April 5, 2012
On March 21, we reported that the suspected French terrorist Mohammed Merah was an intelligence asset handled by France’s DGSE (General Directorate of External Security) and the DCRI intelligence service. DCRI boss Bernard Squarcini is a close associate of Nicolas Sarkozy. Prior to the attacks, Sarkozy was in a close race for the French presidency.
Yves Bonnet, the former chief of the Territorial Surveillance Directorate, which is now part of the DCRI, asked whether Merah was a DCRI asset. Bonnet’s questions about Merah’s connection to French intelligence was not widely reported.
We concluded that the attacks were a thinly disguised false flag operation designed to allow Nicolas Sarkozy to crack down on Islamists and look tough during France’s presidential election.
Militarized French police and the DCRI are now conducting high profile raids and arresting dozens of supposed terrorists. “The dawn raids in five cities were the second in less than a week after Mr Sarkozy ordered a crackdown on radical Islamists following the killing rampage by al-Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The raids staged primarily in southern France appear to be part of a new focus on rooting out radical Islamists in France, according to the Associated Press.
Many of the suspects are being arrested for posting “extreme views on Islamist forums.” In late March, Sarkozy said French citizens who visit “extremist” websites should be treated the same way as people who look at child pornography.
Journalists in Roubaix were tipped off by officials and witnessed police armed with assault rifles make arrersts, according to AP.
The highly publicized raids have allowed Sarkozy to narrow the gap between himself and Socialist rival Francois Hollande in the election.
Other candidates have complained that Sarkozy is orchestrating the raids for political gain. Candidate Francois Bayrou called the raids a form of “stage-managed advertising,” according to the Herald.
Hollande, who led in the polls prior to the attacks, questioned the timing of the raids, which occurred as he unveiled a plan for his first year in office if elected.