Paris Police: Soldier Opens Fire Outside the Louvre Museum

French soldiers enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrol in front of the Louvre museum on November 16, 2015 in Paris, three days after a series of deadly oordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists, which killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured on November 13. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

French media reported on Friday that a soldier has opened fire on a man armed with a knife at a shopping centre next to the famous Louvre museum in Paris.

Reports say the soldier opened fire on the knifeman after he attacked him at the Louvre Carrousel shopping centre on Friday morning.

According to reports the attacker was shot in the leg. A security cordon has been set up and the underground Louvre Carrousel shopping centre has been evacuated.

Reports on Twitter said tourists at the museum were being moved into rooms to keep them safe. The Louvre itself has declined to comment on the situation.

Images on Twitter also appeared to show worried visitors outside the world famous museum.

“Something is going down at The  30 National Police vehicles with guns drawn,” said one tweeter.

An alarm can be heard in the background. A worried passerby can be heard saying: “I wonder if it’s a training exercise”.

France’s interior ministry confirmed on Twitter that a serious security operation was underway in the area around the Louvre.

Paris and the rest of France is on high alert for terrorism after a series of attacks in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »


Montpellier Terror Attack Fears as Gunman Bursts into Retirement Home for Monks

cityscape-of-central-montpellier

The suspect, who was reportedly wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun, is still believed to be at the site in Montpellier, France.

A hooded gunman man has stormed a retirement home for monks in France and killed two people, according to reports.

“A supervisor inside the building raised the alarm very discreetly…There are fears that two people have died – a man and a woman. The gunman is being hunted.”

The gunman is believed to have broken into the building in Montpellier, France, on Thursday evening.

According to unverified reports in France, the man was wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun.

He is said to have killed a man and a woman inside the home.

Those killed are thought to be a woman supervisor, and a man who was working with her.

Around 70 monks are believed to reside in the property. Read the rest of this entry »


Abbreviated List of Notable Attacks by Extremists in Western Europe 

SPAIN-FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO

Here is a look at some past notable extremist attacks in Western Europe:

• Jan. 7, 2015: A gun assault on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo kills 12 people. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

• May 24, 2014: Four people are killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by an intruder armed with a Kalashnikov. The accused is a former French fighter linked to the Islamic State group in Syria.

• May 22, 2013: Two al-Qaida-inspired extremists run down British soldier Lee Rigby in a London street, then stab and hack him to death.

• March 2012: A gunman claiming links to al-Qaida kills three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse, southern France.

• July 22, 2011: Anders Behring Breivik plants a bomb in Oslo then attacks a youth camp on Norway’s Utoya island, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.

• Nov. 2, 2011: Offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris are firebombed after the satirical magazine runs a cover featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. No one is injured.

• July 7, 2005: 52 commuters are killed when four al-Qaida-inspired suicide bombers blow themselves up on three London subway trains and a bus.

• March 11, 2004: Bombs on rush-hour trains kill 191 at Madrid’s Atocha station in Europe’s worst Islamic terrorist attack.

• Aug. 15, 1998: A car bomb planted by an Irish Republican Army splinter group kills 29 people in the town of Omagh, the deadliest single bombing of Northern Ireland’s four-decade-long conflict.

• July 25, 1995: A bomb at the Saint-Michel subway station in Paris kills eight people and injures about 150. It was one of a series of bombings claimed by Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group.

Source: The Japan Times


Hacker Threatens To Sell Hillary Clinton’s Entire Unreleased Private Emails For $500K

Dr.-Evil-tinted

Just as email-gate looked to be winding down, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned a person claiming to be a computer specialist has come forward with the stunning news that 32,000 emails from Hillary Clinton‘s private email account are up for sale. The price panic-betty
tag — a whopping $500,000!

Promising to give the trove of the former Secretary of State’s emails to the highest bidder, the specialist is showing subject lines as proof of what appear to be legitimate messages.

“Hillary or someone from her camp erased the outbox containing her emails, but forgot to erase the emails that were in her sent box,” an insider reveals to Radar of the Presidential contender’s latest nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Algeria Gas Plant Attack Leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar Killed by U.S. Air Strike

dead-gas-attacker

A senior Islamist militant who ordered the deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant two years ago has been killed in a US air strike, Libyan officials say

Mokhtar Belmokhtar and other fighters were killed in the operation, a statement from Libya‘s government said.

However, there have been several false reports of his death in the past.

The Pentagon said it had targeted a “mid-level” al-Qaeda operative, giving few details.

It said Saturday’s operation had been successful but did not name the target, saying officials were still assessing whether it had been successful.

Notoriety

Born in Algeria, Belmokhtar was a former senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but left to form his own militia. Read the rest of this entry »


Chris Cillizza: ‘There Are 31,380 Clinton E-mails We’ll Never See. There’s Something Wrong With That’

clinton-emails-graph

Chris Cillizzaimrs-1.php writes: It’s been 18 hours (or so) since Hillary Clinton addressed questions about her decision to exclusively use a private e-mail address (and mail server) during her four years as secretary of state. And there’s one thing, actually one number, that I just keep getting stuck on: 31,380.

That’s the number of e-mails that Clinton and her lawyers deemed “private, personal records” and, therefore, neither turned over to the State Department nor preserved in any way, shape or form. What that means: Roughly half of all e-mails — 62,320 — that Clinton sent and received during her time as the nation’s top diplomat are gone forever. And that the only way anyone can verify that they were, as Clinton insisted on Tuesday, “private” and “personal” is to take her word for it.

Clinton-benghazi-2-Applewhite

That fact becomes even more politically troublesome for Clinton when you consider how, according to a document her office released in the wake of her news conference, the sorting of work-related and personal e-mail was conducted. Here are the four criteria her office used:

1. Any e-mail sent to or received from an address including “.gov” was included.

2. The e-mail set was searched for the first and last name of 100 State Department employees and government officials. Any matches were reviewed.

3. All of the other e-mails were reviewed to evaluate the sender and recipient, in case of typos.

4. All of the e-mails were searched for specific terms, including “Libya” and “Benghazi.”

Okay. What those criteria never make clear is whether anyone actually read every one of Clinton’s 62,000-plus e-mails to determine whether there might be something in each one that could be seen as not purely personal. It’s possible that the fact that the e-mails were “reviewed to evaluate the sender and recipient” could mean that someone read each one, but that language is decidedly dense (whether purposefully or not).

It all comes back to this simple fact: People being paid by Clinton reviewed — whether individually or through a series of filtered searches — all of her e-mails and made a decision that more than 30,000 of them were purely personal. Read the rest of this entry »


Theodore Dalrymple: Tyranny of the Minority

islam2

There is more to fear in one terrorist than to celebrate in 99 well-adjusted immigrants.

Theodore Dalrymple writes: The shots in the Paris street that were seen and heard around the world killed Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim policeman going to the defense of Charlie Hebdo: a reminder that by no means all Muslims in France, far from it, are France-hating, Allahu-akbar-shouting fanatics, and that many are well-integrated.

“A handful of fanatics can easily have a much more significant social effect than a large number of peaceful citizens…if only 1 percent of French Muslims were inclined to terrorism, this would still be more than 50,000 people, more than enough to create havoc in a society.”

I go to a Muslim boulanger in Paris whose French bread and pastries are as good as any in the vicinity; and, if anything, I have a prejudice in favor of patronizing his shop precisely to encourage and reward his successful integration. And he is only one of many cases that I know.

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Unfortunately, this is not as reassuring as it sounds, because a handful of fanatics can easily have a much more significant social effect than a large number of peaceful citizens. There is more to fear in one terrorist than to celebrate in 99 well-integrated immigrants. And if only 1 percent of French Muslims were inclined to terrorism, this would still be more than 50,000 people, more than enough to create havoc in a society.

FF-Islamic-Kingdom

The jihadists now have a large pool from which to draw, and there are good reasons to think that more than 1 percent of young Muslims in France are distinctly anti-French. The number of young French jihadists fighting in Syria is estimated to be 1,200, equal to 1 percent in numbers of the French army, and probably not many fewer than the number of Algerian guerrillas fighting during much of the Algerian War of Independence.

That is why the following argument, taken from an article in the Guardian by French journalist Nabila Ramdani, will not be of much comfort to the French or to other Europeans. Read the rest of this entry »


France Was Supposed to Be a Safe Haven for Jews Fleeing North Africa Decades Ago

FR-JEWS

French Jews Face Hate They Left Africa to Escape

PARIS — Yaroslav Trofimov, Ruth Bender and Jason Chow reporting: Every Friday, Johanna Bettach, a pregnant mother of two, stocks up on weekend supplies at the Hyper Cacher supermarket. Last week, just before she was getting ready to shop, an Islamist militant gunned down four Jewish customers at the kosher store and took many others hostage.

The Hyper Cacher attack, one of the deadliest against France’s Jewish community since World War II, spurred outrage across the country. It was by no means isolated, coming against a backdrop of acts of violence and intimidation.

Policemen guard a Jewish school in Sarcelles, France, Thursday. Agnes Dherbeys for The Wall Street Journal

Policemen guard a Jewish school in Sarcelles, France, Thursday. Agnes Dherbeys for The Wall Street Journal

Just three months earlier, Ms. Bettach said, she found her mezuzah—a box containing a parchment of Torah verses that religious Jews attach to their doors—torn off and thrown out.

“I wish to tell all French and European Jews: Israel is your home.”

— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“It is going from bad to worse in France, and we know that it is not going to stop,” said Ms. Bettach, 33 years old. “I can’t sleep at night anymore. All day when my kids are at school, I worry. I just don’t see any future for my children in this country.”

FRJEWS-2

Johanna Bettach, shown at home with her daughter, was a regular shopper at the Hyper Cacher in Paris. AGNES DHERBEYS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Three-quarters of France’s roughly half-million Jews are, like Ms. Bettach, of North African origin, Jewish community officials estimate. Their families moved to the safety of France mostly in the period between Israel’s creation in 1948 and Algeria’s independence in 1962, as persecution and discrimination emptied out the once-huge Jewish communities of former French possessions across the Mediterranean.

France has the world’s third-largest Jewish population after Israel and the U.S., according to most estimates. “We chart-israel-FRneed to act,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Saturday as he paid homage to the victims of the Hyper Cacher attack. “France without Jews is no longer France.”

“They had come to the French Republic with the conviction that things would not happen that way again. Now, they have a feeling that they are reliving what they themselves or their parents had lived through already.”

— Elisabeth Schemla, a prominent French Jewish writer and editor

In 2013, the last full year for which data have been compiled, there were 423 reported anti-Semitic incidents in France, compared with 82 in 1999, according to the Jewish Community Security Service, a joint body created by France’s main Jewish organizations that compiles data based on police reports.

Much of the recent upsurge of anti-Semitic violence in France has occurred in rundown towns likes Sarcelles, a north Paris suburb where Jews of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian origin live alongside Muslim immigrants from the same countries. Read the rest of this entry »


The Global Panic of 2014 Remembered: Wired Looks at Our Slow Descent Into Dystopia

wired-dys

Devon Maloney writes: This year was, to put it as gently as possible, the devil’s playground. Oh sure, every year has its horrors and there are far worse annums behind us (the Crusades, anyone?), but 2014 proved to be a year in which long-festering social, environmental, and political problems were exposed in ways we have not seen in a very long time.

Thank social media, or globalization, or perhaps the recent explosion of hyper-accessible dystopian entertainment (though that is something of a chicken/egg scenario), but no single year  in recent memory has so closely resembled the exaggerated conditions employed as metaphorical warnings in dystopian sci-fi. In fact, a lot of dystopian fiction we saw this year is at the very least on par with everyday realities, if not tame by comparison.

panic-betty

Around the world, instances of palpable, immediate environmental catastrophe and brazen, systematic oppression proliferated at a terrifying rate, which underscores a position we and others have taken of late: With such nightmares growing more real each day, where does dystopian fiction end and reality begin? Read the rest of this entry »


Hollande: ‘This particular group…they don’t strike only those who don’t think like they do, they also strike Muslims…they rape, they kill’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande says the terrorists who beheaded a French citizen in Algeria are a global threat.

Hollande addressed world leaders at the United Nations Wednesday shortly after learning of the man’s death.

“I am speaking to you with a particularly high level of emotion.”

— French President Francois Hollande

A video released by a U.S. terrorism watchdog showed Algerian extremists allied with the Islamic State group decapitating a hostage after France ignored their demand to stop airstrikes in Iraq. The group calls itself Jund al-Khilafah. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: French Hostage Herve Gourdel’s Savage Beheading in Algeria Confirmed

An undated photo of Herve Gourdel taken in the Nice area of southern France

An undated photo of Herve Gourdel taken in the Nice area of southern France

In the video posted by his killers, he is shown on his knees with his hands behind his back in front of four masked, armed militants.

BBC reports: France has confirmed that an Algerian jihadist group linked to Islamic State (IS) militants has beheaded tourist Herve Gourdel, seized on Sunday.

“Four Frenchmen kidnapped in Niger were freed in October 2013 amid reports of a 20m-euro (£16m; £25m) ransom being paid. The government in Paris denied that was the case.”

Jund al-Khilafa killed Mr Gourdel, 55, after its deadline for France to halt air strikes on IS in Iraq ran out.

“As grave as this situation is, we will not give into any blackmail, any pressure, any ultimatum no matter how odious, how despicable.”

— French President Francois Hollande

He said that French air strikes which began on IS targets in Iraq last week would continue.

Jund al-Khilafa posted a video of Mr Gourdel being killed which was entitled “Message of blood for the French government”.

Police are guarding Herve Gourdel's home in Nice, south-eastern France 

Police are guarding Herve Gourdel’s home in Nice, south-eastern France

IS itself has beheaded three Western hostages since August: US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines. Their deaths were all filmed and posted online.

Who are Jund al-Khilafa?

  • Previously part of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which grew out of Algerian Islamist groups involved in 1990s civil war
  • Carried out numerous attacks in Kabylie region – in April, ambushed an army convoy, leaving 11 soldiers dead
  • Many residents have fled the region’s forests and mountains in recent years because of insecurity
  • Group said to be led by Abdelmalek Gouri, known as Khaled Abou Slimane, 37
  • On 14 September, pledged allegiance to Islamic State

The group has also threatened to kill Alan Henning, a taxi driver from the UK, who was seized while on an aid mission to Syria in December.

Posters in support of Herve Gourdel were put up in the village of Saint-Martin-Vesubie, south-eastern France, on Tuesday

Posters in support of Herve Gourdel were put up in the village of Saint-Martin-Vesubie, south-eastern France, on Tuesday

On Sunday, it warned it would target Americans and other Western citizens, “especially the spiteful and filthy French”.

‘Odious ultimatum’

Police have been guarding Mr Gourdel’s home in the French city of Nice. He worked as a mountain guide in the Mercantour national park north of the city. Read the rest of this entry »