French Jewish Leader Transported In Armored Vehicle With Bodyguards

JERUSALEM – A French Jewish organization is working with the French government to keep the country’s Jews as safe as possible, especially in the aftermath of the jihadist massacres in Paris last Friday. Since the January 2015 terror attack on a Paris kosher supermarket, Hyper Cacher, over 10,000 police and soldiers have been guarding the French Jewish community.

In an interview with The Times of Israel , head of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) Roger Cukierman said the Jewish community “cannot ask for more than what the government is already doing.”

Cukierman said that French media had been speculating for months on the possibility of a multi-pronged attack following statements by government officials. He was quick to add that his own organization had not received any specific warning ahead of Friday’s attacks.

Sammy Ghozlan, formerly a police commissioner in Paris and founder of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism – an organization that liaises between the French police and the Jewish community – told The Times of Israel on Monday that the Jewish community knows “there will be attacks. But again we don’t know where or when.”

However, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s planned visit to Paris this week meant that the Jewish community was already on edge prior to Friday’s attacks, with members of the Jewish community warning each other to be on the alert.

The Times of Israel reported that Cukierman rides in an armored vehicle and is accompanied by bodyguards, and the same is true for other leaders of the French Jewish community

“Everybody knows that France has for years been the target of terrorist attacks,” Cukierman said.

The Mossad, Israeli’s intelligence service, also works to secure French Jews. It is the only intelligence agency in the world that protects foreign nationals, namely, Jews around the world. The Palestinian Authority has been propagating conspiracy theories connecting the Mossad to jihadist attacks like 9/11 and what has become Paris’s 11/13.

In an effort to dispel rumors – especially those generated by the Arab media – Cukierman said:  “It is nonsense to believe that there was any specific information that was delivered this weekend” to the Jewish community. “[This] harms everybody and gives credit to conspiracy theories which are absolutely counter to the truth.”

Even though there is no evidence to support the idea that Mossad knew about the recent attacks, there are indications that several other intelligence agencies did. CIA director John Brennan is quoted saying, “It’s not a surprise this attack was carried out, from the standpoint of we did have strategic warning.”

The Times of Israel points to an AP report saying the Iraqi government warned France that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered an attack on countries fighting ISIS. According to the AP report, a “senior French security official told the AP that French intelligence gets this kind of communication ‘all the time’ and ‘every day.’”


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