The French Terror Wave, 2015-2016: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Attacks from Charlie Hebdo to the Bataclan Theatre

The French Terror Wave, 2015-2016: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Attacks from Charlie Hebdo to the Bataclan Theatre

by Marc E. Vargo


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A torrent of Islamist terrorism swept across France in 2015 and 2016, executed by militant jihadists on behalf of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS). Their targets ranged from the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine to the Bataclan Theatre on the Boulevard Voltaire to a parish church in a Normandy village and a beachfront promenade on the Mediterranean. This book reconstructs these and other terrorist offensives France weathered during this period. Placing each attack in its sociopolitical context, the author examines the backgrounds and motives of the perpetrators, the attributes of the victims and the legacy of the attacks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476679181
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/19/2021
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Marc E. Vargo is the author of nine nonfiction books and numerous articles in professional journals. He lives on New Orleans’ Northshore.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Ascent of Radical Islamism in the French Republic 1

Part I The Pen and the Sword: Freedom of the Press, Islamist Extremism, and the Massacre at Charlie Hebdo Magazine

1 Charlie Hebdo Magazine and the Grand Tradition of French Satire 8

2 Courting Conflict: The Muhammad Cartoon Controversies in Denmark and France 15

3 Stéphane Charbonnier: Satirist, Skeptic, Target 26

4 Al-Qaeda and the Radicalization of Saïd and Chérif Kouachi 35

5 Silencing Satire: The Assault on Charlie Hebdo 50

Part II The Campaign to Demoralize: ISIS Attacks at the Bataclan Theatre, the Stade de France, and the Cafes of Paris

6 Belgium, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and the Paris Terror Units 74

7 Carnival of Horror: The Bataclan Theatre, Stade de France, and the Cafe Attacks of Friday the Thirteenth 96

8 Responses to the Attacks: The Medical Community, the Military, and Law Enforcement Agencies 121

Part III Radical Islamism and Single-Perpetrator Terrorist Offensives in France

9 Lone-Actor Terrorism, Encrypted Extremism, and Remote Control Attacks 136

10 Normandy: The Slaying of a Parish Priest 151

11 Insanity by the Sea: The Bastille Day Ramming Attack 167

12 The Ramadan Murders: Ritualized Assault at an American-Owned Chemical Plant in France 184

13 Terror on the Tracks: Face-Off on a High-Speed Train to Paris 194

Epilogue-France Today: Emotional Scars, Enhanced Security, and the Question of Future Attacks 206

Chapter Notes 211

Bibliography 233

Index 251

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