Heavily armed, well-trained gunmen executed what appears to be a well-planned attack in Paris, France, killing 12, including 2 police officers. Where did these terrorists get their weapons, training, political backing, funds, and inspiration? A short timeline featuring news stories from 2011 to 2014 helps explain how France’s recent national tragedy could have been the direct result of its own insidious, callous, terroristic foreign policy that has visited this very same carnage seen in Paris, upon the people of Libya and Syria, a thousand fold.
2011 – France supplying weapons to Libyan rebels, London Telegraph:
A French military spokesman, Colonel Thierry Burkhard, said it had provided “light arms such as assault rifles” for civilian communities to “protect themselves against Col Gaddafi”.
But the decision to arm the rebels is a further move towards direct involvement in the land war on top of the air war against Col Muammar Gaddafi. The Nafusa rebels have come closest to breaking through to Tripoli itself of any of the front lines of the conflict, while three months of Nato bombing have failed to dislodge Col Gaddafi from power.
Le Figaro, the French newspaper which first reported the air drops, said the shipment included rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, along with Milan anti-tank missiles.
2011 – Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links, London Telegraph:
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
2012 – France to push for arming Syria’s opposition coalition, the BBC:
France’s foreign minister has said he will discuss supplying arms to the Syrian opposition coalition with European partners.
The government plans to push for a relaxation of the EU arms embargo to Syria to enable “defensive arms” to reach opposition fighters.
2013 – Syria crisis: France and Britain move a step closer to arming rebels, the London Guardian:
France and Britain have moved a step closer to arming the opposition to the Assad regime in a radical move aimed at tipping the balance in the two-year civil war while also ignoring European policy on Syria.
The French president, François Hollande, went into an EU summit in Brussels with a dramatic appeal for Europe to join Paris and London in lifting a European arms embargo, but the sudden policy shift was certain to run into stiff German opposition.
2013 – Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda, USA Today:
A Syrian rebel group’s April pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well.
2014 – France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms, France 24:
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”
France Isn’t the Only One
The Daily Beast would report in its September 2014 article, “Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say,” that:
One Syrian rebel group supported in the past by the United States condemned the air strikes on Tuesday. Harakat Hazm, a rebel group that received a shipment of U.S. anti-tank weapons in the spring, called the airstrikes “an attack on national sovereignty” and charged that foreign led attacks only strengthen the Assad regime.The statement comes from a document, purportedly from the group, that has circulated online and was posted in English translation from a Twitter account called Syria Conflict Monitor. Several Syria experts, including the Brookings Doha Center’s Charles Lister, believe the document to be authentic.
Before the official statement, there were signs that Harakat Hazm was making alliances in Syria that could conflict with its role as a U.S. partner. In early Septemeber a Harakat Hazm official told a reporter for the L.A. Times: “Inside Syria, we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us…But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”
This group would later be reported by the Western press as having “surrendered” to Al Qaeda. The International Business Times would claim in its article, “Syria: Al-Nusra Jihadists ‘Capture US TOW Anti-Tank Missiles’ from Moderate Rebels,” that:
Weaponry supplied by the US to moderate Syrian rebels was feared to have fallen into the hands of jihadist militants affiliated to al-Qaida after clashes between rival groups.
Islamist fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra seized control of large swathes of land in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib province, at the weekend, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm, activists said.
Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.
Clearly, Harakat Hazm willingly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, bringing with them Western armament. Much of Al Qaeda’s weapons, cash, training, and backing has been supplied by the West through similar “laundering” arrangements – intentionally – with plans to arm Al Qaeda and use it as a mercenary force against Western enemies in the Middle East laid as early as 2007.
Al Qaeda was intentionally organized and directed by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to engage in a regional confrontation aimed at Iran and its powerful arc of influence including Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now apparently Iraq. A similar gambit played out in North Africa during NATO’s war with Libya. Before that, in the 1980′s, the US CIA notoriously created Al Qaeda in the first place to fight a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
This most recent use of Al Qaeda was exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article, ”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it which it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Now these “extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and who are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” are running loose in France spilling French blood, with and inexhaustible supply of weapons and cash courtesy in part of the French government itself, and with years of combat experience fighting Paris and the rest of NATO’s proxy wars for them everywhere from Libya to Syria.