Brussels Jewish Museum Suspect French Syrian war jihadi Mehdi Nemouche.
Reuters reported French authorities have arrested a Muslim émigré Jihadi in Marseilles with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and another weapon in his possession. The suspect 29 year old Mehdi Nemouche was arrested yesterday and identified as a returning Jihadi from Syria. Nemouche lived in the northern French city of Roubaix,
Reuters noted the following:
French media reported that he was suspected of having stayed in Syria with jihadist groups in 2013.
An Israeli couple and a French woman were killed on May 24 when a man entered the Jewish Museum in busy central Brussels and opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle. A Belgian man remains in critical condition in hospital.
French President Francois Hollande confirmed a suspect had been arrested and said France was determined to do all it could to stop radicalized youths from carrying out attacks.
“We will monitor those jihadists and make sure that when they come back from a fight that is not theirs, and that is definitely not ours … to make sure that when they come back they cannot do any harm,” Hollande told reporters.
The message “to these jihadists is that we will fight them, we will fight them and we will fight them”, he said.
Hollande has said previously the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.
A spokeswoman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office confirmed a suspect had been arrested in Marseille but declined to give further details. Prosecutors scheduled a news conference in Brussels for 3 p.m. (1300 GMT).
“This is a relief,” Joel Rubinfeld, head of the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism, told BFM TV.
“But this is also worrying us … it is crucial that countries who have citizens who have gone to Syria take all necessary measures to make sure this does not happen again.”
Police released a 30-second video clip from the museum’s security cameras showing a man wearing a dark cap, sunglasses and a blue jacket enter the building, take a rifle out of a bag and shoot into a room before calmly walking out.
Belgian officials have said the shooting was probably a terrorist attack. Some security experts suggested it may have been the work of a hitman rather than an anti-Semitic “lone wolf”.
One of the Israeli victims, Emmanuel Riva, had previously worked for Nativ, a government agency that played a covert role in Jewish migration from the former Soviet Union, an Israeli official said.
Miriam Riva, his wife, had also worked in the past for the prime minister’s office, the official said.
Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst had posted recently on concerns in Holland regarding returning Syrian Jihadis and bio warfare threats to public health in the EU. Just yesterday, we learned the identify of an American Jihadi suicide truck bomber killed in Syria, was a resident in Florida, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha.who went by the name of Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki, “the American”. Abu Huraya was a companion of the prophet Mohammed. The American was killed in a massive Al Nusra suicide truck bombing operation in Idlib, Syria. Al Nusra is the ‘official’ Al Qaeda resistance group active in the Syria Civil war opposition.
FBI Director Comey said in a CNN report, “There’s going to be a diaspora out of Syria”. “And we are determined not to let lines be drawn from Syria today to a future 9/11.” With the arrest of the French suspect in the Belgian Jewish Museum attack and disclosure of the American AQ martyr, the Syrian civil war has generated international concerns about the threat of returning jihadi veterans posing domestic threats as trained home grown terrorists.
As witnessed by the events in both Syria and Belgium, those threats pose a clear and present danger in both the EU and here in the US. In retrospect, President Obama’s declaration during the 2012 campaign that “bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on the run” appears premature, at best, if not dangerously myopic.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.