of any one-site threat.” DPS vice president Rodney Chatman told The Brown Daily Herald that “local, state, and federal authorities” are investigating the incident.

“This comes at an especially difficult time of distress on our campuses,” Brown University president Christina H. Paxson said in a statement addressing the incident. “Our students, faculty, and staff continue to grapple with the deaths of Israelis, Palestinians, and others in the wake of the October 7 attacks, as well as a despicable act of violence against a member of the Brown community here in the United States last November, and increases in reports of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.”

In Sunday’s statement President Paxson said that “robust” security measures will be implemented to protect Brown-RISD Hillel, as well as the officials who were threatened, from harm.

The incident is not the first antisemitic act of hatred since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

In December, the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity opened an investigation into an incident in which someone slipped a threatening note underneath the door of an off-campus apartment rented by Jewish students.

“Those who live for death will die by their own hand,” said the note, which, according to the Brown Daily Herald, matches lyrics from a song by an early 1980s punk band. The paper added that the note was found by an electrician, who brought it inside.

A similar incident occurred last November at a Brown-RISD Hillel. Additionally, in 2020, a swastika was graffitied in Brown’s Hegeman Hall. In 2017, another was found in a gender-neutral bathroom at RISD. It was drawn using human feces, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Last week, President Paxson rejected the demands of anti-Zionist students who were participating in a hunger strike in an effort to force the Brown Corporation to vote on a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel and make other concessions.

The university has twice ordered the arrests of extremist anti-Zionists student protesters, who have held unauthorized demonstrations in administration buildings, sometimes occupying them for hours after being asked to leave. Over 40 were arrested in December while onlookers shouted “Shame on Brown, Shame on Brown!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Brown University Investigating Threats of Violence Sent to Hillel Officials first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘Free Palestine:’ Texas Church Shooter Suspected of Having Pro-Hamas Ideology

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, shot a man at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on February 12, 2024. Photo: Twitter

A woman who stormed a church in Houston, Texas, on Sunday with an AR-15 rifle and shot one person before being killed by police was apparently a Hamas supporter, according to details on the incident reported by CNN.

On Monday, the outlet reported that “Free Palestine” was written on the shooter’s rifle.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the shooter has since been identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36. The woman has an extensive criminal history which includes arrests for marijuana possession, assault, theft, and forgery.

On Sunday afternoon, Moreno walked into the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — an institution famous for being the church of charismatic Christian preacher Joel Osteen — with a child and a gun. Wearing a trench coat and a knapsack, she threatened to have explosives, according to multiple reports. Most of the worshipers in attendance were Hispanic and attending a Spanish language service.

Moreno shot one man, leaving him critically injured, and was shot and killed by Houston Police. A child was also shot during the incident, but police are still unsure of whether they or Moreno are responsible for doing it.

“I want to commend those officers. She had a long gun and it could have been a lot worse,”  Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a press conference later in the day.

An investigation of Moreno’s motives is ongoing.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post ‘Free Palestine:’ Texas Church Shooter Suspected of Having Pro-Hamas Ideology first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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London Theater Facing Legal Action After Comedy Show Turns Into ‘Antisemitic Rally’

British comedian Paul Currie. Photo: Instagram

A London theater is facing legal action after an Israeli man was hounded out of a comedy show on Saturday night by a comedian performing a one-man show that turned into what some audience members compared to an “antisemitic rally.”

A spokesperson for the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said the group was in touch with the Israeli man and other members of the audience who fled from the theater.

“What the Jewish audience members have recounted is atrocious, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are held to account,” the CAA spokesperson told London’s Evening Standard news outlet. “These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews. Comedians are rightly given broad latitude, but hounding Jews out of theaters is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and must have no place in central London in 2024.”

The comedian, Paul Currie, had been performing a one-man show entitled “Shtoom” at London’s Soho Theater. Towards the end of his performance, he retrieved a Ukrainian and Palestinian flag and invited members to stand and applaud.

After the round of applause was over, Currie pointed to a man in the second row of the theater and quizzed him over why he had not stood up.

The unnamed man, an Israeli, replied, “I enjoyed your show until you brought out the Palestinian flag.” An infuriated Currie began screaming, “Leave my show now! Get out of my f—-ing show!” in response.

As the man and his partner rose to leave, accompanied by a handful of other shocked audience members, the assembled crowd began chanting “Get out” and “Free Palestine.”

In a written complaint to the theater over his treatment, the man wrote: ” Shaken and feeling threatened by the growing antagonism, we exited and tried to complain/ get some support from the front-of-house team at the theatre, who were not very sympathetic but did give us an email address to make a complaint. By this time, the show had ended and the audience started exiting, a number of whom were glaring at us aggressively and in a very threatening way. We all left the scene.”

He added: “Our friends later received a message from someone they knew who had also been at the show, saying that after we left, the situation became even more inflamed. What had been intended to be an evening of comedy turned out to be what felt like an antisemitic rally.”

The theater eventually apologized, issuing a statement expressing regret an “an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a performance of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday 10 February, which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others.” It added: “We take this very seriously and are looking into the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively, and as quickly as we can. It is important to us that Soho theatre is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.”

Currie has remained largely silent since the incident, save for a post on Instagram which quoted Mexican poet Cesar A. Cruz saying: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  He then added: “If you were at my show last night… you’ll know.”

The post London Theater Facing Legal Action After Comedy Show Turns Into ‘Antisemitic Rally’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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