A French TV channel has sparked controversy by airing graphic footage showing one of the suicide bombers from the Paris terrorist attacks last November blowing himself up in a packed cafe.
The independent M6 TV channel did not reveal how it had obtained the CCTV footage showing ISIS terrorist Brahim Abdesalam detonating his explosive belt at the Comptoir Voltaire cafe. He was the brother of Salah Abdeslam, one of the alleged masterminds of the attacks.
In the video, part of which can be seen below, Abdeslam can be seen walking in between tables inside the cafe, before bowing his head slightly, covering his eyes and detonating his explosives. In the next frame his torso is seen flying through the air, after which the bomber disappears from view.
Warning: graphic footage
Many French TV viewers and social media users reacted angrily to the decision to air the footage, with some saying it needlessly opened old wounds and would pain the victims and their families. Others justified the footage, saying it was in the public's interest.
It was broadcast Sunday night on M6's flagship current affairs show Zone Interdite (Forbidden Zone).
The program's editors blurred out the faces of the people surrounding the terrorist, many of whom were wounded in the attack, though miraculously no one was killed. Elsewhere Paris more than 130 people were murdered in the coordinated Muslim terrorist attacks, claimed by ISIS.
The topic of whether or not to air footage of terrorist attacks – and if so, where the limits should be drawn – is one which has been constantly debated in Israel, where jihadist terrorist attacks are a tragically common occurrence – though not on the scale as witnessed in Paris or Brussels.
Europe, however, has rarely been forced to debate the issue, though America's top intelligence official has warned of the imminent danger of more attacks on the continent as well as in the UK.