Friday 30 September 2016

Café targeted in Paris attacks reopens with defiant message to Islamic State

David Kearns

Published 04/12/2015 | 17:23

La Bonne Biere cafe in Paris as it re-opens for business three weeks after 130 people were killed in the French capital Credit: Charles Platiau (REUTERS)
La Bonne Biere cafe in Paris as it re-opens for business three weeks after 130 people were killed in the French capital Credit: Charles Platiau (REUTERS)

A café where five people were killed by a squad of Islamic extremist gunmen in the Paris terror attacks has reopened.

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La Bonne Biere opened its doors again on Friday morning with a defiant sign above its entrance reading “Je suis en terrasse”.

The phrase, which means "I am on the terrace", has been adopted by Parisians to show they will not allow those behind the Paris attacks to scare them off their city’s streets.

La Bonne Biere was one of seven sites attacked by gunmen who Islamic State claims were working on their behalf and is the first to reopen three weeks on from the attacks which left 130 people dead.

In surveillance video, two gunmen in black calmly approached La Bonne Biere that night, firing deliberately on the outdoor tables before turning back towards a car that can be seen rolling slowly behind them.

Owners Audrey Bily and Romain Debray told reporters at the opening: “It is time for us to gather together again, united, and to go forward in order not to forget.”

A chalkboard outside the café offered condolences to the victim’s families and thanked the emergency services.

Romain Debray and Audrey Bily pose in front of their café Credit: Jacques Brinon (AP)
Romain Debray and Audrey Bily pose in front of their café Credit: Jacques Brinon (AP)

Paule Zlotnik, a neighbouring shopkeeper, praised the decision: "It's time they open and that we continue life as it was before."

Other locations involved in the targeted on November 13 have also vowed to reopen in the future.

Restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, where 15 people were killed, posted on Facebook: “Not to reopen would give in and concede a victory which will never be gained."

Meanwhile Dominique Revert, co-manager of the Bataclan theatre, where 89 people were killed, said the popular music hall would open its doors again despite the devastating terror attack because “surrendering was not an option”.

A man pauses with his bicycle near flowers in front of La Bonne Bierre Credit: Eric Gaillard (REUTERS)
A man pauses with his bicycle near flowers in front of La Bonne Bierre Credit: Eric Gaillard (REUTERS)

“Le Bataclan will not be defined solely by this tragedy,” he said in an interview with Billboard.

“It will reopen, no question about it. Hearts will be heavy for a few months, a few years. But we will reopen.”

On Friday, European Union interior ministers met in Brussels seeking to clinch a deal on sharing airline passenger information, which France says is a vital security tool for tracking extremists.

Arriving to chair the meeting, Luxembourg deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider said: "If we don't get agreement today, it will be extremely difficult to get any agreement at all."

The deal would give EU law-enforcement agencies access to information gathered by airlines like names, travel dates, itinerary, credit card and contact details.

Experts have narrowed down differences between security concerns and privacy rights but could not agree on whether to store the traveller information for six months, or nine months as France demands.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the system as "indispensable in the fight against terrorism".

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