Why are Islamist terrorists shouting Allahu Akbar

Chronology of Islamist attacks in France since 2015

January 7-9, 2015: Attack on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket

Three assassins killed 17 people within three days. Two men with automatic weapons stormed the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The reason for the attack was the publication of a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed. Another attacker takes hostages in a Jewish supermarket. The police killed all three perpetrators. They had sworn their ties to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) and the terror group Al-Qaeda.

June 26, 2015: beheading and explosion

A man beheaded his boss near Lyon. The police found the severed head on the fence of an industrial plant - next to it two flags with the Muslim creed printed on them. The perpetrator also tried to blow up a factory by ramming gas cylinders with his car. There was a minor explosion that injured two people. The French authorities saw a connection to IS. The alleged assassin denied an Islamist background. He committed suicide in prison.

August 21, 2015: Attack in an express train

The attempted attack on a Thalys train failed because four passengers overwhelmed the attacker. Three people were injured. The perpetrator was known to the security authorities for links to radical Islam. In December 2016, he confessed to acting on the instructions of the Islamic extremist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a key figure in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

Sea of ​​flowers in front of the Bataclan: The horror after the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015 is great

November 13, 2015: The terrorist attacks in Paris

Various coordinated attacks took place in the evening and at night in several locations in Paris and the suburb of Saint-Denis. 130 people died in suicide bombers and mass shootings, including near the national stadium and at a concert in the Bataclan. Hundreds of people were injured. The IS claimed responsibility for itself.

June 13, 2016: murder of a couple of police officers

A man stabbed a policeman in Magnanville, west of Paris, and holed himself up in his house. The victim's partner was later found dead there. The police shot the perpetrator, who had previously committed himself to the IS terrorist militia.

July 14, 2016: Attack with a truck in Nice

An assassin steered a truck deliberately into a crowd that had gathered on the lake promenade to watch the fireworks on the national holiday. Before the driver was shot, he killed 86 people. More than 400 people were injured. The IS claimed responsibility for this attack as well.

July 26, 2016: murder of a priest

Two young adults broke into a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy during a service and cut the 85-year-old priest's throat. Both perpetrators were killed by the police. The IS published a video in which the two profess their support for the terrorist organization.

After the crime in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Muslims take part in Christian services to show solidarity

February 3, 2017: Attack at the Louvre

Soldiers seriously injured a man who ran towards them with machetes near the Paris Art Museum. According to the prosecutor, he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great). He is said to have spread messages with radical Islamic references on Twitter. One of the soldiers was slightly injured.

March 18, 2017: worse thwarted

A man wounded a police officer with a shotgun. A few hours later, he attacked soldiers at Orly Airport in Paris. He shouted that he wanted to kill and die for Allah. The attacker was shot after trying to snatch a gun from a soldier. The public prosecutor's office assumed a terrorist motive. He had already shown signs of radicalization during a previous prison term.

April 20, 2017: Shootout on the Champs-Élysées

An armed man opened fire on police officers on the magnificent Paris boulevard. He killed one of them and injured others before he was shot himself. A letter related to IS was found on the dead attacker. The jihadist militia claimed the attack as their own.

June 1, 2017: Attack off Notre-Dame

In front of the cathedral in Paris, an attacker hit a police patrol with a hammer. One officer was injured. While searching his home, the investigators came across a video in which the perpetrator swore an oath on IS. In October 2020, he was sentenced to 28 years in prison. According to media reports, the man showed no remorse during the trial.

June 19, 2017: Another attack on the Champs-Élysées

An armed man rammed a police vehicle on the Champs-Élysées. The driver of the car dies and the attacker is killed too. He had been known to the authorities as a radical Islamist since 2015. Nevertheless, he had a gun license as a marksman. According to the authorities, the attacker confessed to IS in a farewell letter. The terrorist militia took responsibility for the attack.

October 1, 2017: Attack at Marseille train station

A man stabbed two women at Marseille Central Station. Soldiers shot the attacker. Again the IS claimed the act for itself. The jihadists called the attacker one of "their soldiers". The French police had previously only noticed the assassin because of petty criminal offenses.

March 23, 2018: hostage-taking in Trèbes

An attacker killed a total of four people in southern France, including a police officer who was traded for hostages in a supermarket. He was shot and died from his injuries. According to police, the attacker is said to have requested the release of the only surviving bomber of the Paris attacks in November 2015. Anti-terrorist prosecutor François Molins said the attacker was included in a file with alleged Islamist threats because of his links to the Salafist scene. The hostage taker was shot.

May 12, 2018: knife attack in Paris

A man attacked passers-by in the center of the capital with a knife. He killed one man and injured four other people. The police shot the perpetrator. He was apparently known to the authorities as an extremist threat. The "Islamic State" claimed the attack for itself.

December 11, 2018: Attack on the Strasbourg Christmas market

Five people were killed by the attacker's gunfire. The alleged assassin was shot two days after the attack. There are several indications of an Islamist background. The father said his son believed in IS propaganda.

Heavy police presence after the reopening of the Christmas market in Strasbourg

October 3, 2019: Police officer attacks

A French police officer who converted to Islam stabbed four colleagues in Paris before he was shot. The man had contact with radical Salafists. He spoke positively to a colleague about the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015

April 4, 2020: knife attack in Romans-sur-Isère

In the small town south of Lyon, a man killed two people and five others were injured. According to eyewitnesses, he shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the crime. It is being investigated for murder and attempted murder in connection with a criminal, terrorist organization. As it turns out, he is a recognized refugee. The police find handwritten documents complaining that he is now living in a land of infidels.

September 25, 2020: knife attack in front of the Charlie Hebdo office

Two people were injured not far from the editorial office. Since the satirical magazine published cartoons of Mohammed again at the beginning of September, the journalists have been massively threatened again. The main suspect made a confession. According to the terror prosecutor, he wanted to set the editorial rooms on fire.

October 16, 2020: beheading for cartoons

History teacher Samuel Paty was killed in a Paris suburb and his body was found beheaded. He had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class as an example of freedom of expression. The 18-year-old attacker was shot dead by the police.

October 29, 2020: Attack in Nice

At least three people were killed in a knife attack in a church. Several people are injured. The police arrest the alleged perpetrator. He was not known as a terrorist suspect. The murders are classified as Islamist terrorism because the Tunisian is said to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" when the police arrived.

Collaboration: Cristina Burack, Angelika Gruber