The mayor of a Paris suburb has voiced his outrage after memorial plaque honoring Ilan Halimi – a young Jewish man tortured to death by a Muslim gang in 2006 – was desecrated by unidentified vandals.
The glass-and-stone plaque was found smashed at 18:00 on Saturday evening in Bagneux, a southern suburb of the French capital, according to Le Figaro, and has since been removed for repairs.
Bagneux mayor Marie-Hélène Amiable described the vandalism as "outrageous, unacceptable, I am extremely shocked."
Ilan Halimi, a Jewish cellphone salesman, was kidnapped in Bagneux on 21 January 2006 by an anti-Semitic Muslim gang calling itself "The Barbarians," after being lured by a 17-year-old female gang member into what turned out to be a honeypot trap.
He was held for 24 days in an apartment building, where, bound and with his head covered entirely in duct tape apart from a small gap for his mouth, he was subjected to a horrifying ordeal of beatings and torture, while gang members attempted to extract a 450,000 Euro ransom from his family.
Halimi was found naked, handcuffed and tied to a tree three weeks after his capture, but died from his wounds on the way to hospital.
More than 80% of his body had been burned with acid and gasoline.
The brutal murder triggered widespread fears over rising levels of violent anti-Semitism and extremism emanating from France's large Muslim community – fears which only continued to grow after several other deadly attacks against Jews by Muslims in the subsequent years.
The most recent such attack – the deadly gun rampage in a Paris kosher supermarket last January – was also carried out by a resident of Bagneux: Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly.
Despite pledges by French leaders to crack down on anti-Semitism, French Jews continue to be targeted and attacked on a regular basis.
Late last week, two Jewish men were assaulted by a 40-strong Muslim gang in broad daylight on a Paris street.