French jihadist sentenced to 30 years over 2015 knife attack

Paris court sentences jihadist to 30 years in prison over February 2015 knife attack on three soldiers guarding a Jewish center in Nice.

Ben Ariel ,

Nice
Nice
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A Paris court on Thursday sentenced a jihadist to 30 years in prison over his February 2015 knife attack on three soldiers guarding a Jewish center in the city of Nice, AFP reports.

Moussa Coulibaly, now 35, staged his assault just weeks after the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in Paris, the beginning of a wave of assaults carried out in the name of the Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadist groups.

In issuing its ruling, the judges noted that Coulibaly had shown "little or no regret" for the attack, in which two soldiers were injured before a third wrestled Coulibaly to the ground.

They found "an almost fanatical determination" to apply ISIS calls for French citizens to carry out terror attacks on home soil.

The assault sparked criticism of the government's security efforts after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, since Coulibaly was well known to police.

A few weeks earlier, French intelligence services had been alerted to the fact that he was trying to enter Turkey -- a key staging point for jihadists seeking to go fight in Syria -- and asked the country to expel him.

He was questioned upon his return but later released because of insufficient evidence to press charges.

After the Nice attack Coulibaly told investigators he hated France as well as police, the military and Jews. However, in court on Thursday, Coulibaly said "I'm now against violence. I would not do again what I did."

The Charlie Hebdo attack was followed by the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in which four people were murdered.

Since those attacks, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

More recently, a police employee who converted to Islam and became radicalized stabbed four colleagues to death.



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