Society

Two Muslim Teenagers Linked To Plot To Blow Up Synagogue In France

| by Jared Keever

Two teenage girls have been indicted for allegedly planning to blow up a synagogue in France, French news sites are reporting. 

The unnamed Muslim girls, ages 15 and 17, were arrested last week after authorities reportedly uncovered their plot to bomb The Great Synagogue in Lyon, France, The Jerusalem Post reports. 

The news story was first reported by the French news site JSS News.

According to the reports, the girls never met but attempted to make their plans online, communicating through social media.

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“These girls were part of a network of young Islamists who were being monitored by security services,” an unnamed source from France’s Central Directorate of Homeland Intelligence reportedly told JSS. 

The girls were indicted August 22 for conspiracy to commit terrorism, Newsweek reports.

The plot again raises concerns of growing anti-Semitic violence across France and Europe. 

Such violence tends to spike during periods of unrest in the Middle East, particularly when Israel is involved in a conflict.

The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA, is one of France’s leading anti-Semitic watchdog groups. The group released a statement recently attributing the recent spate of violence against Jews to political factions who seek to “pillory the Jewish state fighting against the Islamic state in Gaza.”  The statement also called on French authorities to step up security for Jews saying that, “Jewish citizens are increasingly pessimistic about their future in France.” 

In July, a synagogue in Paris was attacked following as a pro-Palestinian rally in the city that got out of hand. Unrelated to the recent violence in Gaza, but still distressing, a gunman opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, killing seven people, including a teacher and three students.

Other countries in Europe have seen a similar increase in violence against Jewish people, according to a recent story from The Guardian. One source said that authorities in the Netherlands took 70 calls in one week in July from Jewish citizens who felt threatened. In May, gunmen opened fire in a Jewish museum in Brussels, killing four. Jews have also reportedly been turned away from cafes and shops in other parts of Belgium, with remarks of, "We don't currently sell to Jews."

“Jews in France or Belgium are being killed because they are Jews,”  said Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions. “Jihadism has become the new Nazism. This makes people consider leaving France.”

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, JSS News, Newsweek, The Guardian

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons