Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
We also recommend this piece by FreeWest Media from yesterday titled Seventy percent of French believe Interior Minister is discredited. As Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner (see featured meme, far right) has been overseeing police response to the Yellow Vests, which has been nothing short of shocking with the evident police violence and injuries sustained by the protestors over many months, which we’ve reported on. Now he’s forced to carry the can for a radicalised cop at the heart of the French police, and he’s looking sloppy and not up to speed on procedures and regulations in this week’s formal hearing. Meanwhile, Macron is rallying the country, telling people to be vigilant of those in ordinary life showing signs of radicalisation or other indications of not adhering to ‘Republican values’, to which criticism has ranged from ‘is Macron creating a snitch culture among ordinary French?’ to ‘why doesn’t the State do its job instead of the people doing it for them?’ Cynicism and dissatisfaction are running high for very good reason.
The Zerohedge piece below gives a decent overview of the circumstances surrounding the murder of 4 policemen by one of their own, Mickael Harpon (see featured meme), on October 3, curiously just one day after a major protest by French police, who had taken to the streets to protest their many grievances. Harpon, the assailant who was shot in the head by a colleague during the attack, had high level clearance and access to a plethora of information on police intelligence work. The very real concern now is who else has had access to that information.
We also recommend this recent piece by FreeWest Media titled Marine Le Pen: ‘The State is criminally absent’. Of note:
According to Le Pen, “the State is absent, dramatically absent, criminally absent”. She said her views on the matter were “shared by many specialists” who have warned of the same thing.
“And you will notice that out of almost all of the Salafist or Islamist imams in our country, almost all of them are foreign. Therefore, of course, Monsieur Harpon [Mikaël Harpon, the jihadist] was French, born in France, but he had converted, and he was going to a radical mosque.
“And in those radical mosques, imams, especially one of the imams I told you about earlier today, was someone who had himself committed acts, and took positions so shocking that it was decided to deport him from the country.”
Le Pen said that there was “a link between anarchical immigration and the development of Islamist fundamentalism in our country”. In a tweet, she elaborated on the alarming statistics linking the two issues.
“A Serious Malfunction” – How French Intelligence Overlooked The Terrorist In Their Ranks
It’s an alarming oversight with terrifying implications: The intelligence unit of Paris Police somehow overlooked a radicalized Islamic convert within their own ranks. Last week, the troubled individual in question carried out an attack inside Paris Police headquarters that ended with four victims stabbed to death, while the attacker was shot down by his former colleagues.
WSJ has the full the story of how Mickaël Harpon, the 45-year-old attacker in question, evolved from a quiet IT expert into a disaffected convert to Salafism – a fundamentalist version of Islam that is widely credited as the inspiration for Al Qaeda and other terror groups.
During a lunch break last week, Harpon bought two knives, returned to the office with them, then suddenly started stabbing colleagues.
According to WSJ, the attack has destroyed the country’s confidence in its intelligence apparatus and its procedures for rooting out potential purveyors of Islamic terror.
Even though he worked inside the Paris Police’s Intelligence Unit, his transformation into a dangerous ideologue somehow went unnoticed. What’s worse: As one of the unit’s IT specialists, Harpon had access to top-secret information, including the identities of agents going undercover inside mosques around the city. His desk was positioned just steps away from the division’s leaders. Now, hundreds of agents are examining flash drives found at Harpon’s desk, and they’re trying to determine whether he shared any classified intel with other extremists.
Despite his seeming importance within the organization, Harpon told friends that he felt he wasn’t being taken seriously at the office, and that he suspected he had been passed over for promotion because of a disability.
The disability? Deafness in one ear that forced him to wear a hearing aid. The disability stemmed from his childhood on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. As a boy, Harpon was afflicted with meningitis in his youth. The sometimes fatal illness caused the hearing loss.
Soon after he was hired by the intelligence division inside the Paris police force in 2003, his superiors found him to be a dedicated and efficient employee. Slowly, he gained more trust and more seniority within the organization. He converted to Islam several years after joining the Paris PD, after he had moved in with a Muslim woman from Madagascar. They eventually married, despite a complaint filed by the woman claiming she had been abused by Harpon. The complaint was later withdrawn, but it resulted in Harpon receiving an administrative sanction.
When he married, Harpon should have triggered another background check for himself and his bride. However, it was never carried out, and he maintained his security clearance.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner described this oversight as “a malfunction”. “Would that have changed things? I don’t know,” he added.
But that’s not even the most galling oversight. In 2015, shortly after the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a colleague of Harpon’s allegedly heard him comment that the victims “deserved it.” He reported this comment to superiors within the department. But shockingly, nothing was done.
There was neither a mention of the complaint in Harpon’s personnel file, nor a motion to carry out another background check. His next background check to maintain his security clearance was slated for 2020.
Castaner described this oversight as “a serious malfunction.”
A friend of Harpon’s told WSJ that he was a quiet man who never showed any indication that he had become radicalized, and was planning an attack.
“He felt people didn’t take him seriously because of his handicap,” the friend told WSJ.
Even his wife told police that she didn’t suspect an attack. At worst, she feared, Harpon might kill himself.
Hopefully, French intelligence will tighten up its security standards and oversight of its employees after this incident. But winning back the trust of the public will probably require a serious effort on behalf of the agency.
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