A Year After the Thalys Attack And Still No Answers on Ayoub El Khazzani

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I was in the bookstore the other day and noticed a new book on the shelves of the Current Affairs section titled, “The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes” by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern.  I pulled it off with interest because I had recently been doing my own research on Ayoub El Khazzani, the perpetrator of the attack and hoped to pick up some new information.  Sadly, there didn’t seem to be anything new in the book on that front, but it’s probably a good a time as any to lay out to you what I have found. Continue reading

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The Capture of Salah Abdeslam

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As John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things.”  In the case of the Paris attacks, the facts are stubbornly hard to come by.  In the fast-moving events of the past few days, news outlets with “sources close to the investigation” have provided us with facts that have quickly turned out to be rumors, leaving us with more questions.  Some of this can be laid at the feet of the desire to be the first to break the news, but some of it can be attributed to the Islamic State’s ability to disguise and deceive.  We know who Salah Abdeslam is.  Some of the operatives he and Abaaoud brought into Europe we don’t seem to really know anything about. Continue reading

The Investigation Continues…

There have been quite a few new developments in a little over the past week related to the Paris attacks.  I will try to adequately summarize what’s occurred.

The Suicide Bomber of St Denis

A major identification was announced on January 14th when authorities revealed that the individual who detonated a suicide vest in the flat on the rue du Corbillon in St Denis was named Chakib Akrouh.  Akrouh had been known to authorities in Belgium and had even been convicted in absentia late last summer in a trial of 32 individuals involved in the Belgian pipeline of foreign fighters to Syria.  He was also named the third gunman involved in shooting up the cafés on the night of the attacks based on a DNA match to one of the recovered Kalashnikovs. Continue reading

A Family Affair

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Ayoub Bazarouj

In the spate of raids and arrests following the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris, authorities focused intensely on the Brussels district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Sint-Jans-Molenbeek), with one house receiving special scrutiny.  Police conducted an operation at 47 rue Delaunoy on November 16 beginning at 10:15 in the morning and continuing for over 4 hours.  The reported target was fugitive Salah Abdeslam, but he was not discovered.  One person was brought in according to reports, but authorities stated that it was for administrative purposes and no information was given about who lived at that location [Note: I subsequently discovered an article from LaCapitale.be about a raid on the home of Mohamed Bazarouj, friend of the Abdeslam brothers, on the rue Delaunoy dated November 17]. Continue reading