When, on January 7th 2015, heavily armed Islamist terrorists launched a murderous attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical magazine, it was the beginning of three days of carnage around the French capital: a city traditionally associated with glamour, romance and beauty. Paramilitary police commandoes and Army units flooded historic boulevards and squares in the hunt for three ruthless attackers, before all were gunned down in bloody shoot-outs broadcast to a shocked world.
What was particularly disturbing about the attackers was that all were Parisians – ones born and raised in a Republic committed to Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité yet ultimately given free rein to turn the world’s most popular tourist city into a warzone. They were part of a new generation of home-grown Jihadis cultivating links with some of the most barbarous organisations in the world, including Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Another Side of Paris will be the first detailed account of France’s worst terrorist atrocities this century, set in the context of the global war against lethal extremism. Written by a Paris-based journalist who witnessed the horror at first hand, the book’s focus will primarily be a human one: a story of individuals sharing a city blighted by apartheid suburbs, a savage colonial history, an increasingly repressive establishment and – ultimately – a venomous enemy within.
Peter Allen is a journalist and author based in central Paris. Educated at Bristol University, and as a postgraduate at London University, he worked on the staff of a number of national newspapers in Britain, as a reporter, news editor and parliamentary lobby correspondent, before moving to France full time in 2005. He now writes news stories, features and comment pieces for a range of media, from the Daily Mail and London Evening Standard to the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times.
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