Besançon courthouse attack

The Besançon courthouse attack was a terrorist event, targeted the Besançon courthouse on May 9, 1970. It was perpetrated with a bomb by two men from OAS and UDR movements, in a context of resurgence of far-right violence in France.

Besançon courthouse attack
The Besançon courthouse, in 2021.
The Besançon courthouse, in 2021.
Besancon dot.png
Location of Besançon, in France.
LocationBesançon, France.
Coordinates47°14′15″N 6°01′25″E / 47.2374843°N 6.0236485°E / 47.2374843; 6.0236485Coordinates: 47°14′15″N 6°01′25″E / 47.2374843°N 6.0236485°E / 47.2374843; 6.0236485.
Date9 May 1970.
10:30 pm. (Paris)
PerpetratorRight-wing extremists.
No. of participants
MotivePolitical terrorism.


On May 9, 1970, at 10:30 pm, the place du Huit-Septembre (September 8 Square) is shaken by an explosion.[1] The Besançon courthouse was just attacked[2] · ,[3] with a bomb containing explosives and scrap metal.[1] Damage is impressive but limited : only the porch, the bay windows, and the salle des pas perdus (hall of lost steps), partly classifieds, are seriously affected.[1] A couple and their baby narrowly escaped of the impact, but no one injuries are deplored.[1] The mayor, the socialist Jean Minjoz, immediately condemns this act, while the investigation begins.[1] Witnesses say they saw a man throw a device through, before escaping in a car's of an accomplice.[1] At first the attack was attributed to the left[3] · [4] · ,[5] but two individuals were finally arrested in May 14 with the number of their a registration plate.[1] They was former soldiers, workers at the Rhodiaceta factory, one was a member of the OAS and the other a member of the UDR[3] · [6] · [4] · [7] · ,[8] acting for defiant motives possibly related to power through the SAC[9] · [10] · .[2] The suspects admit the facts, while weapons and ammunition are found.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Willy Graff for L'Est Républicain, April 6, 2021 : « Savez-vous que Besançon a été frappé d’un attentat en 1970 ? ».
  2. ^ a b Christian Bougeard, René Pleven - Un Français libre en politique, 1994, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 473 pages, ISBN 9782868471291, page 310.
  3. ^ a b c Hervé Hamon et Patrick Rotman, Les années de poudre - Volume 2, Auguste 29, 2016, Éditions du Seuil, 704 pages, ISBN 9782021342468.
  4. ^ a b Dominique Lejeune, La peur du rouge en France - Des partageux aux gauchistes, 2003, Belin, 303 pages, ISBN 9782701132419, page 248.
  5. ^ Le nouvel observateur, 1974, page 28.
  6. ^ L'Année politique, économique, sociale et diplomatique en France, 1970, Éditions du Grand Siècle, page 31.
  7. ^ Gérard Vincent and Véronique Aubert, Les Français, 1945-1975 - chronologie et structures d'une société, 1977, Masson, 383 pages, ISBN 978-2-225-82120-2, page 200.
  8. ^ Le Monde, May 16, 1970, « Besançon : les deux auteurs de l'attentat contre le palais de justice n'étaient pas des gauchistes »
  9. ^ Sébastien Laurent, Politiques du renseignement, 2009, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 355 pages, ISBN 9782867815485, page 132.
  10. ^ Bernard Thomas, Les provocations policières, 1972, Fayard, 508 pages, page 385.

See alsoEdit