Deadly Paris Terror Attack Days Before National Election

“Hashem, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt direct their heart, Thou wilt cause Thine ear to attend; To right the fatherless and the oppressed, that man who is of the earth may be terrible no more.” Psalms 10:17-18 (The Israel Bible™)

A gunman jumped from a car and opened fire with an automatic weapon on a police vehicle on the famed Champs-Elysees in Paris on Thursday night, killing one policeman and wounding two others. The gunman, whom the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed as one of its soldiers, was killed at the scene by security forces, but the attack, coming just a few days before the national elections, is expected to affect the political future of France.

The French president, François Hollande, said the attack was “terrorist in nature” and promised “utmost vigilance” by security services to ensure security around the presidential election. He has called a defense council meeting for Friday.

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ISIS claimed credit for the killing in their affiliated news service, Amaq, naming the attacker, Abu Yousif Abu-Yusuf al-Baljiki (the Belgian), one of their “soldiers”.

Abu Yusuf was formally known as Karim Cheurfi. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003 for stealing a gun from a policeman and shooting him three times. That term was reduced to 15 years in 2005. Cheurfi was already known for committing violent robberies and was in police custody at the time of the incident, the newspaper reports.

The attack came three days before the French national elections, coincidentally during a televised debate. It is expected that this attack will affect the outcome, giving a boost to Marine Le Pen, the National Front chairwoman, a staunch nationalist who opposes large-scale Muslim immigration to France. Three candidates, includeing Le Pen, announced they were suspending their campaigns in a show of solidarity with the police.