PARIS (Dec. 28)
An attempted terrorist attack against a synagogue in the southeastern French city of Lyon was foiled this week thanks to some observant neighbors.
A stolen car, loaded with four tanks of propane gas linked to a detonating device, was timed to explode in front of the synagogue Sunday night. But the timer was apparently not working properly, and the detonation failed to take place.
Instead, a fire started in the car, and a neighbor summoned firefighters and police. A bomb squad later arrived at the scene and defused the detonator. No group claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt, and police are continuing their search for suspects.
CRIF, the umbrella organization of France’s secular Jewish organizations, said it was the first known attempt against a Jewish place of worship or cultural establishment in Lyon.
Linking the attempted attack to an upsurge in Islamic fundamentalist terror, CRIF said in a statement that it was “upset and indignant at this criminal act (and) afraid it constitutes proof that terrorist fanaticism is gaining ground in France.”
CRIF called on the police to find those responsible for the attempted bombing and urged French authorities to “protect the offices of the Jewish community and ban groups which are turning France into a land of confrontations.”
Police officials said they would beef up patrols around some 24 synagogues in the Lyon area.