Paris rabbi’s attacker had assaulted another Jew, security service says

The Iranian man who attacked a rabbi in Paris had assaulted another French Jew in the same area several days earlier, the French Jewish community’s security service said.

The alleged attacker, who was arrested April 23 for lightly wounding the rabbi and his son with a knife, had struck a young man four days earlier with an iron bar as the victim was exiting a Paris synagogue, according to a statement Tuesday by the SPCJ security service. The victim of the first attack was hit several times on the head.

The rabbi who was attacked last week suffered a cut to his throat and his son received cuts to his upper body.

Police were able to establish a link between the two incidents due to video surveillance, SPCJ said.

SPCJ also said the alleged attacker, who is in his late 20s, had escaped from a psychiatric institution near Lyon, in eastern France, last month.

Fake bomb found near French Jewish institution

Police destroyed a fake explosive device found near a Jewish institution in the French city of Lyon.

A store owner told police on Tuesday morning that while walking past the city’s Hillel Center, he found a contraption made of three metal cylinders connected with metal wires to what looked like a cellular phone, according to a report on the incident by the SPCJ security unit of France’s Jewish communities.

Police evacuated the residents from nearby buildings before destroying the object, which according to the news website was not a bomb.

“Whoever placed this did everything they could to make us believe this was a bomb,” a city official was quoted as saying.

Attack on British soccer fans in France appears to be anti-Semitic

Fans of the British soccer team the Tottenham Spurs were targeted in an apparent anti-Semitic attack at a pub in Lyon, France.

A mob of about 50 entered the Smoking Dog on Wednesday night making a Nazi salute before smashing doors and throwing chairs and other objects.

There were about 150 Spurs fans in the pub, which is popular with British expatriates in France, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Three Spurs fans were injured.

The Spurs traditionally have had a large Jewish support base in London, which is sometimes referred to as the “Yid Army.”

A Lyon newspaper described the attackers as skinheads, according to the Guardian.

Tottenham was scheduled to play Olympique Lyonnais in a Europa League game on Thursday.

In November, some 50 assailants wielding cobblestones, metal bars and knives attacked British Spurs' fans and trashed a pub in Rome's Campo de' Fiori square. One British fan was stabbed in the incident.

French Jew attacked outside synagogue

A 21-year-old student was severely beaten near his synagogue in southern France after acknowledging to his attackers that he was Jewish.

After leaving a synagogue in the town of Villeurbanne, near Lyon, on April 7, the victim was confronted by two men in their early 20s who insulted him and asked him if he was Jewish. When the victim, whose name has not been released to the media, did not deny his religious affiliation, the two men attacked him in the head and upper body with a pellet gun and a club, according to police reports.

The victim spent the night in the hospital and was treated for head, stomach and arm wounds. He was released the following day. Police are searching for the attackers.

Marcel Amsellem, president of the CRIF Jewish umbrella group in the southeastern Rhone-Alpes region, said the Jewish community there was seriously concerned about the “horrifying act.”  The local mayor also condemned the incident.