France in al-Qaeda crosshairs?

A statement by supposed al-Qaeda affiliate in Europe, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, pledged to launch attacks in Paris in response to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president. “As you have chosen the crusader and Zionist Sarkozy as a leader…we in the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades warn you that the coming days will see a bloody jihadist campaign…in the heart of Sarkozy’s capital,” the group’s “Europe division” said in an Internet statement addressed to the French people. The statement said Sarkozy was “thirsty for the blood of Muslim children, women and old people and eager to carry out the mission set by his masters in the Black [US White] House.”

The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades takes its name from an al-Qaeda commander killed during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. The group previously claimed responsibility for the July 2005 terror attacks in London, as well those in Madrid in March 2004 and in Istanbul in November 2003. After the London bombings, the group warned European nations to pull their troops out of Iraq within a month or face more attacks like them. (AlJazeera, May 15)

We note that some of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ threats in the past have not panned out.

See our last posts on France and al-Qaeda.