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Europe's value after Atocha

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In response to Atocha's impact I had been discussing the value of the European bloc with a colleague.

It is my opinion that Europe is now more valuable than ever. The Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigade put them in play and they must now work out a means to engage (hopefully that over capitulation). It is most valuable to have the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Line) on their soil instead of ours. (Ask any German in the pre-Soviet collapse period. They knew perfectly well that a NATO-led war with the Warsaw Pact would be fought on their soil.)

As the Europeans engage, their security services will pick up intel on a wide spectrum of mutual interests. As it taxes the most disciplined fighter to sustain two fronts, the terrorists are likely to get careless in their communication and emcon (emission control). That will offer US intel an opportunity to gather additional items so that we can interdict the terrorists' wider infrastructure, logistics, and command & control.

A certain amount of US antipathy towards the French could even drain away if the French intel services engage in earnest. (Remember that the French government has its own quite significant issues with its Muslim minorities.) Despite France's public comments about liberty and democracy, the French security forces and national police are ruthless beneath the surface. The French have never endured a Church Commission and its aftermath, and its security services never suffered the equivalent of the "Levy Guidelines" as did the FBI. Notable groups are:

  • General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) (France‚Äôs MI6)
  • Directorate of Territorial Security (DST) and its public interface, the Central Directorate Judicial Police (DCPJ)
  • National police under Ministry for the Interior, and the national gendarmerie (military police) under Ministry for Defense
  • Companies for Republican Security (CRS)

These folks do not miss around. Remember that the predecessor to the DGSE (the SDECE) attempted to hijack Nigeria and its oil supply from the UK and US in 1967 by arming the Biafran secession that was suppressed at the cost of a half-million dead. A DGSE/SDECE arm, the Action Service, is used for assassinations, sabotage, aggressive interrogation, terrorist group infiltration, and "neutralization" of nettlesome folks. The DGSE was responsible for blowing up the Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand.

The DGSE/SDECE Action Service and the 10th Paratroop Division were responsible for the military suppression of the FLN in Algeria at the cost of a half-million to a million Algerian dead -- along with some French anti-war protesters. A member of the 10th remarked that, "We make the Gestapo and SS look like children." There is excellent reason to believe that the Algerian excursion was approved by Guy Mollett's socialist government, including the Justice Minister, and France's ruling police and judicial establishment. Just no one made public mention of it.

It has been said that no nation can become great until it masters the art of hypocrisy. By the token, the French are ready to go. Here is a personal example: I have a friend, an American national with legal Parisian residence, that was disappeared for some days for interrogation as to why the address book of a dead Palestinian operative had her name and address in it. This event was some fifteen years ago. Yes, she was a red diaper baby of socialist parents so was seen as a likely fellow-traveler, but her story started off like the French interrogations in Algeria. She told me that she assumed that she would be violated, then killed. Luckily, she was returned to the street and released.

It should also be remembered that only the French and the Russians ended the kidnapping and killing of their nationals in Lebanon. Each informed the pertinent authorities that they would decide who was guilty (note that I said 'decide' not 'adjudicate') and then kill the grandparents, children, and grandchildren before the perp went. A few instructive examples were carried out. For men who were willing to die themselves, this variation of the Columbian "Leave no seed" killing stopped matters cold.

As grisly as it is, I had said that it was only a matter of time before Europe got its 11 September, and that time is now. They, certainly the French, will pursue matters in ways that we might not.

FYI, Mollett's Justice Minister was Francois Mitterrand, a later French President. No wonder Mitterrand was critical of the intel services.

For more on the "war without a name" and the book, Special Services, Algeria: 1955-1957, see:

French general on trial over Algeria

The Battle of Algiers

Gordon Housworth



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