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  • Mali: The forgotten war (2014)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    France, Mali’s former colonial ruler, is going back to its old colonial ways, writes Kane.
    As representatives of the Malian government and various rebel groups meet in Algiers for peace talks, violence in northern Mali continues and so does the French military presence.France launched its military intervention in Mali in January 2013 with the mandate to stop an uprising of various militant groups in the north, threatening the stability and sovereignty of the country. The goal was then to free the northern part of the country from jihadist occupation, bring back peace, and restore Malian sovereignty on the whole territory. Although France’s defence minister announced that the so-called “Operation Serval” had “fulfilled its mission”, Mali is hardly a peaceful place today. As Mali fell into a media blackout, France announced it was reorganising its military presence into “Operation Barkhane”. No
    As representatives of the Malian government and various rebel groups meet in Algiers for peace talks, violence in northern Mali continues and so does the French military presence.
    France launched its military intervention in Mali in January 2013 with the mandate to stop an uprising of various militant groups in the north, threatening the stability and sovereignty of the country. The goal was then to free the northern part of the country from jihadist occupation, bring back peace, and restore Malian sovereignty on the whole territory. Although France’s defence minister announced that the so-called “Operation Serval” had “fulfilled its mission”, Mali is hardly a peaceful place today.
    As Mali fell into a media blackout, France announced it was reorganising its military presence into “Operation Barkhane”. No one seems to be asking why the French are still there, how long they will stay and more importantly – doesn’t their intervention constitute a form of neo-imperialism?
    France in Mali
    Back in early 2013 many Malians gave an enthusiastic welcome to French soldiers, when they came to “rescue” this crisis-torn West African country. Much has changed since then. In their January 2014 book, La Gloire des Imposteurs, Malian activist Aminata Dramane Traore and Senegalese novelist Boubacar Boris Diop explain this initial enthusiasm for the war with the Malians’ shock and panic in the face of the invaders from the north who were destroying historic monuments, killing and mutilating people.
    But as the authors pointed out, Mali might be facing an even bigger threat: the former colonial ruler going back to its old colonial ways on Malian territory. After all, it is just hard to believe that France selflessly sent its soldiers to face danger in a faraway African country for the sake of “saving it”. The question that Malians have to ask themselves is: Do they prefer having to fight against jihadists for a long time, or having their sovereignty challenged, and their territory occupied by an ancient colonialist state or partitioned to satisfy a group allied with the colonial power?
    This is not the first time France has gotten involved in its former “colonial territories”. And it is always the same scenario: Some excuse is found in order to deploy on the ground to protect economic interest, occupy strategic points or defend an ally among the local politicians. The story is well known from Djibouti all the way to the Ivory Coast!
    In July, France signed a new defence agreement with Mali, which would allow it to maintain a considerable military presence in the country. The agreement’s eleven pages of mostly general statements say that French military troops and civil servants will be allowed to stay in Mali, build military bases, operate, if needed, with Malian troops, etc., for the next five years. The five years term, as written in the document, is renewable.
    With this agreement Mali has started to reverse the decolonialisation project of its first president Modibo Keïta, who made sure the last French soldier departed his country in 1961. Keita was a firm nationalist and while almost all the newly independent West African countries at that time signed defence pacts with their former “master”, he only consented to an agreement on economic and cultural cooperation with France. Keita didn’t allow French military bases or troops on Malian soil.
    The Malian presidents that followed him also resisted French pressure for a defence agreement. Although Paris demanded repeatedly, three different presidents of Mali – Moussa Traore, Alpha Oumar Konare and Amadou Toumany Toure – refused, despite huge diplomatic and economic pressure. The most France could get in Mali was a 1985 military cooperation accord which allowed France to give military training and technical assistance to Malian troops.
    These presidents seemed to be following a doctrine that gave a boost to the Malian people’s self-esteem. However, now it is clear that the “Operation Serval” against the jihadist has given France an unexpected opportunity to achieve an old regional military scheme.
    As Senegalese commentator, Babacar Justin Ndiaye – known as one of the most influential analysts on military questions in West Africa – has pointed out: Mali was intentionally weakened to prepare the French military operation “Serval”. “Serval”, which, in turn, has prepared the ground for operation “Barkhane”, announced by the French just as they were wrapping up the previous one in July. This new operation is based from Chad and will cover Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
    Peace negotiations?
    After having defeated the invaders, and chasing them out of Timbuktu and other northern cities, and disarming factions of the rebellions, the French military surprisingly (or not) banned the Malian army from Kidal, the central city of the northern Azawad region. The territory is claimed by different rebel groups, but it is under the de facto control of the MNLA (National Movement for Liberation of the Azawad).
    France allowed the rebels to occupy the area, reorganise and later gain a place at the post-war negotiations table. The first round of peace talks supervised by France took place in mid-July in Algiers between Malian authorities and various rebel groups. The Malian government has always rejected negotiating with rebels who call for cessation, yet this time it had to accept the talks.
    As is well known, France has openly supported the MNLA for a long time and the MNLA is profusely covered by French media, which presents a sympathetic romanticised image of the rebels. The leaders of the MNLA are frequent visitors to the French capital and quite welcome on French TV, which likes to show people in MNLA-controlled territories amicably accepting French troops.
    Although France enjoys considerable sway with the different groups in the peace talks, it is finding it increasingly harder to mediate, as disagreements between the rebel groups continue to arise. During the first round of talks, for example, various groups had to be separated and accommodated in different five star hotels in Algiers to avoid hostility.
    The purpose of this latest round of talks is to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in northern Mali. But whether such a solution will be for the best interests of all Malians, is unclear, given that France has not excluded partition – as the Malian government had demanded.
    French interests in Sahel
    French support for the MNLA is not surprising, at least not geopolitically. France wants Niger protected from the insurgencies sweeping across the Sahel region, and it is ready to support the MNLA, which in return would prevent the expansion of jihadist groups towards the borders of Niger, the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium. Coincidentally or not, France generates more than 75 percent of its electricity through nuclear plants.
    Unsurprisingly, Niger is host to France’s biggest economic interest of in the region and therefore its security is a foreign policy priority for the French government. The French corporation Areva mines uranium in Niger and it is currently investing 1.9bn Euros in the development of the large uranium deposits in Imouraren. Protecting the eastern borders of Niger was indeed among the major reasons behind French President François Hollande’s decision to get involved in the conflict in Mali. The May 2013 car bomb attack on one of Areva’s operations must have further convinced him that it was the right thing to do.
    Thus it only made sense to wrap up the Mali-focused “Operation Serval” in order to unroll “Operation Barkhane” with a wider geographic scope. The provisions of the new defence agreement forced on the Malian government naturally allow for whatever the French need in order to sustain their new operation in the region.
    It should not come as a surprise that France decided on Chad as the centre for the new operation. After all, Chad has a history of hosting French military operations. French military presence in Chad began in 1968, when former president Francois Tombalbaye asked Charles de Gaulle, in the name of the defence pact between his country and France, to intervene with “Operation Bison” against a rebellion in the northern regions of the country. In 1986, the French military intervened again with “Operation Epervier”, this time against Muammar Qaddafi who was invading from the north. The French have never left ever since.
    Nowadays, a small number of French soldiers are based at Niamey airport, where a small American military crew launches drones to survey the region, tracking jihadist groups.
    Just after “mission accomplished” was announced on “Operation Serval”, Holland took a trip into the region, getting reassuring support from heads of state for his anti-terrorism campaign. The “terrorist threat” is a great opportunity for France to put its hands on West Africa again militarily, politically and, even economically. The US, of course, is in with the French, supporting them and even lending another friendly drone operation from Niger’s capital.
    As France is expanding its military control of the region, there are few who are objecting or ringing an alarm bell warning that the colonial “master” has come back.
    06 Sep 2014 12:26 GMT | War & Conflict, Politics, US & Canada, Burkina Faso, Chad
    Pape Samba Kane is a Senegalese journalist and political analyst.
    Find this story at 6 September 2014
    Source: Al Jazeera

    Selected extracts of “top” NSA intercepts of French leadership and chief officials, taken from various editions of the National Security Agency’s Top Secret Global SIGINT Highlights executive briefings.

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.
    High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs
    French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted
    French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator
    Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq
    NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit
    US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France
    US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments
    US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine
    US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis
    EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.

    Date 2 August 2011
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affiars Jean-Francois Boittin and EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, reveals Boittin’s discontent with U.S. approach towards a WTO pact. Additionally Houben stated that the TPP (being an American initiative) seems devised as a confrontation with China.
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    EU Officials Perceive Lack of U.S. Leadership on Trade Issues, Skeptical of Pacific Initiative (TS//SI//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI//OC/NF) Washington-based EU trade officials ascertained in late July that the U.S. administration is severely lacking in leadership when it comes to trade matters, as shown by the absence of a clear consensus on the future course of the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA). French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affairs Jean-Francois Boittin expressed astonishment at the level of “narcissism” and wasteful contemplation currently on display in Washington, while describing the idea of scrapping the DDA in favor of another plan–which some U.S. officials are seen to favor–as stupefying. The Frenchman further asserted that once a country makes deep cuts in its trade barriers, as the U.S. has done, it no longer has incentives to offer nor, as a consequence, a strong position from which to negotiate with emerging nations. Boittin’s interlocutor, EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, after noting the leadership void in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, declared that with regard to the disagreement within his host government on DDA, a political decision must be made about what direction is to be followed. On another subject, Houben insisted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a U.S. initiative, appears to be designed to force future negotiations with China. Washington, he pointed out, is negotiating with every nation that borders China, asking for commitments that exceed those countries’ administrative capacities, so as to “confront” Beijing. If, however, the TPP agreement takes 10 years to negotiate, the world–and China–will have changed so much that that country likely will have become disinterested in the process, according to Houben. When that happens, the U.S. will have no alternative but to return to the WTO. Finally, he assessed that this focus on Asia is added proof that Washington has no real negotiating agenda vis-´-vis emerging nations, including China and Brazil, or an actual, proactive WTO plan of action.


    EU diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/531614-11, 011622Z
    High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs

    Date July 2008
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals discontent of head of Trade Policy Renaud Lassus regarding some statements from Sarkozy regarding a potential negative impact of a WTO trade negotiation pact on France economy.
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    Sarkozy Remarks on WTO Deemed Injurious to France; Rules Clarity Sought (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) A high-ranking French treasury official lamented in early July recent inflammatory and inaccurate statements by President Nicolas Sarkozy, statements that the official said were certain to complicate French efforts to balance its national interests with its responsibilities as current EU President. Assuming his duties as head of the Trade Policy and Investment Office in the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, Renaud Lassus indicated that Sarkozy’s declaration that there will be no WTO Doha Round accord has effectively set the bar extremely high, while also increasing the chances of a dark scenario in which France finds itself as the lone dissenter on a national level, but responsible as EU President for representing the views of the entire union. The choice for France then becomes one of either capitulating or provoking a crisis within the EU. Paris is totally unprepared to deal with this scenario, Lassus confirmed, as no one wants to try to “spin” the situation in which Sarkozy has placed the country when doing so would be admitting that the President had been wrong in the first place. He further commented that Sarkozy’s assertion that a WTO pact would bring a 20-percent drop in production and the loss of 100,000 French jobs was patently incorrect and believed by no one in the government. As for those who thought that Sarkozy would dampen his rhetoric when France actually assumed the Presidency on 1 July, their hopes were dashed, Lassus insisted, by the President’s most virulent personal attack yet on the EU Trade Commissioner. In other WTO-related commentary, knowledgeable insiders believed that the 21 July WTO ministerial could be disrupted if Rules Committee chairman Guillermo Valles Galmes does not make his intentions clear in advance. If this is not done, it is possible that rules issues will be raised at the ministerial, leading to heated negotiations. In addition, fish subsidies could cause problems. India could threaten to torpedo the ministerial unless it were to get a carve-out on special and differential treatment on fish. This would leave developed countries as the only ones that would have disciplines on fish subsidies and would be unacceptable to Europe and Japan.


    French, EU, Japanese diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/5427-08, 111833Z; Z-3/OO/5416-08, 111607Z
    French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted

    Date 2012
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin’s intentions to emphasize the need for the implementation of the Basel Accords on banking laws in the G7 and G20 meeting in 2012 and his support of the U.S. initiative on oil reserves.
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    G-7/G-20: French Minister to Push U.S. on Banking Reform, Warn Against Stifling Growth (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) With some messages targeted for the United States, the French Treasury Directorate has drafted talking points for Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin to use during meetings of the Group of 7 and Group of 20 on 19 and 20 April, just before the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Baroin will emphasize the need to stay on schedule for implementing the Basel Accords (recommendations on banking laws and regulations), given Washington’s slowness to act. He will also support the U.S. initiative on strategic oil reserves in his remarks on the threat to global growth posed by rising oil prices. While repeatedly reminding his colleagues of the hard choices the EU has made the deal with its financial situation, he will also caution against endangering growth by acting too quickly.

    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/512583-12, 171712Z
    French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator

    Date 31 July 2012
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici believes the French economic situation was far worse than perceived. Additionally, he remarks about that the situation with the automotive industry was more critical than a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as AER, which he also thought wouldn’t have had a severe impact on elections (while senator Bourquin thought would have driven voters to right-wing National Front).
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    French Finance Minister Says Economy in Dire Straits, Predicts Two Atrocious Years Ahead (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) The French economic situation is worse than anyone can imagine and drastic measures will have to be taken in the next 2 years, according to Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici. On 19 July, Moscovici, under pressure to re-establish a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as the AER, warned that the situation is dire. Upon learning that there are no funds available for the AER, French Senator Martial Bourquin warned Moscovici that without the AER program the ruling Socialist Party will have a rough time in the industrial basin of the country, with voters turning to the right-wing National Front. Moscovici disagreed, asserting that the inability to reinstitute the AER will have no impact in electoral terms, besides, the situation with faltering automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is more important than the AER. (COMMENT: PSA has announced plans to close assembly plants and lay off some 8,000 workers.) Moscovici warned that the 2013 budget is not going to be a “good news budget,” with the government needing to find at least an additional 33 billion euros ($39.9 billion). Nor will 2014 be a good year. Bourquin persisted, warning that the Socialist Party will find itself in a situation similar to that of Socialist former Spanish President Zapatero, who was widely criticized for his handling of his country’s debt situation. Moscovici countered that it was not Zapatero whose behavior the French government would emulate, but rather Social Democrat former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. (COMMENT: Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was widely credited with helping to restore German competitiveness. He favored shifting from pure austerity measures to measures that encourage economic growth and advocated a common EU financial policy.)


    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/524122-12, 271748Z
    Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq

    Date 2004
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Jean-David Levitte reveals his frustration towards a report he defines “scandalous” regarding a possible misuse of the UN Oil-For-Food (OFF) program by French companies during the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while he claims some of these French companies where in fact U.S. companies’ subsidiaries and no American company was mentioned in such report. Levitte likely refers to the report filed by the US Senate that accused Russian, British and French politicians of receiving oil allocations from Iraq in exchange for their political alliance. Levitte planned to present a list of such U.S. companies to U.S. Congress and the media.
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    (TS//SI) French Envoy Plans to Release List of U.S. Firms Who Allegedly Profited From OFF

    (TS//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR and NZL) French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte in Washington plans to respond as early as today to information in the Iraq Survey Group report regarding possible misuse of the UN Oil-for-Food (OFF) program by companies from France and other countries during the former Iraqi regime. The ambassador termed the report scandalous, since it named no U.S. companies and he claimed that many French companies with contracts under the OFF program were actually subsidiaries of U.S. firms that also profited from the business dealings. He therefore planned, with foreign ministry backing, to present a list of these U.S. companies to both the U.S. Congress and the media.


    French diplomatic

    3/OO/27079-04, 071948Z
    NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit

    Date 22 May 2012
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Francois Hollande has approved holding a secret meeting with French officials as well as German opposition (without the knowledge of Merkel) to discuss the euro-zone crisis.
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    French President Approves Secret Eurozone Consultations, Meeting With German Opposition (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/NF) French President Francois Hollande has approved holding secret meetings in Paris to discuss the eurozone crisis, particularly the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone. On 18 May, Hollande directed Prime Minister (PM) Jean-Marc Ayrault to set up a meeting at the Office of the President (the Elysee) for the following week. Hollande, Ayrault, and “appropriate ministers” would attend, and special emphasis would be given to consequences for the French economy in general and for French banks in particular. Hollande stressed that the meeting would be secret. (COMMENT: The French president seems worried that if word were to get out that Paris is seriously considering the possibility of a Greek exit, it would deepen the crisis.) In addition, secret meetings are to be held in Paris between French officlans and members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Hollande assured the PM that hosting the meeting at the Elysee was “doable,” although Ayrault warned the president to keep the event a secret so as to avoid diplomatic problems. (COMMENT: By “diplomatic problems,” Ayrault is referring to what could happen if German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds out that Hollande is going behind her back to meet with the German opposition.) Earlier reporting reveals that following talks last week in Berlin with Merkel, Hollande complained that nothing of substance was achieved; it was purely for show. Hollande had found the chancellor fixated on the Fiscal Pact and above all on Greece, on which he claimed she had given up and was unwilling to budge. This made Hollande very worried for Greece and the Greek people, who might react by voting for an extremist party. After meeting Merkel, the French president contacted SPD Chairman Sigmair Gabriel and invited him to Paris so that they could talk.

    Foreign Satellite, Unconventional

    French, German governmental

    Z-G/OO/503643-12, 211549Z; Z-G/OO/503541-12, 161711Z
    US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France

    Date 24 March 2010
    Classification TOP-SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, reveals potential topics of discussion for a meeting between Sarkozy and U.S. President, particularly Sarkozy’s frustration regarding Washington step back on a bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and the U.S. desire to continue spying on France.
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    Sensitive Issues on the Agenda When French, U.S. Presidents Meet Next Week in Washington (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) French President Sarkozy intends to raise a number of sensitive topics with the U.S. President when the two leaders meet in Washington on 31 March, according to an exchange last week between the French ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont, and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor, Jean-David Levitte. Vimont conveyed that the French President will express his frustration that Washington has backed away from its proposed bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and Sarkozy intends to continue to push for closure. As Vimont and Levitte understand it, the main sticking point is the U.S. desire to continue spying on France. On the topic of Afghanistan, Levitte noted that Sarkozy is ready to authorize more military trainers but wants clarification on how many are needed, given the conflicting figures from U.S. sources. Another proposed topic was efforts by the European Aeronautic, Defense, and Space Corporation (EADS) to win a tanker aircraft contract with the U.S. military. Vimont revealed cryptically that the deal is moving forward but did not provide any details. Levitte had not expected to put the labeling dispute with Pernod Ricard (the world’s second largest spirits group) on the agenda, but Sarkozy had just spoken to the company’s chairman who had asked the president to intercede on his behalf. (COMMENT: Patrick Ricard, chairman of the Pernod Ricard board of directors, is said to be one of Sarkozy’s wealthy backers.) Vimont characterized the issue as a very political matter in the U.S., and suggested that a direct appeal to the White House might be useful. While Sarkozy intends to broach the issue with the U.S. President, Levitte will talk to the U.S. President’s Economic Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser. Finally, Levitte expected the two leaders to discuss other pressing subjects including Iran, the Middle East Peace Process, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Sahel, Russia, China, Turkey, climate change, and the financial situation of several European countries; however, he provided no details on those topics.


    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/507179-10, 231635Z
    US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments

    Date 2006
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French President Jacques Chirac and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals that Chirac gave specific instructions to approach UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon and ask the appointment of Terje Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG or another position of equal responsibility.
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    (TS//SI-G//OC) French President Presses for Selection of Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG

    (TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Jacques Chirac told Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on 23 December to work to ensure that current UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen is selected as Deputy UNSYG or at least offered a position of similar responsibility. Chirac spelled out in deliberate fashion exactly how he wanted Douste-Blazy to proceed, instructing him to approach new UNSYG Ban Ki-moon and report back on Ban’s sentiments regarding the deputy post. (COMMENT: Chirac’s detailed orders may be in response to the foreign minister’s propensity, amply demonstrated in the past and the impetus behind a number of presidential reprimands, for making ill-timed or inaccurate remarks.) The President was keen on Roed-Larsen’s selection for several reasons, including his belief that the situation in the Middle East requires a skilled hand with experience in the region and the realization that–for once–France, Russia, and the U.S. all support the same man. Other considerations were that Ban intends to keep Frenchman Jean-Marie Guehenno on as head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which is to be divided into two parts, with the newer organization handling logistics. That planned division, however, has drawn fire from Douste-Blazy, who thinks that it would be a catastrophe.


    French leadership, UN diplomatic

    G/OO/6411-06, 271650Z
    US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine

    Date 10 June 2011
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and Palestine, possibly without the involvement of the U.S.
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    Sarkozy Determined to Proceed With Mideast Initiative, May Pressure U.S. President (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/NF) In spite of an apparent lack of interest on the part of some major players, French President Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed on 7 June his determination of go forward with an initiative to restart direct Mideast peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It was also disclosed in a conversation between Sarkozy and his foreign minister, Alain Juppe, that consideration was given to including the Quartet in the process; however, they were wary about such an invitation because that group might not bow to Paris’s wishes. Not being a member of the Quartet, they surmised, France would have no control over what transpired in one of its meetings, and if the group elected not to support direct talks, the French initiative would be a non-starter. Another concern centered on the dynamics of the Quartet: the fear in Paris was that in any session involving the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, UNSYG Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the U.S. Secretary of State, the last two individuals would dominate the proceedings. Finally, the president was giving thought to appealing to Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev for a possible joint initiative without the United States or, as another option, issuing an ultimatum to the U.S. President regarding Palestinian statehood. The ultimatum would demand that Washington back France’s efforts to restart the peace process, failing which Sarkozy would tell the U.S. President that Paris will not side with the U.S. in September (presumably referring to the deliberations in the UN General Assembly on Palestinian statehood).


    French leadership

    Z-G/OO/513370-11, 091416Z
    US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis

    Date 2008
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy blamed U.S. Government’s many mistakes for the world economic crisis, and given a lack of engagement by the U.S., France, as EU president at the time, had to take the lead in devising solutions.
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    Sarkozy Sees Himself as Only One Who Can Resolve World Financial Crisis (TS//SI-G//OC)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Nicolas Sarkozy considers it his responsibility to Europe and the world to step up to the plate and resolve the world financial crisis. He further declared that he is the only one, given France’s EU Presidency, who can step into the breach at this time. The President blamed many of the current economic problems on mistakes made by the U.S. Government, but believes that Washington is now heeding some of his advice. In his view, this is the first time that the U.S. has not taken the lead in managing a global crisis and France will now take the helm. Sarkozy is determined that the mid-November financial summit, which he proposed, will bring drastic change to the world financial system. Finally, the French President was pleased by some progress made within the EU to ease the crisis and by his excellent working relationship with the British and Spanish prime ministers.


    French leadership

    G/OO/503290-08, 291640Z

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    WikiLeaks – Chirac, Sarkozy et Hollande : trois présidents sur écoute

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    WIKILEAKS Les documents obtenus par WikiLeaks et que publie «Libération» révèlent que la NSA a, au moins de 2006 à mai 2012, espionné Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy et François Hollande.
    Un adage en vogue dans les milieux du renseignement veut qu’en matière d’espionnage, on n’ait pas d’alliés – ou, à tout le moins, qu’ils ne soient pas forcément des amis. «S’espionner entre amis, cela ne se fait pas», s’était d’ailleurs indignée Angela Merkel en apprenant en octobre 2013, par des révélations du Spiegel, que l’Agence nationale de sécurité (NSA) américaine avait ciblé son téléphone portable. Une sélection de documents que publient Libération et Mediapart en collaboration avec WikiLeaks révèle qu’en France, ce sont trois présidents successifs, et certains de leurs collaborateurs, qui ont été espionnés sur une période allant au moins de 2006, lors du second mandat de Jacques Chirac, à mai 2012, juste après l’installation à l’Elysée de François Hollande.

    Ces documents obtenus par WikiLeaks – regroupés sous le titre «Espionnage Elysée» – consistent notamment en cinq rapports d’analyse émanant de la NSA, sous l’intitulé «Global SIGINT Highlights», autrement dit, des «faits marquants» tirés du renseignement d’origine électromagnétique, les interceptions de communications. Tous sont classés «Top Secret», et destinés à des responsables de la NSA et de la communauté américaine du renseignement ; seuls deux d’entre eux, les plus anciens, sont voués à être partagés au sein des «Five Eyes», l’alliance des services de renseignement des Etats-Unis, de l’Australie, du Canada, de la Nouvelle-Zélande et du Royaume-Uni, les autres étant exclusivement à usage américain. Ces comptes rendus émanent, selon des experts interrogés par WikiLeaks, d’un bureau identifié comme étant celui des Summary Services («le service des synthèses»).

    On peut y lire, notamment, comment Jacques Chirac a, en 2006, poussé son candidat pour le poste de sous-secrétaire général adjoint des Nations unies, mais aussi que, selon la NSA, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’époque, Philippe Douste-Blazy, avait une «propension […] à faire des déclarations inexactes ou inopportunes». On peut y lire aussi – ce qui ne surprendra personne – que Nicolas Sarkozy se voyait, en 2008, comme «le seul homme capable de résoudre la crise financière». Ou qu’il se plaignait, en 2010, du «recul de Washington sur sa proposition d’accord de coopération bilatérale sur le renseignement», accord que les deux interlocuteurs mentionnés dans la note, l’ambassadeur de France à Washington, Pierre Vimont, et le conseiller diplomatique, Jean-David Levitte, attribuaient précisément au «souhait des Etats-Unis de continuer à espionner la France»…

    Le mémo le plus récent date du 22 mai 2012 – soit après la mise en place d’un protocole d’échanges d’informations ­entre la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE) et la NSA, qui remonterait, selon le Monde, à la fin 2011 – et fait état de «réunions secrètes» pour discuter d’une possible sortie de la Grèce de la zone euro, mais également des inquiétudes de Jean-Marc Ayrault quant aux réactions d’Angela Merkel si elle venait à avoir vent de la rencontre entre le nouveau président et l’opposition allemande.

    A vrai dire, si le contenu des notes est classé comme hautement confidentiel, il ne révèle pas pour autant de secrets d’Etat. Il témoigne, en tout état de cause, de l’intérêt porté par la NSA à la France. A ce titre, l’autre type de document obtenu par WikiLeaks est au moins aussi frappant. Il s’agit d’un extrait d’une base de données de la NSA mentionnant une série de numéros de téléphone, fixes et mobiles, identifiés comme des «sélecteurs». Autrement dit, sur la base d’une collecte massive d’informations, l’agence identifie des cibles qui motivent par la suite des recherches précises de contenus. Le tout en fonction de «besoins d’information» formalisés à partir de 2002, qui touchent à la politique intérieure ou aux enjeux économiques.

    Extrait d’une base de données de la NSA montrant les personnalités politiques qu’ils ont ciblé.

    Dans cette liste, qui date d’après nos recoupements de l’année 2010, Libération a pu identifier les numéros de portable de membres de l’exécutif – le président Nicolas Sarkozy, les secrétaires d’Etat aux Affaires européennes et au Commerce Jean-Pierre Jouyet et Pierre Lellouche –, mais aussi des cibles plus larges : le standard du ministère des Finances, celui de l’Agriculture, ainsi que l’antenne à l’Elysée du Centre de transmissions gouvernemental, qui dépend du Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (SGDSN). Ce service est précisément responsable de la sécurisation des communications de l’exécutif, ainsi que de la permanence des liaisons gouvernementales, le «téléphone rouge». Rien n’indique pour autant que les liaisons sécurisées aient, elles, été compromises.

    Parmi les autres noms, la liste témoigne d’une identification plutôt précise des interlocuteurs. Les téléphones mobiles de conseillers du Président, comme le secrétaire général de l’Elysée de l’époque, Claude Guéant, ou Jean-David Levitte, sont aussi listés. Contactés par Libération, ni l’un ni l’autre ne se disent surpris. Le premier juge le procédé «inadmissible». Le second, philosophe, indique être «toujours parti du principe [qu’il était] écouté, et pas seulement par nos amis et partenaires américains».

    On trouve aussi des membres du cabinet ou de l’administration du ministère des Affaires étrangères – son porte-parole d’alors, Bernard Valero, ainsi que Laurence Tubiana, fonctionnaire au Quai d’Orsay qui a été chargée en 2009 des négociations pour la conférence sur le climat de Copenhague. A la différence des autres cibles, cette dernière ne relève d’ailleurs pas de la branche chargée d’intercepter les communications européennes, le «S2C32» (déjà identifié dans le scandale Merkel), mais d’un bureau chargé notamment d’«améliorer l’accès à la cible», d’«accroître les efforts de ciblage et d’exploitation» et de «développer de nouvelles possibi­lités de collecte». En clair, de voir dans quelle mesure il serait possible de pirater son téléphone, voire d’installer des logiciels espions dans son ordinateur.

    Cette sélection de documents ne révèle qu’une partie des activités de la NSA en matière d’espionnage des dirigeants français : rien ne permet de connaître la quantité de comptes rendus d’écoutes ayant été communiqués aux dirigeants de la NSA, et les présidents prennent également des précautions pour évoquer les sujets les plus sensibles – rencontres bilatérales ou communications chiffrées. Mais les documents confirment, en tout état de cause, à quel point les Etats-Unis peuvent s’intéresser au détail des communications de dirigeants de pays alliés. En octobre 2013, le ­député ­socialiste Jean-Jacques Urvoas, rapporteur du projet de loi sur le renseignement, se plaignait d’ailleurs dans les colonnes du Monde que «les Etats-Unis n’ont pas d’alliés, ils n’ont que des cibles ou des vassaux».

    Reste désormais à savoir si ces pratiques se sont poursuivies au-delà de la date des derniers documents que nous publions en collaboration avec WikiLeaks. Sollicité par Libération et Mediapart, l’entourage de François Hollande assure qu’au moment de la visite d’Etat du Président à Washington, en février 2014, «l’engagement a été pris [par Barack Obama] de ne plus pratiquer d’écoutes indifférenciées concernant les services de l’Etat des pays alliés». Egalement sollicités, ni la NSA ni la Maison Blanche n’avaient encore réagi, mardi soir à l’heure du bouclage.

    L’espionnage à l’étranger est l’ultime «zone grise» du renseignement – il est d’ailleurs, en France, le véritable point aveugle du projet de loi sur le renseignement, voué à être adopté ce mercredi. En avril, une résolution de l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe préconisait la mise en place d’un «code du renseignement multilatéral». On en est évidemment encore très loin.


    Find this story at 23 June 2015

    Copyright liberation.fr

    NSA Economic Spy Order

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Information Need (IN) – France: Economic Developments
    EEI: H – Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    Information Need (IN) – France: Economic Developments

    Date 2012
    Classification SECRET
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    This classified US intelligence “Information Need” spying order mandates long term economic espionage against France in order to obtain details about the economic activities of French companies and the economic policies and decisions of the French government. Information Needs (IN) are collection requirements extracted from the National SIGINT Requirements List, and are used to broadly justify the interception of communications in order to satisfy generic intelligence demands from U.S. policy makers and the U.S. Intelligence Community. This IN, identified as 2002-204 (first created in 2002 and updated for more than a decade) and referenced in the list of Top NSA French Targets previously published by WikiLeaks, shows which particular information of interest (“Essential Elements of Information”, EEI) the relevant Signals Intelligence units are instructed to collect and report about. Such requirements include France’s economic relations with the United States, other countries and international institutions, France’s financial and trade policies, and its views on G-8 and G-20 agendas. “Supported Elements” are those parts of the US government which are supported by (i.e receive intelligence reports derived from) the espionage.
    Download PDF

    IN Standard Report: S-C-2002-204

    Title : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) France: Economic Developments

    Originator Classification : SECRET//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL

    Table of Contents

    EEI A : (U//FOUO) Economic Relations with the United States
    EEI B : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Business Practices
    EEI C : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Financial/Macroeconomic Policy Development
    EEI D : (U//FOUO) Views On G-8, G-20 Developments/Issues
    EEI E : (U//FOUO) Budgetary Constraints/Contributions To NATO
    EEI F : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Views
    EEI G : (U//FOUO) Relations With Least Developed Countries (LDCs) And Transitional States
    EEI H : (U//FOUO) Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    EEI I : (U//FOUO) Relations With International Financial Institutions
    EEI J : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Trade Policies
    EEI K : (U//FOUO) Questionable Trade Activities

    (U//FOUO) Supported Element(s):

    EEI: H – Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations

    Date 2012
    Classification SECRET//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    This US economic espionage order (“Essential Elements of Information) for France instructs US spies to collect information on all French sales and financing of significant projects related to telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy and environmental and healthcare technologies. Most substantially it also mandates the interception and reportage of all French company negotiations and contracts valued at over $200 million. The results of the spying are to be reported to various US trade, political and intelligence agencies (“Supported Elements”).
    Download PDF

    EEI : H

    EEI Classification : SECRET//NOFORN

    Originator EEI Classification : SECRET//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL

    EEI Title : (U//FOUO) Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    Question(s) :

    1. (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) Report impending French contract proposals or feasibility studies and negotiations for international sales or investments in major projects or systems of significant interest to the foreign host country or $200 million or more in sales and/or services, including financing information or projects of high interest including:

    A. Information and telecommunications facilities networks and technology?

    B. Electric power, natural gas, and oil facilities and infrastructure to include nuclear power and renewable energy generation?

    C. Transportation infrastructure and technology to include ports, airports, high-speed rail, and subways?

    D. Environmental technologies used domestically and for export?

    E. Health care infrastructure, services, and technologies, including biotechnology developments?

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    DOSSIER: LA RÉPUBLIQUE SUR ÉCOUTE ENQUÊTE 2006-2012: Hollande, Sarkozy et Chirac écoutés

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Au-delà des trois chefs d’État français, des ministres, des hauts fonctionnaires, des parlementaires et des diplomates ont été surveillés téléphoniquement pendant près d’une décennie par les services secrets américains, selon des documents obtenus par WikiLeaks.

    Les États-Unis ont placé la République sur écoute. Les présidents François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy et Jacques Chirac, ainsi que de nombreux ministres, des hauts fonctionnaires, des parlementaires ou des diplomates, ont été écoutés directement ou par ricochet pendant près d’une décennie par les services secrets américains, selon des documents confidentiels de la National Security Agency (NSA) obtenus par WikiLeaks (lire aussi notre version en anglais de cet article).

    D’après des notes de synthèse de la NSA auxquelles Mediapart et Libération ont eu accès, en collaboration avec WikiLeaks, dans le cadre de l’opération Espionnage Élysée, les interceptions se sont étalées de 2006 à 2012 – mais rien ne dit qu’elles n’ont pas commencé plus tôt et ne se sont pas poursuivies depuis. Toutes classifiées « top secret », ces notes détaillent les dessous d’un espionnage obsessionnel de la France par les États-Unis sur des questions diplomatiques, de politique locale ou économiques de tous ordres.

    Les trois présidents français écoutés par la NSA
    Les trois présidents français écoutés par la NSA © DR
    Que les États-Unis écoutent les principaux dirigeants d’un pays allié comme la France relève pour certains du secret de polichinelle. L’information est désormais prouvée par des documents issus du cœur de l’appareil d’État américain.

    Surtout, les éléments que nous rendons publics à partir d’aujourd’hui (voir ici l’analyse des documents) révèlent l’ampleur jusqu’ici insoupçonnée de l’espionnage états-unien, réalisé en dehors de tout cadre judiciaire et de tout réel contrôle. Car ce ne sont pas seulement les présidents de la République successifs qui ont été écoutés ces dernières années, mais toutes les strates de la puissance publique qui ont été, à un moment ou à un autre, la cible des États-Unis, qu’il s’agisse de directeurs d’administration, de ministres, de conseillers présidentiels et ministériels, de diplomates, de porte-parole. Au sein même de l’Élysée, par exemple, de très nombreuses lignes téléphoniques (fixes ou portables) ont été branchées.

    Déjà passablement écornée par les révélations de l’ancien agent Edward Snowden, l’image de la NSA et, avec elle, des États-Unis ne devrait pas sortir grandie de ces nouvelles révélations, qui jettent une lumière crue sur les pratiques agressives et déloyales de la première puissance mondiale à l’encontre d’un pays normalement considéré comme « ami ». Du moins, en façade.

    Contactée, la NSA n’a pas souhaité faire de commentaire.

    Comme ses deux prédécesseurs de droite, l’actuel président socialiste François Hollande n’a pas échappé à la curiosité des grandes oreilles de Washington. Un rapport du 22 mai 2012 de la NSA fait ainsi explicitement référence à une conversation tenue quatre jours plus tôt entre le président fraîchement élu et son premier ministre de l’époque, Jean-Marc Ayrault. La conversation porte sur la volonté de François Hollande d’organiser des « consultations secrètes » avec l’opposition allemande, concernant l’éventualité d’une sortie de la Grèce de la zone euro – un sujet toujours d’actualité.

    Les analystes de la NSA évoquent dans le même document l’existence de « précédents rapports » concernant des entretiens passés au sujet de la chancelière Angela Merkel. Ce qui laisse donc supposer que les interceptions américaines du président français ont bel et bien été monnaie courante.

    À l’Élysée, on indiquait mardi 23 juin que, sans avoir conservé la trace de cette conversation, celle-ci est « tout à fait crédible ». Mais sur le fond, la présidence de la République n’a souhaité faire aucun commentaire à ce stade. Dans l’entourage du président, on précise toutefois qu’en amont de la rencontre entre François Hollande et Barack Obama, le 11 février 2014 à Washington, puis lors de cette entrevue, « l’engagement a été pris de ne plus pratiquer d’écoutes indifférenciées des services de l’État d’un pays allié ».

    Le directeur général de LR (ex-UMP), Frédéric Péchenard, a communiqué l’information à Nicolas Sarkozy, qui « ne souhaite pas réagir pour l’instant ».

    Comme pour la plupart des documents obtenus par WikiLeaks, le rapport de mai 2012 de la NSA ciblant François Hollande est surmonté de nombreuses initiales qui, une fois décryptées, donnent la mesure du caractère ultrasensible des données désormais publiques. Estampillées « top secret » (TS), ces notes traitent de renseignements obtenus par des interceptions de signaux électroniques (SI pour SIGINT, soit “signal intelligence”) et ne doivent sous aucun prétexte être partagées avec un pays étranger (NF pour NOFORN, soit “no foreigner”).

    La note Hollande est également accompagnée, comme pour de nombreuses autres, de la mention « unconventional », une catégorie particulière dans la nomenclature de la NSA qui correspond aux opérations non conventionnelles.

    Revealed: how US tapped phones of three French presidents

    US phone taps on France – why Paris would prefer to keep a low profile

    WikiLeaks documents on US snooping on France – what the presidents said

    France condemns ‘unacceptable’ spying on its presidents

    35 « leaders internationaux » espionnés par la NSA

    Espionnage d’intérêts français par le renseignement allemand : la France se tait

    Espionnage : à droite et à gauche, l’allié américain a déçu
    Toujours dans cette même note Hollande figure une petite mention supplémentaire, qui est tout sauf anodine : « Foreign Satellite ». Ce terme, FORNSAT en abrégé, désigne un réseau mondial de stations d’écoutes de la NSA réparties dans les pays alliés. Tous les regards se portent aujourd’hui, sans qu’il soit possible d’en avoir la certitude absolue, vers des antennes satellites allemandes.

    La presse a en effet plusieurs fois fait état ces derniers mois de la sous-traitance par les services secrets allemands (le BND) de l’espionnage américain, ce qui a provoqué une forte indignation en Allemagne et l’ouverture d’une enquête parlementaire qui cherche précisément le type de documents que WikiLeaks a obtenus.

    En dehors de l’actuel chef de l’État français, d’autres hautes personnalités françaises ont été écoutées. D’après les documents en notre possession, sur lesquels nous reviendrons dans les prochains jours, les anciens présidents Nicolas Sarkozy et Jacques Chirac, l’ancien ministre socialiste de l’économie Pierre Moscovici (aujourd’hui commissaire européen) ou l’ex-ambassadeur de France à Washington Pierre Vimont ont ainsi été espionnés.

    Il faut dire que l’appétit de renseignements des États-Unis pour la France relève de la boulimie. Un autre document confidentiel (voir ci-dessous) de la NSA, rédigé sous la présidence Sarkozy (2007-2012), révèle quant à lui la liste des cibles françaises définies par les États-Unis. Sont concernés, pêle-mêle : le portable personnel du président de l’époque, Nicolas Sarkozy, ceux du conseiller diplomatique Jean-David Levitte, du secrétaire général de l’Élysée Claude Guéant, du porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères Bernard Valero, de l’ancien ministre Jean-Pierre Jouyet (aujourd’hui secrétaire général de l’Elysée), celui d’un responsable du Quai d’Orsay non identifié, ou du ministre du commerce extérieur Pierre Lellouche.

    La liste des cibles françaises établie par la NSA sous la présidence Sarkozy
    La liste des cibles françaises établie par la NSA sous la présidence Sarkozy
    Pour Claude Guéant, ancien secrétaire général de l’Elysée et ex-ministre de l’intérieur, « cette pratique est scandaleuse ». « Le gouvernement français doit réagir comme il se doit. Au minimum, cela nécessite une explication au plus haut niveau, un engagement absolu à mettre un terme à ces pratiques. Nous nous acheminons vers un monde qui est extrêmement préoccupant, où plus personne n’a plus d’intimité, de confidentialité », se plaint ce proche de Nicolas Sarkozy.

    « Si les Américains ont écouté Merkel, on ne voit pas pourquoi les autres n’auraient pas été écoutés », commente Frédéric Péchenard, ancien patron de la police nationale et actuel directeur général des Républicains. « Mais si l’on veut être capables de se défendre, il faut que nos services soient à la hauteur. Il nous faut des moyens techniques humains et juridiques plus efficaces. Être espionné par ceux qui sont censés être nos amis, ça peut poser un problème d’ordre diplomatique », précise-t-il.

    « Moi qui étais un grand ami de l’Amérique, je le suis de moins en moins », réagit pour sa part le député Pierre Lellouche auprès de Mediapart. « Je ne suis pas surpris. Ça ne m’étonne pas d’avoir été écouté lorsque j’étais au commerce extérieur, ça intéresse beaucoup les Américains, l’espionnage industriel. On a tout le temps ce genre de conversations. C’est d’ailleurs l’argument qu’on nous rétorque en ce moment dans le cadre de la loi sur le renseignement : on est écouté par tout le monde, pourquoi s’empêcher de nous écouter ? On s’écoute de partout. Malheureusement, je le dirai à l’Assemblée nationale, on est dans un imperium global sur le plan économique, où les États-Unis n’hésitent pas à mettre en réseaux la CIA, la NSA, mais aussi la justice américaine, qui ensuite fait des saisines. Je le dénonce sans arrêt », ajoute-t-il.

    D’après les documents de la NSA, les lignes fixes des conseillers africains en poste à l’Élysée et les numéros des… standards des ministères de l’agriculture et des finances sont également visés. On trouve encore dans la liste des cibles l’antenne du Centre de transmission gouvernemental (CTG) situé à l’Élysée. Celui-ci est chargé d’assurer, à l’abri du “secret défense”, la permanence des liaisons gouvernementales et tout particulièrement celles du chef de l’État et du Premier ministre. Un autre numéro, référencé sous l’intitulé « FR VIP AIRCRAFT REL », renvoie après vérification à une ligne de la flotte aérienne du gouvernement, l’Etec, qui dépend de l’armée de l’air.

    Au-delà du scandale que peut susciter aujourd’hui cet espionnage américain, la facilité avec laquelle les États-Unis paraissent pouvoir intercepter la moindre conversation des plus hauts dirigeants français interroge aujourd’hui la faiblesse des capacités de contre-ingérence des services de renseignement français. À ce propos, l’Élysée a coutume de rappeler que sur les questions diplomatiques et militaires, il n’y a jamais eu de fuite quelle qu’elle soit, précisant que s’agissant des sujets les plus sensibles, toutes les précautions sont prises. Jusqu’à preuve du contraire.


    Find this story at 23 June 2015

    Copyright mediapart.fr

    Espionnage Élysée (2015)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Press Release Top French NSA Targets Top French NSA Intercepts Economic Spy Order

    Today, 29 June 2015, WikiLeaks continues “Espionnage Élysée”, our ongoing publication of a collection of TOP SECRET documents from United States surveillance operations against France.

    Today’s publication comprises seven top secret documents detailing how the US has had a decade- long policy of economic espionage against France, including the interception of all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million. The documents demonstrate that the US National Security Agency, far from being a rogue organisation, is carrying out an economic espionage policy created by the US Director of National Intelligence. The documents detail the intelligence process, from the tasking of the NSA with collection of desired economic information to the production of developed intelligence reports, which are sent to “Supported Elements” of the US government, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Represenative, the US Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Central within the cache of documents are two long-term spying orders (“collection requirements”) which define the kinds of intelligence the NSA is tasked with collecting in its surveillance operations against France. The documents make clear that the NSA has been tasked with obtaining intelligence on all aspects of the French economy, from government policy, diplomacy, banking and participation in international bodies to infrastructural development, business practices and trade activities. The documents establish that the US economic intelligence operations against France have run for more than a decade and started as early as 2002. Some of the documents are authorised for sharing with the “Five Eyes” partners – the group of Anglophone countries in close intelligence co-operation with the United States: Canada, New Zealand, Australia and France’s fellow member state of the European Union, the United Kingdom, strongly suggesting that the United Kingdom has also benefited from the United States’ economic espionage activities against France.

    The cache also includes five TOP SECRET intelligence summaries from US spying on the conversations and communications of French officials. The documents show US spying on the French Finance Minister, a French Senator, officials within the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, the French ambassador to the United States, and officials with direct responsibility for EU trade policy. The intercepts reveal internal French deliberation and policy on the World Trade Organization, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the G7 and the G20, the 2013 French budget, the decline of the automotive industry in France, and the involvement of French companies in the Oil for Food programme in Iraq during the 1990s.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The United States has been conducting economic espionage against France for more than a decade. Not only has it spied on the French Finance Minister, it has ordered the interception of every French company contract or negotiation valued at more than $200 million. That covers not only all of France’s major companies, from BNP Paribas, AXA and Credit Agricole to Peugeot and Renault, Total and Orange, but it also affects the major French farming associations. $200 million is roughly 3,000 French jobs. Hundreds of such contracts are signed every year. The United States not only uses the results of this spying itself, but swaps these intercepts with the United Kingdom. Do French citizens deserve to know that their country is being taken to the cleaners by the spies of supposedly allied countries? Mais oui!”

    For French-language interviews/comment regarding Espionnage Élysée please contact WikiLeaks’ Paris-based legal advisor, Juan Branco: Tel. +33 671 19 21 47

    Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing “Espionnage Élysée”, a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years.

    The top secret documents derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications of French Presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States. The documents also contain the “selectors” from the target list, detailing the cell phone numbers of numerous officials in the Elysee up to and including the direct cell phone of the President.

    Prominent within the top secret cache of documents are intelligence summaries of conversations between French government officials concerning some of the most pressing issues facing France and the international community, including the global financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, the leadership and future of the European Union, the relationship between the Hollande administration and the German government of Angela Merkel, French efforts to determine the make-up of the executive staff of the United Nations, French involvement in the conflict in Palestine and a dispute between the French and US governments over US spying on France.

    A founding member state of the European Union and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, France is formally a close ally of the United States, and plays a key role in a number of US-associated international institutions, including the Group of 7 (G7), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    The revelation of the extent of US spying against French leaders and diplomats echoes a previous disclosure in the German press concerning US spying on the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials. That disclosure provoked a political scandal in Germany, eventuating in an official inquiry into German intelligence co-operation with the United States, which is still ongoing.

    While the German disclosures focused on the isolated fact that senior officials were targeted by US intelligence, WikiLeaks’ publication today provides much greater insight into US spying on its allies, including the actual content of intelligence products deriving from the intercepts, showing how the US spies on the phone calls of French leaders and ministers for political, economic and diplomatic intelligence.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally. We are proud of our work with leading French publishers Liberation and Mediapart to bring this story to light. French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future.”

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    Trade Secrets : Is the U.S.’s most advanced surveillance system feeding economic intelligence to American businesses? (1999)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    No one is surprised that the United States uses sophisticated electronic spying techniques against its enemies. But Europeans are increasingly worried about allegations that the U.S. uses those same techniques to gather economic intelligence about its allies.
    The most extensive claims yet came this spring in a report written for the European Parliament. The report says that the U.S.

    National Security Agency, through an electronic surveillance system called Echelon, routinely tracks telephone, fax, and e-mail transmissions from around the world and passes on useful corporate intelligence to American companies.

    Among the allegations: that the NSA fed information to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas enabling the companies to beat out European Airbus Industrie for a $ 6 billion contract; and that Raytheon received information that helped it win a $ 1.3 billion contract to provide radar to Brazil, edging out the French company Thomson-CSF. These claims follow previous allegations that the NSA supplied U.S. automakers with information that helped improve their competitiveness with the Japanese (see “Company Spies,” May/June 1994).

    Is there truth to these allegations? The NSA is among the most secretive of U.S. intelligence agencies and won’t say much beyond the fact that its mission is “foreign signals intelligence.” The companies involved all refused to comment.

    “Since the NSA’s collection capabilities are so grotesquely powerful, it’s difficult to know what’s going on over there,” says John Pike, an analyst at the watchdog group Federation of American Scientists, who has tracked the NSA for years.

    This much is known: The NSA owns one of the largest collections of supercomputers in the world, and it’s an open secret–as documented in the European Parliament report–that Echelon vacuums up massive amounts of data from communications satellites and the Internet and then uses its computers to winnow it down. The system scans communications for keywords–“bomb,” for instance–that might tip off analysts to an interesting topic.

    Fueling allegations of corporate espionage is the fact that defense contractors and U.S. intelligence agencies are linked extensively through business relationships. Raytheon, for instance, has large contracts to service NSA equipment, according to the European report.

    Englishman Glyn Ford, the European Parliament member who initiated the study, wants the NSA to come clean about its activities in Europe. And the Europeans have some leverage on this issue, if they decide to use it. In a drive to improve surveillance, the United States is pressuring European governments to make telephone companies build eavesdropping capabilities into their new systems. But if that’s what the U.S. wants, says Ford, it’s going to have to be open about what information it’s collecting: “If we are going to leave the keys under the doormat for the United States, we want a guarantee that they’re not going to steal the family silver,” he says.

    In the meantime, congressional critics have started to wonder if all that high-powered eavesdropping is limited to overseas snooping. In April, Bob Barr (R-Ga.), a member of the House Government Reform Committee, said he was worried by reports that the NSA was engaged in illicit domestic spying.

    “We don’t have any direct evidence from the NSA, since they’ve refused to provide any reports, even when asked by the House Intelligence Committee,” Barr says. “But if in fact the NSA is pulling two million transmissions an hour off of these satellites, I don’t think there’s any way they have of limiting them to non-U.S. citizens.”

    Last May, after the NSA stonewalled requests to discuss the issue, Congress amended the intelligence appropriations bill to require the agency to submit a report to Congress. (The bill is still in a conference committee.) And the NSA will face more questions when the Government Reform Committee holds hearings on Echelon and other surveillance programs.

    “We ought to prevent any agency from the dragnet approach–where they throw out a net and drag anything in,” Barr says.

    Kurt Kleiner
    Mother Jones November 1, 1999

    Find this story at 1 November 1999

    Copyright Mother Jones

    Canadian military predicted Libya would descend into civil war if foreign countries helped overthrow Gaddafi (2015)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Canadian military intelligence officers predicted in 2011 that Libya could descend into a lengthy civil war if foreign countries provided assistance to rebels opposing the country’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

    The warning, made just days before several countries, including Canada, began their March 2011 bombing campaign against Gaddafi’s regime, has unfolded as predicted.

    Libya has descended into chaos as rival tribes and militias continue to battle each other for control of the country.

    Last week, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri warned that warring factions were pushing his country into a full-scale civil war. Italy has also raised concerns that Islamic extremists who now occupy parts of the country pose a threat to the region and Europe.

    The Canadian government and military played key roles in overthrowing Gaddafi and highlighted those efforts as a significant victory both for Libya and Canadians.

    At the time, then-foreign affairs minister John Baird reinforced Canada’s support for the rebel groups fighting Gaddafi, pointing out they had a well-developed plan that would transform the country into a democracy. “The one thing we can say categorically is that they couldn’t be any worse than Col. Gaddafi,” said Mr. Baird.

    But when Gaddafi was overthrown in the fall of 2011, the various rebel groups refused to surrender their weapons and instead began fighting each other.

    The uprising against Gaddafi began in February 2011. But it was NATO warplanes that destroyed large parts of Libya’s military and are now credited with allowing rag-tag militias and assorted armed groups to eventually seize control of the country.

    Various nations began the military intervention in Libya on March 19, 2011. Canadian CF-18 fighter jets started their bombing runs on March 23.

    Just days before, however, Canadian intelligence specialists sent a briefing report shared with senior officers. “There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war,” they wrote in their March 15, 2011 assessment. “This is particularly probable if opposition forces received military assistance for foreign militaries.”

    Some officers in the Canadian Forces tried to raise concerns early on in the war that removing Gaddafi would play into the hands of Islamic extremists, but military sources say those warnings went unheeded. Later, military members would privately joke about Canada’s CF-18s being part of “Al-Qaeda’s air force,” since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebel groups aligned with the terrorist group.

    The Royal Canadian Air Force flew 10% of the missions during NATO’s campaign.

    One can quarrel with it or not quarrel with it, but the mission was we would provide air cover for those that were initially subject to Gaddafi’s attacks and ultimately became his overthrowers

    At the time of the Libyan uprising, U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, the NATO leader, acknowledged that some of the rebels benefiting from the air strikes could be linked to Islamic extremists. But he said that, overall, the opposition forces were made up of “responsible men and women.”

    In September 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended Canada’s role in Libya, suggesting that neither it nor NATO can be held responsible for the chaos that has since engulfed that country. “One can quarrel with it or not quarrel with it, but the mission was we would provide air cover for those that were initially subject to Gaddafi’s attacks and ultimately became his overthrowers,” Mr. Harper explained shortly before meeting NATO leaders.

    “The decision was made at the outset that we were not going to go into Libya (on the ground) per se. It was going to be up to the Libyans to then make the best of the situation.”

    Gaddafi was considered a brutal dictator, but in later years he was embraced by Western leaders, who provided his forces with military training and weapons.

    Analysts with the Department of National Defence also noted Gaddafi was a staunch ally of the West in the war against Al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism.

    His efforts against Al-Qaeda-backed forces and his co-operation with the U.S. in providing information on terrorist networks were highlighted in a number of DND reports from 2002, 2003 and 2006 obtained by the Ottawa Citizen using the Access to Information law.

    Gaddafi had his own reasons for helping the U.S. and Western nations in fighting Islamic extremists, since they also represented a threat to his own power.

    POSTMEDIA NEWS 03.01.2015

    Find this story at 3 January 2015

    © 2015 Postmedia Network Inc.

    Britain hid secret MI6 plan to break up Libya from US, Hillary Clinton told by confidant (2015)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time friend of the Clintons, claimed David Cameron backed a French plot to create a break away zone eastern Libya

    Britain acted deceitfully in Libya and David Cameron authorised an MI6 plan to “break up” the country, a close confidante of Hillary Clinton claimed in a series of secret reports sent to the then-secretary of state.
    Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time friend of the Clintons, emailed Mrs Clinton on her personal account to warn her that Britain was “game playing” in Libya.
    Mr Blumenthal had no formal role in the US State Department and his memos to Mrs Clinton were sourced to his own personal contacts in the Middle East and Europe.
    Nevertheless, Mrs Clinton seems to have taken some of his reports seriously and forwarded them on to senior diplomats working at the highest levels of American foreign policy.
    The first of Mr Blumenthal’s Libya memos – which were leaked to the New York Times – was sent on April 8, 2011, as rebel forces struggled to make gains against Gaddafi’s troops, and had “UK game playing” in the subject line.
    The memo warned that British diplomats and MI6 officers were maintaining secret back channels with the Gaddafi regime “in an effort to protect the British position in the event that the rebellion settles into a stalemate”.

    Mr Blumenthal claimed that MI6 spies were in discussions with Saif Gaddafi, the dictator’s son, “regarding future relations between the two countries if he takes over power from his father and implements reforms”.
    The memo also claims that the Libyan rebels were deeply suspicious of Britain and suspected that the UK would be “satisfied with a stalemate” in which Gaddafi or his family stayed in power in part of the country.
    Their suspicions were stoked when Gaddafi’s foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, defected to Britain in March 2011, Mr Blumenthal claimed. The rebels apparently saw the defection as evidence that Britain had secret lines of communication with the highest ranks of the Gaddafi regime.
    Extract from the email:

    Eight minutes after receiving Mr Blumenthal’s email, Mrs Clinton forwarded it on to one of her most senior aides. She did not comment on the allegations about Britain. A week later, she met with William Hague, the then-foreign secretary at a Nato summit in Berlin.
    Perhaps unbeknownst to Mr Blumenthal, who was working for Bill Clinton’s global charity at the time and not privy to classified information, the CIA was maintaining its own back channels to Gaddafi.
    Michael Morell, the CIA’s deputy director, spoke regularly to Abdullah Senussi, the head of Gaddafi’s internal intelligence service, even as US aircraft were bombing regime forces on the battlefield.
    Mr Blumenthal emailed Mrs Clinton about Britain again on March 8, 2012 with the subject: “France & UK behind Libya breakup”.
    By this time Gaddafi was dead and his regime had collapsed and a provisional government, the Libyan National Transitional Council, was trying to assert its authority across the country.
    Mr Blumenthal told Mrs Clinton that MI6 and its French counterpart, the DGSE, were secretly encouraging rebels in eastern Libya to establish “a semi-autonomous zone” outside the control of the new government.
    The plot was allegedly instigated by advisors to the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who believed that the new Libyan government was not “rewarding” French businesses for France’s role in overthrowing Gaddafi.
    He alleged that MI6 joined in the plan “at the instruction of the office of Prime Minister David Cameron”.
    “The French and British intelligence officials believe that the semi-autonomous regime in the eastern city of Benghazi will be able to organise business opportunities in that region,” he wrote.
    Extract from the email:

    Mrs Clinton seems to have been sceptical about the report and forwarded it on to her aide Jake Sullivan with the comment: “This one strains credulity. What do you think?”
    Mrs Clinton’s aides appear unimpressed with the stream of emails coming from Mr Blumenthal and Mr Sullivan replied that the MI6 allegations sounded like “like a thin conspiracy theory”.
    Mrs Clinton was asked about the emails during a campaign appearance in Iowa on Tuesday and said Mr Blumenthal had been “a friend of mine for a very long time”.
    “He sent unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances. That’s just part of the give and take,” she said.
    On Thursday, a new batch of leaked emails showed that Mr Blumenthal had passed on allegations that MI6 was involved in talks to broker a ceasefire and install Saif Gaddafi in his father’s place.
    Saif was one of the most Western of Gaddafi’s children and had strong links to Britain. He studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) and was hosted at Buckingham Palace.

    A June 3 email from said the Libyan regime had “opened extremely complicated negotiations with the government of the United Kingdom” over a deal that would allow the Gaddafis “to maintain some level of control” in Libya.
    Under the regime’s proposal Saif Gaddafi could take his father’s role as head of state but share power with a cabinet made up partly of representatives from the opposition.
    Gaddafi himself would be allowed to go into exile without facing war crimes or corruption charges by the new government.
    The initial conversations were apparently carried out by MI6 officers and it is not clear if the talks ever progressed to senior levels of government.
    Mrs Clinton did not dismiss the claims and forwarded them on to a senior aide while asking her personal assistant to print them out.
    Extract from the email:

    The email claims Saif and his circle knew there was “little chance” that the rebels would agree to the offer and suspected MI6 may have engaged in the talks only “as a means of collecting intelligence while protecting British interests in Libya” and had no real interest in a deal.
    In any event the plan was never carried out and Saif, was captured by rebel forces in November 2011, a few weeks after his father’s death.
    He is now facing trial in Libya on charges that he orchestrated a campaign of terror against civilian populations during the uprising against his father.
    The Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment.
    Mr Blumenthal memos have aroused interest in the US because they appear to show a blurring of the lines between Mrs Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation set up by her husband.
    Although he had no role in the State Department, he was working for the Clinton Foundation and various political groups allied with Mrs Clinton, according to the New York Times.
    Mr Blumenthal worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and was known for fierce loyalty to both the Clintons and for aggressively confronting their critics.
    Aides to Barack Obama prevented Mrs Clinton from bringing him into the State Department in 2009, believing that he would only stir up trouble after the bitterly-fought election battle between Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton.

    Raf Sanchez By Raf Sanchez, Washington4:30PM BST 21 May 2015

    Find this story at 21 May 2015
    © Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2015

    Charlie Hebdo: Wat rest is schaamte en vragen…

    De wijze waarop de internationale media over de aanslagen op de burelen van Charlie Hebdo en in de joodse supermarkt hebben bericht, is niet alleen ronduit verbijsterend te noemen maar roept tevens vele vragen op.

    De definitie van vrijheid van meningsuiting is in 2015 erg eenvoudig geworden. Als je iets niet doet dan pleeg je censuur, als je iets wel doet dan ben je het goede voorbeeld voor de vrijheid en de vrijheid van meningsuiting. Dit simplisme tekent de nieuwe wereld orde sinds 2001. Beledigen moet kunnen, helemaal als mediabedrijf, anders pleeg je zelfcensuur. Het te kijk zetten van Mohammed is trending topic. Vragen of dit beledigen iets bijdraagt aan een maatschappelijk debat, of het wel zin heeft in een rechtsorde, noodzakelijk is voor het blootleggen van misstanden of in andere zin belangrijk is, worden niet gesteld.

    Hetzelfde mechanisme herhaalt zich bij een aanslag die gelabeld wordt als zijnde terroristisch. Kritische vragen, analyse en beschouwing is niet langer noodzakelijk. De verdachten zijn terroristen, in het geval van moslims worden ze gelabeld als zijnde jihadisten, uitwassen, barbaren of andere demonen. De rol van de overheid, het functioneren van politie- en inlichtingendiensten, twijfel over het verloop van de gebeurtenissen, niets is meer nodig. Het draaiboek ligt klaar.

    Charlie Hebdo

    Een aanslag vraagt om chocoladeletters, vingerwijzingen en insinuaties. Als er dan ook nog een persoon is die het claimt uit naam van Allah zijn we klaar. Ook dit keer is het gelukkig AQAS, een zijtak van Al-Qaeda, die een schuldbekentenis de wereld heeft in geslingerd met betrekking tot de aanslag op de redactie van Charlie Hebdo en een joodse winkel van begin dit jaar in Parijs en het hoofdstuk kan worden afgesloten.

    Als de aanslag van deze ‘barbaren’ wordt gepleegd op een redactie van een mediabedrijf dan is de vrijheid van meningsuiting, de vrijheid, onze waarden, de westerse vrije mentaliteit en andere superlatieven in gevaar en moeten wij het ‘kwaad’ uitroeien, van de aarde vegen en andere grote daden verrichten. Zie hier het Charlie Hebdo scenario in herhaling op alle voorgaande aanslagen.

    De Amerikaanse president G.W. Bush vatte dit scenario in 2001 simpelweg als volgt samen: ‘If you are not with us you are with the terrorists.’ Vandaar dat Bush niet vervolgd wordt voor de vele Amerikaanse oorlogsmisdaden, maar de Franse komiek Dieudonné wel voor verheerlijking van terrorisme omdat hij ‘Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly’ twitterde. En ook Maurice Sinet die vervolgd werd voor antisemitisme en aanzetten tot rassenhaat in verband met een zin in een column over joden, en vervolgens werd ontslagen door de directie van Charlie Hebdo.

    Want dáár zit het onderscheid. Grappen over de Holocaust, jodenvervolging, etc. zouden aanzetten tot haat, grappige tweets over aanslagen zouden terrorisme verheerlijken, maar grappen over de islam zijn vrijheid van meningsuiting en daar zou je vanaf moeten blijven. Cartoons, tekeningen, foto’s, verhalen, opinies, meningen; alles heeft natuurlijk uiteindelijk te maken met de geprefereerde schoonheid van beeld en tekst. Iets kan je bevallen of niet.

    Charlie Hebdo zou iedereen op de hak nemen, maar dat lijkt niet echt het geval. Er was een periode dat het blad het gemunt had op vrouwen, want die reageerden zo lekker en sinds de Mohammed tekeningen van de Deen Kurt Westergaard is de profeet kop van jut. De moslims reageren namelijk zo leuk. Niet-blanke Franse ministers, zoals van Justitie Christiane Taubira-Delannon werden als apen afgebeeld, maar het blad ging niet zover om dat met Barack Obama te doen.

    In de periode van ‘bring back our girls’ werden de ontvoerde meiden in Nigeria afgebeeld als zwangere bijstandsmoeders die hun uitkering niet kwijt wilden. De tekeningen zouden allemaal een diepere betekenis hebben, een dubbele bodem, maar welke diepere betekenis dan of onderbroekenlol of verhuld racisme wordt niet duidelijk. Het adagium lijkt te zijn dat alles moet kunnen, of eigenlijk toch niet.

    Vrijheid van meningsuiting

    De essentie van de vrijheid van meningsuiting is echter niet zozeer dat je alles mag zeggen, dan zou ontkenning van de Holocaust en het beledigen van joden ook een recht zijn, maar heeft meer te maken met het tarten van de macht. En daar wringt de schoen, want zijn de moslims aan de macht in de wereld, Europa, Frankrijk, Denemarken, Nederland? Is er een moslimpartij die de absolute meerderheid heeft in enig parlement in Europa? En vanwaar een grap eindeloos herhalen als kleine kinderen op een speelplaats om het jongetje met het keppeltje elke dag te pesten. Is dat allemaal vrijheid van meningsuiting?

    Mediabedrijven hebben niet meer recht op vrijheid van meningsuiting dan een willekeurige burger. Elke aanslag of bombardement is er een te veel, elk mensenleven telt. En als er dan getreurd wordt om een aanslag op de vrijheid van meningsuiting zodra de redactie van Charlie Hebdo wordt geraakt, waarom dan geen voorpagina’s met verzet wegens de Amerikaanse aanslagen op de burelen van het mediabedrijf Al Jazeera in Afghanistan (2001) en Irak (2003). Waar waren toen alle zogenoemde voorvechters van de ‘vrijheid van meningsuiting’ en de ‘hoeders van de democratie’? Of gaat het alleen maar om het recht om Allah door het slijk te halen? Dan moet dat gezegd worden, dat heeft namelijk niets met enige vrijheid te maken.

    Uiteindelijk heeft vrijheid van meningsuiting en de zogenoemde claim van de journalistiek dat zij de hoeders van de democratie zouden zijn, eerder te maken met de berichtgeving over de aanslag op de burelen van Charlie Hebdo dan met berichtgeving over de vermeende aanslag op ‘onze waarden’.

    De berichtgeving over de aanslag zelf is verbijsterend, want als er iets aan de hand is bij elke aanslag waar dan ook in de wereld is dat er vragen moeten worden gesteld bij het optreden van overheden, helemaal als die overheden zelf de straat op gaan om te demonstreren. Als president Kadyrov van Tsjetsjenië honderdduizenden demonstranten tegen de cartoons van Charlie Hebdo op de been krijgt, is dat georkestreerd, maar als in Parijs honderdduizenden de straat op gaan achter een virtuele rij regeringsleiders, ook met een even twijfelachtige staat van dienst als Kadyrov, is dat een spontane uiting van steun aan de ‘westerse waarden’.

    De media falen

    In de zee van artikelen die na de aanslagen door de media werd geproduceerd, lijkt het alsof je niet kunt zeggen dat je geen Charlie bent of wilt zijn, of dat Charlie eigenlijk een racist is. De berichtgeving was er een van een journalist die bibberend naar de machthebbers rent en vraagt om bescherming, niet van een hoeder van de democratie die meteen vragen opdreunt over een aanslag waar alleen maar vragen over te stellen zijn. Zelfs parallellen met het verleden zouden die vragen moeten oproepen.

    De aanslagen in 1995/1996 in Frankrijk op onder andere een gematigde imam, twee metrostations, een joodse school bijvoorbeeld van de zogenoemde Algerijnse groep GIA, Groupe Islamique Armé. De Franse GIA was een product van de Algerijnse geheime dienst, waarbij de rol van de Franse geheime dienst nooit is opgehelderd. Politiek kwam het zowel Frankrijk als Algerije goed uit. De democratisch gekozen Algerijnse moslimpartij FIS werd afgezet, net als in 2013 de moslimbroeders in Egypte en het westen omarmde de Algerijnse dictatuur, net als nu de Egyptische dictatuur.

    De aanslagen in Madrid zijn de enige aanslagen die ooit onder een vergrootglas van een parlementaire enquêtecommissie zijn gelegd, met de ene onthulling na de ander tot gevolg. Over een falend beveiligingsapparaat dat explosieven verkoopt aan de toekomstige daders en de andere kant opkijkt als zij hun aanslagen voorbereiden en uiteindelijk uitvoeren.

    De meeste aanslagen echter worden niet echt onderzocht. Het komt de politiek goed uit dat het zogenoemde ‘jihadisten’ zijn en de hoeders van de democratie hebben te veel te verliezen om kritische vragen te stellen. Zie ook de moord op Theo van Gogh, waar nu opnieuw een onderzoek naar loopt en waarvan de uitkomst bij voorbaat als vaststaat. Niemand trekt het veiligheidsapparaat in twijfel.

    Eigenlijk kun je spreken van eenzelfde Pavlov-reactie als bij het optreden van het Nederlandse leger in het buitenland. Hoeveel burgers zijn er omgekomen tijdens bombardementen of gevechten in Syrië, Irak en Mali van ‘onze jongens’ die samen optrekken met de Amerikanen of de Fransen? Interesseert ons dat soms niet in deze oorlog tegen de terreur? En de Nederlandse jongeren die nu omkomen bij bombardementen, waar zijn zij schuldig aan? Aan het lidmaatschap van een terroristische organisatie en staat daar dan de doodstraf op? Hebben zij een eerlijk proces gehad? En worden mensen die meevechten met de Koerden, de Israëli en elders in de wereld op dezelfde wijze langs de terroristische meetlat gelegd?

    Tegen het simplisme met betrekking tot terrorisme en vrijheid van meningsuiting is niet op te boksen, wij capituleren. Want als dat de waarden zijn waar wij voor zouden moeten staan, is schaamte wat er overblijft, schaamte voor zoveel gebrek aan beschaving, voor de teloorgang van waarheidsvinding, voor het gebrek aan kritiek op al die zogenoemde verlichte waarden, schaamte voor zoveel simplisme, iets dat alleen maar tot meer geweld en meer bloedvergieten zal leiden.

    Wij hebben slechts vragen over de aanslag op Charlie Hebdo en de joodse winkel, de daders en de handelwijze van het politieapparaat:

    1. Waarom is besloten de aanslagplegers niet langer in de gaten te houden? En geldt dat voor allen, ook voor de schoolgaande neef? Werd die surveillance van de twee broers in juni 2014 afgebroken? Waarom is besloten die twee broers en die neef in eerste instantie wel in de gaten te houden? Zijn er ook andere maatregelen geweest tegen of rondom deze personen?

    2. Het groepje dat in eerste instantie in de gaten werd gehouden door de inlichtingendiensten, bestond dat uit alleen uit deze drie of vier personen? Of waren er meer? Wie waren de anderen? Waarom hebben anderen uit die groep niets gedaan?

    3. Waarom was het de Amerikaanse inlichtingendiensten wel bekend dat de twee broers die de aanslagen hebben gepleegd in Jemen waren geweest en de Franse diensten niet? Of wisten de Franse diensten dit ook? Kunnen de aanslagen vanuit Jemen zijn gepland? Of kan het ook zijn dat de docenten in Jemen hebben gezegd dat ze maar moesten doen wat ze wilden? Is er contact geweest vanuit Frankrijk met Jemen door de aanslagplegers of vanuit Jemen met de broers in Frankrijk? Zijn er naast een videoboodschap bewijzen voor betrokkenheid van de groep in Jemen aan de aanslagen? ISIS/IS/ISIL is verschillende keren genoemd? Was er een link met IS, en zo ja welke? Zijn de broers daar geweest of hebben daar contact mee gehad? Bij of met welke organisatie? Welke training hebben de broers in Jemen of Syrië gehad, hoe lang, met welke wapens? Hoe goed waren ze, gezien de inslagen op de voorruit van de politieauto konden ze goed met hun wapens overweg? Hebben ze daar ook gevochten?

    4. Kwam de politieauto die in de Allee Verte onder vuur werd genomen door de aanslagplegers af op een melding van schoten van het eerste verkeerde adres waar de aanslag plegers binnendrongen?

    5. Wat was de response tijd van de politie nadat de aanslag plegers op de redactie van het blad Charlie Hebdo enkele mensen hadden doodgeschoten? De aanslagplegers verlieten lopend het pand en liepen naar hun auto in de Allee Verte. Een en ander is gefilmd, hoe lang duurde het voordat de politie aanwezig was? De daders lijken alle tijd te nemen. Hoe is de alarmmelding bij de politie binnengekomen? Wat gebeurde er toen precies?

    6. Is er een draaiboek voor dit soort aanslagen? Er moet een draaiboek zijn geweest voor Charlie Hebdo vanwege eerdere aanslagen/bedreigingen. Heeft men zich gehouden aan dat draaiboek?

    7. Welke eenheden zijn er gealarmeerd na het alarm bij de politie? Zijn er explosievenexperts geweest? Ligt namelijk voor de hand. Waren ze er niet, waarom dan niet?

    8. Waarom loopt de wijkagent op de daders toe? Wat was zijn opdracht? Was hij degene die op de melding binnenkwam? Was hij buurtagent of beveiliger van Charlie Hebdo?

    9. Hoe was de standaard beveiliging van Charlie H. door de Parijse politie geregeld? Was Franck Brinsolaro de enige politieman/beveiliger op de redactie? Waren er geen inlichtingen met betrekking tot bedreigingen van het blad en haar medewerkers?

    10. Klopt het dat de Algerijnse inlichtingendiensten de Franse diensten voor een aanslag waarschuwden? Als dit klopt, betekent het dat de broers of de neef contact hebben gehad met mensen die contact hadden met de Algerijnse inlichtingendienst. Was dat contact vanuit Frankrijk of vanuit Algerije? Het lijkt voor de hand te liggen dat Algerijnse diensten zich zeer interesseren voor de Algerijnse gemeenschap in Frankrijk. Hoever zitten zij daarin? Wat doen ze precies? Hoe zijn de contacten met Franse diensten? Hoeveel en wat voor mensen runt de Algerijnse dienst in Frankrijk en met welk doel? Werden de broers in dit verband gerund door een inlichtingendienst als informant/infiltrant? Zijn zij voor informatie betaald, en zo ja hoeveel?

    11. Zijn de broers door een Franse inlichtingendienst benaderd om voor ze te werken als informant/infiltrant? Zo ja, door welke dienst? Hoe werden ze gerund? Zijn zij betaald voor hun werk voor de diensten? Hoeveel?

    12. Welke organisaties van het Syrisch verzet worden gesteund door het Westen en op welke manier? Door wie precies? Amerikanen? Fransen? Welke rol spelen de Fransen en welke organisaties steunen zij? Leiden de Fransen ook mensen op in trainingskampen zoals de Amerikanen in Jordanië? Hebben Franse instructeurs in Syrië ook contacten met Franse jihadisten en wat voor contacten zijn dat dan? Hoe zit dat met Jemen of met Algerije?

    13. Hoe bekent was het dat Charlie Hebdo elke woensdag vergaderde? Waarom waren de aanslagplegers in eerste instantie op het verkeerde adres?

    14. Waarom verloor de politie de aanslagplegers uit het oog in Parijs na het verlaten van hun auto? Wat zijn de stappen geweest die inlichtingendiensten en politie in Parijs hebben uitgevoerd? Hoe hebben de aanslagplegers de stad kunnen verlaten?

    15. Komen de DNA sporen in de zwarte Citroën overeen met die van de broers? Hoe echt is het identiteitsbewijs en waar is het precies gevonden?

    16 Wat heeft Hamyd Mourad, de zwager van de broers die aangemerkt zijn als daders, met de aanslag te maken? Tot nu toe waren er steeds twee mannen in beeld. Was er een derde verdachte en waar bevond die zich dan? Waarom kwam Hamyd Mourad in een vroeg stadium in beeld als zogenaamde derde dader? Van wie zijn de gymschoenen die uit de zwarte Citroën is gevallen?

    17. Maakt een van de aanslagplegers een militair gebaar als hij de auto in stapt?

    18. Rijden ze uit de straat van Charlie Hebdo en gaan op de hoek opnieuw stilstaan? Waarom hebben ze zoveel tijd?

    19. Zijn er beelden van de overval op het pompstation? Wat gebeurde daar precies? Waarom hebben de aanslagplegers zich niet verschanst in het station?

    20. Kan het zijn dat de twee daders van Charlie Hebdo een auto nodig hadden omdat er nog een ander aanslagdoel was dat verder weg lag? Ligt er iets in de buurt van de plek waar ze werden neergeschoten?

    21. Wat zijn exact de bevelen geweest of instructies voor de bestorming van de drukkerij? is er een bevel geweest om de daders te doden? Of is er erg aangedrongen op gevangen nemen?

    22. Wat klopt er van het verhaal van de wapenhandelaar in Brussel die de wapens aan de aanslagplegers zou hebben verkocht? Zijn alle in Brussel gekochte wapens teruggevonden, als dat de wapens zijn?

    23. Was de supermarkt een hoofddoel? Het lijkt er op dat dat niet zo was. Is er enig materiaal (kaart, plattegrond, aantekeningen) dat kan wijzen op een ander doel?

    24. Toen Coulibaly op de agente schoot, was dat omdat hij werd gestoord bij het uitvoeren van een aanslag bij een ander doel dan de supermarkt? Ligt er iets in de buurt van die schietpartij wat een geschikt doel zou kunnen zijn? Bijvoorbeeld woonde daar iemand die een verband heeft met de daders of met Charlie Hebdo?

    25. Waarom heeft de zelfmoord van een politie-commissaris niets met het onderzoek te maken? Hoe is het mogelijk dat iemand die depressief is en een burn-out heeft zelfmoord kan
    plegen? Wordt er onderzoek gedaan naar de zelfmoord van de man? Waarom pleegde de mand zelfmoord op zijn kantoor?

    26. Is er een relatie tussen familieleden van de vermoordde redactieleden en de mogelijke daders? Wat voor relatie is dat dan?

    27. En nog veel meer vragen.

    Buro Jansen & Janssen

    Find this story at 25 March 2015 in pdf

    or at 25 March 2015

    Manuel Valls a-t-il bloqué des écoutes sur le “clan” Kouachi ?

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    EXCLUSIF. Avant le 7 janvier, des interceptions antiterroristes demandées par la DGSE et la DGSI auraient été bloquées. Explications.

    Depuis plusieurs semaines, l’affaire empoisonnait les relations entre le sommet de l’exécutif et les deux principaux services de renseignements français, la DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure) et la DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure). Bien avant les attentats contre Charlie Hebdo et le supermarché casher de la porte de Vincennes, les chefs de ces deux services – Patrick Calvar (DGSI) et Bernard Bajolet (DGSE) – avaient fait connaître leur mécontentement.

    En cause, selon des sources concordantes : les interdictions de procéder à des interceptions de communications à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du territoire français, édictées par une proche collaboratrice du Premier ministre Manuel Valls, chargée de les autoriser ou de les interdire, après avis consultatif de la CNCIS (Commission nationale consultative des interceptions de sécurité). Selon les cas qui nous ont été rapportés, ces interdictions préalables ont frappé des écoutes sur au moins une ambassade étrangère en France et sur des “cibles” de nationalité française se trouvant en territoire étranger.

    403 ou BMW ?

    Dimanche 11 janvier, l’ancien directeur de la DCRI (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur), avant d’être transformée en DGSI, le préfet Bernard Squarcini, a lâché le morceau lors de son passage dans l’émission Le Grand Rendez-vous Europe 1-i>Télé-Le Monde. Selon ses propos, confirmés au Point par d’autres sources, les services avaient bien écouté l’un des frères Kouachi, “mais ça ne donnait rien, et ensuite intervient le gros dispositif juridique qui existe en France : le président de la Commission nationale de contrôle des interceptions de sécurité (CNCIS) vous dit de vous arrêter parce que l’objectif que vous avez demandé dans cette écoute n’apparaît pas ou n’est pas actif”.

    Aux yeux de Squarcini, il s’agit bel et bien d'”une faille du dispositif dans son ensemble”. “Le service de renseignements ne peut travailler qu’avec la boîte à outils qu’on lui fournit. Si vous devez réparer une 403, ça va, si vous devez réparer une BMW, il faut peut-être changer de boîte à outils.”

    “Ils sont stricts, limite obtus”

    En clair, les services auraient demandé à ce que les écoutes qui leur avaient été accordées sur la “cible” Kouachi soient étendues à son entourage. Cette mesure aurait été refusée. Une source connaissant cette affaire explique : “Ils sont extrêmement stricts, limite obtus. Ils autorisent la cible stricto sensu en appliquant les textes à la lettre : pour eux, c’est l’individu qui peut être écouté, pas le clan. Alors qu’on est en guerre !” Pourtant, les exégètes avaient remarqué que, dans ses rapports d’activité, la CNCIS avait fait évoluer ses textes.

    En évoquant ces dernières années des “cibles” et non plus des “lignes” téléphoniques, elle indiquait implicitement que, justement, une écoute pouvait concerner tous les téléphones d’une personne, ses ordinateurs, le tout pouvant être étendu à son entourage. Sauf que ça, c’était avant que le précédent président de la CNCIS Hervé Pelletier, désigné par Nicolas Sarkozy et “démissionnaire”, ne soit remplacé en juin 2014 par Jean-Marie Delarue. Le décret signé du président de la République François Hollande nomme Jean-Marie Delarue pour six ans, jusqu’en juin 2020.

    “Des gars madrés”

    Fils d’Émile Pelletier, ancien ministre de l’Intérieur du général de Gaulle, Hervé Pelletier fut président de la chambre criminelle de la Cour de cassation. À la CNCIS, il fut un interlocuteur comme les apprécient les services de renseignements, n’aimant rien tant que les “gars madrés, qui connaissent la vie”. Jean-Marie Delarue, conseiller d’État honoraire et ancien contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté, est quant à lui un “vrai juriste, engagé dans un rapport de force avec le gouvernement”.

    Cet expert connaissant l’affaire estime que Jean-Marie Delarue “veut poser la question de la place de la CNCIS et transformer cette autorité administrative qui fournit des avis consultatifs au gouvernement en véritable organisme de contrôle des interceptions techniques”. Combat de titans pour le contrôle des services…

    Guerre souterraine

    Dans la technostructure du renseignement français, on évoque une guerre souterraine, très secrète et qui aurait dû le rester, qui opposerait actuellement deux tendances lourdes : d’une part, celle des services qui souhaitent qu’au nom du “pragmatisme” on leur lâche un peu la bride en ces temps troublés ; d’autre part, celle de juristes représentés par le président de la commission des Lois de l’Assemblée et président de la délégation parlementaire au renseignement, le député socialiste Jean-Jacques Urvoas, membre de la CNCIS, en phase avec Jean-Marie Delarue.

    Les récriminations des premiers sont fortes à l’égard des seconds. À tel point que les services estiment qu’ils font l’objet de la part de la CNCIS de mesures de pure “rétorsion”. Alors que la pratique du contrôle des écoutes consistait auparavant en un contrôle de conformité a posteriori, elle est passée progressivement à un contrôle a priori. Concrètement, la CNCIS remet son avis avant que l’interception ne soit mise en place. Et, à tout le moins jusqu’à l’attentat contre Charlie Hebdo, ses avis positifs ou négatifs ont toujours été suivis à la lettre par Matignon. Qui n’y a pourtant jamais été tenu…

    Des écoutes jamais commencées

    Ce point est d’ailleurs rappelé dans un communiqué très inhabituel diffusé le 12 janvier, lendemain de l’intervention de Bernard Squarcini, par la CNCIS. Signé par les trois membres de la commission, à savoir le sénateur UMP François-Noël Buffet, le député PS Jean-Jacques Urvoas et le président Delarue, ce texte, ciselé au millimètre, dément les accusations de Squarcini, mais de façon curieuse. Il souligne que les accusations porteraient sur le fait que des écoutes sur les auteurs des attentats “avaient cessé”, alors même que les services jurent qu’elles n’ont jamais pu avoir lieu. “À aucun moment, la CNCIS n’a manifesté d’opposition dans ces affaires sur des demandes présentées”, affirme-t-elle dans le communiqué.

    Des sources bien informées ne citent d’ailleurs pas seulement des affaires de terrorisme, mais aussi d’autres, également récentes et tout aussi étonnantes. La CNCIS s’est repliée aux abris en précisant dans son texte qu’elle n’évoquera ces affaires qu’avec “des autorités publiques, quelles qu’elles soient, dès lors qu’elles sont habilitées au secret de la défense nationale”. Ce qui exclut la presse ! Circulez, y a rien à voir !

    Le Point – Publié le 14/01/2015 à 09:29 – Modifié le 14/01/2015 à 11:20

    Find this story at 14 January 2015

    © Le Point.fr

    Cocaine, rape and leaks: Scandal hits ‘French FBI’

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Paris’s powerful criminal investigation force, France’s answer to the FBI, is once again embroiled in scandal. After the missing cocaine and the alleged rape of a tourist, the force’s chief has been deposed after being charged with leaking secret info.

    Paris’s powerful criminal investigation unit, known as the Police judiciare, is mired in scandal once again.

    In less than a year the force, which is often just referred to as “36 Quai des Orfèvres” – the name of its famous HQ on the banks of the Seine – has been hit by three major scandals – the latest one has even claimed the head of the unit’s chief.

    “I thought we’d hit rock bottom, but I was wrong, we’re still digging,” a veteran of the unit, considered “a state within a state” told L’Express newspaper.

    Here’s a rundown of the three scandals that has seen the reputation of France’s version of the FBI dismantled in a little over eight months.

    The LEAKS:

    This latest scandal is easily the most serious to hit the unit as it resulted in the Bernard Petit, the force’s chief being suspended after he was charged over allegations he leaked details of a probe to a fellow top officer under investigation.

    On Thursday, just minutes after the Paris prosecutor’s office said it was charging Petit, the French interior ministry announced his suspension.

    The charges against Petit are unprecedented for the force.

    Petit is accused of feeding information to Christian Prouteau, the former chief of the GIGN elite police unit, before he was taken into custody in October over a case relating to fraudulent documentation being given to illegal migrants.

    Petit was charged with “violating the secrecy of an inquiry and disclosing information in order to impede efforts to investigate and determine the truth”, Paris prosecutors said in a statement.

    His chief of staff, Richard Atlan, was charged with the same offence.

    Philippe Lemaitre, an official at the National Welfare Association representing police staff, is suspected as having acted as an intermediary for Petit and Prouteau and has been charged with complicity in influence peddling as well as complicity in violating the secrecy of an investigation.

    (Bernard Petit, from the Judicial Police. Photo: François Guillot/AFP)


    In August last year the force was left red-faced to say the least when it emerged they had lost 52 kilos of confiscated cocaine, worth a cool €2.5 million.

    The haul had last been seen on July 23rd but then vanished.

    The cocaine was stored in a secure room at the police headquarters but there was no close circuit television in the area. A source close to the investigation said only three people had keys to the room.

    At the time many of those working there said they were astounded at the disappearance and said they did not believe it was pilfered.

    “It will be a thunderbolt if theft is proved,” said one police source.

    Days later a Paris drug squad officer was charged and remanded in custody.

    Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the allegations as “extremely serious” and said the officer had been temporarily suspended.

    (A policeman suspected of stealing 52kg of cocaine boards a plane in France. AFP)


    This incident in April last year caused outrage in Canada and made headlines around the world.

    Four police officers from 36 Quai des Orfèvres were placed under investigation after a Canadian tourist reported at least one of the men took her back to police headquarters in the capital’s centre after a night of drinking in a nearby Irish pub and raped her.

    The woman, originally from Toronto and reportedly the daughter of a police chief, was in Paris for a two-week holiday when she says she ran into some officers at The Galway pub

    She reportedly agreed to go to the headquarters, but what happened next is at the heart of the allegations. She says the officers, who include a captain belonging to an elite anti-gang unit, sexually assaulted her in an office on the premises.

    A source close to the investigation said the woman’s spectacles and stockings disappeared after she filed the complaint.

    One officer admitted having sex with the tourist but insisted it was consensual. Days later two elite French police officers were charged with rape.

    Once again the interior minister was forced to step in saying the men “would face the full consequences” if found guilty.

    The Local/AFP | 6 Feb 2015, 11:14

    Find this story at 6 February 2015

    Copyright The Local Europe AB

    Gaps in France’s Surveillance Are Clear; Solutions Aren’t

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    PARIS — Last June, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s domestic intelligence service, faced a decision: continue surveillance on a French Islamist who had been viewed as a potential threat for a decade, or shift limited resources to help monitor a swelling new generation of fighters returning from Syria.

    The surveillance on the Islamist, Saïd Kouachi, had turned up nothing for over two years, and monitoring of his younger brother, Chérif Kouachi, had been abandoned the previous year, French officials say. Earlier in 2014, the intelligence service had transferred Saïd Kouachi’s case for several months to the Paris police, a sign that it was no longer considered a priority.

    Continue reading the main story

    The Paris newsroom of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, after two brothers walked in with military precision and killed 12 people in the name of Allah.Chérif and Saïd Kouachi’s Path to Paris Attack at Charlie HebdoJAN. 17, 2015 Continue reading the main story

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    The three-member commission scrutinizing requests for cellphone monitoring by the intelligence agency had signaled that its recommendation would be against further surveillance. And the prime minister, Manuel Valls, was under intense pressure to focus on what seemed to be the more immediate threat emanating from Syria; the previous month, Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old Frenchman who had fought in Syria, had gunned down four people at a Jewish museum in Brussels.


    From left: Mohammed Merah, who shot seven in Toulouse; Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman who killed four in Brussels Credit From left: France 2, via Associated Press; Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
    The counterterrorism team reporting to Mr. Calvar, a longtime intelligence official, allowed the surveillance order on Saïd Kouachi to expire. Less than seven months later, the Kouachi brothers burst through the doors at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and fatally shot 12 people, setting off a two-day manhunt that involved a third gunman and ended with another five victims and the deaths of all three gunmen.

    The decision to drop surveillance of the Kouachis was one in a series of developments that, in the aftermath of the deadliest acts of terrorism in France since Algeria’s struggle for independence in the 1960s, suggests substantial failures or weaknesses in French intelligence and law enforcement.

    It also highlights security challenges facing other Western governments, as Denmark was reminded this weekend when a native-born Muslim gunman in Copenhagen killed two people in an attack that had numerous similarities to the rampage in and around Paris last month.

    Largely caught off guard by the proliferation of potential threats, they now confront wrenching trade-offs in deciding how and whether to monitor hundreds or thousands of their citizens who are traveling in and out of conflict zones, otherwise making contact with radicals or being inspired by assaults like the one on Charlie Hebdo.

    The French government is still in the early stages of reviewing what went wrong in the case of the Kouachis and the third gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, who also fell off the radar of the French authorities after being released from prison last spring.

    Current and former officials say the surveillance on the Kouachis had turned up nothing to indicate that they were an imminent threat. They point to the lack of resources to conduct physical surveillance on large numbers of targets, estimating that 25 agents, working in shifts, are required to watch over a single person day and night.


    From left: Salim Oman Benghalem, who traveled to Yemen; Peter Cherif, who also traveled there. Credit From left: LeMonde; Benoit Peyrucq/Agence France-Presse
    “You can’t follow everyone,” said Bernard Squarcini, who was Mr. Calvar’s predecessor as head of the domestic intelligence agency and was in charge when the Kouachis were placed under surveillance after a tipoff from the United States in 2011. “These were two inactive targets that had been quiet for a long time. They were giving nothing away.”

    Others were less forgiving. “Even if you give France a bit of a break,” said one former senior United States counterterrorism official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing an ally, “given what we know, and what the French knew then, these guys should have been high on any list. Especially since they seemed to have all the warning signs: travel to the region, a prison record, a social media profile. What more did they need?”

    At the very least, the Charlie Hebdo attack has provoked a fundamental debate about the quality of intelligence gathering in France. Long considered among the best in the world, French intelligence has been troubled by three high-profile failures in four years: Before the Kouachis and the Nemmouche case, there was Mohammed Merah, a French-Algerian whose surveillance had been dropped shortly before he shot seven people in Toulouse in March 2012.

    At a time when budget cuts and debates over the balance between national security and personal liberty are making the trade-offs for security forces even more complex, the case of the Kouachis stands out. They were well known to the authorities in the United States as well as France before the radical group known as the Islamic State came on the scene — and they struck just when the authorities had turned their attention to the threat posed by the new generation of jihadists inspired by the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

    Interviews with current and former French and American officials and other experts provided new details about key moments and the lapses, misunderstandings and turf issues that characterized the case.

    The intelligence agencies in France, the United States and elsewhere proved limited in their ability to track potential radicals in countries where they went to fight, train or meet other Islamists.

    Continue reading the main story

    Graphic: The Links Among the Paris Terror Suspects and Their Connections to Jihad
    Although Yemeni officials had tracked a Frenchman they believed to be Saïd Kouachi on a visit to Yemen in 2011 and eventually informed the United States, who passed word along to the French authorities, it was only after the Charlie Hebdo shootings that it became clear that it was actually Chérif Kouachi who had been to Yemen, traveling on his brother’s passport. And the authorities only learned after the shootings, when Chérif spoke by phone to a television station shortly before he was killed in a shootout, that he had met there with the radical American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior Qaeda commander promoting jihad against the West.

    As intelligence cooperation has largely dried up in Syria, and has been imperiled in Yemen by the factional fighting there, the challenge of tracking suspects has become even harder.

    The intelligence agencies also failed to appreciate how fully radicalized Chérif Kouachi had become, in particular by missing or not recognizing the importance of his association with two other French fighters who were in Yemen in 2011.

    As early as 2011, American and French officials had identified at least one other hardened French jihadist traveling in Yemen at the same time as Mr. Kouachi: Peter Cherif, known for his links to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Qaeda leader in Iraq, and for the time he spent in Abu Ghraib prison before returning to France. Mr. Cherif — who, like Chérif Kouachi, had links to the so-called Buttes-Chaumont group of radicalized young French Muslims in northeastern Paris after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 — is believed to be in Yemen today.

    A second Frenchman in Yemen in 2011, Salim Oman Benghalem, who also had ties to members of the Buttes-Chaumont group, was added to at least one United States counterterrorism list last summer, a few weeks after the French government ended surveillance on Saïd Kouachi. Mr. Benghalem is believed by the United States to be fighting in Syria with the Islamic State.

    In addition, the authorities failed to update their surveillance methods as their targets grew more sophisticated, raising questions about whether governments have put too much faith in electronic eavesdropping.


    From left: Saîd and Chérif Kouachi, Charlie Hebdo assailants. Credit From left: French Police via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; Getty Images
    The electronic surveillance employed in France was limited largely to listening in on cellphone conversations. But Chérif Kouachi, who had previously been arrested based on intercepted phone conversations, was almost certainly aware of the likelihood that his phone was being monitored, reducing if not eliminating the possibility that he would have discussed planning for an attack on it. The agencies handling the cases of the Kouachis had few other legal options for surveillance.

    “The phone tapping yielded nothing,” Marc Trévidic, the chief terrorism investigator for the French judicial system, said in an interview. “If we had continued, I’m convinced it wouldn’t have changed anything. No one talks on the phone anymore.”

    Finally, France’s counterterrorism efforts are spread among a variety of agencies operating under different authorities that do not always appear to cooperate and coordinate. At least 13 bodies have some intelligence-gathering responsibility — including the main domestic intelligence agency, known by its French abbreviation, D.G.S.I., and its better-resourced foreign counterpart, the D.G.S.E., but also smaller units attached to the Paris police, the national police, the paramilitary gendarmerie, the judicial police and even the customs office.

    The Kouachi case was handled primarily by the predecessor of the D.G.S.I., which was only created last May and whose internal reorganization and staff expansion is expected to take five years. A year ago, the agency, then known as the D.C.R.I. and still an adjunct to the national police instead of directly reporting to the interior minister, handed the Saïd Kouachi case over to the intelligence arm of the Paris police. But when the police realized that Saïd had moved to Reims, 90 miles northeast of Paris, his file was returned to the newly created D.G.S.I., which subsequently failed to put its Reims station in charge of the case.

    Since the Charlie Hebdo shootings, there have been questions about whether the case might have been better handled by the prosecutorial system that falls under the judiciary, an entirely separate bureaucracy that has broader powers than the intelligence agencies to monitor terrorism suspects.

    “Ideally, this should have become a judicial affair,” Mr. Trévidic said. “We can bug homes and track cars and confiscate computers. When we’re worried about someone, we get a warrant and go into their flat. We take what we need and analyze their computers, which is something the intelligence services can’t do.”

    Continue reading the main story

    The Men Behind the Cartoons at Charlie Hebdo
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    The surveillance on Saïd Kouachi did alert the security services to an apparent counterfeiting operation he was involved in, selling fake brand clothes and sports shoes. This followed an episode two years ago, when he was fined for importing fake Nike shoes by postal delivery from China.

    A few months before the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January, the intelligence unit of the customs police filed a report to the domestic intelligence service, requesting its support, according to a senior official with knowledge of the case. “But they don’t seem to have done anything with that information,” the official said, a lapse that some experts cited in questions about whether the counterfeiting operation might have been used to raise money to buy weapons for the attack.

    Mr. Calvar did not respond to questions about the decision not to extend surveillance on the Kouachis. Jean-Marie Delarue, president of the three-member National Commission for the Control of Security Interceptions, which scrutinizes all demands for phone taps, said in an interview that Mr. Calvar and his deputy, Thierry Matta, were the only ones at the D.G.S.I. authorized to sign such requests.

    The Kouachi brothers had been known to the authorities since 2004, when Syrian and American officials separately alerted their French counterparts to a Paris-based cell channeling French-born fighters through Syria to Iraq. A year later, Chérif Kouachi was arrested as he prepared to leave on a one-way ticket to become a suicide bomber in Iraq.

    He spent 20 months in prison, where he met his future associate, Mr. Coulibaly, and mixed with convicted militants like Djamel Beghal, a jihadist who trained in one of Osama bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan and was dispatched to France by the No. 3 of Al Qaeda, French prosecutors say, to set up a cell dedicated to targeting American interests.

    For years, the Kouachi brothers drifted in and out of different forms of surveillance and, in Chérif’s case, detention. But in November 2011, when American officials informed their French counterparts that Saïd Kouachi had flown to Oman and traveled in Yemen “for a couple of months” that summer, the alert level rose. (One senior European intelligence official said the trip lasted from July 25 to Aug. 10.)


    “You can’t follow everyone,” said Bernard Squarcini, left, the domestic intelligence chief when the Kouachis were put under surveillance. They slipped down the priority list under his successor. Patrick Calvar, right. Credit From left: Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; Silvere Gerard/Reservoir Photo
    The information the Americans passed along had come from Yemeni intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which suspected that Mr. Kouachi had met with local Qaeda handlers, according to two senior American officials briefed on confidential reports, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

    It was possible, the Yemenis told the Americans, that Mr. Kouachi had received training. The information was enough for Washington to place the older Kouachi on a no-fly list and other counterterrorism lists around November 2011. The French were informed and placed both Kouachis under surveillance, Mr. Squarcini said.

    At the time, neither American nor Yemeni officials knew that it was actually Chérif Kouachi who had been in Yemen, traveling on his older brother’s passport because he remained under judicial supervision and was not allowed to leave France.

    The officials also did not know that in Yemen, Chérif had been in contact with Mr. Awlaki, who that September became the first American citizen to be killed by a drone.

    But early on, the French authorities were aware that Peter Cherif was in Yemen at the same time as Mr. Kouachi. Anyone like Mr. Cherif with past links to Mr. Zarqawi, even indirectly, was considered a serious concern, said Louis Caprioli, the deputy head of France’s domestic antiterrorism unit from 1998 to 2004.

    In early 2012, after United States counterterrorism officials had done more analysis on Saïd Kouachi and discovered Chérif’s record in France, Chérif was added to the same American no-fly and counterterrorism lists. Again, the French were informed.

    But both Kouachis gradually slipped down the priority list as the authorities scrambled to deal with the largely unforeseen effects of the civil war in Syria and the rise of the Islamic State. The number of French fighters returning from Syria was climbing rapidly: Some 1,400 people in France are believed to have either joined the jihadist cause in Syria and Iraq or sought to do so.

    By law, the domestic surveillance powers of French intelligence agencies are limited. Wiretaps are still governed by rules drafted in 1991, long before cellphones and the Internet became ubiquitous. French intelligence agencies cannot legally track cars or bug apartments in their own country. Since 2006, they have had some access to the metadata of electronic communications, but they cannot spy on the content of emails.

    But all along, there had been an alternative means of tracking the Kouachis. The judicial system has long been active in counterterrorism and has considerable flexibility to open investigations into anyone suspected of potentially carrying out a terrorist act.

    Mr. Trévidic, the chief terrorism investigator in the judicial system, said if the domestic intelligence agency had wanted to turn the case of the Kouachis over to him, it probably could have. Since the Merah case in 2012, twice as many terrorism cases have been transferred from the intelligence services to become judicial investigations, he said.

    “The tools are there,” said François Heisbourg, a former defense official and counterterrorism expert. “But the authorities did not bring all their tools to bear on people who had exactly the profile they said they were worried about.”

    Katrin Bennhold reported from Paris, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Aurelien Breeden and Laure Fourquet contributed reporting from Paris.


    Find this story at 17 February 2015

    © 2015 The New York Times Company

    Videos show Paris gunmen were calm as they executed police officer, fled scene

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    IRBIL, IRAQ — The gunmen who attacked the Paris editorial offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday appeared to be focused professionals who’d carefully prepared the assault.

    Video showing two of the assailants suggests they were well trained, striking their target during its weekly editorial meeting, when most of the publication’s journalists would be gathered in one place.

    Other evidence suggests they could be linked to a top French al Qaida operative, David Drugeon, who’s been the target at least twice of U.S. airstrikes in Syria over the last four months.

    Witnesses inside the magazine’s offices told the French newspaper L’Humanité that both attackers spoke perfect French and claimed to be members of al Qaida.

    Drugeon, who many experts believe was a French intelligence asset before defecting to al Qaida, is alleged to have masterminded a 2012 “lone wolf” attack on French soldiers and Jewish targets in the southern French city of Toulouse. That attack killed seven people before the perpetrator, a French citizen named Mohammed Merah, who French intelligence believes had been trained by Drugeon, was killed by a police sniper after a long, violent standoff with security forces.

    Wednesday’s attack killed at least 10 journalists and two policemen, who’d apparently been assigned to guard the magazine because of previous threats made against the publication, including a firebombing in 2011.

    The gunmen escaped and were still at large hours after the attack. French authorities said they were seeking three people in the attack.

    Witnesses speaking to French television reporters described the attackers as calmly entering the editorial offices of the magazine during its weekly editorial meeting, shooting the victims before declaring “Allahu Akbar” and “We have avenged the prophet,” before quickly and calmly departing the scene before police could respond.

    In three videos of the aftermath posted on the Internet by witnesses, two masked gunmen can be seen exiting the building with military efficiency, making coordinated and precise movements indicative of extensive experience and training. Commonly referred to by military professionals as “muscle memory,” the movements reflect the kind of repetitive training that allows someone to efficiently execute tactical movements and maintain fire discipline and accurate marksmanship under the stress of combat.

    In one series of photographs, a French police vehicle can be seen with its windshield riddled with bullets in a fairly tight cluster, a pattern that would be nearly impossible for a casually trained beginner to produce with the assault rifles the gunmen were carrying. Though simple to use, the rifles, a variant of the Russian AK-47, tend to be difficult to control when fired on full automatic. But the impact pattern on the police vehicle indicates not just a familiarity with the weapon, but at least a competent degree of marksmanship.

    Another video underscores the likelihood that the two were experienced fighters. In it, two gunmen exit the building to board a waiting hatchback sedan when they notice a policeman down the block attempting to engage them as they escape. Without hesitation, the two gunmen shoot the officer, then calmly close on the wounded man as he lies in the street before one of the shooters fires a round into his head from pointblank range.

    Again, the calm manner in which the wounded man is murdered before the pair return to the car suggests combat experience or at least extensive training. Both men move quickly but in a very controlled manner. At one point, the lead gunman appears to use a common infantry hand signal to summon his accomplice to his side.

    The pair then drive away from the scene, but not before one of the gunmen picks up an object – possibly a shoe – that had fallen from the car as the door opened.

    Prothero is a McClatchy special correspondent based in Irbil, Iraq. Email: mprothero@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @mitchprothero

    McClatchy Foreign StaffJanuary 7, 2015

    Find this story at 7 January 2015

    Copyright mcclatchydc.com

    Trafic d’armes : la police judiciaire va-t-elle remonter de l’ultra-droite jusqu’à Coulibaly ?

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    La garde à vue de Claude Hermant, figure de l’ultra-droite régionale, s’est poursuivie ce jeudi. Selon différentes sources, les enquêteurs s’intéressent à un éventuel lien entre le trafic d’armes présumé et les attentats commis en région parisienne. Pour le moment, rien n’est confirmé officiellement.

    L’affaire de trafic d’armes dans laquelle Claude Hermant est en garde à vue depuis mardi a-t-elle une ampleur supplémentaire ? Selon plusieurs sources concordantes, les enquêteurs de la PJ de Lille vérifient si des armes utilisées lors des attentats sanglants en région parisienne peuvent provenir de la filière présumée de cette figure de la mouvance identitaire. Ces éléments sont pour l’instant à prendre avec prudence. Interrogés, le parquet de Lille, celui de Paris, tout comme la PJ et l’avocat de Claude Hermant se refusent au moindre commentaire. Ni confirmation, ni démenti. Un black-out total, de part et d’autre de la frontière, rare et troublant.
    Si rien n’est donc encore avéré, un proche du dossier concède que des « rebonds » ne sont pas à exclure dans les investigations, dirigées par un juge d’instruction lillois depuis décembre.
    Des armes saisies
    Ce qui est sûr, c’est que Claude Hermant et sa compagne sont en garde à vue pour trafic d’armes en bande organisée. Leurs auditions peuvent durer 96heures. Des armes ont été saisies. Mais on ignore leur nature et là où elles ont été trouvées. Plusieurs lieux ont été perquisitionnés. À commencer par la Frite Rit, à Lille, où tous deux travaillent.
    Le terrain de paintball, rue de la Vallée à Ennetières-en-Weppes, géré notamment par Claude Hermant, a été perquisitionné mercredi, aux alentours de 10 h. « Il y avait une dizaine de policiers », indique une voisine. Y ont-ils trouvé des armes ? La question reste en suspens. Quant aux propriétaires du terrain, les riverains décrivent « des gens discrets, qui gèrent tout par Internet ». Et le maire avoue ne pas les connaître. Le son de cloche est identique à Comines (B) où la police belge avait déployé les grands moyens, mardi soir. Selon le parquet de Tournai, aucune arme ni explosif n’ont été découverts. Mais des éléments « intéressants pour l’enquête » ont été saisis.
    Depuis l’Europe de l’Est
    Selon nos informations, la PJ lilloise travaille sur un trafic d’armes remilitarisées en provenance d’Europe de l’Est, notamment de la République tchèque. « Nous sommes dans le cadre d’un trafic d’armes, explique une source judiciaire. Pas dans la sphère terroriste. Rien n’indique que les têtes d’un tel réseau s’intéressent à la destination finale de ces armes, marchandises comme une autre. »
    Si cette piste est avérée, elle ne serait cependant pas une surprise. Depuis les attentats, policiers belges et français sont persuadés que certaines armes proviennent d’outre-Quiévrain. Ils s’intéressent à celles utilisées par Amédy Coulibaly, notamment un Skorpio tchèque. Le Français aurait d’ailleurs cherché à s’approvisionner auprès d’un fournisseur belge. Aux enquêteurs de déterminer si le clan Hermant est l’un des maillons, même indirect, de la chaîne.

    PUBLIÉ LE 23/01/2015 – MIS À JOUR LE 23/01/2015 À 18:05

    Find this story at 23 January 2015

    Copyright lavoixdunord.fr

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