Skip to content

ISIS, Jihad in Europe, and the shooting in Toulouse

January 2, 2015

Psychological Trauma: A collection of Essays, by Brian Trappler M.D. (Author House, 2014).

The Dutch Intelligence and Security Service is warning of a rapid rise of Salafism among second and third –generation young Muslim men and women in France, the Netherlands and the U.K. who have joined terrorist groups like Jabhat Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, and other Islamic terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They have been joined by thousands of converts to Islam streaming to Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they are incubated and trained in domestic terrorism.

Their infrastructure functioning includes the circulation of heavy propaganda via the Internet, soliciting membership and donations, and using social media to recruit members and support the effort of their “brothers” in the middle-east and Afghanistan.

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently warned that “the West will pay for losing its backbone”, and that returning Jihadists are at risk to “turn their guns on us.”

British officials have noted that British Jihadists are the among the most bloodthirsty in Syria, and constitute the most serious current threat to Britain`s security.

The former head of counter-terrorism at M16, Richard Barrett, has authored a new report entitled “Foreign Fighters in Syria”, in which he estimates that 12,000 foreign fighters have gone to Syria since the war began in March 2011.

Because of changing demographics in Europe, recent blood-shed and atrocities have been celebrated by Muslim leaders, some of whom are parliament-members, like Abdou Khoulani, leader of the Muslim Party for Unity in The Hague.

He gained support from fellow party-member Arnoud van Doorn, who declared that “ISIS is essentially good, a resistance not a terrorist group, and that violence is sometimes necessary”.

According to the Dutch Intelligence and Security Service, this is more than a local issue for the Netherlands, since Dutch citizens have free access to all of Europe, and the recent attack on the Jewish Museum in Belgium was committed by a French Muslim Jihadist who crossed the porous border.

What’s more, any Dutch citizen can travel visa-free to America, grabbing any of the five daily non-stop flights to New York.

Richard Barrett of M16 estimates that 300 terrorist-trained radicalized jihadists have already returned to the U.K.

The Toulouse shooting has been selected to illustrate a real-life scenario of “one that got through” to illustrate what the Islamists celebrate, and what results from deficient protection of targeted civilian populations.

The Ozar Hatorah School in Toulouse is part of a national chain of at least twenty Jewish schools throughout France, educating children of primarily Sephardic, Middle Eastern and North African descent.

The school is a middle and secondary school, with most children between the ages of 11 to 17.

Some parents bring their younger children to Ozar Hatorah, while others place them on shuttle buses that travel to the other schools in the area.

At about 8:00 am on 19 March, 2012, a man drove up to the Ozar Hatorah School on a Yamaha TMAX motorcycle. He dismounted, and immediately opened fire toward the schoolyard. The first victim was Jonathan Sandler, rabbi and teacher at the school, who was executed crouching at the school gate, trying to shield his two young sons.

The gunman shot one of the boys as he crawled away while his father and brother lay dying on the pavement.

He then walked into the schoolyard, chasing people into the building.

Inside, he shot at staff, parents, and students. He then chased an 8-year-old girl into the courtyard, caught her by her hair and raised a gun to shoot her.

When his 9 mm pistol gun jammed, he pulled out a .45 caliber gun, and shot the girl point-blank in her temple. The gunman then retrieved his motorcycle and drove off.

He was shot dead on 22 March after a huge manhunt, culminating in a 32-hour stand-off with police at an apartment in Toulouse.

Police soon confirmed that Merah was also responsible for the killing of three soldiers of North African descent in separate attacks a few days earlier.

The perpetrator was identified as Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist terrorist who was previously a petty criminal. Merah attacked French Army personnel reportedly because of its involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Merah admitted anti-Semitic motivations, and said he attacked the Jewish school because “They kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine.”

France’s Le Monde newspaper reported to have obtained confidential documents from the DCRI intelligence agency.

Merah had become known to the intelligence services as early as 2009.

His slew of suspicious activities included 1,800 calls to over 180 contacts in 20 different countries, Le Monde said.

Merah had also made several trips to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The BBC’s Christian Fraser reported that the young man who had “radicalized himself” – consistent with findings from the DCRI.

Between September 2010 and February 2011 the former garage mechanic made hundreds of calls to countries including Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan and the UK.

Some in the Intelligence Community argue that Merah`s name ought to have shown up on a security screen immediately following the killing of the second French soldier on 15 March 2012.

 

Abel Chennouf was one of Merah’s victims

Born in Paris, Rabbi Sandler spent his life studying the Torah and working in Jewish community outreach. Along with his two children, Gabriel and Ariyeh, aged four and five, he was killed trying to shield his little boys from the attacker.

 Intelligence services recorded that he had made a trip to a (Salafist) ultraconservative Sunni Islamic “School of Obedience” in Egypt.

He made a trip to Afghanistan in February 2011, and later to Pakistan.

Later in 2011 German officials had alerted French colleagues that Merah had travelled to Cairo and then returned to Toulouse via Frankfurt.

No more than a dozen French citizens from south-western France had travelled to Afghanistan.

One official said that Merah had changed SIM cards frequently, registering under his mother’s name, suggesting that his family was trying to protect him.

Merah had openly claimed to have an al-Qaeda affiliation, and was reported to be in contact with other Salafists in Toulouse and Mauritania.

“Did we miss something?” asked the Security Chief in an interview given to Le Monde.

A member of French Intelligence lamented “here’s a guy with the profile of a jihadist and they didn’t take any special interest in him?”

Like the Boston Bombers, Mohammed Merah had travelled to Islamic strongholds, where he had spent significant time.

A security expert declared that Merah’s suspicious trips abroad and his long criminal record back in France, were reason to have kept Merah under constant surveillance.

The shooting rampage that began in France with the execution of two off-duty French soldiers continued unimpeded with the jihad attack at the Day-school in Toulouse, finally ending in a shootout where Merah and one more French soldier would die.

In the aftermath of the attack, Jewish children in France were afraid to go to school.

Outside Jewish schools in Paris, police armed with sub-machine guns kept watch as anxious parents dropped off their children.

“It’s difficult to imagine anybody running after a child and putting a bullet through their head,” said Maya, a young Jewish mother.

“It’s so horrible to attack children and attack a community, whether they’re Muslim, Jewish or anything else,” said another mother.

She had found it hard to tell her daughter about the shootings.

In the historic heart of the Jewish community in Paris, the Marais district, people were in shock.

But most of the community notes they have no intention of leaving, as expressed by Nicole, a Jewish resident of Paris:

“I’m Jewish but I’ve never been to Israel. Besides, Jews are being stabbed and killed in drive-by shootings in Israel as well”.

This case illustrates the ease in which Western recruits can be trained in domestic terrorism in Syria and Iraq, return to Europe and unleash such carnage.

The case also illustrates that despite the restrictions and surveillance imposed on our liberties, the dangerous ones seem to fall through the cracks.

 

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: