Tangents Within Tangents

Trial of Melissa F., Mohamed-Amine B., and Abdelkader Benameur (La Derniere Heure)

So many times I find myself beginning one story only to end up at a radically different destination than the one I’d intended.  The most recent manifestation of this phenomenon started the other day when I decided to revisit the Bazarouj family and more specifically, brother Youssef.  Ayoub and his siblings provided the material for one of my earliest articles, and I always like to check up on those I’ve written about previously to see if anything new has emerged.  It turns out that Ayoub is now seeking damages for the damages caused by the multiple raids on his property after the Paris attacks. Continue reading


The Family That Moves to Raqqa Together…

Nadir Boudouaia and others (Europe 1)

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  I’ve had other things going on and very few of the subjects and stories I have been researching have any overarching theme that makes them compelling reading.  Nevertheless, some of them may be of interest to other researchers or those just generally interested in the details and personalities behind the typical vanilla reports in much of the press. Continue reading

The Devil on Your Shoulder

Apartment bloc in the Rue Rene Descartes, home to Julien Bataille (Le Parisien)

In the course of researching my last article on the “Swingers Club” plotters and trying to figure out the identity of Julien Le Prado, I came across another Julien, a fiche ‘S’ subject mentioned intermittently in the pages of Le Progres and other papers in the Lyon area: Julien Bataille (often see as Julien B.).  He was arrested on 16 September with respect to his activities as a recruiter of youth for jihadist causes, his ongoing communication with the wanted Rachid Kassim over Telegram, and for having made death threats against a police officer back in 2015—all the sorts of things that will earn one a charge of “criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise.”

Continue reading

Waitin’ on the Bus


French Police executed a series of arrests against suspected jihadists in Saint-Chamond (Loire), Lyon, and Amplepuis (Rhône) on February 2, 2016.  Initial reports spoke of six arrests, but later reports appear to show only five* related ones with another occurring around the same time in the same general region.  Authorities confirmed the group possessed bus tickets to Syria via Bulgaria and Turkey, allegedly to join the ranks of jihadists there.  Furthermore, they were suspected of plotting attacks against sex establishments, although this has not been confirmed by the investigations of the judicial police in Lyon and Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate (SDAT). Continue reading

Story of a Ramblin’ Man

Albakr Out and About (FOCUS Online/Wochit)

Interviews with Albakr’s Syria-based brother, Alaa, in the last few days have shed some light on the travels of Jaber, if his details are to be believed.  Alaa starts of by saying that his brother was jailed twice in Syria in 2014, once for a run-in with a soldier at a checkpoint who he felt had disrespected him.  Ten days after his release from that incident (sometime in late November 2014), he departed Syria for Algeria, made his way to Tunisa and then Libya, crossed the Mediterranean to Italy, moved up through Austria, and then entered Germany, where we are able to pick up his story again. Continue reading

German Law Enforcement Comes to Collect Their Man

Jaber Albakr

I happened to be awake when the stories began to break about the capture of Jaber Albakr.  As I’ve read the more detailed accounts in the local press out of Leipzig and other national-level media, I continue to be amazed at the unwarranted self-congratulatory behavior of the authorities. Continue reading

“Keine Panne” Again

Apartment in Usti nad Labem 97

Only last night I wrote about the German authorities’ insistence that their inability to keep track of dangerous Islamists in their territory, even ones already being processed by the German legal system, is not a “breakdown.”  Yet, here we are in the second day of a manhunt for an allegedly IS-trained bomber living as a refugee in Chemnitz, which from all appearances looks to be the result of a botched operation by uncoordinated forces.  When questioned the authorities respond: “keine Panne” (no breakdown). Continue reading

Hannover Islamists Under Strict Observation Or “Andrei… you’ve lost another submarine?”

Ahmed Feredaws A.

During the month of September to the embarrassment of all involved, not one, but two dangerous Islamists (Gefährder) from Hannover were reported to have abruptly disappeared, one of whom has had an exit ban placed on him for over a year.  Reports emerged on September 6 that Ahmed Feredaws A. (24), about whom I’ve previously written, failed to report to police on July 11, two days after his exit ban was renewed for another year.  Since the ban was originally imposed, Ahmed was required to report himself to authorities three times per week; authorities confirmed that he did not show on July 11, and he has not been seen since.  They continue to meet regularly with his “spouse”, Nur G., a German-Turk younger by a year, but there is no requirement for her to do so.  She was suspected of wanting to depart with Ahmed and engage in jihad in his home country of Afghanistan. Continue reading

Two New Identities From Nice

Bouhlel and brother-in-law Hamdi Zagar

I was excited to see a couple pieces of the puzzle filled in today by the French paper Liberation, but before I give them too much credit, two of the missing names from those held in custody since the attacks have been out in the local Nice press since at least 14 September.  In an article in Nice Matin by Christophe Perrin entitled “Deux mois après”, two of the partial names from the investigation were revealed: Hamdi Z. is brother-in-law Hamdi Zagar/Zaghar and Mohamed Oualid/Walid G. is Mohamed Oualid Ghraieb. Continue reading

Under the Radar in Basel

Ali J. presenting at Kirschgarten-Gymnasium

In the past couple days I’ve incidentally run across news stories out of Basel, Switzerland, involving the arrest in one case and the prosecution in another of two Islamists.  In one case, Ali J. alias “der Apotheker” (“the Pharmacist”) is currently sitting in detention awaiting deportation.  In the other, Safet Čajlaković alias Šejhan (S.C. in the press) is nearing the end of his trial, a process which began approximately two years ago and of which we are only now being told.  Little of what follows is unique to me apart from finding the identity of Čajlaković and a couple pieces here and there, but it’s something I haven’t seen in the English-language press yet and thought my readers would find of interest.  It’s piqued my interest in radical individuals/groups coming out of Switzerland, though, and I look forward to digging into Lorenzo Vidino’s 2013 report on the country now. Continue reading