French Jew goes to synagogue dressed as jihadist ‘to lighten mood’

© Miguel Medina
A 40-year-old French Jew has visited his synagogue dressed as a jihadist, brandishing a fake Kalashnikov and shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The man said he had done it “to lighten the mood.”

The incident happened on Thursday evening when members of the Habad Loubavitch synagogue in eastern Paris were celebrating the festival of Purim. At the event, worshippers often dress up in various costumes.

The ‘attack’ came as a surprise for the soldiers guarding the entrance to the synagogue, but “created a certain emotion” among them, police sources told the Local.

Members of the synagogue were shocked until they understood they actually knew the ‘jihadist.’

However, the man was ordered to present himself at the local police station on Friday.

After the visit, his told Le Parisien newspaper that he had “wanted to lighten the mood.”

“I think I made a big mistake,” he added.

The Habad Loubavitch synagogue is located in the eastern Paris suburb of Vincennes, where gunmen shot four Jews last year.

It’s not the first controversy over the last few months linked with the French Jewish population and the jihadist threat: in February, 45-year-old Jewish teacher Tzion Saadon from Marseille was detained after claiming he had been beaten up by jihadists.

He now faces a trial and possible prison sentence, as security forces believe he may have fabricated the story.

In December, another 45-year-old teacher, Stephane Aroule, triggered a terrorist alert by falsely stating that a man in a balaclava had entered the Jean-Perrin nursery school in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.