2014 Dijon attack

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2014 Dijon attack
Location of Côte-d’Or within France
LocationDijon, France
Date21 December 2014
Attack type
Vehicle-ramming attack
Non-fatal injuries

On 21 December 2014, a man in the French city of Dijon was arrested after a vehicle-ramming attack in which he drove a van into 11 pedestrians in five areas of the city in the space of half an hour. Two people were seriously injured.

The alleged attacker had a long record of mental disorder and no known links with terrorist groups. According to the Globe and Mail the attack, and 2 others were "apparently inspired by a video" circulated by ISIL calling on French Muslims to attack non-Muslims using vehicles.[1]

Attack[edit | edit source]

In the space of half an hour, the attacker drove his van into groups of pedestrians in 5 separate areas of the city, and, according to French media, was heard to shout Allahu Akbar[2][3]

Suspect[edit | edit source]

The man arrested was reported to be "40-year-old man of Arab origin" and "Algerian and Moroccan descent."[4][5] He had been known to the police for minor offenses committed over the course of 20 years, and had repeatedly been treated for “serious and long-established psychiatric issues”.[5] French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described him as "very unstable". The local prosecutor said the incident was not linked to terrorism and the Interior Ministry believed that he had acted alone, although anti-terrorism investigators opened an inquiry into the attack.[3]

According to the New York Times, "The driver is said to have become 'very agitated' at home after watching a television program about the plight of children in Chechnya. The city prosecutor, Marie-Christine Tarrare said he had told the police that the program made him want to attack the French state by running over police or military officers, but that, after driving to a police station, he chose to drive into pedestrians."[5]

According to the BBC, "the official line" was that this attack was "not terrorism," however, "many people will be asking themselves if there is not some copycat effect being played out. Also, even if it is established the car attacks were the work of unbalanced individuals, might not Islamist propaganda have played some role in pushing them to the act?"[2][6]

The attack has sometimes been described as one of a series of violent attacks on French soil.[7][8][9][10][11][5][4]

Reactions[edit | edit source]

Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister of France, expressed his "solidarity" with the victims of the attack via Twitter.[3]

The government deployed 300 troops onto French streets after a third attack in as many days, when a driver in Nantes injured 10 and killed one at the city's Christmas market the night after the Dijon attack.[12]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Martin, Patrick (15 July 2016). "History of lone-wolf vehicle attacks suggests risk of emulation is very real". Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/history-of-lone-wolf-vehicle-attacks-suggests-risk-of-emulation-is-very-real/article30933070/. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "France attack: Van driven into shoppers in Nantes". BBC. 3 December 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30583390. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "France Dijon: Driver targets city pedestrians". BBC News. 21 December 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30571911. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lichfield, John (23 December 2014). "France 'terrorism': Three 'lone wolf' attacks in three days – so should the country be worried?". The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-terrorism-three-lone-wolf-attacks-in-three-days-so-should-the-country-be-worried-9941764.html. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Breeden, Aurelien (23 December 2014). "France Puts More Troops on Streets After a String of Attacks". New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/24/world/europe/french-authorities-appeal-for-calm-after-string-of-attacks.html. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  6. Leveille, David (22 December 2014). "France endures deadly attacks". Reuters (credited in; not copy of). Public Radio International. http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-12-22/france-endures-deadly-attacks-cant-decide-if-theyre-terrorism. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  7. "A timeline of recent mass attacks in France". Deutsche Welle. 15 July 2016. http://www.dw.com/en/a-timeline-of-recent-mass-attacks-in-france/a-19401849. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  8. Michaels, Jim (15 July 2016). "Nice attack part of emerging DIY-style terrorism trend". USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/07/15/nice-attack-part-emerging-diy-style-terrorism-trend/87124514/. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  9. "IS Urged Vehicle-Ramming Attacks In 2014". Sky News. 15 July 2016. http://news.sky.com/story/is-urged-vehicle-ramming-attacks-in-2014-10502688. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  10. "Terror Attack by Truck Scenario Long Feared by Law Enforcement". CNN wire. KTLA. 15 July 2016. http://ktla.com/2016/07/14/terror-attack-by-truck-scenario-long-feared-by-law-enforcement-in-california/. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  11. Jamieson, Alastair (20 December 2016). "News Berlin Truck Attack Dec 20 2016, 9:27 am ET Truck Attacks: Low-Tech, Soft Target Terrorism Is Growing Threa". NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/berlin-truck-attack/truck-attacks-low-tech-soft-target-terrorism-growing-threat-n609996. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  12. "France to deploy soldiers after spate of attacks". BBC News. 23 December 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30586798. Retrieved 26 December 2014.