Terrorist behind the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing released

Hassan Diab, the terrorist behind the  1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that claimed the lives of Israeli citizen Aliza Shagrir and three French nationals, was released from prison to house arrest on Saturday.

Diab, 61, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese origin, was extradited a year and half ago from Canada to France after having fought the extradition for six years.

The judge who released him argued that there are doubts surrounding the fundamental question of whether Diab was even in France at the time of the attack.

French authorities have already announced that they intend to appeal the judge’s decision.

Diab, a sociology professor, has been accused of being part of the PFLP-EO terrorist cell (the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine-External Operations) that carried out the attack.

The attack took place on Simchat Torah, October 3, 1980. A bomb concealed in a motorcycle side bag exploded outside the entrance of the Reform Jewish synagogue on Copernic Street. Four people were killed and 20 were wounded.

Diab denies all the allegations against him, claiming French authorities were confusing him with someone else.


CRIF, The French Jewish umbrella organization, protested the decision: “Diab’s arrest and extradition in 2014 was a symbol of the legal system’s determination to fight terrorism,” said CRIF’s President Roger Cukierman Krief. “This release is a scandal and irresponsible. It is an insult to the victims and their families.”

Aliza’s son, Hagi Shagrir, said that the judge’s decision is disappointing that the family is looking into the matter.

Shagrir, who was married to the late filmmaker Michah Shagrir, was a film and news editor for Israeli television since its inception. A foundation established in her memory annually hands out grants to young artists in the field of documentary film.