Monday, February 20, 2006
Jewish Man Kidnapped, Tortured, And Murdered In Paris
France Says No
Nothing to see here, move along:
Ilan Halimi was found critically wounded, naked and hand-cuffed along a railway track in the suburb of Saint Genevieve des Bois, 30 kilometres south of Paris on Monday, three weeks after he was kidnapped by a gang in Paris.
The victim, who was burnt and cut on 80 percent of his body, died of his wounds as he was taken to hospital.
Judiciary Police Chief Francois Jaspar and general attorney of Paris Jean-Claude Marin said that at least three other similar criminal kidnapping attempts have been reported since last December, but that previous ones have failed.
In each case, one of three young women, a blond, a brunette and an Arab woman, or a young man would attract the victim on a date, during which the victim would be attacked by the rest of the gang. Ilan Halimi was the only victim who was caught by the gang.
Jaspar and Marin did not mention the victim’s Jewish identity or any anti-Semitic aspect in this affair but community security services suspect the kidnappers who tortured the young man may have had anti-Semitic motives.
Britain’s al-Guardian says the killers were inspired by videos from Iraq.
Criminals who tortured and killed a young hostage, keeping him naked and hooded and burning him repeatedly before throwing him from a train, were inspired by images from Iraq, according to a French prosecutor. Jean-Claude Martin, a senior government lawyer, said that the kidnappers, who kept their victim imprisoned for three weeks, were ‘repeating things they had seen practised elsewhere’.
Police have distributed a picture of Youssef Fofana, 26, who is the presumed head of the gang. Last week, a young woman, suspected of acting as ‘the lure’ in the murder, gave herself up. Raids then resulted in the arrest of 15 other suspects, aged between 17 and 32, in a poor suburb of Bagneux, near Paris.
The 23-year-old victim is thought to have been starved and tortured while negotiations with his family for a ransom continued. According to a police source, the violence was ‘gratuitous, extreme, spontaneous and without any limits or boundaries’.
The gang was composed of jobless youths from the suburbs around Paris which erupted in violent riots last autumn. They are believed to have made several previous attempts at kidnapping. According to the Liberation newspaper, the gang was inspired by a film which had itself been inspired by a press report.