Merah: The “Untold Story” of a French Jihadist Icon

Posted by John Rosenthal

The last year has witnessed an unprecedented wave of Islamic terror attacks in France. With just one exception, all the known perpetrators of the attacks were French citizens and the great majority were born and raised in France. The precipitate identification of the neophyte Belgian jihadist, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, as the “mastermind” behind the November 13th [...]

The Dubious “Mastermind”: Abdelhamid Abaaoud and the Paris Attacks

Posted by John Rosenthal

Parts of the mainstream media appear now to be having their doubts that the Belgian jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the “mastermind” behind the November 13 Paris attacks, as initially claimed. In fact, Abaaoud, a neophyte jihadist who gained notoriety entirely by accident, had nothing like the makings of a terror “mastermind.” Indeed, there are strong reasons [...]

Meet the Merah-Essids: France’s First Family of Jihad

Posted by John Rosenthal

“Oh, you Jews! Allah has permitted us to kill your brothers on French soil and here on the soil of the Islamic State.” So says the speaker in an Islamic State video released in March, which allegedly shows a Palestinian Mossad agent being shot dead by a child executioner. Standing next to the boy and [...]

Mehdi Nemmouche: The Road to the Brussels Jewish Museum Shooting

Posted by John Rosenthal

News that the suspected perpetrator of the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting is a French jihadist veteran of the Syrian war has added to what were already growing concerns about the dangers posed by European fighters returning from Syria. But closer consideration of the Brussels attack and its precedents shows that threats in Europe are not necessarily [...]

Good Jihadist, Bad Jihadist? France’s Selective Struggle Against Jihadism in Syria

Posted by John Rosenthal

Last week, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced with much fanfare the launching of a plan to stem the ever-increasing flow of young French Muslims to Syria to participate in “jihad.” But the comments of a French intelligence officer quoted in today’s edition of the daily Libération suggest that the efforts of French authorities in [...]

European Jihadists Flock to ISIS in Syria

Posted by John Rosenthal

Recent reports in the European press and evidence from social media implicate European jihadists fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in atrocities committed in the vicinity of Aleppo, in northern Syria. The reports, moreover, suggest that European jihadists in Syria are more numerous than official statistics indicate. For the details, see [...]