DEBKAfile Special Report March 22, 2012
The French-born al Qaeda killer, Mohammed Merah - who shocked the world by murdering three Jewish schoolchildren and their teacher in Toulouse by shots to the head, after killing three French paratroopers - was found dead after jumping out of a window still shooting Thursday, March 22. First, he injured three police officers searching his apartment, bursting out of the bathroom firing madly. To capture him alive, French police and security forces conducted the longest siege in their history against a lone terrorist.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2012
French security circles close to the investigation of the shooting Monday, March 19, which left a teacher and three children dead at the Ozar Hatora school in Toulouse, told debkafile Tuesday that they have no leads as yet to the killer or suspects. He vanished by motorbike as mysteriously as he arrived at the school. All that can be deduced for now was that he was a trained - and possibly a hired – assassin – so explaining the video camera around his neck.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 19, 2012
Toulouse police with reinforcements are hunting the motorcyclist who attacked the Jewish Ozar Hatorah school Monday, March 19, and murdered a teacher, Yonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 3 and Gavriel, 6 and the principal’s daughter, Miriam Monstango, aged 8. The killer dressed in black continued shooting 9mm and 11.43mm pistols at children inside the school yard before escaping. President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered extra security for Jewish institutions. All French schools will observe a minute’s silence Tuesday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
Military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations, debkafile reports. The deaths of two notable journalists helped galvanize the West into action. They died after Syrian artillery located their secret press center in Homs with the help of Russian spy satellites or Iranian electronic measures - and gutted it.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2012
US, Russian, French and British air and naval forces are gathering around the Syrian and Iranian coasts on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov put in earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port Sunday, Jan. 8, together with two more Russian warships. British and French naval craft head to the Persian Gulf, while the giant US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone has begun monitoring Iranian coastlines from the USS Stenning aircraft carrier.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 24, 2011
Behind the grisly images of Muammar Qaddafi's last moments on Thursday, Oct. 20, a quiet contest is afoot between the US and at least two NATO allies, France and Germany, over the credit for his termination and the ending of the alliance's military role in Libya. The episode demonstrated that in the Middle East and North Africa, the Western allies have no compunctions about terminating dictatorships abruptly nor about liberated societies shifting to fundamentalist Islamic regimes committed to Sharia law.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2011
Libya may well be plunged in even bloodier strife after Muammar Qaddafi's passing. The meddling foreign hands backing rival individuals, militias and tribes will only exacerbate the divisions and animosities riddling the interim government of the NTC and the country at large.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 28, 2011
A US and/or Israel strike against Iran suddenly looked tangible this week following a warning of its probability by a French diplomat and a large-scale Russian-Central Asian military exercise simulating Iranian retaliation for a hypothetical strike on US-owned Caspian oil fields. A British diplomat ending his term in Pyongyang quoted North Korean officials who told him that NATO would not have attacked Libya if Muammar Qaddafi had not given up his nuclear weapons. Tehran appears to have reached the same conclusion.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2011
The lion's share is promised France of Libya's oil reserves with smaller stakes for Britain, Italy and Qatar. But the rebels may be counting their chickens too fast. First, the war is not yet won and the promises may stay on paper and second, only the US has the advanced technology for getting the oil out of the ground.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2011
NATO, Britain and France are too broke to finish the job the started in Libya. The Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council is ready to provide financing but wants a NATO military arm for overthrowing the Assad regime in Syria and promoting its other interests. The Obama administration welcomes the hook-up to relieve the US for some of its financial burdens.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2011
Muammar Qaddafi's ouster has opened Tripoli's door to al Qaeda, a covert component of which is harbored by the rebel NTC. The jihads are not averse to playing both sides of the Libyan dividing in hooking up with Qaddafi too. This will depend on AQIM's broader interests in North Africa, including Algeria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2011
Kuwait prepares for war on Shatt al-Arb outlet to Persian Gulf after Iranian proxy threat against mega-port. Al Qaida threatens Paris, tries to hitch a ride on Britain's mob riots. And Saudi Arabia is braced for dangerous Sunni street protests against the throne.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 5, 2011
An al Qaeda branch known as the Al-jamaa Al-islamiya Al-Mokatila is widely believed to be closely associated with rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil and suspected of murdering the rebel commander Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Younis on his behalf. This confirms Muammar Qaddafi's long-held allegations that al Qaeda is part of rebel ranks. Still, Paris and London decided to release frozen Libyan funds and transfer them to the rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2011
Gen. Abdel Fatah Younis, commander of the Libyan rebel forces fighting Muammar Qaddafi, was put to death on the orders of Mustapha Abdul Jalil, head of the rebel TNC, debkafile's sources report. TNC officers abducted him and two aides and shot them in the head 20 kilometers outside Benghazi.
Jalil wanted the powerful Younis out of the way before the start of peace negotiations, for fear he would beat his own path to Qaddafi and head the future government alongside Saif al-Islam.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 28, 2011
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe persuaded the Cameron government climb down from its high Libyan horse and accept that diplomacy is the only sensible option for ending the war. The UK is in no position to dictate terms to Muammar Qaddafi. NATO objects to being left holding the baby.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, after a pro-Assad mob invaded the US embassy in Damascus, a personal attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad was heard in Washington for the first time. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Assad "is not indispensible and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power," after US embassy staff were forced to shelter in a fortified wing of the mission as Assad's militiamen rampaged through the building and raised the Syrian flag.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 8, 2011
Western and Israeli intelligence missed Iran's spectacular nuclear fast-forward by miscalculating its timelines. It now appears that by 2012, Tehran will have around four-to-six bombs or warheads in stock and have tested ICBMs for their delivery. Uranium enrichment will be raised to 60 percent by relocating the plants from Natanz to the hidden Fordo facility.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 16, 2011
The US is willing to replenish NATO's empty missile and smart bomb arsenals but needs to know who is footing the bill. Robert Gates like British and French Libyan war commanders don't believe in NATO's ability to topple Muammar Qaddafi.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 9, 2011
Russia cited NATO's "inclusive bombing of Tripoli" as grounds for objecting to the new UK-French-Portuguese motion condemning the Assad regime for its violent crackdown on protest, and any other UN Security Council action against Syria. After a more than $4 billion outlay, debkafile reports NATO's campaign against Muammar Qaddafi is running short of funds and suffering war "fatigue." The US, Britain and France consider dipping into the estimated $45 million of frozen Qaddafi funds in their banks. Qaddafi' commands about $1 trillion in cash.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2011
Security forces and demonstrators continued to clash Saturday, April 23 in Damascus, Hama, Daraa and nearby Izraa after Friday's bloodbath left more than 100 dead and hundreds injured. Syrian snipers shot dead at least 15 mourners, injured dozens, at the funerals. Two Syrian lawmakers resigned their seats in protest at security police brutality against civilians. Damascus rejected President Barack Obama's charge of Iranian help to repress citizens. France warned regime leaders they could face international prosecution.