September 20, 2021

“Shadows of the Bataklan” by Frances Gallery.

ARTE’s astonishing documentary asks troubling questions. A few days before the start of Salah Abdul Salam’s trial, on the evening of November 13, 2015, an interesting documentary was released to shake up the official thesis about police intervention.

By Frederick Andrea

Could such a massacre have been avoided? Or at least dramatically reduced the number of terrorist attacks in Syria this winter in 2015: 131 killed and 350 injured? This is a terrible question that the film aired on Art on September 3.
One interest, and at least the title of the documentary, “The Shadows of the Bataklan”, is that it revives the assumption of a malfunction in the management of the police response to simultaneous attacks in the capital. Many elements of this work come from the work of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, which was then headed by the inevitable Georges Phoenix. But the investigation, led by Director of Investigations Francis Gallery – which was responsible for investigating the deaths of Pierre Bergogway and Judge Borrell – went a long way. He met with almost all of the officials at the time: from former intelligence service coordinator Didier Le Brett to former counterterrorism judge Mark Trudeau, including former RAID boss Jean-Michel Forguez, and general police officers. Interviewed They all give their version. And from the countless testimonies, a strong impression of anxiety emerges.

Great embarrassment.

At the time, the protocol of the terrorist attack was clear: the order forces had to operate under the command of the FIPN. The Force de Interventions de la National Police was assigned to head the RAID, its deputy was the head of the BRI (Brigade de Recherche and Intervention). Was mobilized during the attack, not in the evening due to a joint attack on Bataclan, the rooftops and the Stade de France?
The problem is clearer when senior politicians of the time try to explain. The angry or confused answers given by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former Interior Minister Bernard Kozulin only hurt one another.

History of the Intervention Brigade

The same embarrassment and silence of the officials when the director brought out the unknown story of a BI intervention brigade – not to be confused with BRI, an elite unit trained for such an operation, which was ready. On the evening of the attack, they were ready to intervene just minutes after the shooting began in the concert hall. Testimony of one of its members – anonymous. “One of our colleagues asked permission to intervene. It was denied.”
Six years later, these BI people still do not understand the reason for this refusal. And they have a very difficult time. Above all, the famous “Commissioner X” who intervened in Bataklan on his own initiative without asking for any permission, is rightly considered a hero today.


Movie link.

To learn more:
Report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on State-Implemented Sources for the War on Terror since January 7, 2015.

Georges Finch “Bataclan, Trial” Edition du Rocher 17.90.
Lawrence Benueux “BI Intervention Brigade” Lee Medie 18.

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