Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sydney loony

Here in France, as elsewhere, Sydney’s terrible ordeal was front-page news, and we could follow events in real time, not only through the Internet, but on French TV news. At an early stage of the affair, I was impressed by a short video by a Wollongong academic, Adam Dolnik, who pointed out that the armed guy with hostages in the Lindt coffee shop on Martin Place was surely a lone loony, rather than a dyed-in-the-wool Islamic terrorist, because the dumb bugger hadn’t even been able to turn up with the appropriate “Islamic State” flag for his evil purposes.

As the day wore on, and fragments of information started to appear concerning the guy’s criminal background, I couldn’t understand (and I still don’t) why Australian media refrained from even hinting at his identity. After all, this dangerous fruitcake had become a minor media celebrity in Sydney… and I even stumbled across a Wikipedia page [click here] concerning the fake sheikh.


A photo of the Lindt window, flashed throughout the world, displayed an extraordinary juxtaposition of contrasting elements: the sort of image that will surely go down in the annals of news photography.


In the early hours of a sad morning, we learnt that there were two innocent martyrs: Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.


I've just watched a fine video summary of the tragedy, from Channel 7, entitled Window two, hostage down. [I refrain from trying to provide a workable link to this video, but you might be able to use the title to access it.]

This calamity unfolded in a Sydney street, Martin Place, that was transformed long ago into a sanctuary devoted to the victims of warfare. On the eve of the centenary of Gallipoli, the Islamic loony committed a senseless crime whose consequences will be etched forever—in the spirit of this place—in the memory of the nation.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It could happen here or elsewhere

Today or tomorrow... We won't be asked to choose a date.


Brilliant exposé of everyday threats. Our ubiquitous enemy is …

Saturday, October 6, 2012

London's Islamic bogeyman

As a boy in the northern London suburb of Islington, my grandfather Ernest Skyvington [1891-1985] used to play in Finsbury Park, while dreaming about going out to Australia in one of the steamships associated with his uncle William Mepham, and riding horses.


In those days, of course, there was no such thing as an Islamic mosque in the vicinity of Finsbury Park. And young Ernest would have never risked running into a grey-bearded personage in dark sunglasses with a steel hook for a right hand.


As of today, like my grandfather, Abou Hamza has changed continents. But it's America, not Australia, that has received this 54-year-old Egyptian guy as a guest, after a marathon legal battle of eight years. Besides, I don't imagine that Abou Hamza is likely to be doing much horse-riding in the USA. As a naturalized British citizen, this frail would-be terrorist will have ample opportunities of explaining to his American hosts why he's really a nice guy: a kind Islamic soul, as harmless as a lamb.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gunman's siege in Toulouse

Like millions of spectators throughout France (and the world at large, no doubt), I've been fascinated by the still-unfolding case of 24-year-old Mohamed Merah, holed up in a Toulouse flat encircled by police. In French terrorist history, the despicable crimes carried out by the alleged assassin were of a new kind. He used a powerful weapon to kill three off-duty soldiers, a young rabbi and three innocent children, by firing into their heads at point-blank range. For the last day and night, the determination of French authorities to capture Merah alive has given rise to a weird siege, of a totally new kind in France.


Why is it so important that Merah be captured alive? First and foremost, we might say that the moral principles of the French Republic have never accepted (at least not in theory) the idea of getting rid of an annoying suspect by simply killing him. But the real reason for hoping desperately that Merah survives the siege is the idea of being able to examine him at length, and study all the details of his background. We need to understand why and how a relatively normal youth, born in Toulouse, could be transformed into a brutal Al-Qaeda-style terrorist. Curiously, Merah was not reputed to have led the life of an Islamic fundamentalist. On the contrary, this video (of a year and a half ago) shows him having fun in an automobile:


In view of the absence of any reactions whatsoever from Merah over the last few hours, observers are starting to wonder if he hasn't already committed suicide. Meanwhile, half an hour ago, the French minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé admitted on the Europe 1 radio that Merah's case suggests that weaknesses may have existed within the security services: "I understand that people can ask the question of whether or not there was a loophole. Since I don't know whether there was a loophole, I can't talk to you about its nature. But this question needs to be clarified."

LATEST NEWS


[11 am French time] Police of the RAID unit apparently broke into Merah's flat about a quarter of an hour ago, but there's not yet any news about whether or not the suspected killer is still alive.

[11.35 am French time] After an intense gun battle that lasted for five minutes, AFP announced that the suspect had been mortally wounded.

The death of Mohamed Merah in a lengthy gun battle with police, while wielding a Kalashnikov, was the worst possible scenario, for there's a chance that he might appear as a heroic martyr to certain observers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is this guy crazy?

It's not unlikely that the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik is in fact "crazy"—as his lawyer Geir Lippestad is starting to suggest—and that "he lives in a bubble" where he depends upon pharmaceutical products in order "to be strong, to be efficient, to be awake". OK, fine (yawn). Let's suppose, then, that he's a lethally dangerous former citizen of a finely civilized Scandinavian society. The next question is: What should be done with this creature?

As I stated clearly in a previous post [display], he must be examined profoundly, clinically, above all, for his case and condition might alert us to future risks. The concept of punishment is anathema… but Breivik must be sentenced to silence. Society neither wishes nor needs to listen to a syllable of anything that this nauseating blond Viking might vomit.

The rest of the civilized world will be awaiting Norway's honest analysis of what might have gone wrong in their harboring such an individual—apparently unknowingly—in their midst. Maybe we're all potential lunatics capable of destroying everything that's precious. Personally, I've never been anguished nor even intrigued by such an idea, which I look upon as totally false, indeed ridiculous. Whenever I touch the tender head of one of my dear dogs, Sophia or Fitzroy, I'm profoundly aware that they are precious but fragile treasures, who must never be harmed, who must be caressed forever, and that the potential violence of my giant human paws must be controlled, and intelligently restrained. My dogs are not mad animals, fit to be killed by a madman... and neither am I. If Breivik's sick brain thinks otherwise, then researchers in psychology and neurophysiology must try to determine what has happened. What was it that apparently transformed this Norwegian citizen into a monster?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

US vision of the future

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, President George W Bush instigated a process aimed at overhauling the US intelligence system. In 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who took over some of the government and intelligence functions that had previously been handled by the time-honored CIA. As of a month ago, the DNI is Dennis Blair, appointed by Barack Obama.

I was gladly surprised to discover that we can obtain, for free, a 120-page document entitled Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, presenting the profound thoughts of this office concerning the future of our world. Just click this image and follow instructions:

Before starting to read this fascinating report, make sure you've understood the significance of the acronym BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China], which reappears constantly.

The report is good reading in that it highlights the fragility of US thinking. We've always known that the giant has feet of clay. But it's alarming to discover that maybe his brain, too—his so-called "intelligence"—is made out of porcelain.

In the vulgar verbiage of the authors of this futuristic fairy story, Europeans will be "losing clout" in 2025. I feel like giving a sharp clout on the snout of the dumb Yank who wrote such rubbish. The notorious CIA (which reports henceforth to the DNI) has made so many blunders, however, that we might expect a certain amount of US intelligence drivel for some time to come. It's not tomorrow that we'll be removing the inverted commas from "US intelligence". But I insist upon the fact that this nice bedtime reading can be freely downloaded. It won't even cost you what it's worth: peanuts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

American torturers

Now that Barack Obama has released explicit data concerning the use of torture by US authorities, I'm convinced that, sooner or later, the American torturers—including the highest-ranking individuals who were responsible for condoning these horrors—will be brought to justice and punished. It's unthinkable that this sordid affair will simply fade away. It's only a matter of time...

After all, certain nations are still actively pursuing criminals whose acts were committed during World War II. Why should civilized societies simply wipe the slate clean concerning well-documented acts of barbarity that date from a few years ago?

BREAKING NEWS: An article, this morning, in The New York Times echoes precisely my feelings in this domain. It states that "new revelations are fueling calls by lawmakers for an extensive inquiry into controversial Bush administration programs". John Conyers, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has evoked explicitly the idea of prosecuting senior Bush administration officials and lawyers at the Justice Department who condoned torture tactics. In any case, it's already becoming clear that, in years to come, George W Bush will be identified primarily—by students, journalists, historians and ordinary people throughout the world—as the US president who allowed officially the use of torture by interrogators. And Tony Blair and John Howard will be remembered mainly (if at all) as acolytes of this dumb US president.

Anecdote. To illustrate this blog article, I've selected the familiar photo of orange blobs of humanity planted like plaster dwarfs in a Guantanamo "garden". Last night, on the TV news, journalists illustrated their story on Obama's release of CIA data (designated in a prominent French daily as a "half measure") by a wide sampling of the stock of torture images. That's to say, French families and their kids, while finishing their evening meal, were treated to images of water torture, dogs snarling at inmates, the notorious female guard pointing jokingly at a mass of naked prisoners, the hooded man with outstretched arms in an electrified cloak, evoking a dead Christ taken down from the cross, etc.

The time has come to say things simply and clearly, so that our children will know and remember the truth. Bush authorized torture!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quiet guy

Although Obama was elected a fortnight ago, Osama still hasn't said a word about it. This situation is unexpected, frustrating, disturbing...

Maybe Osama's Internet is temporarily down, preventing him from getting out messages to the world. Or maybe he's switching from a Windows PC to Linux or a MacBook, and he's still working at getting his learning curve up to an operational level. We cannot of course exclude the possibility, as strange as it might appear, that bin Laden is no longer interested in America. He might simply be lazy, or away from his cave office on an extended vacation with his wife and kids.

Although Barack Obama is not the kind of fellow who shows his emotions, I'll bet he's furious to realize that Osama bin Laden hasn't reacted yet in any way whatsoever to the US presidential elections. It's just not right. We all feel that Osama has a moral responsibility to say something—no matter whether it's positive or negative—about Obama's victory. This notorious guy can't just sit silently there in his cave, somewhere in the vicinity of Pakistan, and act as if nothing has been happening in the outside world. Besides, why doesn't Osama bin Laden have a personal blog, like every other self-respecting Citizen of the World? Don't try to tell me they don't have good broadband connections (at least as good as those of my native Australia) up in that corner of the wilderness. If these terrorist chaps can master the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, they should have enough hi-tech know-how to install fiber optics links for Internet. Or, as former CIA field officer Robert Baer mused in his TIME article on this mystery [display]: Why doesn't Osama simply burn a DVD with up-to-date messages and videos? The best stuff could then be displayed through YouTube.

There is, of course, another explanation. It's quite possible that America's bogeyman, Osama bin Laden, is in fact dead and buried... in which case the cessation of trying to track down his ghost might coincide harmoniously with the long-awaited withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

BREAKING NEWS: I'm delighted to learn that Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, seems to have read my blog during the night (unless he happens to have other other sources of information and inspiration), for he has just made a public declaration concerning Barack Obama, labeling him—if I understand correctly the Arabic, which I don't—a "Negro house slave". Nice concept, a little dated...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ask questions

It's fashionable for politically-correct observers to suggest that adepts of conspiracy theories of all kinds are necessarily deranged, or evil. Here in France, an accusation of this kind has just hit the comedian Jean-Marie Bigard, who may or may not have known what he was talking about when he suggested recently that the official 9/11 story might not be true. Personally, I know no more about 9/11 than Bigard or his critics, but I'm prepared to listen to all the evidence. The main reason why 9/11 continues to intrigue us is that George W Bush said it was a crime committed by Bin Laden, but nobody has ever succeeded in capturing the accused and bringing him to justice. Why not? Curious absence of action. As long as that unhealthy situation persists, we have the right—indeed the obligation—to be doubters.

Please sit down calmly, set aside your everyday beliefs about 9/11 and Bin Laden, click the following image and watch this didactic movie:

I cannot tell a priori whether the themes of this movie are plausible, honorable, factual or pure bullshit. It's not within my competence to reach conclusions on such matters, and it would be unacceptable if I were to express the least opinion of this kind. But I affirm that we all have the right and the obligation, in the context of such an extraordinary unfinished affair as 9/11, to examine all the available evidence and viewpoints.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tense frustrations concerning Colombian hostages

We must understand that it's normal for the promised transfer of hostages of the Colombian Farc to be subject to all kinds of more-or-less unexpected delays and obstacles. We're not playing a polite diplomatic game among gentlemen. Everybody knows perfectly well that, if ever regular Venezuelan and Colombian political powers and armies were capable of detecting the slightest breach in the defensive system of the Farc, they would exploit it instantly, and blast the arse off these arrogant outlaws. So, the outlaws have every reason to be ultra-wary.

Needless to say, like every other citizen of the world concerned by the struggle for the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt, I hope sincerely that the bloody Farc will screw up something or other, and get blasted into eternal oblivion. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

They're not honorable guerillas, merely mindless outlaws, inhuman jungle vermin... like some of my ancestral bushrangers (not to mention any names).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Aerial urban surveillance

In my article of 29 August 2007 entitled Sydney skies [display], I criticized Australia's decision to place a jet fighter above the city during the APEC gathering. Funnily enough, my scenario about the possibility of an innocent private aircraft getting blasted out of the sky by this fighter almost became a reality.

Later, in my article of 6 September 2007 entitled Stadiums [display], I mentioned the vast security resources that French authorities planned to use during the Rugby World Cup.

It was only yesterday, on TV, that we had a closeup presentation of one of these resources, used in the sky at Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris. Apparently there's a tiny remote-controlled aircraft floating around constantly in the air above the great stadium, and it's video camera can see everything that's happening on the ground. In a control room, several police specialists control the movements of the robot aircraft, and watch the images it provides on a large screen on the wall. The images are so precise that you can easily distinguish human individuals, including groups of people who might be up to mischief.

The female police officer whose job consisted of "flying" the tiny noiseless aircraft explained that, if nobody gets upset about this surveillance method, it's primarily because it's invisible. She added: "Most modern police departments throughout the world are now using this technique." Hearing this, I pricked up my ears. Was the police department in Sydney actually using this approach during the APEC? If so, was the publicity about the jet fighter in Sydney's skies simply a strategy to make people forget about the presence of tiny robot aircraft equipped with video cameras? Was the ban on all other aircraft over Sydney designed to make sure that the little robotic devices would be free to glide around in an airspace free of turbulence and obstacles?

If ever it so happens that Sydney is not yet aware of this new robotic technology, then it might be a good idea if a few Australian police delegates were to visit France, at the end of the rugby matches, to see what it's all about. In making this suggestion, I'm thinking above all of the safety of private pilots wishing to take their family or friends on future joy flights over the Sydney coastline or the Blue Mountains, while unaware that the local police are protecting Important Visitors and searching for potential Troublemakers and Dangerous Terrorists. It would be so much less messy to collide with a tiny robotic drone than to get pulverized by a jet fighter belonging to the Royal Australian Air Force.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Too bad to be true

The gray-bearded man on the left is a still shot of Osama bin Laden taken from a video that was aired in October 2004. The black-bearded man on the right is alleged to be this same Osama bin Laden in a recent video, released yesterday. If you wish to see a presentation of this latest video, click the above image.

My personal reactions? I'm convinced that the second video is an expert hoax. You only have to compare the two representations of Osama bin Laden to see at a glance that the alleged recent video is simply a finely-executed remake of the older one.

QUESTION: Who would have produced this remake?
ANSWER: Video specialists working for Bush.
QUESTION: Why would they have produced it?
ANSWER: To demonstrate that the devil is still rampant.
QED.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Franco/Spanish police success

Yesterday morning, in the city of Cahors in south-west France, French police swooped upon a suburban house [the grey-walled place on the left] and arrested four alleged bomb-makers, three men and a woman, belonging to the Basque separatist group ETA. According to French and Spanish authorities, the four individuals were actually preparing an imminent attack. One of the arrested men is described as a "historical member" of ETA, which is police jargon for "a big fish".

I'm tempted to compare the calm efficiency of this combined Franco/Spanish operation with the recent fiasco in Australia concerning the "capture" of an Indian doctor suspected of abetting terrorists in the UK. Admittedly, France and Spain have a common border, whereas England and Australia lie on opposite sides of the planet.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Indian doctor and Aussie patient

This morning, I was happy to learn that Mohamed Haneef had succeeded, in a court appeal, in recovering his Australian work visa.

This young Indian doctor is surely an ordinary individual who has never been condemned of committing any crime whatsoever. The idea of being tempted to consider him as a terrorist is idiotic and grotesque.

Be that as it may, the Australian minister Kevin Andrews is not at all happy with the ruling of the Federal Court. As for me, I was satisfied to see a photo of this intriguing all-powerful Australian administrator:

Indeed, it's frustrating to remain aware of the existence of a curiously notorious individual without knowing what he might look like. Thanks to The Australian, I can now associate a physical image with the name of the man who declared that Mohamed Haneef couldn't pass an Aussie character test. Andrews, to say the least, has an intriguing face. To call a spade a spade, the stark face of Kevin Andrews, with its corpse-like rigidity, frightens me.

An Australian journalist compared Kevin Andrews with a notorious fictional character of the '60s named Maxwell Smart, an incompetent law authority who invented the shoe telephone:

Personally, I'm not sure that Kevin Andrews could invent anything whatsoever. He doesn't strike me as an inventor. He doesn't strike me as anything of a nice nature. Well, yes, his face does in fact strike me in a morbid sense. I wouldn't like to meet up with Kevin Andrews on a dark night in a remote alley, let along in a government immigration office. To put it bluntly, he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would wish his neighbor well.

Meanwhile, the amusing thing about this whole affair is that Haneef, sooner or later, will become a celebrity in Australia. People will be queuing up to obtain a consultation with this nice notorious Indian doctor. And many of his patients will be tempted to ask the same questions: "Who's this weird guy named Kevin Andrews? Why did he attack you? Do you think it's safe for Australia that such an individual should remain in such a prominent post?" By then, of course, I would hope that Kevin Andrews will have retired from active service.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Land of law?

From my antipodean observational outpost here in France, I'm frankly alarmed by the way in which my native land is handling the case—or rather the lack of a case—against the accused terrorism supporter Mohamed Haneef. Clearly, the police investigation up in Queensland got screwed up, which explains why a federal law-enforcement directorate is now called upon to review the fiasco. My first reaction is positive: Thank God Australia employs a so-called Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions!

I don't know why Queensland premier Peter Beattie, in criticizing the methods of his police force, had to resort to the foreign [Hollywood] image of the Keystone Cops. Homegrown anecdotes of idiotic police blunders abound, notably in the bushranger domain.

The thing that worries me, when I observe what has happened in the case of Haneef, is a lurking suspicion that Australia might no longer be what we commonly refer to as a land of law. Sure, it's a land of politics, with a lowercase "p", and a land of Dollars, with an uppercase "D". But it appears to be a land in which an Indian doctor can find himself involved, overnight, in a frightening imbroglio, as indicated by the following extract from today's The Australian:

Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty was also forced to deny reports police had written the names of overseas terror suspects on Haneef's personal diary, and that Haneef was being investigated for plotting to bomb a Gold Coast skyscraper.

Many years ago, when I saw customs officials in the port of Fremantle confiscating jars of baby food that my wife was bringing ashore to feed our Emmanuelle during our brief stopover in Western Australia, I formed the vague opinion that certain Australians in authority often tend to be excessively zealous, as if their credibility depended upon their obtaining outstanding results. I witnessed this same behavior twenty years later, in exactly the same city, when I saw WA cops taking pleasure in arresting drivers leaving places of revelry associated with the America's Cup regattas.

If all the events surrounding Haneef were to mean that the threats of terrorism in Australia will henceforth be diminished, one might conclude that it's worthwhile. But that's like saying that the invasion of Iraq could be justified a posteriori if it had reduced the outlaw phenomenon in that land. In my view, in their sunny microcosm, Queensland cops are surely just as dumb as George W Bush.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Business as usual

There's an everyday expression in French, fond de commerce, whose literal meaning is "business assets". But it's often used in the case of small shopkeepers to designate the particular commercial setting and customers that enable them to earn their living. For example, I recall the prolific and popular French novelist Frédéric Dard [1921-2000] talking about his childhood on a radio program. At one stage, his mother had a small shop that sold merchandise designated in French as farces-attrapes, which means trivial objects used for practical jokes, tricks and party gags. [I'm not sure I ever saw such a shop back in Australia... or anywhere outside of France, for that matter.] Well, Frédéric Dard explained with glee that his mother's commercial operations meant, for example, that she had to stock an assortment of the finest imitation dog turds made out of rubber. In other words, her fond de commerce included these objects and, by the same token, the people who buy such stuff. She therefore had to maintain constant contacts with the wholesalers who produced these objects. So, whenever a manufacturer's representative called in at her shop, she would ask to be brought up to date: "Please show me a few samples of this year's creations in the field of dog shit."

In a totally different domain, I've always felt that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is like a small shopkeeper whose constant business preoccupation is terrorism.

As a consequence of September 11, 2001, Rudy nows knows more about how to deal with terrorists than anyone else in the world... including Bill Clinton, of course, and maybe even George W Bush. Rudy is a specialist in terrorist threats just like the mother of Frédéric Dard was a specialist in imitation dog turds. It's Giuliani's business, and nobody should dare to tell him how to run his business, particularly if they're Democrats. Above all, Rudy doesn't want to listen to anybody talking about bringing the troops home from Iraq.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee made it clear, tersely, that Rudy's establishment is not at all the best little shop in town: "Rudy's arrogance has gotten the best of him. How can a man who failed to prepare New York City for a second attack after the first one, who sent firefighters and emergency workers into Ground Zero without respirators and quit the Iraq Study Group to raise money keep America safe?"

Will those negative remarks slow down Rudy's operations? Not at all. Business as usual.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

America didn't listen to France

It has just been revealed publicly, in the prestigious daily newspaper Le Monde, that the DGSE [French secret service] submitted to the CIA chief in Paris, on 5 January 2001 (eight months before the destruction of the Twin Towers), a precise report concerning the threat of aircraft hijacking by Al-Qaeda terrorists. This note even included an organizational chart of the senior Al-Qaeda hierarchy.

Since France had been the target of terrorist attacks at an early date, French intelligence concerning Oussama Ben Laden was far in advance of US knowledge in this domain. The report sent to the CIA by the DGSE mentioned seven airlines that might be targeted by Al-Qaeda hijackers, and this list included the two that were finally chosen: American Airlines and United Airlines. The January 2001 report spoke of timing, explaining that the hijacking project, initially prepared for 2000, had been postponed.

Bush invaded Iraq without paying attention to warnings from France concerning the grave consequences of such an idiotic act. Today, we learn retrospectively that, well before Iraq, ignoring French advice had already become a style of foreign affairs "thinking" in the USA. It would be well, I feel, if this situation were to evolve soon in a positive sense.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Disturbing news

You can’t believe everything transmitted by the media. We now know retrospectively (a little too late for anybody to do much about it) that the concept of “embedded journalists” was invented by Bush & Co as a means of ensuring that media representatives would finally set aside their professional deontology and relate only the “news” (not necessarily sound) that US military men wished to disseminate. This diabolical concept was a foundation for media lies and disinformation. In persuading journalists to sell their souls in this way, Bush & Co had produced a weapon of mass deception. [This expression was invented by two witty American authors, John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, whose books are presented in an excellent website, which incorporates a video: http://www.prwatch.org/tbwe/index.html]

Today, should we believe the disturbing news revealed yesterday in the French press in connection with a documentary film that will soon be aired on French TV ? The film’s title, translated into English, is Bin Laden — Failures of a Hunt. It is signed by two journalists, Eric de Lavarène and Emmanuel Razavi, and produced by Hamsa Press and Ligne de Front. The rare people who have been invited to view private projections of this hot document say that it includes disturbing accounts by four French soldiers, whose identities were not revealed. Apparently, members of the French forces in Afghanistan had Osama Bin Laden in their gunsights on two separate occasions, in 2003 and 2004, but they nevertheless refrained from trying to capture him. Why not? According to the film’s alleged firsthand witnesses of these close-range encounters with the chief of Al-Qaeda, US military commanders gave no explicit green-light orders to the French soldiers to intercept Bin Laden. So, they did nothing. And Osama Bin Laden walked away, unaware of the fact that he could have been gunned down by French soldiers.

Before being tempted to draw any conclusions whatsoever concerning the strange facts related in this documentary, we must await confirmations that they are indeed authentic. For the moment, the French Ministry of Defense has denied vigorously that French soldiers were ever in a position to capture Bin Laden, and the film’s accounts are described as fabulation. So, we should remain skeptical.

Information of a similar kind was provided some time ago by a 43-year-old French specialist on espionage named Eric Denécé, director of the Centre français de recherche sur le renseignement [French Center for Intelligence Studies]. He claimed that French commandos in Afghanistan had spotted Bin Laden through binoculars during the first fortnight of September 2004, and that US military authorities had asked the bewildered French soldiers to refrain from actually intercepting America’s number-one public enemy.

Anecdote: The above-mentioned Frenchman, Professor Eric Denécé, is a member of the ethical committee in charge of a weird project concerning a so-called Spyland theme park, of the Disneyland kind, which is soon to be set up just twenty minutes away from where I live, alongside the highway to Valence. Near the top of the following website, there’s a button that enables you to download an English-language description of this amazing project:
http://www.cf2r.org/fr/spyland/presentation.php