Paris on edge: Recent terror attacks in France
An elite police officer arrivesoutside the Bataclan theater in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2015. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Graham Slaughter, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, November 13, 2015 6:44PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 13, 2015 11:02PM EST
All eyes were on Paris Friday night as a series of co-ordinated terror attacks killed at least 127 people in locations across the city, making it the deadliest terror attack on French soil since the Second World War.
France quickly declared a state of national emergency and secured its borders on an order from President François Hollande, who called the attacks "unprecedented."
The attacks come about two weeks before global dignitaries -- including Canada’s premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- head to Paris for the United Nations Climate Change conference.
France has been struck by several high-profile terror attacks in recent years, some of which were fuelled by jihadist radicals and individuals linked to the Islamic State militant group.
One of the most infamous attacks, the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015, led French security officials to tighten surveillance of convicted extremists and crack down on acts of hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism. In just one week in January 2015, 54 people were arrested for hate speech and defending terrorism.
France remains active in the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIL in the Mideast.
January 7, 2015: Charlie Hebdo shooting
Just before noon, two masked gunmen armed with assault rifles entered the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Eleven people were killed, including journalists, editors and cartoonists, and a police officer was killed outside the building.
The two gunmen, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, fled from police but were eventually shot dead.
The attack led to the slogan “Je Suis Charlie,” an expression that grew as an act of solidarity for the victims.
August 21, 2015: Thalys train attack
A gunman who brought an assault rifle on to a Paris-bound train was thwarted after five people – three Americans, a British citizen and a French man – tackled the man and restrained him.
Ayoub El-Khazzani, 26, of Morocco had 270 rounds of ammunition, a pistol, a box-cutter and a can of gasoline on him at the time of the attack, police said. President Hollande later said the situation "could have degenerated into monstrous carnage."
Officials said that El-Khazzani watched a jihadist video on his cellphone moments before the attempted attack.
March 2012: Jewish school attacked
A gunman claiming links to al Qaeda opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse, leaving three children, a rabbi and three paratroopers dead.
The attack against the Ozar Hatorah school shocked and disturbed France’s Jewish community, and several French schools hired armed guards after the killings.
November 2, 2011: Charlie Hebdo firebombed
Four years before the deadly Paris shooting, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed following a magazine cover displaying a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
No one was injured in the attack.
July 25, 1995: Paris subway bombing
A bomb detonated inside Paris’ Saint-Michel subway station killed eight people and injured about 150 others. The attack -- one in a series of bombings -- was coordinated by Algeria’s GIA, or Armed Islamic Group.
June 18, 1961: Vitry-Le-Francois train bombing
Carried out during the Algerian War, the OAS (Secret Armed Organisation) executed a bombing on a train heading to Paris from Strasbourg.
The attack caused a derailment and killed 28 passengers on board.