Since my on the spot analysis and speculations on the likely truth behind the recent shootings in South-Western France, more information has come to light that suggests that I was correct – Mohamned Merah was indeed a French intelligence asset who was groomed and then ‘burned’ in the service of a staged ‘Islamic terror’ attack and the re-election of Nicolas Sarkozy in the upcoming French Presidential elections.
Here’s a quick recapitulation of the facts:
Merah has not been identified as the person who killed three soldiers, a Jewish teacher and three Jewish children in Toulouse and Montauban because the shooter was wearing a motorbike helmet. On the contrary, eyewitnesses said the gunman was “quite fat” and “European looking” (according to an eyewitness who said he caught a glimpse of the gunman’s face while his visor was down) while Merah is of slender build and clearly of North African descent.
The only evidence that Merah was the gunman is based on recordings of alleged conversations between police negotiators and Merah. These recordings have not been made public and probably never will. While we can assume that a dialogue between Merah and police did take place, we have every reason to assume that the French authorities are not telling the truth.
According to Liberation Magazine (and also reported on France 2’s News programme on the 22nd March):
“The hunt for the suspect of the 7 murders […] began after the murders in Montauban on the 15th March. The next day, the DCRI pulled out “two lists of 15 names” of far-right extremists and islamists in the area. Among them, M.Merah, “spotted because of 2 training trips to Afghanistan in 2010 and Pakistan in 2011″ according to an intelligence official.”
So four days before the murders of one teacher and three children at the Jewish school in Toulouse, French authorities had Merah’s name among 14 others as a suspect, yet they were unable to even bring him in for questioning before he would, allegedly, continue his killing spree? In addition, according to Le Canard EnchaÃ®nÃ© newspaper, the communications (landline, internet, cell phone) of Merah and his entire family were bugged by the DCRI from March to November last year. According to the newspaper, the bugging ended at about the time of Merah’s meeting with the DCRI agent in November. However, the body which authorises telephone surveillance said later that the bugging began in November and was dropped in February because it revealed nothing important. The most likely scenario however, is that the bugging never ended. Despite this, French authorities were unable to identify him as the shooter, even when he used his mother’s computer to, again allegedly, contact the first victim on 11th March.
In an interview for Liberation Magazine, French security expert Francois Heisbourg pointed out that suspected Islamist militants had plotted to attack soldiers in France at least twice in recent years – at Chambery in 2009 and in Lorraine in 2007.
“Here’s a guy with the profile of a jihadist and they didn’t take any more interest in him,” said Mr Heisbourg.
Heisbourg told Liberation that no more than a few dozen French people had “made the trip to Afghanistan”, and the number from south-western France could be counted in single digits.
Veteran French journalist Alain Hamon, who specialises in policing and terrorism and has interviewed police officers from the DCRI and other departments for a forthcoming book, said that the DCRI had failed in its duty “on every level”.
They should, he said, have been alerted by:
Merah’s record as a violent criminal and his reputation for extremist tendencies on his own housing estate
His brother’s alleged links to jihadists in Libya
His visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan
An essential part of traditional surveillance is the recruitment of informers, Hamon stressed. He quoted Claude Bardon, the former head of the French domestic intelligence, who was credited with breaking the Action Directe militant group in the 1980s, speaking the same day Merah was killed.
“Merah is typical of the kind of person we would have tried to recruit,” Mr Bardon said.
“He had problems with the law, we would have got his slate wiped clean. He liked to go out with mates but he was unemployed, we would given him pocket money. And if that hadn’t worked, we would have watched him like a hawk.”
Speaking in Hamon’s new book, Mr Bardon describes recruiting “dozens of young people on the most troubled estates“.
“I even paid for education for some of them, including studies abroad, so that they would inform for us,” he says.
Most recently, the Merah family’s Algerian lawyer, Zahia Mokhtari, has claimed that she has evidence, in the form of two identical video tapes, that prove that the French police killed Merah to cover up his involvement with French intelligence: “We have two identical videos of 20 minutes each in which Merah is heard to say to police ‘why are you killing me? I’m innocent, you are betraying me!’ Mokhtari said. The lawyer also claimed that “individuals at the heart of the event, and who want the truth to come out, sent me these videos. Merah (Mohamed) was manipulated and used in these operations by French authorities and then he was liquidated so that the truth would not see the light of day”. Mokhtari indicated that she would provide the French courts with “an initial list of three names so that these individuals could take part in the investigation”. One name is that of a French intelligence agent and the other two of individuals of different nationalities who worked with Mohamed Merah.
Among the 15 suspects, supposedly drawn up by French authorities on March 15th, Merah was probably the only one who was an active French intelligence asset. Yet still, he could not be found, let alone stopped, before continuing on his alleged killing spree?
Based on comments made by the head of French intelligence Bernard Squarcini, Merah was an asset of French intelligence. Squarcini stated that during the siege:
“He (Merah) wanted to speak to an intelligence officer from the Regional Directorate of Domestic Intelligence (DRRI) at Toulouse, who had met Merah in November 2011. Merah called another French intelligence agent on the 13th October 2011 because he wasn’t in France at that time, he was in Pakistan. ‘When I get back, I’ll call you’ Merah told the agent. On the 3rd November, Merah called the agent from the Purpan hospital in Toulouse, where he was receiving treatment for hepatitis. ‘When I get out, I’ll come to see you’, Merah assured the agent.
He came to the interview with a USB key containing photos of his trips. He showed the agent photos of a tourist trip he made to the near East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Squarcini also confirmed that Merah traveled extensively in the Middle East, even though his legal earnings were roughly at the minimum wage: “He spent time with his brother in Cairo after having traveled in the Near East: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and even Israel. … Then he went to Afghanistan via Tajikistan.”
Despite Squarcini’s insistence that none of this means anything in particular other than Merah was a ‘lone wolf’, it is clear that Merah was a French intelligence asset and had a French intelligence ‘handler’. If not, how do we explain his obviously close relationship with French intelligence, and the fact that he appears to have been able to call them whenever he wished? In fact, Squarcini’s claim is directly challenged by the former head of France’s counter-espionage service (DST), Yves Bonnet, who told the Toulouse newspaper La DÃ©pÃªche du Midithat Merah was clearly an informant for French intelligence, and that the status of ‘informant’ is “no small thing”. Bonnet also questioned why the ‘RAID’ (anti-terrorist SWAT team) was used when the GIGN (hostage negotiation team from the Gendarmerie) are recognised as the best trained and equipped, and suggested that Merah could easily have been captured alive.
Being an intelligence informant or asset is indeed ‘no small thing’, especially in Merah’s case where he seems to have been used by French intelligence to visit with, and report back on, so-called ‘Islamic militants’ in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Given that the French government takes the threat from ‘Islamic terrorism’ so seriously, how closely do we suppose they would have watched and controlled the movement of one of their informants that they had been sending into the heart of Islamic terror land to undergo training and generally pose as a ‘jihadi’? Surely the risk of such an informant ‘turning bad’ and double crossing them is top of their list of potential problems and he would, therefore, be very closely watched.
It has been confirmed that Merah also traveled to Israel. Italian newspaper Il Foglio, citing ‘intelligence sources’, said Merah travelled to Israel in September 2010 using cover provided by the French external intelligence service, the Direction GÃ©nÃ©rale de la SÃ©curitÃ© ExtÃ©rieure (DGSE). The point of a trip to Israel is to prove to would be ‘Jihadis’ that Merah could easily pass through Israeli airport security, which is understood to be the toughest in the world, and thereby establish his credentials as a useful ‘terrorist’.
Strangely enough, the so-called ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid, also took a trip to Israel, for still unknown reasons, back in July 2002, five months his ridiculous attempt to detonate explosives in his shoes on board American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami. The Israeli-owned security company ICTS ran security at Charles de Gaulle airport when Reid somehow managed to pass undetected. The infamous ‘Underwear bomber’ of late December 2010, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded his plane at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, without a passport and with the help of a man in a suit, before attempting to detonate his ‘crotch bomb’. ICTS was also in charge of security at Schipol at the time. ICTS was also in charge of security at Boston’s Logan airport, when several 9/11 hijackers (including Mohammed Atta) allegedly boarded Flight 11 before crashing it into the WTC’s North Tower.
What has Mohammed Atta and 9/11 got to do with all of this? Well, given that Sarkozy had the effrontery to compare the Toulouse shootings to the September 11th attacks, we can at least help him out by drawing the comparison between Mohamed Merah and Mohammed Atta. Both were intelligence assets who enjoyed cozy (if manipulative) relationships with French and US/Israeli intelligence agencies. Merah enjoyed all-expenses paid trips to the Middle and Near East, Atta was given free flight training at the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, and was seen swanning around the officer’s club. At the appointed time, both were framed for ‘terrorist’ attacks they did not commit, and subsequently murdered.
So Sarko the Amerian got his ‘9/11’, and he is, no doubt, pretty pleased with himself. After all, fake terror attacks are wonderful ways to distract attention from the high political criminality, like the very recent revelations of money laundering by Sarko to finance his 2007 election campaign, and of course, to manipulate the population to support a strong leader who will usher in the totalitarian measures ‘needed’ to keep them safe from the mythical ‘terrorists’.