by Michael Curtis
On August 7, 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a French television program transmitted a timely warning to his French audience. The fight against terrorism he said was not “Israel’s battle…It’s your battle, it’s the battle of France.” His words were prescient, “if you don’t stand together, then this terror plague will come to you. It’s just a matter of time.”
Unfortunately, the plague has come to France on too many occasions. It is sad to recount the instances of evil. On August 9, 1982 members of the Abu Nidal Organization threw grenades into the Jewish Restaurant Goldenberg in Paris, killing six, including 2 Americans. On December 24, 1994, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) hijacked an Air France plane in Algeria, killing 3 passengers and threatening to blow uo the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The GIA war also responsible for attacks in July 1999 on the Paris Saint-Michel metro station, and in August 1995 attempts were made on the Arc de Triomphe, metro and rail stations.
Terrorism became more outrageous and deadly with the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 and then again on January 7, 2015, followed by an attack on a Jewish supermarket, because of publication of satirical cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that many Muslims found insulting,. On June 13, 2016 terrorist Larossi Aballa stabbed a married couple, 2 police officers, in their home in Magnanville, and held their 3 year old son hostage.
The most dramatic incidents have been the attacks on November 13, 2015 and July 2016. In 2015, nine terrorists carried out the worst attack since the end of World War II. They included a number of attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, football stadium, and cafes in Paris, killing 130 people and wounding more than 350. President Hollande regarded this as an act of war and set up a 3 moth state of emergency that was extended to July 26, 2016. In 2016, a lone guman on Bastille Day, July 14, driving a truck along the famous promenade in Nice killed at least 84 and wounded several hundred.
At this point it remains unclear whether the murders committed by Mohammed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31 year old terrorist, father of 3, drinker, womanizer, petty thief, unstable volatile personality, possibly mentally ill with psychological problems, acted as a loner or with Islamist help.
Bouhlel was Tunisian in origin and the Magreb has always been a problem for France, although in the 2012 parliamentary election 5 individuals of Magreb origin were elected. He fits the pattern of the Islamist terrorist, 18-36 in age, a petty criminal, from a poor background, and a life of insecure jobs.
Interestingly, both French official and ISIS agree on his Islamist connection. The French government suggests that, while he had no formal connection to a terrorist group, he had a clear and recent interest in Islamist movements. Like other Muslims, he was sensitive to messages of ISIS without being trained by it.
For its part, ISIS claims him as one of its “soldiers, a soldier of the Islamic State,” one who targets the crusader coalition fighting the caliphate. Whether by chance or not, ISIS only a month ago called for the use of cars and trucks in terror attacks, and urged potential terrorists to feel their cars with gas. Even earlier, ISIS spokesperson Mohammed al-Adani had ordered slaughter by all means, such running people over by a car.
In addition, a pervasive influence in the area of Nice in previous years has been the 40 year old jihadist Omar Diaby, (AKA Omar Omsen) Senegalese in origin, an influential recruiter for Islamist fighters for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and head of the French jihadist battalion in Syria, associated with the Jabhat al Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda. He issued a documentary approving the terrorist attacks in Paris. He was regarded as a central figure in French terror cells in Nice until he was expelled first to Senegal in 2013, and then to Syria.
Patrick Calvar, head of France’s General Directorate for International Security (DGSI) in May 2016 said his country faced the greatest threat of any nation in Europe. His pessimistic view is that France is on the verge of civil war between right wing groups and Islamist extremists. In a 300 page report he pointed out the “global failure” of French intelligence and the numerous intelligence errors. There are 6 intelligence services, agencies that compete with each other rather than cooperate.
Why has France suffered so much? For the terrorists France is a special case even though it did not talk part in the Iraq war. Noticeably, ISIS in 2014 issued a special recruiting video aimed at French Muslims portraying France as “spiteful and filthy.”
One can suggest a number of reasons.
First, France was a colonialist power in North Africa since 1830. The heritage of the rule in Algeria and the bitter eight year war, 1954-62, during which 700,000 were killed has not dissipated., nor has the memory of the cruelty of French in the demonstration by Algerians in Paris on October 17, 1961 when the police killed 200 and a number of bodies were thrown into the Seine. Terrorist organizations can draw on the pool of descendants of those not regarded as Francais de Souche (French from the Roots).
Secondly, In the high rate of criminality the estimate is that 60% of prisoners in France are Muslims, and jails are the breeding ground for radicalization.
Thirdly, France officials, both President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have spoken of war against Islamist terrorism, and taken militant action against it in Libya, in Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Fourly, France is seen by terrorists as the automatic target of everything anathema to them, as the symbolic figure for western liberalism, an officially secular country, symbol of free speech, center of western European culture, and symbol of decadent life style.
France is troubled by practical problems. Estimates suggest that at least 1,700 French people, more than 100 of whom came from Nice, fought for ISIS and are returning to France. French recruits to ISIS have been given special roles in propaganda..
France is suffering and is responding. Not surprisingly, French public opinion takes an increasingly unfavorable view of Islam: two thirds of the French see it as too visible and influential. This has increased the support for political populist parties and groups in France as it has in other European countries, and opposition, to immigration and to Muslims.
One knows that immigration, home grown jihadists, and Islamist terrorism head the agenda of politics in Europe and to a growing degree in the US. The West must fortify France so that what Albert Camus called “implacable grandeur” can prevail in that country.
From the article - "Estimates suggest that at least 1,700 French people, more than 100 of whom came from Nice, fought for ISIS and are returning to France".
'French people'?? No, they are not "French people", even if some were born in France, even if some might be of non-Muslim French parentage and converted to Islam. They are best described as "French-passport-holding MUSLIMS".
Interesting, that of 1700 of these jihadis, more than 100 are from Nice. That's a bit under 1 in 20. That suggests to *me* that every known mosque in Nice should be under surveillance... and indeed, after the mass-murder on the foreshore on July 14, not just surveilled but *surprise-raided* and *searched*, and, if *anything* at all untoward is found... shut down. Permanently. And razed to the ground. *That* would send a clear message. Murder French infidels? - *lose your Gang HQ*. **Lose 'turf'**.
And to be blunt, not one of those jihadis who have left for Syria or wherever, should be permitted to return. Ideally, once it was established they had gone, and *where* they had gone, they would be stripped of their French citizenship and therefore required either to return to the Maghreb whence many of them (or their parents) came (and for which many of Maghreb ancestry hold citizenship anyway, alongside French citizenship); or just stay in the dar al Islam, at the mercy of their fellow Mohammedans. Bed. Made. Lie.
The Nice attack could have been prevented quite simply; the Tunisian Muslim who carried it out could have been denied permission to migrate to France in the first place. If he and others like him were not on the spot, inside the gates, as a Fifth Column, then the siren song of the likes of Islamic State would have no-one to heed it.
The best thing France could do to begin to save itself, right now, besides a raid-and-search on every damn mosque (followed by total destruction of any mosque found to have in any way incited or enabled acts of jihad, and/ or criminal activity, and/ or pushed *any* aspect of sharia that breaches French law), would be to slam a flat ban on ALL further entry of identifiable Muslims into France. And that includes a ban on 're-entry' of French-passport-holding Muslims known to have gone off a-jihad to Syria, or Yemen, or Libya, or Aghanistan, or wherever.
Got Muslims? Got jihad. Fewer Muslims = Less Jihad. More Muslims = More Jihad. *That* is what the sane and commonsensical among our citizenry, religious leaders and aspiring politicians need to be repeating, over and over, until it sinks in amongst the rest who are, at present, frantically tying themselves in knots to avoid seeing the obvious.