Jihad Thwarted on the Côte d’Azur

Update: For those who have commented on the “900 kilos” vs. “900 grammes”:

Read the article closely. You’ll notice that the at the time of his arrest there were 900 kilos of explosives in his flat. The 900 grammes of TATP are also mentioned, but they were discovered back in February.

900 kilos of TATP (“Mother of Satan”) would create a very large crater if detonated.

Counter-terrorism police in France arrested a suspected mujahid who had 900 kilos of explosives stored in his apartment near Cannes. The culturally enriched suspect had recently returned from fighting in the Syrian jihad, and is thought to have been planning an assassination operation.

Many thanks to Bear for translating this news report from French TV, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Below is a news story from RFI about the arrest:

French police thwart alleged Islamist attack by returning jihadist from Syria

France’s counter-terrorism unit said on Wednesday it had thwarted an imminent attack by a returning jihadist from Syria, who was preparing to strike in the Southern Côte d’Azur region. 900 kilos of explosives were found in the suspect’s temporary flat near Cannes. He is currently in police custody.

The suspect known only as Ibrahim B. was first spotted by Greek authorities on January 3. He was found returning from Syria, where according to sources he’d fled in September 2012 with two companions.

All three men are said to belong to a notorious terrorist group called Cannes-Torcy, that was broken up by police last year. Their escape to Syria saved them from the police raid at the time.

But investigators kept them on their radar. Police suspected them of joining the Al Qaeda-linked rebel group, the Al Nusra Front in Syria, and of sending terror messages via Facebook to attack the country.

On January 16, Ibrahim B. was eventually arrested in Italy and extradited back to France where he was jailed. On February 17, his temporary flat in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, near Cannes, was searched to the ground and 900 grammes of TATP explosives were found.

Police are on high alert after growing numbers of French youths leave to fight with Islamist rebel groups in Syria. As a first wave of volunteers returns home, there are fears that this could lead to home-grown terrorist attacks.

Video transcript:

00:00   It is here that the anti-terror police seized close to 900 grams…
00:04   of explosives. Feb. 17 men from the DCRI …
00:08   find in this residence notably 3 cans that contain…
00:12   artisan explosives. It is in one of the apartments of this building that a man…
00:16   back from Syria, found refuge. This individual for quite a few months now,
00:20   suspicious to police, because he is suspected to belong to …
00:24   Cannes-Torcy cell. A cell partially dismantled in Oct. 2012.
00:28   Accused notably in Grenada of attacking a Kosher grocery store
00:33   a group classified as ‘very dangerous’ by the prosecutor of Paris…
00:37   but many members of this cell that left for Syria to do jihad had passed
00:41   between the spaces of the network. Up until one was found and interrogated …
00:45   and it’s him that told the investigators …
00:49   that there was a assassination project. At this point he has given no place no target.

For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

12 thoughts on “Jihad Thwarted on the Côte d’Azur

  1. 900 grams ~ 2 pounds
    900 kilos ~ There is a one thousand-fold difference
    Which is it?

    • Read the article closely. You’ll notice that the at the time of his arrest there were 900 kilos of explosives in his flat. The 900 grammes of TATP are also mentioned, but they were discovered back in February.

      900 kilos of TATP would create a VERY large crater if detonated.

  2. -just to save somebody some embarrassment, there’s a big difference between 900 kg and 900 g. The latter will still produce a prety crater, clear an office, or make a nice belt though.

  3. There is of course a blatant mistake in the dispatch of Radio France Internationale : it is 900 grams of homemade explosives which were seized by the police, not 900 kilos, which would have been a huge amount.

    The standards of French journalism are so low nowadays that “professional” writers don’t know the difference between a gram and a kilo, and indeed can refer to the same amount of matter, in the same article, first as 900 kilos, then as 900 grams.

    Hopefully the anti-terrorist police is not as feckless as those “journalists”.

  4. Most drug dealers and their customers understand the metric system better than journalists. It’s a need to know thing. Journalists don’t think they need to know anything. But 900 kilos is about 2000 pounds. At 50 pounds a trip it would take 40 trips to load that much into an apartment. And it would take up a huge amount of space. I suppose you could stack up a bunch a certain way and call it a table, another way and call it chairs and the rest-throw a blanket over it and call it a couch. Until one of their moslem buddies comes walking in smoking a cigarette and sets it on the edge of the table. Allah’s cohorts are known for their work accidents.

  5. “Police are on high alert after growing numbers of French youths leave to fight with Islamist rebel groups in Syria. As a first wave of volunteers returns home, there are fears that this could lead to home-grown terrorist attacks”

    Yes, the tree of diversity bursts forth … its deadly fruit!!

    yummy…. NOT!

  6. I restate my point. There is absolutely no doubt that there were never 900 kilos of explosives discovered in this affair. I am French, I live in France and I scan French media everyday. I know how they work and I know their weaknesses.

    If such a huge amount of explosives had been discovered, it would have been major news for days. 1 ton of explosives is what Breivik used. This particular arrest was a minor piece of news which did not attract any special attention.

    The article you used is the only one I found alluding to 900 kilos. All others spoke only of 900 grams, describing how it was split into three cans of soda, with nails attached to them.

    The Radio France Internationale article does not mention two separate discoveries, one of 900 kilos and another of 900 grams. It has a first paragraph which purports to sum up the rest. It is the only place where 900 kilos are mentioned. The rest of the piece gives the details, and the details are about 900 grams.

    The suspect was arrested by French police on February 11. The explosives were discovered on Februrary 17 when they decided to search his apartment. Only one search occurred and one discovery was made. The police did not release the news to the press until a month later, which explains that all the articles were published on March 26.

    Here are a few other articles. You won’t find any mention of 900 kilos in them :


    The RFI article contradicts itself. Nobody else mentions 900 kilos. If two separate seizures had been made (a fact that is claimed by no one), it would have been an extraordinary coincidence that the weight of explosives discovered in both instances would have been a “900” — only with a different unit.

    And believe me, there are far worse examples, day in day out, of French media publishing spectacular and obvious mistakes, just because journalists, basically, are illiterate and cannot even be bothered to read and understand their own writings.

    • You’re right, M. Marchenoir, about the bizarre contradictory numbers. It is unfortunate that we were given such a poor source with which to work and had no others for comparison. It is good of you to take the trouble to find better sources since the B’s eye problems won’t permit that.And my petit peu French is useless.

      We don’t doubt your point, nor its importance. But as you know, a blogger begins with the information source he gets, not the one he wishes he had.

      Since the B was educated in England, and then here in science, he knows the metric system so he *did* understand the enormous differential between the amounts being claimed. But after all these years, he also knows the magnetic attraction jihadists have for geenormous amounts of explosives. And as another commenter pointed out, the not-too unlikely idea that one of his pals could go into an apartment packed to the gills with explosives and proceed to light a cigarette and then leave it, lit and burning, on the edge of a carton…

      If you would be so good as to cut a small snip from one of the stories in the urls you supplied and put it here in the comments, I could use it as an update and correction to the original jornolistic ‘mistake’. I think you are right there too: these fellows can’t be bothered checking what they write – at least as long as someone is paying them, they’ll continue to wreak havoc on accuracy.

      • Actually, Dymphna, all the articles I’ve found seem to re-hash the same dispatch from AFP (Agence France-Presse), and I reckon that no other first-hand reporting is available. This is often the case with French media.

        If a small snip satisfies you, the RFI (Radio France Internationale) version is perfectly acceptable, provided you replace “kilos” with “grams”. I’ve discovered another mistake (rather inconsequential) by comparing it to the BFM TV written version, which seems the most detailed : RFI says that Ibrahim B. was arrested in Italy on January 16 and extradited to France. All the other articles say it’s another member of the three-man team, Abdelkader T., who was arrested in Italy at that date. Ibrahim B. was arrested in France on February 11.

        May I also correct two subtitles in the BFM TV video : the djihadists are believed by the police to be connected to the Cannes-Torcy cell, not the Kahn-Torsi cell. This is important, because both are French cities. Cannes is on the Côte d’Azur, next to where the explosives were found, and Torcy is near Paris. All the djihadists involved are almost certainly technically French.

        The police believe the Cannes-Torcy cell is responsible for a grenade attack against a Jewish shop in Sarcelles in 2012, not in Sarseille. Sarcelles is a city next to Paris which is home to a large Muslim population, but it’s also (or maybe was…) the largest French Jewish city.

        • It looks like we won’t be able to easily find an accurate account, then. I can’t replace one word with another unless I have the proper sourcing. And the MSM is notoriously sloppy about things like that.

          Nor can we simply “correct” subtitles. Inserting subtitles is a technical skill. You have to know how to use SRT files (I think that’s the name I’ve heard used). That’s why all our subtitling and insertion is done by by a team of volunteers:

          (1) volunteer to transcribe the video, using time stamps that show where the words should appear on the screen;
          (2) another volunteer who knows how to insert those lines into the bottom of the video (that’s Vlad Tepes, usually)

          Wouldn’t you like to volunteer to sit with a video and transcribe the words into English and insert the time stamps?? We can always use more, especially in French. Perhaps the person doing the one in question was using Canadian French and not Parisian French?

          We’d love to have your help.

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