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01.10.2016 Author: Steven MacMillan

Terror and Totalitarian Powers: When Will the French State of Emergency End?

12312312312Another day; another terrorist attack: it seems that every day I wake up at the minute there is a new terrorist attack that has shook the European continent, with France being the scene of frequent attacks over the past 19 months. The most recent attack in France (at the time of writing anyway) was on a church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, reportedly carried out by two so-called Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.

One of the assailants is believed to be Adel Kermiche, an individual who was well known to the French authorities. Kermiche was being monitored by police and was wearing an electronic tag at the time of attack, after being arrested twice last year trying to reach Syria to fight for ISIS. The second attacker is reported to be 19-year-old Abdel Malik Petitjean, an individual who was also known to French authorities and was on a terror watch list after trying to enter Syria via Turkey in June.

This came shortly after the Nice attack on the 14th of July, when a truck was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84 people and injuring over 300. The attack was reportedly carried out by Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born delivery driver who was living in France, with ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack. Similar to many other purported terrorist attackers, Bouhlel was shot dead by police before any questions could be asked. Multiple other individuals have also been arrested in relation to the incident.

More to the Official Story?

With the frequency of terror attacks in Europe, there is often a temptation by many who claim to be in the independent media not to ask logical questions and challenge the official narrative in relation to these incidents. There are multiple suspicious elements regarding the official narrative of the Nice attack, which deserve to be highlighted for those interested in uncovering the truth. 

As Paul Craig Roberts has reported, the French anti-terrorist police have ordered the authorities in Nice to delete the CCTV footage which recorded the attack. This of course raises some serious questions about what the anti-terrorist police are trying to cover up, and why they are pressuring the authorities to memory-hole such crucial evidence. Roberts has also raised questions regarding the lack of blood in many of the photos of the supposed attack. 

Secondly, the officer in charge of Nice’s CCTV control room at the time of the incident, Sandra Bertin, recently revealed that she was “harassed” by an official from the Interior Ministry to alter her report on the attack by adding in the presence of local and national police at the scene. According to Bertin, the official “ordered” her “to put in (the report) the specific positions of the national police” that she “had not seen on the screen.” Did the police have prior knowledge of the attack? Is that why they weren’t at the scene?

Thirdly, the cousin of Bouhlel’s ex-wife has revealed that the reported attacker drank alcohol, ate pork, took drugs and didn’t pray – all strange things for a supposed Muslim extremist to do. Bouhlel also suffered from depression and has had a history of mental health problems. If Bouhlel doesn’t sound like a patsy to you, I don’t know who does.

The fourth suspicious element of the attack was the timing. France has been in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks of November, 2015, with armed troops patrolling the streets. On the 21st of July, French lawmakers voted toextend the state of emergency until the end of January, 2017 – with the emergency powers including giving the authorities the ability to conduct searches without a court authorization, in addition to increasing digital surveillance of phones and computers.

Interestingly, the French President, François Hollande, had planned to lift the state of emergency on the 26th of July. With the Nice attack on the 14th however, the government had no problems passing the extension, with the recent attack on the church ensuring there would be no questions raised on the excessive powers given to the government.

Supporting Terror Externally; Produces Terror Internally

France has played a pivotal role in the destabilization of Syria, through their support for the Syrian rebels who are comprised of extremists and terrorists. Hollande admitted that France delivered weapons – including cannons, machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles – to the opposition in 2012. France has also been funding the rebels in Syria, delivering vast amounts of cash that is then used to buy weapons and ammunition.

Hollande has been a vocal proponent of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad, stating as recently as September of last year that “Assad is the origin of this problem, and cannot be part of the solution.” Imagine if Assad had been overthrown at the end of 2015, Syria would be completely handed over to ISIS and other similar terrorist forces, exacerbating the threat for terrorism and the refugee problem even more.

If France (and the wider West) had not pumped arms and money into the Syrian opposition, there is no chance that ISIS would be at the level it is (supposedly) at today. The wave of terror that has hit Europe is a direct result of Western foreign policy, with the 19 months of terror in France starting with an attack carried out by terrorists who had just returned from fighting in Syria. That is even if we accept the official story on Charlie Hebdo, considering the fact that one of the police commissioners involved in investigating the attackssuspiciously committed suicide shortly before his report was going to be released on the incident.

Suicidal Policies of the French State

France’s involvement in funding and arming terrorists in Syria is particularly suicidal for the country, considering the fact that France has a large Muslim population, high rates of unemployment in predominately Muslim areas, increasing levels of discrimination against Muslims, in addition to hardly having a shortage of people with a deep hatred of France’s colonial past. Even if we accept (for a moment) the official story of all the terror attacks on French soil in the last 19 months, the government has created the perfect climate for young, disenfranchised men to be radicalized by a group that France helped to empower in the first place.

With the emergency powers extended into 2017, France could very possibly be in a state of emergency up until the presidential election in April and May of 2017. Is there a chance that the election could be delayed if (or when) more terror attacks take place in the country? Will the spate of terror attacks increase the chances that Marine Le Pen will win the election? Is France really on the brink of civil war? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: any semblance of liberté is increasingly becoming impossible to find in France. 

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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