A 45-year-old man wielding a knife on Sunday tried to enter a synagogue in what appeared to be an attempted terrorist attack, according to a report in France’s French News.
Multiple reports reported that the man had shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack, and in an incident captured on video, an officer can be seen pinning him to the ground as the man continues to yell. No one was injured in the attack, which reportedly took place around 6 p.m. at the synagogue in the Parc Jean-Moulin in Grenoble, near France’s border with Belgium.
“According to the police chief, several witnesses said he was holding an object that looked like a real weapon and then shouted in French, ‘Allahu Akbar,’” Radio France Internationale reported.
Grenoble, a city in northwestern France, is home to both a small Jewish community and a large Muslim community.
“I heard a terrible noise,” a local told the radio station. “I looked up to see a man who I thought was a refugee from Syria being subdued by the police. He was yelling in French.”
Since President Donald Trump was elected and began announcing a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks have increased dramatically in France. In August 2017, anti-Semitic acts increased 73 percent from the previous year, and 1,019 anti-Semitic acts were reported in 2017, the highest number since 2015.
In a Sept. 2017 speech, Mr. Trump also said, “America is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the distressed and the underprivileged all over the world. But as president of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers and America’s forgotten communities.”
In a conference call with reporters on Sept. 19, 2017, Mr. Trump continued to speak out against undocumented immigrants, saying, “We’re going to be guarding our borders with the military. Because we can’t have people coming into our country — illegally — and shooting people up like they did in Pittsburgh. And it’s very, very sad.”
Grenoble’s Mayor Yvan Morin, a member of the Socialist Party, told France News that, in light of the incident on Sunday, “the security is the most important thing in terms of political, social and economic themes for the days and years to come.”