Paris Kicks Out Two Qatari Diplomats for Financing Terrorist Networks
October 28, 2012 • 11:05PM

A few developments indicate that France is opting out of support for the jihadi option in Syria. This goes along with a decreased involvement overall in the Syrian crisis, although not fully dropping out.

Al Manar, the Hezbollah news chain, announced in a wire, that France just kicked out two diplomats from Qatar for "suspicious and illegal activities." The news was announced by the Hezbollah TV, Al Manar, and was picked up yesterday by the French-language Iran radio. Al Manar reports that the Qatar ambassador was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry where the decision was announced to him. "According to diplomatic sources, in France, those two diplomats had deposited large sums of money in the bank accounts of individuals considered to be extremists and living in France. The Salafist tendencies are close to Qatar and according to French authorities, act as dormant cells."

This news follows the dismantling some three weeks ago of a 12-person network, caught in the midst of planning terrorist attacks in France, including were several jihadis having been to or preparing to go to Syria. One of them was shot by the police in a shootout. This group was arrested in the context of investigations of a bomb attack on a Jewish kosher store in Sarcelles, and sniper fire targeting the synagogue in Argenteuil, a major city in greater Paris, in the same department.

France, however, is still part of NATO, and is still contributing to the war against Syria, through logistics and training, and financial support (even though minuscule) to the "liberated areas" in Syria. Patriotic Syrian forces in France report, however, that there is a growing opposition to this involvement both within the current majority, despite Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and also among right-wing circles.