Desperation in Europe?

France Gas Canisters
Police officers stand guard as they take part in a raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, east of Paris, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. French police detained three women planning ‘imminent and violent action’ after a standoff Thursday linked to a terrorism investigation into six gas canisters found in a car abandoned near Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)/XTC102/16252777977527/1609082356

The more information that comes out about the female terror cell arrested in France this past week, the more ludicrous and self-defeating their efforts appear to be.  I’m not one to be dismissive about the dangers posed by groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, but if this is not some big misdirection, it certainly gives the feel that the Islamic State is beginning to grasp at straws to effect something spectacular on the Continent. Continue reading

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Still in the Game

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Melouk, Kouachi, Beghal, and Laidouni hitting the soccer field in Cantal, France, on 4/4/2011

In my last post, I mentioned that I had decided to take one individual from an old plot—in this case, Slimane Khalfaoui from the 2000 Strasbourg Cathedral/Christmas Market plot—and research what had become of him.  I ended up going off on a tangent and looking at Rabah Boukaouma, a conspirator most recently with respect to the Sid Ahmed Ghlam affair. Continue reading

Gunfire at Brussels Raid and Veteran French Terrorist Arrested

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A counterterrorism raid in the Rue du Dries of the Brussels district of Forest (Vorst) went awry on Tuesday when police became involved in a shootout with the suspects.  The raid, which began between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon, was connected to the Paris attacks, and both Belgian and French officers were involved.  Four officers were wounded, and an unnamed suspect, said to be clutching a Kalashnikov, was killed.  Belgian authorities said that the operation was still ongoing that evening but could not say how many other suspects were being sought. Continue reading

The “Latest” Sapling

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Sid Ghlam

France has experienced a series of vicious attacks in 2015 provoked by the apocalyptic views of radical Islamist terror groups. The world knows of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the recent Friday the 13th attacks in Paris. The world knows very little of Sid Ahmed Ghlam (aka Djillali), who by and large has had only a smattering of press coverage outside of France. Yet his story is very much connected to the others and shows how much of jihadist activity has nothing to do with “lone wolves” but is part of a continuum of teaching and influence that spans generations—a bitter root that defiles many. Continue reading