Front National founder gives credence to conspiracy theories in an
interview with virulently anti-western Russian newspaper
Saturday 17 January
The Charlie Hebdo
massacre may have been the work of an “intelligence agency”, working with the
connivance of French authorities, according to Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of
the far right Front National.
In an interview with
a virulently anti-Western Russian newspaper, Mr Le Pen, 86, gave credence to
conspiracy theories circulating on the internet suggesting that the attack was
the work of American or Israeli agents seeking to foment a civil war between
Islam and the West.
His comments – only
partially retracted in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde today –
provoked outrage amongst French politicians. They will also infuriate Marine Le Pen, his daughter, and
successor as leader of the FN, who has been trying to distance the party from
her father’s extreme and provocative remarks.
Mr Le Pen stood down
as FN leader three years ago but remains President-for-life. He made the
comments in an interview with Komsomolskaïa Pravda, a newspaper
which had already blamed the United States for the terrorist mayhem in France.
Mourning in Paris
“The shooting at
Charlie Hebdo resembles a secret service operation but we have no proof of
that,” the newspaper quoted Mr Le Pen as saying. “I don’t think it was
organised by the French authorities but they permitted this crime to be
committed. That, for the moment, is just a supposition.”
To justify his
comments, Mr Le Pen pointed to the fact that one of the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the
Charlie Hebdo massacre, left his identity card in a crashed getaway car. He
compared this to the “miraculous fact” – beloved by conspiracy theorists – that
one of the passports of the 9/11 hijackers was found on the ground in New York
after two planes collided with the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in
SUSPECTED TERRORISTS SHOT DEAD IN
A CONTINENT ON THE EDGE - TERROR
RAIDS ACROSS EUROPE
CAMERON AND OBAMA VOW JOINT
Mr Le Pen made two
other provocative remarks in the interview. He said that the 1,500,000 who
marched “against hatred” in Paris last Sunday were not “Charlies” but “Charlie
Chaplins” (ie clowns). He also said that there were 15,000,00 to 20,000,000
Muslims in France – three or four times the generally accepted figures of
5,000,000 people who are practising Muslims or have Muslim backgrounds.
In an interview with
Le Monde today, Mr Le Pen repeated his suspicions about the identity card but
said he “could not recall” talking about “secret services” to the Russian
Mr Le Pen’s original
quoted remarks run directly counter to the official line of his daughter and
his party. They have suggested that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish
supermarket are the final proof that France faces an “enemy within”,
which has been created by immigration and open EU borders.
of the kind espoused by the elder Le Pen sprang up on the internet within hours
of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. They have been repeated in recent days by some –
not all - young Muslims in France, torn between identifying with the
Kouachi brothers and insisting that they were stooges of the French
authorities, Washington and Israel.
“pope of conspiracy theories”, Thierry Meyssan, now based in Damascus, insisted
that the Charlie Hebdo massacres were “ordered by US neo-cons and liberal
hawks”. An American conspiracy site, McLatchy, has claimed that the Kouachi
brothers were working for French intelligence.
A CONTINENT ON THE EDGE - TERROR RAIDS ACROSS EUROPE
CAMERON AND OBAMA VOW JOINT ANTI-TERROR MEASURES