Armed Attacker Killed After Arson at Chabad Shul in France

An armed assailant of Algerian origin was shot dead by police when he pulled a knife while setting fire to a shul in the northern French city of Rouen, under the auspices of shliach Rabbi Shmuel Lubecki.

An armed assailant was shot dead by police while attempting to set fire to a shul in the northern French city of Rouen. Authorities report that the incident occurred early Friday morning.

The attacker, a male suspect, entered the shul and threw what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail. According to Rouen Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, the man climbed on top of a garbage bin to reach the second floor of the shul and then hurled the incendiary device into the building, igniting a fire.

Security forces responded swiftly, bringing down the suspect before he attempted to assault them with a long knife. The police were forced to open fire, resulting in the death of the attacker. Mayor Mayer-Rossignol confirmed that no one was hurt during the incident, crediting the rapid police response to the security camera footage that captured the suspect’s movements.

The local prosecutor’s office has launched two separate investigations: one into the attempted arson and another into the police use of firearms.

Rabbi Shmuel Lubecki, shliach and rabbi of the shul, told BFMTV that, “Unfortunately, we were expecting this. We all have this fear, but when it actually happens, it’s still shocking.”

France’s Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, praised the police for their prompt and courageous action. “Early this morning, police officers in Rouen killed an armed individual clearly intent on setting fire to the city’s synagogue. I congratulate them on their responsiveness and courage,” Darmanin tweeted.

In response to the heightened tensions following the October 7 attacks in Israel, Rouen authorities had already increased police presence at the city’s shuls. Security measures at Jewish institutions across France have been ramped up, with additional security at shuls and schools.

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