The decision of the Central Intelligence Agency to fund, train, and arm Afghan mujaheddin fundamentalists against the Soviet Union and the socialist government of Afghanistan in the 1980s led directly to the radicalization of French Muslims. It was the CIA’s support for the mujaheddin assistance network known as “Al Qaeda,” or the “database” as revealed by the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, that facilitated the expansion of Saudi Wahhabist influence over Muslim communities not only in France but around the world.
Saudi Arabia was the chief source of money for the mujaheddin support network, which later was transformed into the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and various other jihadist groups from Morocco to Kashmir and from the Philippines to Trinidad.
The CIA’s support for Wahhabist- and Saudi- directed and influenced Muslim groups also helped eclipse the left-wing, secular, and socialist loyalties of most of France’s Muslims. Working class Franco-Muslims, especially those from North Africa, were always committed to the French Communist and Socialist parties. In the 1960s and 70s, French Muslims not only supported the French Communists and Socialists but also identified with the left-wing and socialist principles espoused by such North African liberation leaders as Algeria’s Ahmed Ben Bella and Moroccan Istiqlal Socialist leader Mehdi Ben Barka. During the 1980s, when the CIA strove to eliminate support for pan-Arab socialism in the Middle East and worked to crush socialism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere, the French Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage (External Documentation and Counter-Espionage Service, SDECE) and its successor, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), worked with the CIA to harass Ben Bella who was living in exile in France.
In 1965, the SDECE worked with the CIA and Israel’s Mossad on behalf of Morocco’s King Hassan II, to kidnap Ben Barka, who lived in exile in France. Ben Barka’s body was never found but Moroccan opposition sources revealed that Ben Barka was decapitated in a manner befitting the CIA-supported ISIL and delivered to Hassan in Rabat in a suitcase. The rest of Ben Barka’s remains were supposedly encased in cement and buried outside of Paris.
The CIA has admitted it maintains 1,800 documents on Ben Barka but it has refused to release them on national security grounds. Ben Barka’s links to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and other Third World leaders made him a primary target for elimination by the CIA.
The corporate media refuses to admit that from the 1960s to the 1980s, French Muslims were more secular and further to the left than the majority of French Jews. Socialist President Francois Mitterand, who ruled France from 1981 to 1995, rewarded his party’s Muslim supporters by appointing pro-Arab ministers, including Michel Rocard, Jean-Pierre Chevenement, Claude Cheysson, and Lionel Jospin. Mitterand was also on friendly terms with the North African presidents who were the heirs of their nations’ pan-Arab socialist independence movements: Habib Bourguiba and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia who governed under the mantle of the Neo-Destourian Socialist Party, and Algeria’s Chadli Benjedid, the successor to Algeria’s National Liberation Front (FLN) founding fathers.
The CIA’s support for Islamic fundamentalists, ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood battling Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt and Hafez al Assad in Syria, to the North African jihadists who were used as a recruiting ground for the mujaheddin army in Afghanistan, resulted in the steady radicalization of the Arab Muslim diaspora in Paris, Marseilles, and other French cities.
It was not until 1989 that the issue of French school girls wearing the hijab came to a head. Saudi- and Wahhabist-led fundamentalism soon swept across France’s Muslim communities and the once dependable Muslim base for the French Communists and Socialists was lost with many young Muslims living in the poor working class banlieue (suburbs) outside of Paris refusing to participate in French elections. Other French Muslims, witnessing the rise of the neo-fascist National Front and the rightist lurch of the conservative heirs of Charles De Gaulle, including Nicolas Sarkozy, continued to support the Socialists.
However, many Muslims became alarmed at the increasing anti-Muslim stance of some leaders of the French Socialist Party, including the present Sarkozy clone, Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls. In the 2012 second round French presidential election, 93 percent of Muslim voters cast their ballots for the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande. Sarkozy garnered 79 percent of the Catholic vote with Hollande winning only 21 percent. French Jews also voted overwhelmingly for Sarkozy.
The dirty little secret overlooked or ignored by the corporate media is that even though the CIA’s and DGSE’s support for jihadists in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen have continued the radicalization of French Muslims, particularly the youth, French Muslims continue to be the major bastion of support for French socialism and secularism.
French Jews, on the other hand, have supported jihadist Arab guerrilla movements. Bernard-Henri Levy, a supposed French leftist who supported Charlie Hebdo, has served as an intermediary between Libyan and Syrian jihadists and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. French Jews like Levy have had no problem backing jihadist-linked groups against Arab socialist leaders like Syria’s Bashar al Assad and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi. Other French Jews have buried the hatchet with the once anti-Semitic fascist National Front and now support the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform of Front leader Marine Le Pen.
Forces loyal to Sarkozy have often committed false flag operations in France as a way to stir up tensions between French Muslims and non-Muslims. This was very apparent in 2006 and WMR was the first to report on the operations in our October 26, 2006 report:
“WMR has received an eyewitness report to French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s operations to stir up violence in the Paris metropolitan area’s largely Muslim suburbs (banlieues). Sarkozy is running for president in next year’s election. On September 25, a police caravan used the right bank of the Seine’s Quai des Celestins as a staging area for an assault on the Tarterets banlieue in order to ‘rough up’ the locals. Several hundred police were press-ganged into service for the attack. Only a few arrests were made in what amounted to a psychological warfare operation. The pre-planned police assault was in retaliation for an earlier attack on two police officers in Tarterets. WMR has learned from French intelligence sources that assaults on police are also staged by Sarkozy and his supporters who have totally infiltrated the domestic intelligence service, the DST, and are now found in increasing numbers in the DGSE, the foreign intelligence service.”
In October and November 2005, arson attacks, especially on parked vehicles, spread across France, including to areas that had very few, if any, Muslim residents, but where Sarkozy needed political support. Thousands of vehicles were burned. On November 10, 2006, WMR also reported on Israeli involvement in the rioting on behalf of Sarkozy, who has Jewish parentage: ” . . . the rioting in France also involved, according to information presented in a new book in Germany, elements of Mossad’s special warfare Metsada and LAP—Lohamah Psichlogit—(psyops) units.”
In 2006, WMR also reported on Sarkozy’s involvement with the banlieue rioting:
“Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, who is supported by pro-right wing Israeli (Likud/Netanyahu/Olmert) factions in France, coordinated and continues to coordinate the paying of agents provocateur to engage in violence in the predominantly Muslim banlieues of Paris and other cities. The November 2005 riots spread from Paris to Rouen, Lille, Nice, Dijon, Strasbourg, Marseilles (where Mossad’s Branch C, also responsible for Paris and London, maintains a large station), Bordeaux, Rennes, Pau, Orleans, Toulouse, Lyon, Roubaix, Avignon, Saint-Dizier, Drancy, Evreux, Nantes, Dunkirk, Montpellier, Valenciennes, Cannes, and Tourcoing.”
In 2012, the “lone wolf” Mohamed Merah incident preceded by a few weeks Sarkozy’s failed attempt to win re-election as president. WMR reported: “Mohamed Merah, a 24-year old Muslim French citizen of Algerian descent, was identified as the gunman who committed the terrorist shootings of several people, including three Israeli-French school children at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, along with their Israeli-French rabbi, in what is now being referred to by the neocon media as the ‘French 9/11.’ [Ed. note: the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher are now being called the French 9/11, as if the 2012 incident never existed]. French special warfare and tactics (SWAT) police shot and killed Merah after a stand-off at the man’s Toulouse apartment.
“Merah, who was armed with a small arsenal that included an Israeli-made Uzi, a Colt .45 pistol, a Sten gun, and a shotgun, also stands accused of shooting to death at point blank range a French Muslim soldier on March 11 and two more French Muslim soldiers on March 15. In the March 15 attack, Merah seriously wounded a black French Antillean soldier. Sarkozy’s popularity, which had been plummeting amid France’s economic crisis, has risen, with the mercurial French president presenting himself as the only person who was able to bring together French Jews and Muslims during a time of grief over the attacks that struck both communities. Sarkozy, in the 2007 campaign, presented himself as the only law-and-order candidate who could defeat the ‘Muslim threat’ posed by the arson attacks and drew support from France’s racist far-right by calling young Muslim rioters ‘scum.’”
Sarkozy has all but announced his intention of running for the French presidency in 2017. The French have an appropriate saying when it comes to the repeated fausse-bannière or false flag, operations: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same).
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2015 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).