Now comes the disturbing news that a Frenchman arrested in the killings at the Brussels Jewish museum had traveled to Syria as an insurgent and is apparently linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Police in Marseille arrested the suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam May 30. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said he had an automatic weapon like that used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analysis is underway to determine if it is the same weapon. The rifle was reportedly wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of ISIS. Police in Belgium meanwhile say the suspect had tried to film the May 24 killings, but his camera failed. Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said: "The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the 'returnees'—in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country. All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem." (AP, June 1) The days since the arrest have seen more raids on suspected "returnees" in France. Four were arrested in the Paris area and southern France on suspicion of recruiting militants to fight in Syria. Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve told Europe 1 radio: "There are people who recruit jihadists… We are acting everywhere. There will be no respite in the fight against terrorists." (BBC News, June 2)
Meanwhile, Bashar Assad's partisans on the "left" triumphantly proffer stories such as that in The Independent of April 2, gloating that "the rebel leader touted as the West's last hope to stem the tide of extreme jihadist groups in Syria has said he will not fight against al-Qa'ida, and openly admits to battling alongside them." Interviewed in a safe house on the outskirts of the Turkish town of Antakya, Jamal Maarouf, leader of the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) reportedly told The Independent that the fight against al-Qaeida is "not our problem" and admitted his fighters conduct joint operations with Jabhat al-Nusra—named "the official al-Qa'ida branch in Syria," although ISIS holds a claim to that disputed title.
The Independent's reportage on Syria has, of course, been utterly jaundiced. Anyone who is paying attention knows that that there is a civil-war-wthin-the-civil-war between the secular rebels and al-Qaeda. And all the pseudo-left frauds who now play to fear of al-Qaeda were avidly rooting for al-Qaeda in Iraq just a few months ago. Utter hypocrisy. And hilarious to find these guys on the same said as the French police.