The 21st Century Phenomenon



In accordance with the policy of Djamel Zitouni, the head of the Armed Islamic Group – GIA in Algeria, to expend the civil war in Algeria to France, a gas bottle bomb exploded, on 07/25/1995, in a subway train at the St. Michel station in the Latin Quarter, Paris. Nine people were killed and more than 80 were injured in the blast. Djamel Zitouni succeeded Ahmed Abu Abdullah, the former head of GIA, after he was killed on 09/26/1994 (see also – Abdul Abdullah Yahia ).

The St. Michel bombing was soon followed by a series of more bombings: On 08/17/1995 a bomb at the Arc de Triomph, central Paris, wounded 17 people; On 08/26/1995, a huge bomb was found on the high-speed railroad tracks near Lyon; On 09/03/1995, a bomb malfunctioned in a square in Paris, wounding 4 and on 09/07/1995, a car bomb at a Jewish school in Lyon wounded 14.

The attack aroused a large anti- terror campaign in France aimed to crack down on Algerian Islamic operative, especially with links to GIA.

A leader of the group, Khaled Kelkal, was identified through fingerprints left on unexploded bomb. He was killed on 09/29/1995 by the French Gendarmerie when resisting arrest in hills near Lyon.

Yet the attacks continued:  On 10/06/1995 a gas bottle bomb, placed by GIA operative Boualem Bensaid, exploded in station Maison Blanche of the Paris metro, wounding 13. On 10/17/1995, another gas bottle exploded in RER Line C, Paris, wounding 29 more. The bomb was placed by Smain Ait Ali Belkacem.

According to FBI sources parts of the money used to finance the bombings came from people connected to the Brandbergen Mosque in Haninge, Sweden. 

Epilogue ; 

On 10/30/2002, Boualem Bensaid and Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, both aged 34, who were already serving 10-year jail sentences for membership in the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), received life term for their crucial role in the 1995 bombings in France (see – Bensaid and Belkacem).

Safe Bourada was among 36 Islamic militants sentenced in 1998 for providing funds to support the terror activities in France. Safe Bourada received a 10-year in jail, but was freed after serving five years in 2003. He was later rearrested.

Rashid Ramda was arrested in UK on 11/04/1995 and extradited to France on 12/01/2005. He was sentenced, on 10/26/2007 to 10 years in jail for his role in the 1995 bombings in France.

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