Five months after the Charlie Hebdo attack, a man has reportedly been found decapitated in a factory building in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier near Lyon. Details are still coming through, but it seems that that one assailant, who has been arrested, claimed to be a member of Islamic State and reports suggest he was ‘known to the security services’. It appears that the murdered man’s head was found 30 feet away from the body, ‘covered in Arabic writing’ and hung on a fence next to an Islamist flag.
France is still reeling from the effects of the co-ordinated Islamist attack which took place in and around Paris earlier this year, and saw 17 people killed. In the wake of the attacks, France passed a new surveillance law to allow authorities to spy on the communications of anyone linked to a ‘terrorist’ inquiry without judicial permission. If it is indeed the case that the man involved in this attack was known to security services, there will be questions asked about how effective this new law has been.
The land of liberty, equality and fraternity will feel that it is under attack one more. France has had a long, complicated relationship with the Muslim world, and its 5 million Muslim citizens. This latest attack will only complicate matters further.