Thursday, June 15, 2006

Would-Be Killers Sentenced

Militant Muslim gang jailed for plot to destroy the Eiffel Tower

A PARIS court sentenced 25 Muslim militants yesterday for planning attacks against the Eiffel Tower and other targets with explosives in support of rebels fighting Russian forces in Chechnya.

... Prosecutors at the six-week trial, which ended last month, said that the group was planning to hit the Eiffel Tower, Les Halles underground shopping centre, police stations, and Israeli interests.

... The men were said to have belonged to a “Chechen connection” — Muslim extremists who received training in the Caucasus.

I'm sure that's just another case, however, of the media suppressing the real story, and these all were peaceful and law-abiding citizens before they were stirred to righteous rage by President Bush's unjust and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, right?

Whoops. They were first charged in 2002.

Well, give us a few minutes and someone over on the far left side of the blogosphere will rewrite the narrative. It's America's fault, always. It's just a matter of inventing the storyline that connects "cause" and "effect." Sure, I'm being petty. But does anyone doubt it will be done?

Marc Danziger at "Winds of Change" has written some good posts lately on the tendency of some critics of America to act like America is the only force at work in the world.

"Once again, everything flows from our actions; there is no one out there except shadows cast by our helpless might."

Back to the Paris story. Some interesting characters in this case:

Among those convicted was Chelali Benchellali, the imam of a mosque in Lyons and father of Menad Benchellali, 32, who was given a ten-year sentence for being one of the group leaders. Another of the imam’s sons, Mourad, was one of seven French detainees held at the US base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Released in July 2004, he now faces terrorist-related charges iin his home country.

... Benhamed’s lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre denounced the verdict, saying that the defendants had been convicted because they were Muslims. “This serves the interests of the US, Algeria and Russia,” said Mme Coutant-Peyre. “France has the job of convicting Muslims who are a problem to these powers.”

The lawyer is a sympathiser with what she calls revolutionaries. Three years ago she married Ilich Sanchez Ramirez, the terrorist assassin known as Carlos the Jackal, who is serving a life sentence in a Paris prison.

She also had an early role in the defense of Zacarias Moussaoui.