As you might imagine, for the last 48 hours here in France pretty much the only topic of conversation has been the Charlie attacks of last Wednesday. The general view among people I know – nowhere near the Paris bubble, by the way – is one of doubt. “It all looked military,” my dentist remarked, “very smooth, very quick. These men were professionals”. The Romanian specialist working with her agreed: “We saw this many times in the old days in the East before freedom,” he told me, “it had false flag written all over it”.
Looking at the timelines involved, one gets the same impression: twelve people shot dead in six minutes, a ruthlessly murderous getaway, and then the heartless despatch of a cop three blocks away.
But I’ve been boning up on the facts, watching the videos, and then given it the overnight test. I retain an open mind, but the balance of my opinion is swinging towards a genuine terrorist attack. One, the killers didn’t even know the address of Charlie Hebdo. They literally didn’t case out the location at all, and so at first went to the wrong address. On forcing their way into the Charlie offices, they still didn’t know what floor it was on. Continue reading