Islamic Terrorists Release Video of French Hostages

Credit: Yuannei_Yong/flickrCredit: Yuannei_Yong/flickrMen claiming to be from the Nigerian-based terrorist organization Boko Haram have released a video of a French family that was kidnapped last week in Cameroon. In the video the terrorists demand that the Nigerian and Cameroonian governments release Islamic militants that they have captured.

One of the terrorists who spoke in the video referenced the French-led intervention in Mali. From Reuters:

The hostage-taking highlighted the risk to French citizens in Africa after Paris sent thousands of troops into Mali last month to oust al Qaeda-linked Islamists operating in the country's vast desert north.

"The president of France has launched a war on Islam and we are fighting it everywhere," said one of the apparent kidnappers, speaking in Arabic and identifying himself as a member of Boko Haram. "Implement our demands. If you leave out even one, we will kill these people."

According to The Guardian one of the terrorists in the video said that the French nationals, who include three adults and four children, were taken in retaliation for the French-led intervention in Mali.

The video was released on the same day that the French government warned the 3,700 French nationals in Benin of an increased risk of kidnapping and attacks, citing a threat near Niger.

The video of the hostages and the new warning come amid news that Chadian soldiers, who are assisting French and Malian forces, have been engaged in fighting against Islamic militants in the north of Mali, with 23 Chadian soldiers and 93 Islamic militants reportedly killed.

At least one French official believes that the French intervention in Mali has led to an increased risk of domestic terrorism. The recent kidnapping and warning in Benin are the most recent reminders that the French government should continue to expect retaliations for the intervention in Mali, at home and abroad. 

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  • John||

    The answer here is for the French to give the Islamists everything they demand. Nothing ends behavior like rewarding it.

  • RyanXXX||

    It's easy to say that snarkily if it isn't your family that's about to lose their heads.

    Not saying we should meet terrorist demands, but intransigence has its costs

  • John||

    Sorry for the hostages. But giving into these animals demands will just create more hostages.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's demonstrably true. AQIM has been doing kidnapping as its main source of revenue for a while now. This is what they do. It's no more 'blowback' for the French Liberation of Mali than is my lunch.

  • Lyle||

    Matthew Feeney is okay with drawing pictures of Mohammad, but when the Islamists kidnap a French family he stops drawing pictures of Mohammad.

    Matthe Feeney is a pitiful propagandist and a coward.

    Just his companion in stupid Ed Krayewski.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Boko Haram? I like "Whiter Shade of Pale." I didn't know they had branched out into terror.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    +1 Procol Harum

  • John||

    One big hit only pays the bills for so long.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "There is no reason
    And the truth is plain to see."

    Clearly terrorist talk.

  • Paul.||

    You didn't recognize the keyboard player?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I find it troubling that you recognize terrorists so easily.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I find it more troubling someone could identify a person in Procol Harum.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Why are you repeating my comment?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Ah, so Procol Harum made the "watch list" did they? Excellent.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Assuming these threads are reviewed by DHS--and they are--then, yes.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, they gave hints. Wasn't there a line about virgins in the song? Getting them in the afterlife was just implied.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is correct. People thought they were singing about the Roman Vestal Virgins, but that was a clever misdirection.

  • Rich||

    Come to think of it -- "the room was humming harder" MUST refer to ululation!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Aha!

  • Rich||

    Outstanding.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sweet Jesus. I was just kidding. I didn't mean to help uncover one of the greatest conspiracies ever.

  • Paul.||

    Bienvenue to your new role as world cop, France.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, they should get their turn. Bring back the older, cooler Foreign Legion and kick ass.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Bring back the older, cooler Foreign Legion and kick ass.

    When I think of the French Foreign Legion, I think of this.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's valid, though I usually think Beau Geste. Or Man on Fire (the book, that is).

  • Paul.||

    I couldn't find the quote with Tyrion Lannister, but it was something about an army made up of rapists, thieves and grumpkins...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    TBH, this is the sort of thing that makes my ghetto side come out. I don't give a damn if France's geopolitics are fucked up; these people are savages and the instant that you appease them you cheapen yourself and your nation. Stay in Mali, get out of dodge, whatever: just support doing the right thing. If you support getting out of Mali as a principled stance or because it wasn't worth it to begin with, that's one thing. If you think the mission is worthwhile and support leaving to appease these lunatics, then you're a quisling and a coward.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I really wouldn't believe anything out of the mouth of a Boko Haram figure. Well, maybe if he said we just like killing, burning and raping.
    They were trying to impose strict Islamic law on Nigeria and other parts of the area before M'siue Frenchie decided to play colonial protector.

    Oh, and can we just quit referring to that one Frog judge, over and over again. Surely there has to be someone else in La France who can give you a new quote!

  • kinnath||

    No such thing as B L O W B A C K.

  • SugarFree||

    These exact people were going to be kidnapped no matter what.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ^This^

  • SugarFree||

    Your sarcasm circuits have crashed, blood robot.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's funny cuz you only get it right when you're joking.

  • SugarFree||

    It's only funny cuz you have an Axis II personality disorder.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Blowback isn't even close to being as profound or noteworthy a concept as libertarians like to pretend that it is.

    So actions have consequences. So what? Nothing about that implies that non-interventionism is the correct course of action either morally or as a matter of pragmatics. Blowback exists -- great; I don't know anyone who would deny the general idea behind blowback in a broad sense. I also don't see how that removes moral agency from the savages beheading civilians, or how it necessarily leads to libertarian-friendly foreign policy. Plenty of neo-conservatives argue based on consequentialist grounds, too. Indeed, it's amusing how similar the libertarian "blowback" argument is to that of the neo-conservatives in its simplicity.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, I think the point that most around here are making is that it doesn't not happen. Some of the more hawkish variety like to pretend that there's something wrong in suggesting that a necessary component of our world cop role is making enemies. For good or for ill, that's one of the side effects.

    Even as screwed up as the U.S. has become, I think we tend to be better than the groups and nations we generally oppose. But that's a low standard that I think we could improve upon.

  • kinnath||

    Yes, it doesn't not happen.

    It's a foreseeable outcome of intervention into a world that does not fight by the Geneva Conventions.

  • Paul.||

    It's a foreseeable outcome of intervention into a world that does not fight by the Geneva Conventions.

    Or the first amendment

    /concerned press

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't think any of the TEAM AMERICA bent would disagree that being world cop makes you enemies. Indeed, I thought the defining characteristic of "with us or against us"-type foreign policy was exactly that unremitting, Manichean conflict between the "good guys" (broadly speaking, developed or developing nations) and the "bad guys" (the usual suspects: N Korea, Iran, Syria, etc).

    I think we can improve on our foreign policy, too -- but blowback is a terribly unconvincing way to show that libertarian foreign policy (whatever that is) is the way to do that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It all started when neocon types trashed Ron Paul for suggesting that 9/11 might not have happened if we weren't so involved in intervening in the Middle East. Of course, even if you think we should be intervening, it's completely wrong to suggest that Paul was wrong--9/11 very likely wouldn't have happened if we weren't interventionist.

    Again, there are arguments for the U.S. being world cop, but there are also consequences.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    9/11 very likely wouldn't have happened if we weren't interventionist.

    Are you sure about that? All of the evidence I've seen for this claim comes from either a convoluted attempt to trace US foreign policy to OBL specifically, or from his speeches -- which again, is basically the same well that neocons run to when they want to "prove" that being insufficiently aggressive in the ME caused OBL to think we were weak, etc.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I didn't know Ron Paul was clairvoyant! Oh wait he's not, just sometimes full of shit.

    You know what would have been much more likely to prevent 9/11? Invading Afghanistan back in 1998. But the USG took the 'reasonable' approach and America paid in blood and freedom.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You know what else makes a superpower enemies, especially when it's a relatively pro-freedom superpower? EXISTING. Seriously, the blowback-phobia is the precautionary principle for libertarianism.

  • kinnath||

    I argued for years that the US was fully justified to invade Iraq. But even I think you're an annoying fuck.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's bullshit. If it were, say, the UK intervening in the Middle East to try to maintain order while supporting Israel, then Big Ben would be gone.

    I'm not entirely opposed to what we've been doing, as I don't think there's an easy or safe way to just stop, but we really don't have a great reason for intervening so much in that part of the world. We get most of our oil elsewhere, and the problem really should be Europe's. Or, even more radically, the Middle East's.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    During the 20th century, the UK and France were/are easily more interventionist than the US in the ME -- easily. Besides some arrangements with the Sauds, the US could have cared less about the ME until the Cold War, and even then was much less involved than (and quite reliant on) the Brits and the French.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, and we should've left things that way. Can't we just send them money and equipment and let them manage things? Why are we there?

  • SugarFree||

    I don't know anyone who would deny the general idea behind blowback in a broad sense.

    John, Cytotoxic, Lyle.

    It's not that blowback is certain or even profound, it's that the existence of it disproves their argument than inventionalism has no negative consequences whatsoever.

    When did minding your own goddamn business become a radical philosophy around here?

  • Cytotoxic||

    There is lots of blowback to be had from noninterventionism. Allowing Cuba to go communist nearly got millions killed. There is no reason to fear the consequences of action anymore than inaction. TIT has it exactly right. 'Blowback' is hollow and meaningless.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Blowback isn't meaningless. Consequences to one's actions are always important to consider; it's just when it's elevated to a pseudo-prophecy or religion that it becomes ridiculous.

    Foreign policy is multivariate and has enough actors that myopic focus on "blowback" is woefully insufficient for proper analysis.

  • SugarFree||

    I don't know anyone who would deny the general idea behind blowback in a broad sense.

    ahem

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Fair enough, heh.

    Let me revise my statement: most people will agree with blowback when expressed in non-politically charged words, and it doesn't lead to libertarian foreign policy. FFS, the CIA came up with the term and I can't think of a more interventionist branch of government.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    There is lots of blowback to be had from noninterventionism. Allowing Cuba to go communist nearly got millions killed.

    And there's Cyto for the same side goal!

  • Cytotoxic||

    ?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Pre-Castro Cuba is hardly a textbook case of noninterventionism.

  • Whahappan?||

    Unpossible! And us propping up the Shah for years had no adverse effects in Iran either. Because the US is relatively free, any foreign interventions, if vigorous enough, will only have net positive results. If you disagree, you are literally worse than OBL!

  • Rich||

    "The president of France has launched a war on Islam"

    Obviously the solution is for the president of France to announce that, mais non, he has merely launched a war on those who have "hijacked a great religion".

  • LTC(ret) John||

    A religion of peace, perhaps?

  • Rich||

    It must be. "Submission", and all that.

  • albo||

    Islamic terrorists try to take over a country. How does the civilized world respond:

    1. Military effort to kill them and drive them out, thereby inviting them to attact you in response?

    2. Do nothing and hope the country doesn't become a terrorist haven like pre-9/11 Afghanistan, where the state is returned to the middle ages and religious zealots have a haven in which to attact you any way even though you didn't do anything to them first.

  • R C Dean||

    3. Nuke it from orbit. Its the only way, etc.

  • SugarFree||

    Since 2 is utter horseshit, I guess I have to go with neither.

  • albo||

    How is is horseshit? Do you think Islamists would have taken Mali and not done a damn thing after that? That they'd just stay home, pray to allah, and be all peaceful to their neighbors, maybe invite their buddies in Al Qaida to come over, have some hummous, braid each others' hair and watch Beaches?

  • Cytotoxic||

    You've spoken against the Faith of Noninterventionism.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, tell us again how 9/11 was completely motiveless. They hate our freedoms or something, right?

  • Cytotoxic||

    They do hate our freedoms. That's a fact.

  • SugarFree||

    It's a fact. Fact.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well, that is a fact like it or not, Sug. The founders of Islamism (Sayyid Qutb comes to mind) founded their ideology not as a response to a specific Western interventionism, but as a general response to the freer culture that they witnessed in their travels to the US and Europe. Whether that hatred was the only motive for 9/11 is an open question, but it was part of the motivation -- one does note the absence of Hispanic and Oriental terrorists, despite the fact that, far and away, the US was much more interventionist in the Far East and Latin America than in the Islamic world. Indeed, besides sub-Saharan Africa I can't think of parts of the world where the US has been less interventionist than in the Near East and Central Asia.

  • tarran||

    All it takes is to read the stuff written by the guy who headed the hunt for Bin Laden in the 90's.

    Al Queda was formed out of the merger of the remnant of Bin Laden's Afghani resistance movement (which IIRC was pretty much a logistical one) with a faction of Egypt’s Islamic Brotherhood.

    OBL’s motivation was to end the Saudi monarch’s dependence on the impure U.S. military for its security. He was really pissed when King Fahd laughingly kicked OBL out of the room when he presented his proposal to use mujahidin employing guerilla warfare to keep the Iraqi army out of Saudi Arabia.

    The Muslim brotherhood’s motivation was to end U.S. support for the brutal repressive Egyptian security state.

    OBL brought money and infrastructure to the merger. The Muslim brotherhood supplied people.

    Which is why the 9/11 attack was carried out by a force comprised of enlisted drawn from Saudi Arabia under the command of Al Queda officers drawn from Egypt financed with Saudi money.

    The 9/11 attack was entirely purposed to end U.S. interference in the region. Which is why the CIA’s top man tasked with hunting Bin Laden called Ron Paul’s description of 9/11 as “blowback” as being accurate.

  • tarran||

    And, contrary to popular perception, Bush’s invasion of Iraq was very much driven by Al Queda: it allowed him to pull the U.S. military out of Saudi Arabia without leaving them vulnerable to invasion from the north. It also created an opportunity for the Saudi King to eliminate the potential Al Queda footsoldiers; the wahabist imams in the monarch’s pay preached jihad in Iraq, and thousands of fervert jihadists went to Iraq to be shredded by U.S. chain guns. The monarch much of the potential opposition without having any inconvenient or embarrassing massacres to be placed at his feet.

  • tarran||

    Whoops, deleted the last paragraph:

    Al Queda is struggling to recruit foot soldiers both because it has been shattered by the U.S. military/CIA but also because its raison detre is accomplished:

    1) Egypt is not under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood which is making a hash of matters (big surprise). In fact the Muslim Brotherhood is not getting weapons and aid from the U.S! They will thus moderate the way the Saudi Monarch did.

    2) The U.S. Army is largely out of Saudi Arabia. At this point the most serious "incursion" into the holy lands is the U.S. drone war in Yemen.

    The thing that must be most frustrating for Al Queda is that their goals were achieved completely independently or even against their efforts!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not that I disagree entirely with that analysis, tarran, but it brings to mind a lecture that I attended back in the day. The guest speakers were talking about Israel-Palestine, and discussing ways in which the PLO and the Israeli government could accommodate one another and bring about peace. In the Q&A session I asked, "What happens if the PLO and Israel reach an accommodation, and the violence continues because the people living there and forming up those group don't find that accommodation suitable? What if there isn't an accomodation that is acceptable for both groups of *people*, rather than the two organizations? They can always just make a new organization that suits their needs, after all.

    I was more or less dismissed without an answer. Many years later, witnessing the Hamas stranglehold of the Gaza Strip, I wonder if the same question doesn't apply to Al-Qaeda.

  • tarran||

    That’s a very interesting question, IT!

    My take on this is that things could go down that route but will almost certainly not. Essentially, most people are inclined to aim for a comfortable life and religious zealotry and self-denial only appeal to a very small fraction of the population absent external factors driving them in that direction.

    Saudi Arabia is a case in point. Wahabbism is a very vile, aggressive and intolerant sect of Islam. Yet, despite having control over the state and access to vast amounts of oil wealth, the apparatus of the state is mainly controlled by people who publicly pretend to be devout and privately are going on junkets to Thailand to satisfy their base desires for sex and forbidden foods/drinks.

    Wherever the religious fundamentalists rise to power, they either have to permit luxuries and access to forbidden things, or waste treasure and energy to maintain their power. If they permit luxuries and backsliding, they become corrupt and have an incentive to not make enemies that can upset the status quo.

    I think revolutionary movements are dangerous during a window between gaining power and the clampdown on would-be-rebels and adoption of corruption. That window can be incredibly dangerous (Hitler) or be really wide (Soviet Union), but I think a Washingtonian policy of neutrality abroad plus unwussiness towards attacks at home or towards citizens can really handle the matter.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Thanks for the reply, tarran. I'm at about the same point that you're at in this: it's hard to keep up enthusiasm for a regime that doesn't get results after a while. The main ? in the matter IMO is what happens to the youth who are unemployed. They can either be radicalized and lose it (making the MB-led regimes merely authoritarian in nature), radicalized towards a different ideology (potentially fostering a different totalitarian grouping), get enlisted in a conventional war and die in large numbers (good for us, bad for the region), or get employed in an economic upswing. The last possibility seems unlikely to me given the politics and economics of the region. We'll see what happens, I guess.

    As I see it, we won't be able to stop terrorism; not really. Better to save the money and ammunition for things that we can impact. That favors a position similar to libertarian interventionism at present IMO.

  • SugarFree||

    pre-9/11 Afghanistan, where the state is returned to the middle ages and religious zealots have a haven in which to attact you any way even though you didn't do anything to them first.

    No, no... I truly believe that the 9/11 assholes spun a globe, put their finger down and said "Hey, let's attack this America place. America. Am I pronouncing it right?"

    I know your religion requires you to think 9/11 was a motiveless attack, but most of the rest of us live in reality and can use our brains.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Um. What? Got strawman much?

    The motive of Islamic terrorists is clear: it's Islam.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, let's kill a billion people. That'll work.

  • albo||

    Nah, just a few hundred thousand of the really, really bad ones who are making the globe shitty for the rest of us.

  • SugarFree||

    And all the rest of them will love us for it, because killing people's friends and relatives and countrymen never make them angry.

    Just like there wasn't a surge in military recruitment after 9/11. Cosmotarian myth.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Maybe we should crush them with your shitty strawman arguments. Got butthurt?

  • SugarFree||

    Got butthurt?

    Your slobbering love of big government is so cool. War! Woo! More money for the military! More! Come dump money in the war hole!

  • Cytotoxic||

    So you do got butthurt.

  • SugarFree||

    It's cute that you learned a new word.

  • albo||

    Sure. Bin Laden hated that we had troops on the Saudi penisula, considered Israel an ally, and wouldn't let the Muslims have southern Spain back.

    It's called having a foreign policy. Should we not have one anymore? Or should we let our enemies determine what it should be.

  • SugarFree||

    So you're admitting you were wrong? Good for you.

  • albo||

    A zealot with a cause and an itch for revenge will always find a reason to hate and to attack.

    The US could retreat from world affairs and call our troops in, and Islamists with hate in their heart will still want us dead.

  • SugarFree||

    even though you didn't do anything to them first

    Uh-huh.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yup. It's almost comical how noninterventionists pretend to understand foreign actors.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, cartoonish Islam is coming to murder us all! Oooo! It's so cool that your computer power cord reaches all the way under the bed.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    When even Switzerland has had problems with Islamic terrorism, I think it has to be conceded that Islamic terrorism has motives that go beyond mere political dispute.

    Islam as those terrorist cells see it is incompatible with Western culture and norms. In places where there is a substantial Islamic population, or places perceived to be bulwarks of Western culture, this will continue to be a problem no matter what we do (or don't do). Whether such terrorism will be reduced if we withdraw from the world is an open question; I would rather figure out what moral and pragmatic aims we want from our foreign policy and go from there rather than have savages decide what we'll be doing domestically or abroad.

  • Calidissident||

    IT, what attacks in Switzerland are you referring to? From Google, I couldn't find anything regarding Islamic terrorism there in the last 40 years.

    As to the general topic, I think the fallacy that a lot of people seem to make is that they act as if Islamic terrorists (and their sympathizers) are a monolithic, set population. These groups have to recruit new members and it's silly to think that all the recruits will have the exact same motivation. A lot of the higher ups may simply hate Western culture for no reason. That doesn't mean all the people who join their groups or sympathize with them always felt the same way. There are over a billion Muslims in the world and most of them aren't terrorists. That leads me to believe that Islam alone is the not the only factor at play. China and Russia both have major problems with Islamic terrorism, and it would be idiotic to say that it has nothing to do with their occupations in Central Asia (Uyghurs) and Chechnya. Even if you look at something like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that isn't purely religious. Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian Christian. Historically, there was tension between immigrant communities of Jews and Arabs in various countries, even though a large portion or a majority of the Arabs weren't Muslim. Terrorism is never going to completely go away. But there is a better way to limit and fight it than perpetual occupation, invasion, and shelling out billions to dictators

  • tarran||

    I think they'd have trouble holding onto Mali; the majority of people living there are animists.

    The thing most people fail to realize is that the islamists are economically even more backward than the marxists. Their judicial system is better than warlordism, but only just. They literally are incapable of providing decent public goods.

    The only places where they do well are in places where the locals think that the islamists are better than the alternative - usually because the islamists are offering to repel an external intruder. The only exception I can think of is Saudi Arabia, where they have lots of oil wealth and the U.S. military acting as their errand boy.

    They are so godawful when placed in charge that they alienate the population and have to spend their efforts supressing rebellion. Also, the imams tend to be coopted by venal types who become very corrupt (as in Saudi Arabia). Corrupt people, surprisingly, aren't interested in rocking the apple-cart.

  • Rich||

    4. Spray the place with pig blood. Its effect on those terrorists is worse than that of *holy water*.

  • tarran||

    This is definitely a not one cent in tribute, one million dollars for defense situation.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I've always been partial to that line.

  • Lyle||

    More dumbassery from Matthew Feeney. Reason won't be supporting any draw the Prophet Mohammad days, I guess.

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