FTSE 100
Dow Jones

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A gendarme told me and he ran away

Nobody can be too surprised about the identity of the gunman in Toulouse.  I think its OK for me to say that without being accused of prejudicing a fair trial, because he appears to have declared his guilt and chucked the murder weapon out of the window.  We like to be fair-minded and I suppose his defence lawyer will plead a stitch up and extreme mental pressure  to extract a confession, but on the whole the French police are to be congratulated on a speedy resolution.

Except it isn't quite like that over at the BBC, where the story all day yesterday was  that this was likely the work of the far-right, or at least that was the "theory" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17441244
But why the widely differing choice of targets: soldiers and Jewish children? One theory is that the man is a deranged far-rightwinger. It is noted that the three dead soldiers were of North African origin, and a fourth who was injured is from the French Caribbean.
The killer has a clear affinity with guns. Could he be a neo-Nazi type - maybe an ex-soldier or a member of the criminal underworld - with a hatred of all minorities, Jews and Muslims?
This "theory" featured prominently on the BBC website all day yesterday.  When the truth emerged, the BBC spun this as being a line being pout out by the French police.

This of course could hardly be further from the truth.  The French police actually made a statement yesterday that they had checked out a suggestion that three former French paratroopers had been responsible and found that they all had alibis and were cleared from all suspicion http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/03/20/97001-20120320FILWWW00445-toulouse-ex-paras-nazis-hors-de-cause.php  Meanwhile, the BBC kept running their anti-right wing story.

As the the media now report, the actual suspect had been on the police radar for some time and a police official  told Agence France-Presse news agency the suspect had been "in the sights" of France's intelligence agency after the first two attacks, after which police had brought in more "crucial evidence". If the police had been following this line, why would they be telling the BBC that it was the work of the far right? Obviously they didn't.

It turns out that he had been arrested in Kandahar, which is a long way from home for a Frenchman, even one of Algerian extraction, and he had rather given the game away by trying to get his scooter resprayed and have the GPS tracker disabled.

Sounds like his contacts with al-Queda weren't that close or they would have given him a bit more training.

Also sounds like the BBC could do with some training in impartiality, reporting the facts and not jumping to conclusions.

No comments: