I told you it's out of the question: there will be no French soldiers in Iraq. Not now. Not later. — French Foreign minister Michel Barnier, quoted by Le Monde, in turn quoted by the AP.Barnier then hopped on a plane for New York.
=>France's renowned anti-terror magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière is heading to Australia to interview two Pakistanis, Sydney architecht Faheem Khalid Lodhi and Sydney med student Izhar Ul Haque, currently in detention and awaiting trial for conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.
Bruguière hopes to obtain information from them about the case of Willie Brigitte. Various intelligence agencies and investigators have linked Brigitte, who has been interrogated by Bruguière numerous times and who is currently in a Paris jail, with the bombing of the Derjba synagogue and to both bin Laden and to Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (whom the Times reports to-day has been rather roughly treated by his CIA interrogators).
Authorities allege Ul Haque trained with terrorist group Lashkar e-Toiba (LET), of which they say Lodhi was the leader. Authorities also believe that Brigitte trained with LET. The AFP reported last November that French police had learned from another Islamist in detention, Ibrahim Keita, that Brigitte was planning an attack on Australian soil. Both Keita and Brigitte reportedly received "survival training" while in France between 1998 and 2001 in preparation for further training on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Curiously, Murdoch's Daily Telegraph adds:
French authorities have criticised Australia's "soft" anti-terrorism laws and regard us as a weak link in the war on terror.
They say a terrorist attack against Australia is inevitable and one senior official said he expected an attack this year.
Jacques Vergès has filed a complaint for war crimes against the United Kingdom for abuse of prisoners in Iraq. Just this once, I wouldn't mind hearing French spoken with a British accent, at least to say: Te fais voir, espèce d'enculé de merde!
UPDATE: The British government has refused to comment.