The murderer of four people, including two Jews from Tel Aviv, in the attack last May on the Jewish Museum in Brussels was an ISIS terrorist who was one of the captors and torturers of James Foley, Steve Sotloff and a French journalist, who was released and now had identified the killer.
The terrorist is Medhi Nemmouche, a French citizen who is to go on trial in Belgium on Friday for the murders at the museum. He was arrested several days after the terrorist attack, and he fought for the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2013 only three weeks after he was released from prison, where he served five years for armed robbery.
The immediate reaction of Brussels officials after the attack was typical of the head in the sand illusion that makes believe that many terrorists are “lone wolves,” that many attacks on Jews or Jewish institutions are just a coincidence and that the radical Islamic movement in Europe does not threaten to overthrow the entire continent.
The fact that at that time of his arrest he had a white sheet emblazoned with the name of the ISIS clearly indicates Nemmouche, even if he acted alone, was not just some jihadist who woke up one morning and decided to become a terrorist.
Anti-Semitism in France is rampant. Considering that the motive was “open” was a denial of reality.
Nemmouche was identified by French journalist Nicolas Henin as the terrorist who attacked the museum. The fact that he is a French citizen belies the false belief among many European leaders that the jihadists are imports.
“The accused gunman is also French, increasing fears in Europe over European citizens’ ties to extremist groups,” National Public Radio reported. French authorities estimate that nearly 1,000 other people from France have joined the jihadists in Syria, and every one of them, unless they are killed first, could be the next Nemmouche.
Henin, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and held for almost a year, said that Nemmouche was only one of several French citizens who were in charge of the prison where he was held.
The journalist has known for some time that one of his captors was Nemmouche but did not say anything in order to protect other Westerners held by ISIS. He broke his silence after Le Monde reported that investigators have linked the killer with ISIS, which really should not be a surprise considering that the sheet with the name ISIS n it at the time of his arrest was widely reported.
“When Nemmouche wasn’t singing, he tortured,” Henin wrote in Le Point. “The torture lasted the night, up until the dawn prayer,” when radical Muslims appeal to Allah to give them the strength for more barbarism.
Europe’s “everything is just dandy” mirage is its own death sentence. Nemmouche used his French citizenship to return to enter Belgium from Germany and is “a perfect example of the difficulty in tracking European jihadists, reported NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley.
Henin’s lawyer Marie-Laure Ingouf told AFP that “Nemmouche was one of his jailers. All the hostages confirm this. They lived alongside him for several months.”
Henin spent part of his time as hostage along with journalists Foley and Sotloff, who were beheaded by ISIS in the past two weeks. He added that it was clear to him and others in captivity that Nemmouche did not leave Syria in order to become a good citizen.
“It seemed to us that he did not leave for Syria because of some grand ideals but, above all, to make his mark, to carry out a murderous path that he had traced,” Henin said.