Arrest [illustrative] 370.
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
• By JOSEPH STRICH Jerusalem Post correspondent PARIS – A new, apparently anti-Semitic incident occurred at a Paris synagogue on Saturday, while in Berlin a French jihadist coming back from Syria was arrested on the same day.
The event in Paris happened at a synagogue in Rue Julien Lacroix, located in a district where many North African Jews and Arabs live.
On Monday, the free daily paper 20 Minutes reported an announcement by the police that on Saturday an unidentified man approached the police guarding the synagogue and aimed a Kalashnikov rifle at them before running away.
“We strongly condemn this kind of intimidation in front of a Jewish place of worship,” said Christophe Crépin, a representative of the police union organization UNSA. “The situation could escalate,” he added.
On Saturday evening, police sources, said a 21-yearold man was arrested in connection with the incident.
Laurent Nunez, from the office of the Paris chief of police, told the press that “a CRS policeman thinks he saw a Kalashnikov... but it is absolutely not an anti-Semitic act.”
JSS, a French-language Israeli news website, is sure it was an anti-Semitic incident, titling its report: “Shooting attack in Paris synagogue thwarted at last moment.” According to the report, two “attackers fled the scene when they saw armed French police officers guarding the synagogue” and “escaped on a scooter.”
The second event was confirmed by a statement by French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, who said the man arrested in Berlin “is dangerous and liable to act in French territory.”
Tewffik Boualag, 32 years old, nicknamed “Touf Touf le ouf”, had been in Syria since December 2013, fighting for the EIIL (Etat Islamique en Irak et au Levant) and was under an international warrant for his arrest, which had been issued on Friday by a Paris court for “associating with criminals in order to prepare terrorist acts.”