They may be couching it as a war against terrorism, but the top judge in France’s antiterrorism court, Marc Trevedic, is warning that the invasion of Mali is actually having the opposite effect, increasing the risk of terrorist attacks in France.
Trevedic warned that there has been an alarming increase in the number of French passport holders with ties to northern Africa that have been leaving for Mali and its neighbors in recent months, and that many will be back with training and militant ties.
He also claimed that the French spy agency DCRI is reluctant to conduct prolonged surveillance of returnees from Mali in the wake of the bloody Mohamed Merah incident last year, fearing that if they get involved then they will take some blame when one of the surveilled inevitably launches an attack.
Judge Trevedic had made similar warnings in the weeks leading up to the invasion, saying that the public backing of the Malian junta was creating a lot of enemies among French citizens in the ethnic Malian community, and would lead to blowback. It seems today he is underscoring how right his prediction turned out to be.