Muslim Community Helped Paris Terrorist Hide from Police

ByPamela Geller on March 21, 2016
30 Comments
Armed Belgian police apprehend a suspect, in this still image taken from video, in Molenbeek, near Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/VTM via Reuters Tv
Armed Belgian police apprehend a suspect, in this still image taken from video, in Molenbeek, near Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/VTM via Reuters Tv

The Paris terrorist got most help from his neighbors, not ISIS. This is typical, but largely kept from the public. The media and cultural narrative runs counter to reality. There were marches and demonstrations of support for Muhammad Merah, the French Muslim who staged a series of Islamic attacks including opening fire on a Jewish Day school, as well as mowing down French soldiers. Every time there is a jihad attack, the Muslim community goes on the offense — accusing law enforcement of “entrapment” or blaming “islamophobia.” Never do we see the Muslim community calling for reform or looking inward to address the problem of violence and hatred in Islam.

“Paris fugitive helped more by friends and neighbours than Islamic State,” Reuters, March 20, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

After the Paris attacks, security forces searched far and wide for prime suspect Salah Abdeslam, who vanished after returning to Brussels, believing Islamic State could have spirited him away to Turkey, Syria or Morocco.

It appears Europe’s most wanted man never left the Belgian capital. And it was family, friends and petty criminals who helped him evade a manhunt for four months before he was arrested on Friday in the neighbourhood he grew up in, not far from his parents’ home.

As security services seek to understand how Islamic State operates in Europe to prevent more attacks, Abdeslam’s case highlights the difficulty of tracking suspects who can rely on the protection of community networks, many of which do not involve religious radicals and are not on the police radar.

“Abdeslam relied on a large network of friends and relatives that already existed for drug dealing and petty crime to keep him in hiding,” Belgium’s federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said of the only surviving suspect of the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

“This was about the solidarity of neighbours, families,” Van Leeuw told public broadcaster RTBF, speaking about Abdeslam’s ability to hide for so long despite 24,000 calls from the public to a Belgian police hotline seeking information about the suspected attackers.

Abdeslam may have been hidden in the basement of an apartment of the mother of a friend with no links to militants, Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique reported on Sunday.

Such friendships, not Islamic State operatives, proved crucial from the start for Abdeslam, who ran a bar in Molenbeek with his brother, which was a nexus of social life for young Arab men with little interest in the mosque but was shut down shortly before the attacks for being a hub for drug dealing.

Abdeslam relied on two friends to drive him back to Brussels after his brother Brahim blew himself up at a Paris cafe. Others drove him around Molenbeek and its environs between safe houses.

Police, who were eventually able to move in to seize him at a house in the rundown North African neighbourhood of Molenbeek, have charged a man and a women whom they suspect of being part of a family who harboured the fugitive.

While Abdeslam’s networks were not infallible – his call to an acquaintance for help looking for a new hiding place let police finally locate him – they were formidable.

‘IT’S NOT OVER’

Few residents would talk to Reuters about Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French citizen raised by Moroccan-born parents in Molenbeek, on the poorer side of the city’s industrial-era canal.

Most of those that did said he was a likeable guy who was known in the area.

Dominique, who ran a newsagents close to where Abdeslam was arrested, described him as “a very nice boy” who showed no signs of becoming a radical. Abdeslam did not fight in Syria.

“I won’t say he was normal because everyone always say that, but he had a nice manner, he wasn’t aggressive,” said Molenbeek resident Pierre, in his 50s.

But another Molenbeek resident, Henri, meanwhile warned that Abdeslam was not the only one attracted by radicalism in the area. “It’s not over,” he said. “There are a lot of them.”

Western fighters in Syria and Iraq have found some of their most willing recruits in Belgium, partly because of the frustration many jobless young men feel in the marginalised quarters of Brussels – just a few kilometres from the wealth and power of the headquarters of NATO and the European Union, but effectively a world away.

Belgium has supplied the highest per capita number of fighters to Syria of any European nation. More than 300 Belgians have gone to take up arms in Syria and Iraq, according to an estimate from the Brussels-based Egmont think-tank.

Radicals such as another Molenbeek man Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected planner of the Paris attacks who was killed by French police late last year, posted internet videos of his exploits as a foreign fighter in Syria.

‘PEOPLE WORK FREELANCE’

But while three of the Paris attacks suspects grew up in Brussels, not all radicalised Belgian militants head for Syria.

They are part of “networks and accomplices” who have not attracted police attention, according to Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and who vowed to extend surveillance.

Some sell drugs and weapons in an area where locals have a reputation for not cooperating with police, doing only part-time work for Islamic State such as recruiting fighters to go to Syria and helping to plan attacks, Belgian prosecutors said.

That would suggest police work cannot be focused simply on city mosques or monitoring social media and intercepting intelligence from militants in Syria and Iraq.

“I don’t think Daesh is giving orders 24 hours a day. That would make it too easy for us,” said prosecutor Van Leeuw, referring to the militant group by its Arabic acronym. “People work freelance.”

Such complexity has prompted European police chiefs to urge governments to focus on the links between political militants and organised crime – noting, for example, that financing for militant groups has often come from drug dealing and racketeering while established crime gangs probably supplied the Kalashnikovs favoured in recent IS attacks.

Counter-terrorism expert Rik Coolsaet said that spotting Islamic State recruits in Europe was also becoming more difficult because, unlike in the past, youngsters were less likely to be pious conservatives but rather secular rebels who feel they have no part in society and are disillusioned by a perceived lack of opportunity.

Following the worst financial crisis in a generation and with few of the lower-skilled jobs their parents’ generation enjoyed in Belgian car factories and coal mines remaining, there is a “no-future atmosphere” said Coolsaet, from the Egmont think-tank.

“Joining Islamic State opens a thrilling, bigger-than-life dimension to their way of life. For most of them it is akin to street gangs, drug trafficking, juvenile delinquency,” he said.

“A journey to Utopia.”

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  • steve

    Europe keeps bringing in refugees who go on welfare and become “disaffected by lack of opportunity and turn to terror.”

    Patient: Doctor it hurts hurts when I do this.
    Doctor: Don’t do that.

    • The origional roger

      I think the whole shebang has gone so far now that it’s beyond their control.
      Even if Merkel was to come down from her high and mighty position, and acknowledged the dreadful harm the “tolerance at all costs” policies that Her and her EU cronies have implemented, the invasion is not going to stop suddenly, there is inertia to everything.

      • Don Grantham

        Guess it’s too late to stick a finger in that dyke. (wink wink)

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Except for the Czech Republic, Eurabia deserves this and more.

      • LouAnnWatson

        include poland too

    • Mahou Shoujo

      Common sense is not acknowledged by islam or socialism.

    • Bluezlover

      I do not believe that, I believe we are paying to bring them in for what they intend from the start, jihad and dominating the world,

  • Fred

    Execute the savages and anyone who hindered the efforts to apprehend them.

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  • Berzrkr50

    Europe is toast; the U.S. is next… Maybe.

    • LouAnnWatson

      we’re armed

  • Fed Up UK

    …”disillusioned by a perceived lack of opportunity”…Awww diddums. They cannot find work so they wage jihad instead. Isn’t it strange how unemployed males from non-muslim cultures don’t feel the need to wage war when they find themselves out of work. Yet another one of those wonderful cultural differences which makes the world such an interesting place.

    • Mahou Shoujo

      A tenet of islam is irresponsibility with everytig always being some one else’s fault. It is tie to make muslims responsible for the criminal insanity of islam.

      • LouAnnWatson

        arab din do nuffins

        • Mahou Shoujo

          Troo dat, all dey do is get welfare and bitch,

  • Mahou Shoujo

    muslims risk being accused of apostasy for criticizing muslims or the superstitious incantations they have in their demonic book. As this subhuman was following the commands of muhammad’s demon, any criticism of him would be apostasy, punishable by death. To combat islamic terror, a functional espionage system is required.

  • WiseGem

    Nothing to with their joblessness. Many Christians , and other religions thru out western countries have unemployment too and they don’t become barbarians and mass shoot innocent people and then blow themselves up….. Always excuses instead of seeing the systemic hatred within the religion

  • Palm Beach Bum

    Camouflage.

  • PIGBERT

    isn’t ‘diversity’ such a blessing?

    • Med1

      Victims of terrorism are aka “Diversed to death”.

  • karl59

    Moslems helpng the police?
    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jebor

    My entry in the draw mohammed contest

    • Med1

      You definitely win!

  • Ichabod Crain

    “Counter-terrorism expert Rik Coolsaet said that spotting Islamic State recruits in Europe was also becoming more difficult because, unlike in the past, youngsters were less likely to be pious conservatives but rather secular rebels who feel they have no part in society and are disillusioned by a perceived lack of opportunity.”

    From Wikipedia…

    “In March 2015 (updated in June 2015), the Egmont Institute published his assessment of the root causes motivating young Belgians (and Europeans) to voyage to Syria and join IS.”

    “For most of them it is akin to street gangs, drug trafficking, juvenile delinquency,” he said. I really find that hard to believe. Having once been a troubled teen myself, I find it easy to understand the appeal of street gangs, drug trafficking, and juvenile delinquency, but joining a strict religious sect would be the last thing on Earth I would have been interested in. It is totally the opposite of the wild freedom a troubled youth would seek. One would have to have a fundamentally strong belief in Islam to be able to stomach the strict discipline – far more strict than any parents or teachers would demand of them. Far more strict than joining the army. You can’t smoke or drink. That right there would eliminate these very youths he refers to. In fact, any smoker would know what I am talking about. They wouldn’t go one day without a cigarette, let alone join an organization where smoking is prohibited. I call bullshit.

  • Don Grantham

    ‘Moderate’ Muslims… the support system and lifeline for scumbag terrorists. They are all in it together; what more proof does anyone need?

  • Robert Bayer

    Islam=SLAUGHTER.

    End Islam before it ends civilization, freedom and human rights.

    End Leftist Elitists Power / MSM LIES in Complicity FIRST!

  • Marc Goldstone

    Those who worship Islam are a danger to civilization as their holy book incites violence against non-believers. Fighting ISIS is pointless as within a generation a whole new crop of deranged terrorists will be indoctrinated with hate. The enemy must be recognized to be defeated, and the enemy is Islam.

  • Drew the Infidel

    This has been going on a long time. There was a news story out of CA where a beer route driver stopped at a convenience store on his route which was owned by ragheads on 9/11/2001. The owner and his friends were in wild celebration over the carnage. The beer guy made his delivery and went back to the warehouse where he reported the occurrence to his supervisor. The supervisor told him if servicing that store caused him unease to go remove the beer inventory and not go back. Ditto with the chip route driver. The store went broke in two months time.

  • LouAnnWatson

    “Most of those that did said he was a likeable guy who was known in the area.” yes, a known terrorist liked by a bunch of islamic sympathizers. sounds like a rough parallel to the hood in major u s cities. snitches get stitches

  • jacquesssabena

    In struggling Greece, 50.4 percent of the young active population aged 15 to 24 years are unemployed. Have any strapped explosives to themselves and gone on a rampage with assault rifles? No. Because they are dignified, civilised people. NOTHING excuses the murder of innocent people, nothing.