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Several French police stations targeted by Islamist chants

Several law enforcement establishments in the Paris region were targeted by Islamist chants in the wake of the Paris knife attacker's rampage at police headquarters. A complaint has been filed.

Published: October 10, 2019, 9:26 am

    Three police stations in the small suburb of Paris have been targeted by malicious calls, according to BFMTV and RTL on Wednesday evening. According to the two sites, the phone calls justified terrorism.

    BFMTV reported that the police stations of Asnières in the Hauts-de-Seine, Drancy Seine-Saint-Denis and Saint -Maur-des-Fossés (Val-de-Marne) were targeted.

    RTL specified that the interlocutor broadcast “audio clips of video claims and attacks of November 13 and French songs used by ISIS”. Such transgressions are punishable by five years in prison and a fine of 75 000 euros.

    The officials who received the calls were very shocked and moved, according to insider sources. Both media outlets reported that the Paris police chief filed a complaint for “the justification of terrorism”.

    In Paris, at the beginning of the week, inscriptions were tagged on the shop fronts of the shopping center Italie 2, at place d’Italie in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. The group Extinction Rebellion was responsible for the pro-Islamist slogans, according to some sources.

    This happened less than a week after the attack on the Paris Prefecture, in which five people, including the assailant and four police officers working at the prefecture were slain in cold blood.

    The denial of the role of Islamism in the attack on the Paris police headquarters have meanwhile raised questions about the competence of the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner.

    The debate in Parliament on immigration promised by Emmanuel Macron had to be delayed by one week due to the death of Jacques Chirac. Also, the preparation for the immigration debate started badly when a controversy was launched by those close of Emmanuel Macron on the reform of government medical aid.

    “We could not kill the debate [on immigration] in a better way than by launching this subject,” an official of the Directorate General of Foreigners in France (DGEF) remarked, suggesting that Macron had started the medical aid controversy on purpose.

    “Casta [Castaner] comes from the PS [Socialist Party], basically he does not like to play hard on immigration,” one insider source told conservative weekly Valeurs Actuelles.

    However, it is obvious that on the migration issue, no fallacy is allowed. Either one is firm or one is lax. The president has been using Castaner as a pawn and may fire the Minister of the Interior to “maintain Turkish cooperation in the event of the rupture of the Idlib pocket in Syria,” said a diplomatic source.

    The European Union’s borders are still as porous as in 2015, said French journalist Louis de Raguenel.

    According to his information, the Syrian refugee problem was discussed on several occasions at the Defense Council held at the Elysée. What will happen when the 3,5 to 4 million refugees confined in the Idlib pocket seek to flee Syria trying to reach Turkey, then Europe?

    Another concern is that according to several sources in the French intelligence services, about 30 000 fighters (or veterans) of the Islamic State, Front al-Nusra and other groups are currently present in this Syrian province.

    France “is following the issue with great attention, even concern, and does a lot of observation work”, we are told. The fear is there: how to tell the difference between true civilian victims of the conflict, the displaced populations and the many jihadists who may pretend to be refugees?

    And that does not even begin to pose the question of how to deal with the millions of new migrants.

    Mickaël Harpon, the killer working at the Prefecture had access to the list of the police officers who had infiltrated mosques.

    “He had access to everything, computers, access codes, emails” several cops told the Parisian newspaper the Canard enchaîné in the edition of Wednesday 9 October.

    The information is quite disturbing. An anonymous source said: “Because of his duties, Harpon had access to protected files, including the one where the identity of moles appears. We need to know if he shared them.”

    A commander, a former intelligence officer, said he was particularly worried about his colleagues: “If he [Harpon] was able to access the list of our sources which had infiltrated Salafist mosques, there is a risk of crying about other deaths soon.”

    According to Le Parisien, Harpon had stored the coordinates and personal data of dozens of his colleagues on a USB key. The publication noted furthermore that the judicial police found on the civil servant’s telephone directory, two other suspects listed on the Fiche S who also come from the West Indies.

    In France, a Fiche S is an indicator used by law enforcement to flag an individual considered to be a serious threat to national security. The S stands for Sûreté de l’État. It is the highest level of such a warning in France; it allows for surveillance but is not cause for arrest.

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