“French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says an operation is now under way to detain the two suspects” believed to have been involved in the Charlie Hebdo massacre according to the BBC. Helicopters are circling the suspected location and the men are believed to have a hostage. But one way or the other the endgame has begun.
Michael Scheuer, the former CIA man once tasked with finding Osama bin Laden appears to have gotten one of two things right. He predicted they would try to survive. He also predicted they might succeed. But it looks like the French cops have tracked them down.
Police Swat teams are swarming a region north of Paris, fearing a second strike by the Charlie Hebdo massacre suspects, who are described in a nationwide notice as “armed and dangerous”. A large convoy of police vehicles are headiing en masse to the area amid fears that the fugitive Kouachi brothers have taken hostages.
It’s been customary for the media and even Western leaders to refer to the suspects as cowards but that characterization is self-deception. They are a tough enemy: daring, skilled relative to their likely opposition. They’ve tied up the French security apparatus for days. The owner of the car they stole told Europe 1 they were from al-Qaeda in Yemen.
The man described the two men as being “very calm, very determined, very poised and very professional. Real commandos.” He said: “He never raised his voice, they never ran, they never seemed agitated. They weren’t sweating. Nothing at all like that. They gave the impression of being real operators. As they left they said to me: ‘If the media ask you anything, tell them that it’s Al-Qaida in Yemen.’
That bit about al-Qaeda in Yemen took on additional significance as the French press reported that the second shooting incident, resulting in the death of a policewoman in Montrouge, is linked to the Hedbo Jihadi group. That means there are at least two cells out there. Make that three cells or maybe one that’s moving around. “Reports suggest that several hostages, including women and children, may have been taken in a Jewish shop in eastern Paris.” The establishment in question is a kosher supermarket. If them al-Qaeda boys is on the run, they’re not showing it. The second siege site is:
The supermarket where the second siege is understood to be taking place is Rue Albert Willemetz, a side street off the main intersection of porte de Vincennes and Boulevard de la Peripherique.
The latest news suggests 5 women and children are being held hostage at the Jewish store.
According to the Guardian the Hebdo suspects are holed up in a small printing business named CTD in a little town called Dammartin-en-Goële. Le Figaro is reporting that the French security forces are trying to negotiate a release of the hostage(s). Les négociations avec les fugitifs auraient commencé. The cops will win in the end, but these boys are dying hard. ” A local MP, Yves Albarello has reportedly said the gunmen indicated to negotiators that they wanted to ‘die as martyrs'”
The Guardian relates a story straight out of the Pink Panther. A salesman entered the siege premises before the cops could surround it. The gunmen greeted him as he entered and they conversed at cross purposes, with the salesmen taking them for policemen and the gunmen thinking he knew they were gunmen.
The man, who would only gave his name as Didier, said he had an appointment with Michel, the owner of the printing and publicity material business. Didier said he shook one of the gunmen’s hands who he took to be police special operations officer. He was dressed in black and was heavily armed with at least one rifle.
He said when he arrived at the business his client came out to meet him with what he took to be a policeman, dressed in black combat gear, with a bullet-proof vest.
“We all shook hands and my client told me to leave.” Didier added that the man he took to be the policeman said: “Go, we don’t kill civilians”. He added “I thought was strange.”
He said: “As I left I didn’t know what it was, it wasn’t normal. I did not know what was going on. Was it a hostage taking or a burglary?”
Perhaps in the land of France meeting men armed with Kalashnikovs in a printer’s lobby is so extraordinary that most people can only comprehend it by thinking it’s a joke. But then who believes one’s eyes any more? When men in masks slit throats on videos saying “you will be next” there are any number of talking heads who make haste to tell the public this means “we want respect”. When men shoot up schools yelling “Allah Akbar” the most distinguished public figures stand forth to say “this has nothing to do with Islam.” So what if 500 African schoolgirls are abducted for sale in the slave market? It’s the manspreading you have to worry about, see?
So the next time you find a man with a Kalashnikov at your neighborhood printers, ask yourself: why wouldn’t you think he was the police?
French authorities are being pressed to explain how these men slipped by them. “US officials claimed that both of the suspects had been on a US terrorist watch list ‘for years’ and one had travelled to the Yemen, possibly for training with an al-Qaida linked group, as recently as four years ago.”
But France is not alone. Western Europe is awash with Jihadi fighters returned from the wars. “An estimated 1,600 come from just three of the U.S.’s closest allies in Europe—the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Passport holders from those nations do not need visas to enter the U.S.”
The potential for a domestic attack has led the UK to convene COBRA — not to fight GI Joe — COBRA happens to be an acronym for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, from which emergencies are normally managed. But the although the initials suggest that we are watching a superhero battle between good and evil, the reality is that these theatrical appellations conceal the most mediocre and mendacious political leadership of modern times.
The two suspects cornered in a building are sending a message with their unyielding violence that the political establishment has failed to understand. Multiculturalism is dead. Not because the Europeans have rejected it, but because the Muslims have. A friend of mine asked “is this all our mighty civilization has come to? Candles, flowers and hashtags?”
“For some,” I answered, “that would be bingo, bingo and bingo.”
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