What the doorman saw: a warning of things to come
IN 2008, nine years before Friday’s slaughter, 10 men approached security guards at the Bataclan nightclub. Their faces were shrouded in keffiyehs, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
They told them: “This is something we cannot continue to accept. You will pay the consequences of your actions.”
It was understood that they may have been referring to the venue’s Jewish roots and pro-Israel stance.
Two years later, counter-terrorism officers were told of a plot by Jaish Islam, Al Qaeda’s branch in Gaza, to organise an attack at the theatre.
The venue, which until September was owned by a French Jew, Joel Laloux, has received several death threats in the past for hosting pro-Israel events.
In October, it was the meeting place for 500 Zionist Christians who came to voice their support for a Jewish state. Between 2006 and 2009 it hosted the annual gala of Migdal, a French Jewish charity that raises funds for Israeli border security.
Then, in 2011, Le Figaro reported that Farouk Ben Abbes, a Belgian arrested in Egypt after the terror attack on a group of French students in Cairo, had confessed that he “was planning an attack against the Bataclan in France”.
France’s far-right Jewish Defence League said in a statement: “Pro-Palestinian groups designated it openly as a ‘Zionist’ concert hall, and now we see the result.”
The Eagles of Death Metal, who were playing there on Friday, had recently toured Israel, despite calls for them to boycott as part of the BDS movement.