Al Qaeda Declares France Enemy
Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahri has joined the Islamist war against France.
Al-Qaida has for the first time announced a union with an Algerian insurgent group that has designated France as an enemy, saying they will act together against French and American interests.
Current and former French officials specializing in terrorism said Thursday that an al-Qaida alliance with the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by its French initials GSPC, was cause for concern. “We take these threats very seriously,” Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said, adding in an interview on France-2 television that the threat to France was “high” and “permanent,” and that “absolute vigilance” was required.
Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, announced the “blessed union” in a video posted this week on the Internet to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.
France’s leader have repeatedly warned that the decision not to join the U.S.-led war in
Iraq would not shield the country from Islamic terrorism. French participation in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon could give extremists another reason to strike.
This just goes to show, as Andy Rooney sagely counseled, France should figure out why the world hates them so.
Does this prove that France was wrong not to join the U.S. in its effort to topple Saddam Hussein and establish a democratic bulwark against Islamists in Iraq? No. But it does seem to indicate that there’s not much a Western state can do to appease the terrorists.
Like the United States and the UK, France obviously has a history of entanglement in the Middle East. Iindeed, the latter two have a much longer history than the U.S. and, because of policy decisions made decades ago, now have substantial Muslim populations at home. One hopes events like this will provide additional incentives to work together against our common enemy.