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French Jihadist: How A “Nice Guy” Turned Into a Murderer

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AP/Handout

Philippe Oswald - published on 11/20/14 - updated on 06/07/17

The making of a barbarian

The Minister of the Interior confirmed that one of the assassins of the Syrian soldiers held prisoner by the IS is "very likely" a young Norman who converted to radical Islam. His family is in shock.

There is hardly any doubt. It is most certainly the Frenchman, Maxime Hauchard, 22 years old, alias "Abu Abdallah Al Faransi" seen among the jihadists of the Islamic State (or Daech) who are cutting the throats of the Syrian prisoners kneeling before them on a video aired yesterday, on which they also claim the assassination of US humanitarian Peter Kassig (Aleteia). This near certainty on the part of the experts in Islamic terrorism and the man’s relatives was confirmed by the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and by the public prosecutor of Paris on Monday, Nov. 17, after an investigation led by intelligence services. He "could be Maxime Hauchard, born in 1992, from a locality in the department of Eure, who went to Syria in August 2013 after a visit to Mauritania in 2012," said the Minister of the Interior. According to a source close to intelligence services, a second Frenchman coming from a large French provincial town could also be among the executioners (Le Huffington Post).

One thousand Frenchmen
To date, more than a thousand French nationals (1132 according to François Molins, public prosecutor of Paris) were recruited by the Islamic state to participate in the jihad in Iraq and Syria (Aleteia). Of this number, "138 people have been arrested; 90 were indicted; 65 were imprisoned," said Bernard Cazeneuve who called upon "all our countrymen, especially the younger ones, who are the prime target of terrorist propaganda, to open their eyes to the terrible reality of Daesh’s actions and its affiliates that enslave, torment and kill. "

The clash of two identity crises
Opening your eyes, that’s fine. Understanding the causes is better. How and why did this young man, who is said to have received a Catholic education, convert to Islam and then become a radical "by himself, on the Internet"? In his hometown of Bosc-Roger-en-Roumois (3 000 inhabitants), his family and neighbors describe him as a "nice", helpful teenager before his conversion shut him into increasing loneliness, wearing a beard and a djellaba until his departure ( Le Point ). 

Alongside the crisis that is covering the Muslim world with blood and tearing it apart, there is the Western crisis, particularly sensitive in France where "secularism" forbids calling this crisis by its real name: an identity crisis, a spiritual crisis. Working tirelessly to purge the country of its Christian roots and to blur man’s basic points of reference, those who govern us and many opinion makers are then surprised that young people embrace deviant spiritualties, inhuman causes, and engage in dead-end adventures. The problem of modern man, as Chesterton wrote a century ago, is not that he “no longer believes, it is that he believes in anything”.

Tags:
Islamist Militants
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