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Analysis by Bernard Squarcini: “The Target and Operating Procedure are Worrying”

January 9, 2015

By Bernard Squarcini, Arcanum Senior Advisor

Translated from French

“It’s heavy,” responds Bernard Squarcini, stunned by the carnage – which affected the family of journalists as well as his own, and that of the police – but he is already analyzing the unspeakable.

The former police chief of Bouches-du-Rhone, former head of the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI) from 2008 to 2012, and now consultant, speaks of a “major attack since World War II”. It has been in fact the deadliest attack since the one perpetrated by the Organization of the Secret Army (OAS), which hit a train to Strasbourg in 1961 during the war in Algeria and killed 28 victims.

“The target and military procedure are very worrying,” he says, “first because the target was protected, which proves that the terrorists were still able to pass through; and second because the procedure has been implemented with a cold determination only after this barbaric act”. He believes that with this attack, “we return to a medieval obscurantism in the era of the internet. They want to silence us by attacking freedom of expression, it’s very symbolic.”  

If the President of the Republic had recently assured France that it had foiled several attacks in recent months, Bernard Squarcini would believe that “the intelligence services do not yet have the legal means to be even more effective. Unfortunately, we always respond, in a legislative capacity, only after we deplore the dead.” The trio could do even more, he said: “If they do not commit suicide after the attack of Charlie Hebdo, maybe it’s because they wanted to re-offend.”

While the “Vigipirate attack warning” was immediately triggered in the Paris region in the country, increased vigilance was ordered. “We concentrate our forces on the consulates of the countries to large shopping centers, at stations, subways and airports, but also on the offices of newspapers,” stated yesterday the chief of police of the Bouches-du-Rhône, Jean-Paul Bonnetain. “It’s not a static but a deterrent dynamic presence that will have to be examined. To paralyze society, to have society yield to terror, gives them reason; and tonight, their fugitive status continues to pose a risk.”