Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1980 Paris synagogue bombing

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Start date  October 3, 1980
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Similar  Goldenberg restaurant attack, 1996 Paris Métro bombing, 1995 Paris Métro and RER bom, 2002 Karachi bus bomb, Toulouse and Montaub

The 1980 Paris synagogue bombing was a bombing directed against the synagogue of the French Israeli Liberal Union which was committed in Paris on 3 October 1980 on the evening of Shabbat and day of Jewish celebration of Sim'hat Torah so that a lot of faithful people went to the temple. It was the first deadly attack against Jewish people in France since the end of the Second World War. There were 4 dead and 46 injured.

Hassan Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese origin is suspected.


The bombing, on 3 October 1980 at 18:38, directed against a synagogue of the French Israeli Union Libérale Israélite de France, Copernic street in Paris, that was filled for Sabbath services. Saddlebags packed with 10 kilograms of explosives were left on a motorcycle parked in front of the synagogue. The glass roof of the synagogue fell down on the worshipers, and one of the doors was blown through. Some cars on the street were projected into the road, the fronts windows of shops were blown through up to 150 metres.

Philippe Bouissou (22 years old) who passed by on his motorbike was killed immediately. Aliza Shagrir (42 years old), an Israeli TV presentator on holiday, was also killed while she was walking on the pavement, as was Jean Michel Barbé who used to frequently visit the synagogue. Hilario Lopes-Fernandez, the Portuguese housekeeper of the Victor Hugo hotel, located almost in front of the temple, was seriously wounded and died two days later.

The commemorative plaque fixed onto the synagogue notes: "In memory of Jean Michel Barbé, Philippe Bouissou, Hilario Lopez Fernandez, Aliza Shagrir killed during the odious attack committed against this synagogue on 3 October 1980."

The explosive, consisting of about 10 kg of pentrite, in the bags of a blue Suzuki TS 125 motorbike parked about 10 metres from the synagogue, could have caused more victims if it had happened a few minutes later, when the worshippers had left : as it was the day before shabbat, the synagogue was full with 300 people coming to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of three boys and Bat Mitzvah of two young girls.

The day after, march of several thousands of people started in front of the synagogue, and went to the Champs Elysées. While other protests took place in other cities in provinces On 7 October 1980 a demonstration of 200,000 people marched from Nation to République. Several MPs (Members of Parliament) joined the movement.

The Prime Minister, Raymond Barre, shocked on 3 October by saying on TF1: "This odious bombing wanted to strike Jews who were going to the synagogue and it hit innocent French people who crossed the Copernic street", a Freudian slip that his words of the 8 October in the National Assembly, assuring his "Jewish compatriots" of the "sympathy of the all nation", will not be erased of memories. Just before his death in August 2007, Raymond Barre attributed this campaign of protestations to "Jewish lobby".


1980 Paris synagogue bombing Wikipedia