by Nidra Poller (September 2016)
The following is a blow by blow account of the murder of Father Jacques Hamel as I reported from France at the time:
The jihad attacks strike quick and fast, the otherwise ineffectual French government is at least supplying ample information in record time. Nothing about not knowing the motivations of the killers.
Here, briefly, is what has been reported at this hour:
The killers entered the church, slit the throat of the 84 year-old priest and knifed a second, as yet unidentified person who is fighting for his/her life. The church is in a quiet working class neighborhood that stands next to a not so quiet “diversity” neighborhood. One of the killers has been informally identified as coming from that troubled neighborhood.
And this is what is going to send French society into a spin: the killer from the tough neighborhood tried to join Daesh in Syria. Only made it to Turkey. The Turkish authorities sent him back to France. He spent a brief couple of weeks in jail before being released with an electronic bracelet. The judicial wing contested the liberation but the courts confirmed it. Presumably he was wearing the electronic bracelet when he slit the priest’s throat!
[I reported on an earlier plot to attack a church. Reference will follow.]
A third person has been taken into custody. No further information on his identity but this is presumably the person that was picked up near the church right after the attack.
Precisions on the informally identified killer:
According to la Tribune de Genève, A.K. the 19 year-old Frenchman involved in the church attack, was arrested at Geneva airport on May 14, 2015, after he was sent back from Turkey. He had made two unsuccessful attempts to reach Syria, first via Munich, then via Geneva. He spent a few days in prison there before being extradited to France.
The Interior Ministry is currently embroiled in controversy about security, or its absence, at the site of the July 14th fireworks display in Nice, that ended with the murderous attack by a jihadist at the wheels of a 19-ton truck.
Sandra Bertin, a municipal police officer in charge, that fateful evening, of monitoring CCTV images claims she was pressured by someone from the Interior Ministry to falsify her report, by indicating that the better-trained better-armed national police were guarding the entry to the closed zone of the Promenade des Anglais. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who denies the accusation, is suing her for libel. The policewoman has not backed down. Libération daily published video allegedly showing that no national police were at the entry point, and the police cars that supposedly blocked traffic on the Promenade were in fact lined up along the road, not parked horizontally to physically block traffic.
The municipality refused a demand by government officials to erase all its CCTV images for the 24 hours surrounding the attack. (Copies of those images were already in government hands.)
Calls for stricter measures from the parliamentary opposition, les Républicains, are systematically dismissed by the government as playing politics. Journalists seem to like this scenario because they repeat it constantly to fill in the gaps in new developments and information. The Républicain primary will be held next fall so, wink wink, the various candidates want to show how tough they are.
The Front National curses both houses, blaming them for disastrous policies over the past 30 years.
Former president and future hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy enjoins the government to implement proposals his party has made for improved security. François Hollande says we are at war, Nicolas Sarkozy says we are at war: they don’t mean the same thing and don’t propose the same measures: Hollande raises constitutional arguments to oppose Sarkozy’s demand for administrative detention of flagged terror suspects. The president is convoking representatives of “all” confessions to make an umpteenth show of unity in the face of diversity.
Meanwhile, the annual festive Paris Plages operation is underway on the banks of the Seine. Last year’s invited “beach,” Tel Aviv on the Seine, provoked controversy, placated by authorization of a Gaza beach, animated by the BDS movement, right next to the Tel Aviv sector. This year the guest is Jasmin Beach, and the beachfront city of Sousse is honored. No protests, no complaints. The jihad truck driver came from M’kasen, a hotbed of Islamism a short drive from Sousse where 38 infidels were gunned down on the beach not long ago.
Daesh has threatened the same treatment for French beaches.
French churches had been warned that they were a target.
One of the nuns that was in the church when the killers arrived testified on BFM TV:
The killers recorded the whole scene. They forced the priest to kneel, they pronounced what seemed like a ceremonial in Arabic. When they started to slit his throat, she escaped, and notified the police.
According to some official sources, they arrived “quickly”…within 20 minutes.
N.B. Hollande says we are at war, meaning in Syria and Iraq. Sarkozy includes France. There’s the difference. The opposition is calling for a quasi-military domestic response to a war that the government is treating as a criminal affair.
One of the proposals made by the opposition and rejected by the governing party last week was to prohibit early release (for good behavior?) or parole of prisoners sentenced for terrorist acts or plots. Prison terms in France are generally reduced by one half. The prisons are overcrowded!
UPDATE 9:46 PM
Once again and more and more often, the special Procureur de Paris in charge of terrorism, addressed the press and public with confirmed information on the jihad attack against the small Normandy church this morning. A full report will follow within a few hours.
Until then, here are some important points:
The slaughtered priest was 86 not 84. Strangely, the timeline given by the Procureur differs slightly from what was reported by Soeur Danielle, the nun who managed to escape and call for help.
Far from avoiding the essentials, the Procureur gave a rather literary evaluation of the “state of the union,” as far as terrorism is concerned. He summed up all the profiles. Those who have already been to Syria, or tried and failed, or never tried to go. Men with criminal records, others without. Some actually mandated by Daesh and others that take it on themselves… And what they all have in common is that they are impregnated with the same ideology.
For those who seek to prove that the French won’t say the dirty word—Islam—rest assured. No one can even try to hide it anymore. And everyone knows what Daesh means.
One of the Daesh soldiers is now identified as 19 year-old Adel Karmish. A family member notified the appropriate services in May 2015 that he had left home and they suspected he was trying to get to Syria. He was found in Germany, brought back to France, and placed under surveillance, with all kinds of obligations, including living with his family, surrendering his travel documents, engaging in some kind of gainful employment, etc.
He slipped away again that winter, using his cousin’s ID, made it to Turkey, was sent back to France via Geneva (his port of exit), and placed in detention, charged with association with a terrorist enterprise, etc. He was released in March 2016, with a similar surveillance regime and similar obligations, including the electronic bracelet, partial house arrest, daily reporting to the police precinct, etc. The parquet (the bench, the State judicial authority) objected to this liberation. But the anti-terrorist judge who heard the case confirmed it. On March 25, 2016.
And here is the chilling echo. Mohamed Laouiej Bouhlel, the driver of the jihad truck that killed 84 people in Nice on July 14th, was given a suspended sentence for assault and battery…on March 24, 2016.
The second killer has not yet been identified. A third person, picked up near the church right after the attack, has been identified as a 17 year-old born in Algeria, whose older brother is fighting with Daesh in Syria. And how did he make it to Syria, undetected? Big brother, my friends, went there on the passport of Adel Kermish.
And this is why your faithful reporter will need some time to sift through the information, the evidence, and the reactions.
But I leave you with one more piece of the bloody puzzle: The slaughtered priest, Father Jacques Hamel, took part in monthly Muslim-Catholic interfaith meetings to search for ways to deal with the problems of “radicalization.” If he had not been slaughtered this morning, he would have attended the meeting scheduled this evening. This information was given to le Figaro by Imam Mohamed Karabila.
Further, the rector of the Lyon mosque, Kamel Kaptane, declared on France Info [radio] “It’s up to us, Muslims, to assume our responsibilities. We have to clean house. These things are being done in the name of Islam and in the name of Muslims, and we cannot accept it.”
He firmly condemned the terror attack: “Attacking a priest in prayer is the worst crime that can be committed.”
I suddenly saw a vision of the bloodied talits and prayer books in the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem.
The correct spelling of the killer’s name is: Adel Kermiche.
Precisions on the judicial structure: for the past 30 years, all cases involving terrorism are theoretically handled by a specialized anti-terrorism section in which all the personnel, judges, magistrates, investigating judges, and the Procureur (prosecutor) are theoretically expert at handling these cases. The parquet, then, would be the chamber of the Procureur de Paris, François Molins, that opposed the liberation of Adel Kermiche.
But let us not get into the complexities of the French judicial system. And let us agree that “terrorism,” meaning jihad, is a challenge to all our democracies.
Debate is raging today and will continue to generate a mixture of light and noise for many days to come. All opinions, within the limits of decency, are aired. The government defends its position, its decisions, its management and leadership from top to bottom. Every proposal for strict measures and more rigorous application of those that already exist is rejected as an insult to the Constitution. The opposition is accused of grandstanding, flexing its muscles and bellowing out war cries, ignoring the values of liberté, égalité, fraternité. Le vivre ensemble [getting along together…but it really means getting along with Muslims] is constantly set forth as a kind of ultimate value that we must protect at all costs. All sorts of vague projects are attributed to Daesh and its ilk. They want to create divisions in our society, turn us against Muslims, spoil our diversity, provoke a religious war, make us relinquish our democratic principles and become autocratic and violent like they are.
Marine Le Pen said: they don’t want to divide us, they want to kill us.
Some of my correspondents are asking if she will be the next president. This is because they assume she is the only person who knows the score and tells it raw. I disagree. But that is for another day.
Back to the actual atrocity. We will probably learn that Adel Kermiche was born in France and received the same education as any other French child. Or as much of it as he was willing to absorb. His family lives right near the church. Foiled in his two attempts to get to the action in Syria, liberated by a four-judge panel that considered him not too dangerous and, why not, possibly susceptible to reinsertion, he chose to walk into a church and slit the throat of an 86 year-old priest beloved by all in that small quiet quaint town. (Unless of course it was done by his not yet identified accomplice.) He could have chosen a multitude of other pursuits, like other French young men of varied origins. He chose to slit the throat of the priest. The other victim is an 86 year-old parishioner. There were only five people, including the priest, attending mass that morning.
According to the Procureur, the special commandos first tried to negotiate with the hostage-takers. To no avail. Then they tried to enter the church but were met by a “curtain” of three hostages, lined up to bar the way. Then the hostages came out, followed by the two suspects, reportedly one or both shouted “allahu akhbar.” They were wearing fake explosive devices made of things like a kitchen clock and aluminum foil. You can see how comical it was just by listening to a brief description.
And this is the image I leave you with tonight: the shocking contrast between the slipshod slapstick ten cent boo I’m a scary soldier of Daesh costume, and the reality of the knife of genocidal hatred that cut into the man’s aged flesh. The contrast between a lifetime of good deeds, attested by townsfolk, and the unlived life of a young man enlisted into an evil cause. Of his own free will.
UPDATE July 27:
Correction of the timeline:
Adel Kermiche made his first attempt to join the caliphate in March 2015. Alerted by his family, authorities picked him up in Germany and sent him back to France where he was placed under surveillance. In May 2015, he left again, this time using his cousin’s ID. He was picked up in Turkey, sent back to France via Geneva, and placed in detention awaiting trial on terrorist charges. He reportedly shared a cell with a 32 year-old Salafist. In early March 2016 the investigating judge responded favorably to his request for parole. The higher judicial authority objected, a 3-magistrate appeals panel overruled the authorities and released him on parole with the array of restrictions and requirements detailed above. (correction: he only had to report to the police once a week, not every day.)
One could write in advance the first reports about this jihad attack or the next one. The perpetrator(s) is always a nice guy, maybe a bit rough around the edges but friendly, likes music and partying. Nothing but absolutely really I mean completely totally nothing would have even slightly hinted that he might commit such untold violence. He wasn’t even religious! N.B. Islam is a religion of peace, has nothing to do with jihad, sharia, throat-slitting and other mass murders. But the sign that the suspect wasn’t suspicious is…he wasn’t religious. And what happens, two days later, when reporters get to the ‘hood? A year ago or two years ago, x changed. Grew a beard. Talked about nothing but jihad, sharia, Daesh, the koran, hung around the mosque, acted scary.
The second church killer is almost identified. They say it took this long to verify his identity because his facial features were obliterated by commando gunfire, he has never been fingerprinted because he has no criminal record. Though he was flagged as a security risk. Described as “brilliant,” he just earned his baccalauréat degree in business. He was living with his family in Aix les Bains. His mother swears he is not a terrorist but for some reason the specialized terrorist unit had been frantically trying to locate him a few days before the church attack. The “wanted” bulletins described him as dangerous and likely to go into action. Imminently. He left home on Monday, telling his mother he was going to visit a cousin in Nancy. Called home on the eve of the church slaughter. Then nothing. Named by sources as Abdel Malik P. he is probably the accomplice seen in a video testament sent by the pair to the Daesh agency (AMAQ) and proudly displayed.
Debate, as I said yesterday, is raging, and everything that can be said within the limits of decency is being said. The government is on the defensive, inside information is spilling out on all sides, the president, the PM, and the Interior Minister go from TV studios to church services to stand-up declarations in front of their palatial ministries but nothing will stem the tide.
An air hammer was pounding away just 10 steps from the kiosque where I bought Le Monde this afternoon so I could read former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s interview. I commiserated with the gentleman, snug in his stand. “It must be terrible to have that noise all day long.” Do you know what he replied? “Ahhh, with the president we have…” He didn’t have to finish the sentence. What’s an air hammer compared to a monotone declaration from François Hollande.
But that doesn’t mean the government is doing nothing! If that were the case, we’d be no better off than the Yazidis in Syria. In a last ditch attempt to save its honor or maybe its skin, our government pleads for national unity. This is no time, they say, for stoking controversy. We are doing everything that can be done, they plead, and then duck behind the Constitution. Stricter measures that just might reduce the risks are brushed off as offenses to the highest democratic principles of la République. TV news speakers throw in a few words about that fabulous national unity displayed after the November 13th attacks. What went wrong?
What went wrong is that the exceptional determination displayed by the president and his crew, coupled with an exceptional willingness to entertain proposals from all political parties with no exceptions, ended up in something like split pea soup. And yet, measures are taken, plots are foiled. It’s not enough.
This morning, the president of our secular government invited representatives of all the major religions for a private meeting followed by one of those stand-up declarations in the paved courtyard of the presidential palace. Ahmet Ogras, vice president of the CFCM, a lopsided Muslim umbrella organization, unsurprisingly condemned the massacre and declared that Islam is a religion of peace and religious leaders of all faiths in France have excellent relations. Dalil Boubaker, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, did express a need for reflection and reforms of Islam, and the hope that this could come from French Islam. Monseigneur Vingt-Trois, speaking for Catholics, rejected any notion of combat. Our only arms, he said, are faith and fraternity. We will not close the doors of our churches or protect them with armed guards. In fact, the killers did not have to break into the church at St. Etienne du Vouvray; church doors are always open in the daytime. Buddhist and Greek Orthodox representatives stood silently in the back row. Chief Rabbi Haim Korsias and Joël Mergui, president of the Consistoire, standing next to the VP of the CFCM, did not speak. Why? Were they asked to remain silent? Or did they prefer to stay out of a clash that concerned Muslims and Catholics?
I filled in the blanks: “misguided” acolytes of the religion of peace slaughter a priest in the sanctuary of the church. Christians, true to their faith, respond to murder with messages of love and peace. And Jews, erstwhile victims of Christian persecution, Nazi extermination and, now, Islamic genocidal hatred, are taught to choose life. If someone comes to kill you, stop him in his tracks, kill him. On the international level, Islamic nations implode, send volcanic flows of refugees mixed with assassins, carry their cosmic distress wherever they go. Christian Europe tries desperately to manage jihad conquest as if it were banditry and maintain its democratic principles on high while they are being bashed around on street level. And Israel fights back.
Hervé Morin of the center right UDI party, former Defense Minister in the Sarkozy government, says “We have to Israelize our security policy.”
Tomorrow: a review of the major trends in the vigorous ongoing debate.
UPDATE July 28, 2016
Hervé Morin said it’s time to Israelize the French security apparatus. Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas accuses Nicolas Sarkozy of trying to Guantanomo-ize it. In the July 29th update, I will give a brief outline of the range of debate in France, touching on the secular “high ground,” marked by exquisite concern for democratic principles and the sensitivities of the Muslim community; the Catholic position of pardon and pacifism; opposition proposals for increased security, represented by an interview with the former and potentially future President Sarkozy.
In a condescending article about “bleeding heart France,” Stephen Brown assures us “the only French leader who appears not to have surrendered is Marine Le Pen.” Confusing the president of the Front National with her niece, Marion Maréchal Le Pen—who has indeed announced she will join the National Guard —he blithely delivers us into the hands of the Le Pen party. There is much to be said on this subject, but I already said it in 2014. [Dispatch International, NER]. And, by the way, the Daesh soldiers did not “do a sort of sermon around the altar in Arabic.” They swore an oath [serment]. It matters. At least to me, it matters to get things straight.
And now, two days after the atrocity committed in the St. Etienne du Vouvray church, the answers keep turning into questions. I do not have boots on the ground. I sift through the widest range of secondary sources, doing my utmost to sift out nuggets of reality from the sludge of approximations.
For example: the longwinded centrist François Bayrou (who supported François Hollande in 2012) is outraged at the absence of protection of the targeted church, situated, he says, right near a Salafist mosque. But, objects a journalist reporting on the affair, Professor Bayrou is mistaken: the mosque near this church is not Salafist. It’s another mosque near another church in the town that, sadly, had donated a piece of its land for construction of the mosque. God’s little acre? So there are two churches and two mosques for a population of 30,000? Latifa ibn Zlaten whose son Imad was executed by Mohamed Merah in 2012, lives nearby, the memorial service for her son was held in that mosque, built on land donated by the church and, she says, it’s not extremist. Christians and Muslims get along beautifully. Mohammed Karabila, president of the mosque is absolutely disgusted by these accusations. Everything is done in his mosque, he says, to encourage worshippers to be good citizens, good neighbors, respectful and diligent.
Interviewed by Causeur magazine, a schoolteacher with more than 20 years’ experience in St. Etienne du Vouvray and a nearby commune, testifies to the gradual, inexorable Salafization of local Muslims. The vast majority of children in the public schools are Muslim. Demands for sharia compliance increase and intensify. Dozens of young people have joined or tried to join the Caliphate. The local convert Maxime Huchard is a notoriously cruel Daesh henchman.
In the early 2000s, then Interior Minister Daniel Vaillant (Socialist) dismissed the wave of attacks against Jews as nothing worse than incivilités [rudeness]. The halal butchering of DJ Sébastien Selamn in 2003 was downgraded to an act of jealousy by a psychologically disturbed neighbor. His killer, Adel Amataibou, was never brought to justice. Someone like Adel Kermiche might have beaten up a Jew or thrown a firebomb into a synagogue (if there are any in that town) in those days. Today, he is a soldier of Daesh. He walks into the church around the corner from his family home in a quaint Normandy town and slits the throat of an 86 year-old priest devoted to interfaith dialogue. And there is no end in sight.
One question that had been left hanging has now been answered. Why did the Daesh slaughterers come out of the church after the police had failed in their attempt to enter? They used the hostages as human shields. It didn’t prevent sharpshooters from neutralizing them without harming the hostages.
Today, the second killer has been formally identified as 19 year-old Abdelmalik Nabil Petitjean. The neighbors are dumbfounded. They saw him playing soccer on Sunday. His mother says he’s not a terrorist, he’s an angel. He wasn’t religious. Had no criminal record. Perfectly integrated. The name—Petitjean– and the features on his photo ID suggest he is “mixed.”
On June 29th Turkish authorities notified the French—two weeks after the fact– that Petitjean had tried to join the caliphate. They gave his name, but not his photo. He was flagged as a security risk. An unidentified foreign intel service alerted the French, around the 22nd of July, that a French jihadist was likely to commit an attack in the coming days, perhaps with an accomplice. They gave a photo but no name. The alert was sent out. But Petitjean wasn’t identified as the suspect until after the priest had been killed and the parishioner stabbed. His ID was found in Adel Kermiche’s room.
If all of the above is accurate, why didn’t the police find Petitjean sometime between the 29th of June and the 22nd of July? If they had his name they could find his ID, his address, his room, his hidden keffieh, koran, and lethal projects. The answer might be that there are so many flags, they just hadn’t gotten around to it. I don’t know. I can only wonder.
UPDATE JULY 29
Documentation du jour:
Prior To Attack, Adel Kermiche, Killer Of French Priest, Wrote On Social Media: ‘In A Very Short While… There Will Be Big Things [i.e. News] On This Page’
From MEMRI, our goldmine of information, ample details about the social media production of Adel Kermiche. I have seen none of this information in French media. Kermiche used various noms de plume, including Abu Jayyed, for his accounts. Since June, the real Abu Jayyed has been running a program called “Jihad from A to Z” on the Telegram channel. It’s on the model of advice to the lovelorn…but aimed at the jihad fighter seeking clarification, for example, of the rules of combat. Well, our real Abu Jayyed recently announced that he was giving classes at the St. Etienne du Rouvray mosque!
Did you even think to wonder who is the St. Etienne of the sorrowful Normandy church? I just learned, from Edouard Tertreau in le Figaro, that Saint Etienne (Stefanos or Stephen), who was Jewish, is the first Christian martyr. I can’t find his Hebrew name.
According to l’Annuaire chrétien, St. Etienne is known for his vigorous efforts to prevent the backsliding of early Christians into Judaism. “He announced the end of the ‘old alliance,’ insisting on the difference between Judaism and Christianity, making impossible all compromising between the church and the synagogue.” So here we are, in a Normandy town with 2000 years of history in our hands!
And speaking of shameful compromising, here’s another admirer of Marion Maréchal Le Pen, la petite chérie of her grandfather who was, among other compromissions, a close friend of Saddam Hussein. The article ends with the bit about the killers “giving a sermon at the altar” before slaughtering the priest. Could Ruthfully Yours be the only English-language outlet that says they took an oath? Oath, as in oath to the caliphate?
The government pursues its rear guard combat against the Opposition. But PM Valls did finally concede that it was a mistake to let Adel Kermiche out on parole. If the Le Pens, Aunt & Niece, were the only ones identifying the enemy and calling for résistance, I suppose the president and his allies would direct all their rebuttals against the Front National.
On the contrary. The report of the bipartisan Parliamentary Commission investigating the November 13th massacre was made public just before the Nice attack. It concludes with concrete proposals for improved security. Dismissed with hardly a blink by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister at the time, the proposals are snapping back with renewed punch today.
Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the parliamentary opposition (Les Républicains) outlined his vision in a full page interview with le Monde, July 28, 2016
Calling for a change in the “dimension” of the response to Islamist terrorism, President Sarkozy touches on a series of issues. Known security risks: The public deserves to know exactly how the jihadists slipped through the cracks of the judicial system and committed their crime. The Opposition has repeatedly asked for strict measures against anyone that goes or attempts to go to wage jihad; they should be in prison and eventually released into deradicalization centers. The most dangerous security risks should be placed in administrative detention. If you are serious about fighting a war you take away the liberty of those who want to attack our country. Asked why the Opposition did not respect the mourning period before stoking controversy, Nicolas Sarkozy replied that asking questions and proposing to improve national security it is not stoking controversy. Parliament finally acted on a repeated demand of the Opposition for penalization of the incessant consultation of jihadist sites. So much is left to be done. And quickly. Foreigners who are security risks should be deported.
The Left is stunned by this new level of savagery, says Sarkozy, and cannot adapt measures to deal with it. He does not claim he could guarantee zero risk if he were president; he asks for “zero tolerance.”
Q. Do you agree with your colleague MP George Fenech [president of the aforementioned Parliamentary Commission] who calls for a French version of Guantanamo?
A. We can’t just flag security risks and then leave them free to attack. The situation is exceptional and will be lasting. We cannot deal with it without changing our approach. French and European legal guidelines must be adapted. This does not jeopardize the rule of law. Any person charged with terrorist intentions and/or activities should remain in preventive detention.
Q. Doesn’t that violate the presumption of innocence?
A: “Our system should give greater protection to potential victims than to probable perpetrators of the next attack.” We consider it is already criminal to be in regular contact with jihadists.
The rest of the interview is focused on claims, from the Hollande government among others, that Nicolas Sarkozy actually weakened the security apparatus during his term in office (2007-12). Rejecting the charges, he calls for the creation of a comprehensive ministry of internal security (i.e. Homeland Security).
The Front National, from leaders to rank & file, will dismiss this and similar proposals out of hand: for thirty years both major parties, they delight in saying, have been dragging us into the valley of death. Enough! Yes, but it’s easy for the Front National to say both parties are flops: it has virtually no experience in government. The FN is a skeletal party with a few highly visible pros and a loose knit tissue of amateurs.
And it is comfortable, from the outside, to dismiss Europe in general and France in particular. Is our way of grappling with the issues irrelevant to, for example, the United States? We are not dealing with the same configuration, but we have the same enemy and no decisive victories so far.
I am not a bleeding heart but I am a soft-hearted multi-patriot, animated by affectionate loyalty to the land of my birth, the USA, the country in which I live, France, the nation of my people, Israel, and, probably the Mittleuropa of my family’s origins. This explains the infinite patience with which I seek to understand and articulate muddy issues that look like they’d best be dumped down the drain.
How does a modern developed democratic society built on comfort and pleasure learn to defend itself against jihad conquest, a retrograde, vicious, stupidly stubborn war imposed on the home territory?
Soft voices of “moderation” swear allegiance to the supreme value of vivre ensemble, getting along together, harmony, unity in diversity. As if we, the appointed victims, were guilty of endangering the fragile vessel of a noble society. Hundreds are atrociously murdered, and we are cautioned not to react with hatred, not to point fingers, seek scapegoats, regress to disgraceful practices of dark periods in contemporary history. Now, more than ever, they whisper, we must engage in dialogue. Open our hearts to the Other. Jealously preserve the rule of law. At the end of this slippery slope, Guantanamo, not Daesh is the enemy of liberty! It is incumbent on us to ensure that this does not degenerate into religious war. Incumbent on us! On me?
Above and beyond statements and proposals by political figures, experts, and upstanding humane integrated French imams, two enormous obstacles stand in the way of our survival: the genocidal hatred intrinsic to Islam, and the difficulties of transitioning from a criminal to a military concept of defense against jihad.
“Moderate” Islam is still hiding behind its good intentions… or shame…or deceit. It makes no sense to condemn atrocities, hold hands with a rabbi and a priest, and reiterate the noble precepts of the “real” Islam, blaming “radicalization” on “Google imams.” Genocidal hatred is scriptural, it is anchored in the heart of Islam and if it not extirpated there, no one can prevent it from seething in myriad hearts and minds and wreaking havoc all over the world. Muslims, we are told, are (numerically) the major victims of “radical” Islam. Muslims, I respond, can be individually free of the genocidal hatred of Islam but collectively they are enslaved. If the aim is to conserve harmony between religions then a radical reform of Islam in France is indispensable. Jean-François Copé expressed today (BFM TV) an oft-repeated demand for a Concordat, comparable to the accord concluded between Napoleon and the Beth Din. Setting aside the negative long term effects that has had on Judaism in France, one could argue that it would be worth a try for Islam in these times of bloody murder.
An honest avowal of the scriptural basis for genocidal hatred goes hand in hand with a transition from the criminal to the military treatment of jihadists. The Hollande government, with its back to the wall, stamps its feet and promises to never never never rescind the rule of law. We will not have a Guantanamo, we will not deprive people of their liberty on the basis of suspicion. This would be a victory for Daesh. Yes, they argue, Daesh wants to destroy our democracy just to show we’re not good enough to respect it. No, Daesh is one of the multiform agents determined to destroy our democracy and replace it with sharia law in a universal caliphate. There is a difference between war and crime. People do get away with murder because you can’t lock up every psychopath with homicide in his heart, every jilted husband who might want to murder his children and their mother, every thief who would kill a grandmother to get her savings, every desperate housewife who might drown her children. In war, you take prisoners en masse, not one by one. Guantanamo, if you remember, was established to detain non-uniformed combatants not covered by the Geneva Convention. If you really mean this is a war and we must win it, you don’t put Salah Abdeslam in jail like a bank robber.
Look at a video produced by the likes of Adel Kermiche. And lock him up! Not on suspicion of murder but on solid evidence of genocidal intent.
The task is overwhelming: a vast re-allocation of resources, reorganization of security, military, and police services and, first and foremost, a change in mentality, in worldview, in vision.
I will not put in writing my intuition about the next large-scale attack planned for France. But I know it will be so terrible, it will tip the scales. The transition is inevitable. The population will accept nothing less.
UPDATE July 30
In today’s news:
The dismay of Frank Petitjean, stepfather of Abdelmalik
(In Le Figaro, from an original source in the regional paper, Sud Ouest.)
A full account of the attack by the nuns held hostage in the church
A report on the refusal of the local mosque to perform funeral rites for Adel Kermiche
Frank Petitjean, a welder, was married to Abdelmalik’s mother. They met when the boy was five or six months old, Petitjean officially gave the child his name, and raised him until the couple divorced in 2011. The father is afraid their 17 year-old daughter will follow in her brother’s footsteps. Petitjean confirms his ex-wife’s description of her son as a sweet, charming, innocent boy. And, adds the stepfather, easily influenced. Even after the atrocity had been committed and her son identified, the mother screamed in denial. “He is an angel. I did not give birth to a devil.” It is normal to dismiss this kind of maternal blindness but in the case of Abdelmalik Petitjean, other sources concur. How did he hide the evil that had lodged in his heart? How did he transition from a sweet somewhat naïve kid to a Daesh executioner? How did he head to the caliphate, get picked up in Turkey and sent back to France without his mother even suspecting that something strange was going on? I hear someone in the middle of the audience hissing “taqqiya.” Yes, my friend, I know about taqqiya.
Let’s go back to the timeline. English-language sources are reporting that Petitjean, flagged as a security risk, was able to get a full-time job at the Chambery airport. Not exactly. Security risks do work at airports in Europe, as in the United States. Security and hiring are farmed out to agencies. That’s how Petitjean got a temporary job from December 2015 to April 2016. He left for Turkey in mid-June. And, as noted above, French authorities were informed at the end of June. We may know one day why they couldn’t trace him if they had his name. The fact is they didn’t, and he was not on a watch list when he worked at the airport.
However, Petitjean says his ex-wife informed him three months ago that she and Abdelmalik were summoned to the local mosque. The imam warned his mother that he was hanging around with the barbus [the beardies, the Salafists.] It is widely known that Salafists practice creeping takeovers of mosques all over France. When the stepfather tried to talk to the young man about this, he dismissed him as a racist. They had not seen each other for three years, but did keep in touch by phone.
The shock of the murder in a Normandy church may well provoke an increase in the number of people alerting the appropriate “deradicalization” services. Which brings us to the rule of law. Opposition parties won’t accept this objection as a reason for not putting the full weight of the law where it belongs—in handcuffs on traitors. But it will require a massive reorganization of the penal system, from judges to retention centers. An offended Erdogan can round up tens of thousands of prisoners from one day to the next, all the facilities are available as if by magic. In slow moving bureaucratic France this will take months or even years. It will be a decisive issue in the 2017 presidential elections.
Three nuns and a lay couple were in the church on that fateful morning. Like the priest, they were all elderly. After a lifetime of ministering to disadvantaged children, often Muslim, in tough neighborhoods, the nuns had retired to the quiet town of St. Etienne du Vouvray. They were not picked out of a crowd of worshippers and held hostage, as many accounts seem to suggest. There were only five people in the church, plus the priest, when a young man in a blue polo shirt walked in and asked when the church would be “open.” A nun said he should come back in 10 minutes. He did come back, with his accomplice, both dressed in black as Daesh soldiers and brandishing knives.
They took their oath, threatened to kill all Christians, slit the throat of the priest, forcing the layman to photograph the scene with their cell phone. Then they stabbed him and left him for dead. Sister Huguette says one of the killers smiled at her sweetly “a smile of happiness, not triumph.” Israelis often describe this smile on the face of a shahid as he launches into a martyrdom operation.
The stabbing was followed by a macabre disputation with the nuns. The killers declared that Jesus could not be the son of a God because he was a human being. They asked one of the nuns if she had read the Koran. She said yes, she had read several sourates and was impressed by the message of peace. Peace, replied the killer, you will have peace when you stop bombing and killing Muslims. He asked her if she was afraid to die. She said No.
Sensing that the police would storm the church, the killers became agitated, started breaking things, shouting allahu akhbar. They made an attempt to go out, using the nuns as human shields, but they didn’t fully protect themselves. “As if they were walking into death,” she said. The police came into the church by a side door and shot the two Daesh soldiers dead.
The mosque will not bury Kermiche.
Times of Israel reports that the mosque will not perform funeral services for Kermiche. Mosque president Mohammed Karabila [quoted in update July 26/midnight] is furious at this young man who killed his good friend, Father Hamel, and brought shame on Islam.
And we almost have the answer to the question of which church is next to the mosque. It’s Sainte Thérèse, the other church, housed in a modern could-be-anything building with none of the architectural symbolic weight of the St. Etienne church that is the very image of France. Ste. Thérèse is the church that sold a piece of its land for a pittance for construction of the mosque. There it is, right next door. Yesterday, Christians prayed in the mosque and Muslims prayed in the church, and messages of peace and fraternity flowered o’er the land. So is this the Salafist mosque that François Bayrou was talking about? [update July 28]? How could it be? Here’s the mosque. With a sign on the gate: mosque in mourning. And standing in front: a bearded man in kamis and two women in niqab.
UPDATE AUGUST 1
Why does it matter to get things straight, even seemingly small details? Why does it matter to say, again, that Abdelmalik Petitjean was not a flagged security risk when he got hired, through an interim employment agency, as a baggage handler at the Chambery airport? It was not a full-time job. He worked weekends. He was finishing his studies. It matters because he is not an example of flagrant negligence in the hiring of airport personnel; he’s an example of a nearly undetectable risk that was to all intents and purposes smoothly integrated into French society. He’s one more element of proof against the sociological argument about discrimination breeding resentment and sharpening the slaughterer’s knife. So, if you don’t think the free world will live or die on the toss of a coin, then you might agree that we are in the early stages of a process. And it matters how we present the facts. Democracies will learn, improve, and defend themselves. There is no reason for despair.
Abdelmalik Petitjean wasn’t an ex nihilo jihadist with nothing but the Net for inspiration His cousin, identified as 30 year-old Farid K., has been charged and imprisoned; preliminary investigations have concluded that he knew a murderous attack was imminent. Jean-Philippe J. a twenty year-old who had tried to reach the caliphate with Petitjean in June has also been charged and jailed.
We didn’t get news this weekend, we got preached at: We will not answer hatred with hatred and violence with violence. They wish to divide us, we will stick closer together than ever. We always loved, respected, admired and hung out with our fellow men of the cloth. Now we are inseparable. The media surfed on giant waves of peace & love. We drowned in it, suffocated, strangled, choked and nothing could stop it. We were like geese stuffed to make foie gras. You would think the entire French population that would normally be reeling from an unending series of attacks and atrocities (I don’t have time or space to list the “minor” incidents that have occurred over the past month) has only one wish in its collective mind: Christian-Muslim communion. Correspondents stood in front of little churches, big mosques, majestic cathedrals, swooning over fraternity in the pulpit, in the congregation, on the doorsteps, and in the churchyards. Muslim and Christian spokesmen stood shoulder to shoulder, outdoing each other in interfaith devotion, overflowing with kindness in their hearts and in their places of worship. Some Catholic clergy went as far as merciful forgiveness for the executioners.
Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Turtle dove reporters cooed over the presence of “many” Muslims in the cathedral but the camera didn’t find the right angle to prove the point. A bit of truth slipped into an article in the Journal du Dimanche: the Christians at Ste. Thérèse Church in St. Etienne du Vouvray didn’t quite make it into the neighboring Yahya mosque for Friday prayers as planned. They were put off by “all those women in long black robes and the men with long beards.” The service was led by Abdellatif Hmito, the imam from Oissel, known for his eloquence in French, in the absence of the mosque’s regularly officiating imam, who does not speak French at all.
Adel Kermiche was the black sheep of a respectable family. His older sister is a surgeon, all his siblings have degrees and successful careers. His mother is a teacher. There has been no mention of a father. Though the family does not worship at the mosque, the mother sought help for her radicalized son. Mosque president, Mohammed Karabila, regrets that he had to curtail his deradicalization efforts because of a lack of subsidies.
Petitjean and Kermiche were virtual comrades on Telegram, the coded jihadi message board, before they met in reality four days before going into action. There’s speed dating, and now we have speed slaughtering. But no one can come up with speed detention. I said it would require a reorganization of the penal system. That’s an understatement. It will require a geometrical expansion, and even then, how will the system handle thousands of dangerous inmates with genocide in their hearts and jihad in their heads? When they are sent to prison like common criminals, they multiply and become fruitful. The Salafists rule like divine right monarchs. Infidels are converted, Muslims are intensified, the young are hardened, the inexperienced learn from those that have already seen action in the caliphate. There is a dearth of Muslim chaplains and no reliable vetting system. This is why judges sometimes opt for the electronic bracelet. They think it is a lesser evil.
So, imagine a detention center entirely populated by security risks. Where will authorities find the intrepid prison guards to face up to them? If the truth about Guantanamo were told here, instead of lies peddled by released inmates who, before going back into active duty, tell how they were tortured, they would know how difficult it is to run a detention center with this kind of population.
The moderate Muslims speak up
Forty-one Muslims speak up! Did it have to come to this, the slaughter of a priest in his church, before the voices of these Muslims could be heard? These are the Muslims you say you want, n’est-ce pas? Dr. Rahmene Azzouzi, chief of the urology service at the university hospital of Angers, was invited by I Télé to speak (by telephone) about the manifesto published in le Journal du Dimanche. He reserved his anger for the French government and the media that had conspired for decades to prevent the emergence of an authentic, honorable, peaceable French Islam. They only invite extremist, calculating, dishonest Muslim “leaders” to speak, to represent, to advise them. Dr. Azzouzi submitted an op-ed to le Monde last winter; it was accepted and never published. The nonplussed news reader practically laughed at her earnest guest. You could hear her thinking: What? The media guilty of something? Ha ha ha.
I bought the paper edition of JDD to read the declaration: “We, French and Muslim, are ready to assume our responsibilities.” Great! And then…what a disappointment! The fatal flaw is in the first lines, where the modern, well-integrated, successful French Muslims give a brief summary of victims of assassination…from cartoonists to the priest. Without mentioning the Jews killed by Mohamed Merah at a day school in Toulouse or the Jews murdered by Koulibaly at the Hyper Cacher outside of Paris, not to mention Ilan Halimi, Sébastien Selam…
It’s not just a question of leaving out a distinct category—Jews—in the lineup of victims, it is the exclusion of an essential element of this jihad that is striking France: antisemitism. That was the trigger in September 2000, it was the focal point, the wedge issue, the Trojan horse, if you will, of jihad atrocity in France. And our friends, the right kind of French Muslims, simply excluded it from the responsibilities they are ready and willing to assume.
The Jewish Question
The biggest public demonstration of opposition to antisemitism in France and terrorism in Israel marched behind a banner that warned: “Synagogues brûlées, République en danger.” I’ve taken it for the title of my next release, scheduled this fall: Torched Synagogues Scorched Democracy. This chronicle of the dark dawn of the 21st century traces the development of genocidal Jew hatred in France, its ramifications and international context. We warned them: it won’t stop with the Jews. They didn’t have to listen to us, they could have listened to the enemy. First the Saturday people then the Sunday people. The response was “Palestinian suffering.”
Did I expect retroactive appreciation? Not at all. But this? This Christian/ Muslim harmony that obliterates us from the burning question of terrorism? When we were the first in line? The forward-looking French Muslims didn’t forget antisemitism, they obliterated it. And how did they react when the CRIF, l’UEJF, the chief rabbi, and dozens of others expressed their dismay at the blank space where Jewish victims should be? They were offended. How could we make such a fuss over nothing? Of course they did not mean to exclude, to deny, to overlook. That should be obvious to any thinking person.
So here we go again. It’s our fault. So touchy! And a bit arrogant to boot.
The media, too, were born yesterday when it comes to covering jihad attack stories. Authorities, also, act as if hundreds of assaults on Jews by Muslims every year never happened. What counts today is Christian-Muslim harmony. Read Bat Yeor on the strategy of Christians in Muslim lands, throwing the Jews into the fire to feed their Islamic masters and spare themselves…more or less. French-speaking readers will find a brilliant comprehensive analysis of the current process in a Figarovox text by Shmuel Trigano, soon to be available in English.
The Interior Minister and Prime Minister are scrambling to pre-empt the opposition and enforce a slew of measures that have been debated and delayed or rejected for years. They promise to close more Salafist mosques and deport more preachers of hate; to end the pernicious practice of mosque construction with foreign funds (Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and probably Qatar and who knows if Iran doesn’t have a back channel); to train and validate in France imams that will speak our language, understand our culture, respect our laws, and guide young people in the righteous path.
Yes, there’s a problem down that road. The hatred, the “radicalization,” the refusal to integrate and to accept our laws is Scriptural. Whether the imam is trained in France or in Algeria, he’ll be honoring the same koran.
Patience. If they take a few steps in the right direction, they will indeed have to grapple one day with that gigantic contradiction.
Six people are now jailed in connection with the truck attack in Nice. The expression “lone wolf,” definitively deleted from the terrorism vocabulary in France, will be hereafter reserved for the four-legged creature…but don’t they run in packs?
UPDATE AUGUST 2
Who do you think made the following statement on X Radio?
She does not want France to become Muslim. There is a massive Arab-Muslim invasion. If we want to maintain our cohesion and cultural harmony, we have to make a new balance in immigration. With regard to radical Islam: “I want the Salafist mosques closed and demolished! We have a problem with the organization of Islam in France.”
She is against the full facial veil, “walking advertisement for radical Islam.” Veiled women should be punished by law and deprived of their civic and social rights.
You’ll find the answer at the end of this update.*
I am an optimist because I believe in reality. No matter how hard people try to deny it, reality sticks to its guns. It won’t vanish. It keeps popping up and sooner or later they have to deal with it. That’s what will happen.
No, I don’t think the world is coming to an end. I don’t think Europe is finished. We received a report on two Polish experts that raised an alert on the imminent collapse of European civilization. My father z”l was born in Przemysl (near Lvov). His family left Poland in the early years of the 20th century. Those that stayed behind were, with rare exceptions, exterminated. If Europe didn’t end then, it might just as well stay on for the next session of the adventured-packed film, known simply as The World.
BFM TV covered the entire funeral service in the Rouen Cathedral for the slaughtered priest Jacques Hamel. A majestic, moving, carefully orchestrated ritual. I don’t think I have ever attended a Mass or seen one in its entirety. In their modest eulogies the priest’s sister and niece brought to life his down to earth warmth and decency. Hamel’s sister related two stories about her brother’s military service in Algeria. He chose to remain a simple soldier, refusing to accept a promotion to officer because he did not want to be in a situation where he would have to order the soldiers under his command to kill. On one occasion, he was the sole survivor of a “shooting” [Were they ambushed or had they gone into battle?] He asked why, why was I the sole survivor? And for his sister the answer is now, standing before us, the simple wooden coffin covered with a white chasuble and red scarf of martyrdom. Why did he survive? [To have his throat slit by an allahu akhbar neighbor?] To testify by his martyrdom to Christ’s sacrifice?
Mercy, martyrdom, misericord, communion, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, lofty ideals under the high arched vaults of the cathedral and two thousand worshippers aisle upon aisle stretching out to the vanishing point, the robes of the officiants garnished in purple, the color of misericord, and a thousand more following the service on a giant screen outside, in a summer drizzle and protected by high security; liturgy, architecture, incense, gestures, rich with the power and glory of the Catholic Church… In stark contrast with the scene one week ago when Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean walked into a small nearly empty church and forced an 86 year-old priest to his knees. For a few minutes in that sordid scenario they were the power and glory.
We learned that Father Hamel, as he fell to the ground from the first stroke of the knife, tried to push the killers away with his feet. And he said, twice, “Satan, get away!” Meaning, in the words echoing in the cathedral, he tried to chase the devil that had possessed his assassins.
Monsignor Lebrun cautioned: we do not excuse the killers. We love our enemies in the hope of bringing them back to their humanity.
Were they following the ceremony in the caliphate, too? At least the French contingent? Were they sopping up the love and forgiveness? Did they awaken with a start, hearing the words of Mohammed Henniche, president of the Muslim Association of Saint Denis, invited to take part in the running commentary on BFM TV, who informed fellow guests and spectators far and wide that Islam has special reverence for “the people of the Book.” [Yes, at their feet in perilous dhimmitude.] Echoing the repeated messages of peace and pardon, he associated Islam with the great religions that teach pardon. It is written [in the Koran that claims precedence over the Bible], he said, “an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth,” the talion law [= Judaism, primitive and vengeful], but the sourate follows with, “if you can pardon, that is better.”
Mohammed Henniche, I have just learned, was part of the delegation of French imams organized by Hassen Chalgoumi [known to his myriad detractors as a Jew-lover] on a delegation to Israel last November. His association, the UAM, flatly denied he had committed such an ignominious deed, reminding that the Association had organized several visits to Gaza. However, credible reports of the association’s unambiguous disapproval of Henniche, confirm his presence and their discontent. It doesn’t disqualify him from appearing on TV to echo the lofty sentiments resounding in the cathedral.
Yesterday, on C dans l’air [French channel 5], Israel was presented as nothing less than a model of security in an age of terrorism. The panel of security experts watched a short truthful video totally uncorrupted by bias, showing various elements: volunteer first responders on motorcycles available 24/7, thorough checks of cars entering a shopping center parking garage, armed citizens already familiar with weapons because they have served in the army, etc. And administrative detention. On that point, the retired magistrate Michèle Bernard- Requin drew the line! Oh no, we will never do that. We will never deprive people of their liberty on suspicion of what they might do!
Non, madame la magistrate, I intervened from my position facing the screen. They are or will be detained because of what they have done: they have tried to join the enemy that wants to destroy us, have intelligence with the enemy, broadcast their intention to assassinate us, and other such crimes in wartime. I think I already explained the difference between crime and genocide.
It’s time for me to bow out. I have no malice in my heart, and I do not want to cultivate its seeds. If it seems that I have contempt for the preachers of mercy and heart-struck mourners, it is not true. It’s just a moment of trench fatigue. I’m war weary, weary of hearing about sacrifice from a faith that persecuted Jews for 2,000 years and now preaches love for Islam that has only tortured us for 1400 years. They have not been able to swallow our primacy. The saintliness of Christianity and the domination of Islam were concocted on the project of our disappearance. Which has brought us to this state of international paroxysm. The Islamic world is a vast stretch of smoking ruins and mutilated corpses. Christians are exterminated in the Middle East and threatened in the West.
All these postures of love and forgiveness, however sincere, all these promises of communion, however hypocritical, will not heal this open wound, will not disarm the killers. First, these noble religious leaders must tell the truth.
*Answer: Nadine Morano. Member of the opposition party, Les Républicains. Eurodeputy and contender in the coming presidential primaries. Controversial, outspoken, scandalous, courageous…depending on who is evaluating. In any case, she isn’t Marion Maréchal Le Pen.
UPDATE AUGUST 10
The media have a way of wrapping up big stories like the slaughter of a priest in a Normandy church as if there is nothing important left to say or to learn ten days after the incident. The item sinks to the lower depths, small details pop up like junk in the surf. The mayor of Montluçon will not deliver an inhumation permit for Abdelamlik Petitjean; he wasn’t born there, the law doesn’t allow him to be buried there. Or is it “require”? Is the mayor taking advantage of an option? In any case, neither Kermiche nor Petitjean is welcome in our cemeteries. Some Danish Muslims offered to perform the rites for Kermiche.
This media practice of tying the knots and putting a story on the shelf gives the impression that the general population concurs. Not so. As for me, I can’t stop writing about it. My readers have a choice; if you’re no longer interested, you can skip it. I can’t.
The mayor of St. Dié des Vosges has publicly announced that he will not allow Abdelmalik Petitjean to be buried in his commune, even though he was born there. He thinks the terrorist should be buried in an unmarked grave in a secret location. This is one more indication of the climate of opinion today in France.
I receive countless messages from friends in other lands, informing me by attached articles that the Hollande government has flatly announced that there will be more attacks and nothing can be done about it. And the population is duly resigned. Others inform me that Europeans have simply not caught on to this Islamic game. They’ll be suckered until they are conquered. Still others are preparing to celebrate the victory of Marine Le Pen, the only politician in the whole of France who knows the score and can do what has to be done.
Polls are showing that security has jumped to first place in the concerns of French voters, ahead of jobs, the economy, and purchasing power.
What else is new?
Several of Adel Kermiche’s ex-cellmates have spoken up. The young man was a flaming radical. Nothing subtle about him. Unfortunately, former Justice Minister Christiane Taubira—famous for her corn rows, gay marriage bill, and talent for quoting great writers in her impassioned speeches—dismantled the prison intel network set up under the Sarkozy administration. Specialized anti-terrorism judges have complained that they were getting zero information from the penitentiaries. Socialist Youth movement president Bernard Lucas, however, stands with Taubira and the dissident fringe of the Left opposed to their party’s dérive sécuritaire, a sort of hardening of the national security arteries.
Recent publicized arrests would seem to indicate a pendulum swing: while hundreds of dangerous security risks roam the land unfettered, a 16 year-old girl has just been detained awaiting trial on terrorism charges. Authorities were tipped off to the passionara’s activity on Telegram, the coded message board favored by jihadis. No arms or explosives were found in the family’s apartment. It is reported that the suspect, who dropped out of school in February, covered herself in niqab on the rare occasions when she went outdoors.
A Mauritanian, released after serving a long jail term for a serious crime has been deported as a security risk. This common sense decision is in fact exceptional
Yannck Loichot, 31 year-old resident of Chartres, has been sentenced to two years in prison on terrorism charges: avid consultation of jihadi websites, particularly decapitations, plus a veiled threat to destroy the Tour Montparnasse, reinforced by a Net search of floor plans of the building, and arms purchase. Loichot, who converted to Islam in 2009, claims he was just curious but the judges were convinced he was about to commit an attack here in France or hit the trail to the caliphate. Reporting that police found sheets of paper in Loichot’s apartment with “lines supposedly from the Koran, such as ‘Decapitate the miscreants,’ the journalist doubling as theologian decrees there’s no such thing in the Koran.
And what if it says “strike the unbelievers in the neck”?
Heavily armed police and soldiers are patrolling French beaches this summer. The other day on a Normandy beach a man wearing a djellaba stomped around shouting allahu akhbar and threatening to kill everyone. He left his back pack in the sand and pursued the rampage. The police intervened quickly, checked out the backpack, no explosives, and took him to the Granville [close to the D Day beaches] police station but, according to reports in the local paper, he was not detained.
“Dirty Jews, they should all be burned to a crisp, blown up. I’m not afraid. You don’t know me. My brother was a terrorist!” Salahedinne Naouar was sentenced to one year in prison for “violently insulting” a female guard at the Villeneuve les Maguelone prison. Salahedinne’s illustrious brother did blow himself up in a tanker truck full of explosives in front of the Griba Synagogue in Djerba in 2002. Several members of the family served prison sentences for complicity in the attack that killed 19 people, most of them German tourists. Arrested last April for breaking & entering, the fearless terrorist threatened to make bombs, go back to Tunisia and join the jihad. Called before a disciplinary commission in June, he defended the November 13th jihad attacks.
If you are wondering why this man is still living in France, you share the opinion of something like 80% of the population.
And here’s another touching fraternal story: Mourad Hamyd, 20 years-old, is the brother-in-law of Chérif Kouachi, one of the Charlie Hebdo killers who was married to Hamyd’s sister. There was uproar in the usual quarters at that time, when the young man, finishing his last year at the lycée like any French kid, was held for questioning. He was suspected of being the third man on that team. How? What? How dare they manhandle this perfectly innocent boy, vouched for by his classmates of all origins? Just because he’s Muslim! His math and philosophy professors testified to his presence in their classrooms when the Charlie Hebdo staff was executed. Hamyd was released, no charges, no suspicion of wrongdoing, excuse us but, you understand, we can’t leave any avenue unexplored. At the time he condemned the “horrible crime” and said he had very distant relations with his infamous brother-in-law.
That was in January 2015. Now we learn that, based on ample evidence including an aborted attempt to reach Syria in 2014, Hamyd was already flagged as a security risk at that time. Shortly after finishing his first year at the university, did he backpack off to some cheap destination like any French kid? No, he skipped town a few weeks ago, heading for the caliphate, but got bounced back from Turkey to his entry point, Bulgaria, where he is being held while waiting for the arrest warrant to be processed so he can be sent back to France where he will be charged and undoubtedly imprisoned.
Let’s conclude the round up with a touching father and son story. The Daily Mail reports that Ali Soboly, the perpetrator of fast food jihad at a McDonald’s in Munich, went on an arms training visit to Iran shortly before the massacre. Not having access to German media I cannot track down, verify, or discount this claim.
It’s never-ending, what can I say? This one didn’t shout on a beach or in a prison… Magomed Guekhaiev, a French wrestler featured on the Fight Night in Montreux [otherwise famous for its jazz festival] Switzerland, reportedly grabbed the microphone from the MC, dedicated his victory to Mohamed [Merah] and Salah [Abdeslam], gave a resounding allahu akhbar x 3 and, according to Arab-speaking spectators, sang the praises of jihad. The organizer made light of the gesture: “It’s the same as a Catholic athlete crossing himself.”
What’s the point of all of the above? I know about it because it is being reported, not hidden. It is so widespread, so blatant, so offensive, so dangerous that it cannot be ignored. The days of reckoning are nigh.
Two comments on the open letter from moderate Muslims [see Update August 1 above].
From the singular author and film maker Jean-Pierre Lledo, born in Algeria and now a citizen of Israel:
“In one of my books on the Arab world I explained this ‘compensatory posture.’ When an Arab-Muslim intellectual has the courage to deviate from the prevailing unanimity and dares to take a swipe at nationalism or even at Islam, which is already very rare, he lets his community know that he is still one of them. He compensates by taking a shot at the Jews or Israel or in this case, by forgetting them.”
Former Charlie Hebdo editor Philipe Val gives credit to the authors of the manifesto for acknowledging the lethal danger of Islamic radicalization. But he challenges the authors to repair the unacceptable exclusion of Jews and antisemitism from their summary of the terrorist acts they claim to condemn. Further, he includes Charlie Hebdo among the deliberately forgotten: the generic “cartoonists” is used in place of the title of the magazine that is so often offensive to Muslims. If the slight is not publicly repaired, writes Val, the appeal will be invalidated.
And now, I will sincerely try to conclude this report here.
A 21 year-old from Toulouse has been detained for questioning on suspicion of collaboration with Kermiche and Petitjean in the assassination of Father Jacques Hamel. The suspect was in close telephone contact with the killers and made a trip to St Etienne du Rouvray one or two days before the slaughter in the church.
First published in Ruthfully Yours.
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