Author Topic: What Really Happened in Paris?  (Read 4577 times)

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Offline J.C

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What Really Happened in Paris?
« on: May 11, 2016, 20:34:13 PM »
What Really Happened in Paris?

A former NSA analyst asks some interesting questions.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | May 6, 2016

Former US Navy officer and NSA analyst John R. Schindler has a piece asking interesting questions about the backstory of the November Paris attacks. That they were carried out by ISIS operatives is clear enough, he writes, but the surviving terrorists do not seem to be made of the right stuff for an attack of this sophistication and size.
Although forensic evidence left no doubt that Mr. Abdeslam was involved with terrorist operations—including the November 13 atrocities in Paris—his exact role remains difficult to pin down. According to French authorities, he was the logistician for the terror gang, providing a wide range of clandestine support, including acquiring cars, weapons, and safe-houses for the killers….

That said, there is reason to doubt Mr. Abdeslam is the terror mastermind French authorities have portrayed. In the first place, he’s just not that smart. Extradited to France in secret late last month to face charges relating to the Paris attacks, his lawyer memorably described Mr. Abdeslam as… possessing “the intelligence of an empty ashtray—an abysmal emptiness”… While it’s undeniably in his lawyer’s interest to present Mr. Abdeslam as moronic rather than evil, neither is there any evidence that his scathing depiction is wrong.

Schindler proposes that we investigate the possibility that a real intelligence service was behind the attacks. He goes on to give a number of real-world examples in order to make clear that he considers this a real possibility and not just the makings of a spy story.
The most obvious one is KGB-trained Syrian intelligence, he suggests, but it probably lacks the clandestine capacity within Europe to engage undetected in such warfare. Assad has partners, however, who do have such capacities.

Russian intelligence has employed false-flag terrorism for decades and its relationship with jihadist groups can charitably be termed complex. Not to mention that Russian intelligence is stoking both Islamism and European right-wing reactions to it….

[Iran’s] intelligence services have a long history of backing terrorism in many countries, and whose reach in Europe is impressive. Not to mention that Tehran’s spies have employed false-flag terrorism on multiple occasions. They even brazenly attempted it in Washington, DC, a worrisome plot that failed to bring necessary action from the Obama White House.

How plausible is this speculation? Russian and Iranian cooperation with Syria was built around the same figure who attempted to arrange the assassination in Washington, Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani. Suleimani traveled to Moscow last summer, shortly before the Russian deployment in Syria began in earnest. They certainly planned joint operations in Syria, which were billed by Russia as being anti-ISIS but were actually targeting Assad’s opposition generally. By October, Russia was serving as an air force to Assad loyalists, with Quds Force spotters helping to direct their fire. Suleimani himself was badly injured in an artillery strike while he was near the front lines. Putin appeared before the United Nationsto call for a unified response to ISIS by the nations of the world, meaning that he wanted them to back his play.

The November ISIS attack in the heart of Europe did have the effect of furthering European support for the Russian-led operations “against ISIS.” The French were only too happy to think of the Russians has partners in their vengeance. As Russia ‘just happened’ to be the ones in position to strike ISIS, the Paris attack had the effect of making Russia seem indispensable. If it wasn’t planned, it was a brilliant seizing of a diplomatic opportunity.
All of this, though, merely establishes that Schindler’s theory is plausible. As Schindler himself notes, none of it is certain. We simply don’t know how this played out. His questions are worth asking, because the answers make a big difference in how we understand the world and the threats we face.
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