Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 06PARIS7884, FRANCE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06PARIS7884.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06PARIS7884 2006-12-21 15:03 2010-11-30 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO1568
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHGI
RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHFR #7884/01 3551529
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211529Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3913
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1068
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 3222
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 PARIS 007884 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER FR ASEC EFIN KCRM KHLS AEMR KPAO
SUBJECT: FRANCE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM 

REF: STATE 177128 

1. In 2006, France continued to pursue aggressive 
counterterrorism measures, including the dismantling of 
terror networks on its territory, notably those assisting in 
the recruitment or financing of terrorists to Iraq. French 
terrorism officials remained on high alert since the London 
subway bombings in 2005, and continued to conduct extensive 
investigations into Islamic terrorism on French soil. The 
French government arrested approximately 70 people in 2006 on 
charges related to Islamic terrorism. In September, French 
authorities announced they had arrested their 400th suspect 
in connection with Islamic terrorism since the September 11 
attacks in the U.S. More than 150 of those have been jailed. 

2. In September the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat 
(GSPC) announced its union with al-Qaeda and declared France 
to be its number one target. Several high profile events in 
2006 -- including the local publication of the Danish 
Mohammed cartoon pictorials, heated debate on the 
interdiction of the veil in French public institutions, and 
the presence of French troops in Afghanistan and Lebanon -- 
have been cited by various French authorities as factors 
manipulated by Islamic extremists to incite violence against 
the country. France,s chief counterterrorism judge, 
Jean-Louis Bruguiere, maintains that all terrorist threats 
currently faced by France can be directly linked to Iraq. In 
May, intelligence officials announced that 29 people had been 
detained in France for suspected association with terror 
networks related to Iraq. In September, officials noted that 
at least nine terrorists whose journey to Iraq began in 
France have been killed, with two incarcerated and another 
12-15 likely still engaged in combat against Coalition 
forces. Increasing Islamic radicalization in the local 
prison system also continues to worry French officials. 

3. On January 23 the French government adopted new 
counterterrorism legislation that considerably strengthened 
police powers in criminal law and codified some current 
practices. Preliminary detention for terrorism suspects was 
extended from a maximum of four to up to six days. Current 
legislation allows the state to thereafter place suspects in 
pre-trial detention for up to four years when the evidence is 
strong or when they present an imminent threat. The law 
gives the government additional powers for the freezing of 
assets, video and telephone surveillance, allows increased 
monitoring of public transport records, and grants broader 
powers of official access to connection data held by internet 
cafes and to various personal data records. Sentences for 
convicted terrorists were increased from 20 to 30 years for 
leading or organizing an attack, and from 10 to 20 years for 
assisting a terrorist organization or operation. The new law 
also reinforced existing legislation that allows for the 
revocation of French nationality and eventual expulsion if 
the terrorist became a citizen through naturalization within 
the preceding 15 years. 

4. Under the auspices of the Prime Minister, the French 
government published its White Paper on terrorism on March 7. 
The paper, a publicly available document, sets out the 
government,s overall policy efforts to combat terrorism. It 
includes attack scenarios, threat analyses, and technical as 
well as political responses to terrorism. 

5. At the political and diplomatic level, France continued 
its active engagement with the United Nation,s Security 
Council (UNSC) Counterterrorism Committee (CTC), the G-8,s 
Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG), the UN,s 1267 
Sanctions Committee (for the Taliban and al-Qaeda), and the 
European Council,s Anti-Terrorism Strategy action plan. 
France is a founding member of the joint U.S./Russia Global 
Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism which was inaugurated 
in October. France is a member and contributor to both the 
Proliferation and Container Security Initiatives. The U.S. 
and France maintain regular bilateral counterterrorism 
consultations. France has also signed and ratified 12 of the 

PARIS 00007884 002 OF 004 


13 UN counterterrorism conventions. It signed, but has not 
yet ratified, the Convention for the Prevention of Acts of 
Nuclear Terrorism. 

6. On the military front, French Special Forces participated 
in coalition operations in Afghanistan as part of Operation 
Enduring Freedom (OEF). France is also a key participant in 
Coalition Task Force (CTF) 150, a multinational naval force 
that patrols the Red Sea and Gulf of Yemen to interdict the 
movement of suspected terrorists between Afghanistan, the 
Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. It has twice 
commanded the Task Force and will assume command for a third 
time next year. France,s overall contributions in 
Afghanistan increased in 2006 and France currently commands 
the International Security Assistance Force,s (ISAF) 
Regional Command - Kabul. France is also a chief contributor 
to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 
more than 1600 troops, which is under the command of a French 
General through February 2007. UNIFIL,s mission includes 
assisting the Lebanese Armed forces to secure its territory, 
including against Hizballah. 

7. France continued to develop competencies and capabilities 
of TRACFIN, the Ministry of Finance,s terrorism financing 
coordination and investigation unit. Within the European 
Union, France played an active role in the Clearinghouse, the 
EU process for designation terrorist organizations. France 
has not designated HAMAS-affiliated charities, such as the 
French based Comite de Bienfaisance et Secours aux 
Palestiniens (Committee for the Well-Being and Assistance to 
Palestinians), arguing that it has no proven links to 
terrorism. France also continued to oppose any EU 
designation of Lebanese Hizballah as a terrorist 
organization, although it supported Hizballah's eventual 
disarmament, which it maintained would result in Hizballah,s 
gradual integration into Lebanese politics. 

8. The government continued its policy of expelling 
non-French citizens engaged in terrorist activities or speech 
that promoted hate or incited violence. Among those ordered 
expelled from France during 2006 were at least 20 imams from 
Algeria, Bangladesh, Morocco, and Pakistan. Chelali 
Benchellali, an Algerian imam resident in France since 1961, 
was expelled to Algeria in September. He was convicted to 
six months, time served, in June of contributing to a 
Chechnyan network terrorist plot. Several of Benchellali,s 
family members were also convicted on similar terrorism 
charges. His youngest son, Mourad, was a Guantamano detainee 
for more than three years and is still facing trial in France. 

9. The government also exercised its power to repeal French 
citizenship and deport convicted terrorists. Adel Tebourski, 
a Tunisian and French dual-national citizen, who was arrested 
in 2001 and sentenced in 2005 for his contribution to the 
September 9, 2001 assassination of Afghan War Chief Ahmad 
Shah Massood, was stripped of his French nationality by 
decree on July 19, and expelled to Tunisia on August 7. 
Karim Bourti, a French GSPC supporter, was also stripped of 
his citizenship in May. 

10. Since May 2005, the government revoked the security 
clearances of 72 individuals working in private companies at 
Paris, Charles de Gaulle international airport. The majority 
of those were announced in early November 2006. A handful of 
those concerned brought legal action against the government 
and were subsequently reinstated. The government claimed 
that the individuals, while not terrorists, posed a security 
risk to the airport based on background checks that showed 
Islamic extremist sympathies. The Prefect charged with 
governing the area noted that background checks are conducted 
on a regular basis and that a number of security clearances 
are revoked annually. 

11. Key judicial proceedings in 2006 on Islamic terrorism 
related crimes included: 


PARIS 00007884 003 OF 004 


- On June 13, 25 Islamic militants tied to a Chechen 
jihad network that allegedly planned to bomb a commercial 
center in Paris and the Eiffel Tower were sentenced in June. 
Several members of the group, including Menad Benchellali and 
Merouane Benhamed, received the maximum sentence of 10 years. 

- Five of six former Guantanamo detainees who were 
expelled to France in 2004 and 2005 are currently no longer 
in detention (they were initially detained for many months 
after their arrival in France). Brahim Yadel, however, 
remains in custody for violating the terms of his conditional 
release. All six former detainees face further charges in 
France for terrorist conspiracy. In September 2006 the trial 
was halted when a judge ordered further investigations into 
the role of alleged visits of French intelligence authorities 
to Guantanamo. The trial is scheduled to reconvene on May 2, 
2007. 

- Karim Mehdi, a Moroccan national, was sentenced to nine 
years on October 26 for terrorism related activities. Mehdi 
is alleged to have ties with September 11 terrorists (Ramzi 
bin al Shaibah and Ziad Jarrah) and is suspected of planning 
an attack on the island of Reunion in 2003. Mehdi will also 
be deported following his sentence and not allowed in France 
for a minimum of six years. 

- Rachid Ramda, who was extradited to France from the UK 
in December 2005 after ten years in detention, was sentenced 
to ten years on March 29 for his role in the 1995 Paris 
subway and train attacks. 

- On November 12, France,s chief counterterrorism judge, 
Jean-Louis Bruguiere, sent the cases of three suspects 
allegedly connected to the 2002 Djerba, Tunisia attacks, to 
the Paris Court of Assizes. Khalid Cheik Mohammed, Christian 
Ganczarski and Walid Nawar are suspected of assisting 
convicted terrorist Belgacem Nawar in the Djerba al-Qaeda 
attacks whose victims included two French citizens. Cheik 
Mohammed remains in U.S. custody at Guantanamo. 

12. Three individuals were detained in France in late 
November (two on November 25 and one on November 29) after 
being expelled from Syria. They are suspected of attempting 
to transit through Syria in order to join insurgents fighting 
against Coalition forces in Iraq. Another nine individuals 
were deported from Egypt in mid-December under similar same 
charges. However all were released after a brief period of 
detention. 

13. French police cooperated closely with Spanish authorities 
in the Basque region throughout 2006. Several arms caches 
were discovered in France, and a number of arrests of Basque 
Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) suspects were made throughout 
the year. Several were extradited to Spain. One attack, 
allegedly claimed by Ipparetarek or an Ipparetarak 
sympathizer (a defunct French Basque nationalist group), 
occurred in France on June 11 against the Hotel Ostap, owned 
by famed chef Alain Ducasse. There were no injuries and only 
minimal damage. 

14. During the first six months of 2006, 176 attacks or 
attempted attacks occurred on the French island of Corsica. 
112 of those were claimed by the National Front for the 
Liberation of Corsica- Combatants Union, or by the National 
Front for the Liberation of Corsica of October 22. Three 
people, including two military personnel, were superficially 
wounded in 2006. Three terrorists were killed during the 
year by accident while attempting to carry out attacks. The 
government has a widespread police presence in the region and 
arrested dozens of people throughout the year in connection 
with various attacks. The groups tend to target secondary 
residences, and avoid serious damage or casualties. 
Separatist groups appear to have largely given up their 
political battle for independence but continue to wage an 
intimidation campaign aimed at foreigners or mainland French 
citizens interested in permanent residence or secondary homes 

PARIS 00007884 004 OF 004 


on the small island. 


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 
HOFMANN