This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1679
Muslim killers tried to kidnap several Jews because "they were rich"
February 23, 2006
MIM: Ilan Halimi was a victim of terrorism. He was 1 of 4 Jews who had been targetted by the gang - who "recited Koranic verses" during telephone calls to his family who told them to "go to the synagouge to get money". According to police it was known that Halimi was being held in the immigrant housing project for 3 weeks , and no one attempted to intervene. Halami was photographed in positions meant to invoke images from Abu Ghraib. Ilan was held for three weeks in the basement of an 11 story apartment building not far from Paris.
"...For three weeks, the "Barbarians" detained and tortured Ilan Halimi. When he was found on February 13, he was naked, handcuffed after being dumped near railway tracks in a Parisian suburb. He suffered from severe burns covering 80 percent of his body. Traces of cigarette burns, iron burns, and various cuts (made by knives and scissors) covered his body. He passed away in an ambulance before reaching the hospital..." http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3220564,00.html
"They acted with indescribable cruelty," the judiciary police chief leading the investigation said. "They kept him naked and tied up for weeks. They cut him and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight."
It is highly probable that residents of the building knew what was going on. Halimi's mother related that the elevator in the complex had stayed put for hours on the floor where he was being held and that neighbors reported hearing noises from the cellar. The concierge of complex was also arrested.
"...The neighbours or the relatives of the kidnappers must have heard of what was going on, but no one budged," said Halimi's sister, Yael. "People knew. Did no one feel any pity for him?" http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10369765
"...According to an unofficial source, police came to realize that many in the building knew what was going on, but did not act since it appears everyone knew the victim was Jewish..."
"...Haaretz reported that a police source said the gang is a group of childhood friends who grew up in Bagneux, a suburb south of Paris..."
MIM: According to the NY Sun:
"... In order to convince Halimi's parents their son had been kidnapped, the abductors borrowed a trick from Islamist kidnappers who abduct Westerners in the Middle East: They sent a picture of the young man being threatened by a gun and holding a newspaper to prove the date and time..."
On February 11, four days after the abductors stopped communicating with the family, Halimi was found, still alive, not far from a railway line at Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois, about 15 kilometers south of Bagneux.
He was naked, handcuffed, and bleeding profusely. He was incapable of speaking. His entire body - or "80% of it," according to police - had been butchered. He died of his wounds on the way to the hospital, just a few minutes after he was discovered..."http://www.nysun.com/article/27948
MIM: According to a report in the Boston Globe:
"...The kidnappers, who called themselves "The Barbarians," beat, burned, and mutilated Halimi during 24 days of captivity in the cellar of a tough housing project in Bagneux, north of the capital, according to investigators.
The gang allegedly taunted Halimi's family and a rabbi with anti-Semitic epithets and recited Koranic verses during telephone calls and e-mails demanding wildly diverging amounts of ransom that never were collected. The suspects also sent photos of the victim with a gun to his head, bound and blindfolded, apparently mimicking images of hostages and abused prisoners in Iraq.
Those actions and others led prosecutors to add aggravating circumstances of anti-Semitism to the charges sought against some of the suspects.
"When the family said they didn't have money, they told them to go to a synagogue to get the money," said Sammy Ghozlan, a Jewish leader who is a retired police chief. "This gang massacred this young man. They cut off ears and fingers. It was like they had a trophy, a Jewish kid, and everybody abused him."
In Monday's edition of Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Halimi's mother criticized the police for moving too slowly and for ignoring the anti-Semitic motives.
"If Ilan hadn't been Jewish, he wouldn't have been murdered," Ruth Halimi told Haaretz..."
Tuesday 21 February 2006
Halimi murder: House searches produce pro-Palestinian, Salafi documents
Judeoscope.ca - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy revealed that house-searches of suspects related to the brutal murder and torture of a young Jewish man, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi, produced Salafi (radical Islamic) and pro-Palestinian documents.
According to Sarkozy, documents of support for the Comité de bienfaisance et de secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP) were uncovered. The organization is accused by Israel and the US of sponsoring Hamas. Though the US ordered in 2003 that its assets be frozen, the CBSP is not featured on European lists of organizations considered to be terrorist. The other documents found in the house-searches were described by Sarkozy as Salafi decrees.
The French government considers the murder to be an anti-Semitic crime.
One of the suspects said that the gang had kidnapped Halimi "because he is a Jew and the Jews are rich and they stick together in a community". The perpetrators demanded a ransom from the father and sent him pictures depicting the torture of his son. According to the investigators these also contained anti semitic slogans. The father said in desperation that he had no way of paying the ransom, but that was of no use.
"...Een van de beklaagden zei dat de bende Ilan Halimi had ontvoerd ,,omdat hij jood is en de joden rijk zijn en als gemeenschap aan elkaar hangen". De daders eisten een losgeld van de vader en stuurden hem beelden met martelscènes van zijn zoon. Daarop stonden volgens de onderzoekers ook antisemitische slogans. De vader liet wanhopig weten dat hij het hoge losgeld niet kon betalen, maar dat baatte niet.
"This is anti-Jewish hatred," said Sammy Ghozlan, a former police officer who set up a Jewish security group and is known for his outspokenness against antisemitic violence. "You see it in the choice of the target and in the way they treated him when they had him."
Halimi's mother, well known in Parisian Jewish circles because she works at one of the capital's main communal centers, accused police of ignoring this motive for fear of upsetting Muslims.
If her son "hadn't been Jewish, he wouldn't have been killed," she told Ha'aretz. "We told the police there were at least three attempted kidnappings of young Jews, but they kept insisting that the motives were purely criminal."
Ghozlan said she was upset that the police had ordered her not to respond to messages from the gang — which numbered more than 600. He also said that the investigators tried but failed to localize the calls through wiretaps and tracing.
Sarkozy told the parliament that in the homes of some suspects, the police had found "salafist" literature. By this he was referring to an ideological strain of North African Islamists that has, at times, been linked to Al Qaeda. He also said that police discovered fliers from a pro-Palestinian nongovernmental organization that had been listed by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Hamas front in August 2003 (French authorities investigated the NGO, but they found no evidence of ties to Hamas).
MIM: The African French "alleged comedian" known as Dieudonne' has been inciting Jew hatred in Paris for years. Legal proceedings have been instigated against him as a result, and one Jewish community spokesman has said that there could be a direct link between the barbaric attack on Ilan Halami by the African Muslims who were 'inspired' by Dieudonne's anti semitic diatribes which he passes off as his 'act'.
"...Sammy Ghozlan, head of a French anti-Semitism monitoring group, has said that the speech of an "alleged comedian" influenced the killers of Ilan Halimi, the young Jewish man murdered in a Paris suburb last week.
"The tortures inflicted upon Ilan could only be perpetrated by criminals motivated by anti-Jewish hatred instigated by a certain comedian who has made headlines," Sammy Ghozlan said in an interview with European Jewish Press.
Ghozlan made no direct reference to Dieudonne, a controversial black comedian who has been accused of repeated anti-Semitic remarks and who generated outrage among French Jews.
Dieudonne, who is of African origin, asserted that Jews had played a "central role" in the 15th-century slave trade. In December 2003 he appeared on French TV dressed as an Orthodox Jew and performed the Nazi salute while shouting "IsraHeil".
"One cannot treat a human being like Ilan was treated if one isn't an animal with a deep anti-Jewish hatred transmitted by racist declarations," Gozhlan added.
"This is the climate in the suburbs: hatred of the Republic, of police forces and of Jews..."
Ghozlan said there was a shift in the character of anti-Semitism in France since mid-2005.
"The perpetrators of such acts are no longer the same people. Before they were mainly of Arab-Muslim origin who expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people and as such became anti-Semites. Today we have noticed that it is no longer the same. People of African origin are also becoming quite violent," Gozhlan, a 63-year-old former police superintendent, said. .."
Suspect arrested in Jew torture case
Ivory Coast police have arrested the suspected leader of a gang accused in the kidnapping and torture death of a Jewish man near Paris and will hand him over to France, officials in both countries said on Thursday.
French police accuse Youssef Fofana, a French citizen, of leading a gang that killed 23-year-old Ilan Halimi in a case that has triggered a public outcry over anti-Semitism in France.
Halimi was found naked, tortured and burned south of Paris after being held for three weeks by a gang demanding a large ransom. He died of his injuries shortly afterwards.
Police arrested Fofana in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan late on Wednesday and said they would turn him over to Paris. France's prime minister said this would happen within hours.
"In this odious case, it's important that the justice can be served very quickly," French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told Canal Plus television.
Villepin's office in Paris issued a statement saying the prime minister had spoken by telephone with Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.
"The latter confirmed that Youssef Fofana will be repatriated to France in the next few hours, within the framework of an operation of judicial support between the two countries," the statement said, suggesting there would be no lengthy extradition procedures.
Fofana, born in France to parents from former colony Ivory Coast, told police Halimi's murder had not been planned, an Ivorian officer involved with the case told Reuters.
"He said there was no plan to kill him. He only wanted the money," the officer told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "We will listen to what he has to say and then the French police will leave with him."
French police have said Youssef Fofana called himself the "brain of the barbarians" and accuse his gang of trying to kidnap six other people, four of them Jewish.
Thirteen people have been indicted in Paris in the case, of which 11 are being held. Five more have been detained in connection with the case elsewhere in France and a suspect has been arrested in Belgium.
Initially police said Halimi's murder was motivated by greed, not religion, but this week French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy denounced it as an anti-Semitic crime targeted at Jewish people because they were regarded as having money.
He said police had linked some suspects to documents supporting Palestinian and arch-conservative Islamic causes.
The brutal murder shocked the French public and suggestions that the government had been slow to react caused a furore.
President Jacques Chirac and Villepin were both due to attend a memorial ceremony for Halimi at Paris's main synagogue later on Thursday.
Interim Ivory Coast Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny told a French Jewish radio station he did not think the crime had an anti-Semitic connotation.
"I think one should not dignify it with that name. It was a villainous crime, odious," he told Radio Shalom.
France has Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish minorities, but Muslims number about 5 million and Jews just 600,000.
Many Arabs and Jews are immigrants and live uneasily side-by-side in poor neighbourhoods. Disaffected Muslim youths were widely blamed for a wave of anti-Semitic violence earlier this decade.
French police have said Fofana's gang used young women to lure targets to locations where they could be kidnapped. The woman who lured Halimi has given herself up to police.
Chirac smiling as he chats with Jews at synagouge commemoration for Ilan Halimi
compositietekening van de blonde lokster
MIM: A sketch of the woman who is helped the gang lure Halimi to the housing estate. After her picture was shown in France she turned herself in and gave information to the police leading to the capture of other gang member.
Ilan werd gekweld in de kelder
In het Franse Bagneux werd vorige week een joodse jongen gevonden, gemarteld en gekneveld. Frankrijk reageert met afschuw en ongeloof op de ‘barbaarse daden'.
Door onze correspondent René Moerland
BAGNEUX, 23 febr.
Met een gekweld gezicht komt Marie-Hélène Amiable, burgemeester van Bagneux, uit de kelder waar de 23-jarige joodse jongen Ilan Halimi is vastgehouden en gemarteld.
Iedereen kan net als zij naar binnen in de hal van de elf verdiepingen tellende torenflat in het noorden van haar stadsdeel, ten zuiden van Parijs. Van de hal is het maar een klein stukje naar het ketelhok in de kelder waar Halimi gevangen zat. De deur is verdwenen. Achter de politielinten zijn de sporen van het lijden van de gijzelaar nog zichtbaar. Vorige week werd hij, drie weken na zijn ontvoering uit Parijs, naakt, geboeid en gekneveld gevonden langs een spoorlijn in een stadje verderop. Op weg naar het ziekenhuis bezweek hij.
Achttien verdachten zitten inmiddels vast, onder wie de conciërge van het woonblok die een appartement en het ketelhok beschikbaar stelde. Vannacht werd in Ivoorkust de gevluchte bendeleider Youssouf Fofana gearresteerd. Hij is het ‘brein' achter deze actie van zelfbenoemde ‘barbaren' en zou inmiddels hebben bekend.
Eenmaal weer buiten verwoordt burgemeester Amiable wat iedere bewoner in de cité Pierre Plate, zoals dit complex heet, zegt als je er naar vraagt. Afschuw en ongeloof kleuren de wetenschap dat „zulke onmenselijke dingen hebben plaatsgevonden in een woonflat, temidden van bewoners die niets gemerkt hebben". Een bejaarde dame van een blok verderop zegt het zo: „Ik zag op tv dat er weer iets aan de hand was in de ban-lieue. Maar u zegt dat het hier is, om de hoek?"
Ja, om de hoek. En inmiddels is er meer aan de hand dan een gewelddadig fait divers . De affaire-Halimi is in een paar dagen uitgegroeid tot een nationale zaak, waarin explosieve maatschappelijke kwesties samenkomen: antisemitisme, gewelddadige jongeren in de banlieue en onverschilligheid onder buurtbewoners. Sommigen hoorden immers wel eens wat „geluiden", maar dachten dat er een „verbouwing" gaande was, of drugshandel.
En nu heeft voorzitter Roger Cukierman van het joods overkoepelende orgaan Crif gezegd dat „voor het eerst in zestig jaar in Frankrijk iemand om het leven is gebracht omdat hij joods is". President Jacques Chirac en premier Dominique de Villepin nemen vanavond deel aan een herdenkingsbijeenkomst in de grote synagoge in Parijs. Chirac heeft gebeld met Ilans familie. Maar op het Elysée wordt ook onderstreept, dat Chirac zich hoe dan ook betrokken toont bij protest tegen „barbaarse daden" zoals die jegens Ilan Halimi.
Die behoedzaamheid wordt mede verklaard doordat de politie er van uit lijkt te gaan dat niet antisemitisme, maar geld het motief vormde voor de ontvoering. De bendeleider, de 26-jarige Youssouf, voldoet aan het profiel van de typische caïd, een crimimeel die zijn status bij buurtjongeren ontleent aan gewelddadig optreden en regelmatig verblijf in de gevangenis. Hij zou de ontvoering hebben bekend, maar antisemitische motieven hebben ontkend.
Verklaringen van andere verdachten wijzen er op dat sommige ontvoerders zich schuldig hebben gemaakt aan wat minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Nicolas Sarkozy deze week „antisemitisme door amalgaam" noemde. Zij redeneerden, zo vatte Sarkozy het samen, dat Ilan Halimi wel rijk moest zijn, omdat hij joods was. En zo niet, dan zou de joodse gemeenschap wel voor hem betalen.
Ilan Halimi, verkoper in een telefoonwinkel in Parijs, was niet rijk, en zijn familie ook niet. Zijn moeder, die honderden berichten van de ontvoerders ontving met steeds wisselende eisen, zei deze week dat het lot van haar zoon bezegeld was zodra ze wisten dat hij joods was".
Juist deze week werd bekend dat het aantal antisemitische incidenten in Frankrijk vorig jaar met 46 procent is gedaald vergeleken met 2004. Maar alom wordt erkend dat die cijfers niet per se alles vertellen. De registratie van incidenten viel in 2004 wellicht hoger uit doordat antisemitisme toen extra ter discussie stond, na de oproep van de Israëlische premier Sharon aan joden om Frankijk zo snel mogelijk te verlaten.
In Bagneux lijkt een vraag over groeiend antisemitisme haast een abstractie. Burgemeester Marie-Hélène Amiable vreest een stigma, dat haaks staat op de „vredige wijze waarop de inwoners hier samenleven". Zij is vooral verontwaardigd over een reportage in het veelgelezen dagblad Le Parisien, waaruit het beeld oprijst van een klimaat van angst en wantrouwen in Pierre Plate. „Ik heb meteen de hoofdredactie gebeld."
Toen Amiable hoorde dat de ontvoerders worden verdacht van antisemitisme, belegde ze een vergadering met vertegenwoordigers van de joodse, islamitische en christelijke gemeenschap in Bagneux. Samen hebben ze een verklaring uit gegeven waarin ze „elke vorm van antisemitisme, racisme, xenofobie en haat" veroordelen en waarschuwen voor het „stigmatiseren van Bagneux". En vanavond, tegelijk met de herdenkingsbijeenkomst in Parijs, is er in Bagneux een stille tocht, uit solidariteit met de familie Halimi.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1679