Jean-Pierre Filiu writes: I have been warning against a “European 9/11” since the spring of 2014. On May 24 of that year, the French jihadi terrorist Mehdi Nemmouche attacked the Jewish museum in Brussels, killing three people on the spot (a fourth victim would die later from his injuries). Nemmouche was arrested six days later in the French city of Marseille, with a small arsenal of weaponry. He was also identified by Western hostages released by ISIS as one of their most brutal tormentors while in captivity.
The Brussels terror attack took place weeks before Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed his “Caliphate” in the Iraqi city of Mosul and months before an American-led coalition started a vigorous campaign of bombing against ISIS targets. One can therefore only fall into the trap of the jihadi propagandists when explaining the Paris massacre as “retaliation” for France’s participation in the anti-ISIS coalition. Moreover, the Brussels-Marseille connection reveals a European pattern that has been manifested in all the subsequent attacks, including that of November 13.
From January 7 to January 9, 2015, three terror attacks targeted Paris and its vicinity with assaults on the Charlie Hebdo journal, a Jewish supermarket, and a policewoman. Seventeen people were murdered, before the French security forces managed to kill the three terrorists, first the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, then Amedy Coulibaly. The Kouachi brothers had been involved in 2004-2005 in the so-called “nineteenth district network” of French radicals who had enlisted in the anti-American jihad in Iraq.
The key figure and inspirational role model of this jihadi network was Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian extremist who was protected by Bashar al-Assad’s intelligence apparatus when transiting through Syria from France to Iraq. Hakim was eventually jailed in France from 2005 to 2011 soon after his “nineteenth district” was dismantled. On release from prison he headed to Tunisia where he organized the military branch of the jihadi group “Supporters of the Sharia” (Ansar al-Sharia). He joined ISIS in 2013 and chose the moniker of “Abu Muqatil” to issue repeated threats against “infidel” France from the north-east of Syria. [Continue reading…]