Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, founder of France’s National Front and father of its current leader Marine Le Pen, told a Russian newspaper last week that he thinks Western spy agencies intentionally allowed the jihadi massacre of employees at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Le Pen told tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda that “the Kouachi brothers’ forgotten passports remind me of the terrorist’s passport that fell out of the burning airplane on September 11, 2001 and miraculously survived intact… the Charlie Hebdo attack bears the handwriting of the secret services, though we don’t have any proof.”
The comparison to Sept. 11 is a reference to popular conspiracy theories involving hijacker Satam al-Suqami, whose passport was found intact among the debris from American Airlines Flight 11, along with other passenger effects which survived the attack on the World Trade Center towers.
In the interview, Le Pen also vehemently insisted that “I am not Charlie Hebdo,” saying that “this anarchist rag was a direct enemy of our National Front party.”
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The choice of a Russian newspaper for the interview was likely intentional: the National Front has accepted donations from Russian banks, and several semi-official Russian news outlets have also questioned the authenticity of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Le Pen, who handed control of the National Front to his daughter in 2011, wants to abolish all immigration to France and is often accused of racism and xenophobia. Since assuming party leadership, Marine Le Pen has attempted to distance herself from her father’s more incendiary remarks, some of which have bordered on Holocaust denial. Instead of banning all immigration, she has proposed cutting it by 95 percent, and she has worked to soften the party’s image in order to appeal to more voters.
Notably, the National Front was the only French political party not invited to the national “unity rally” organized to honor the memory of those killed in the attacks.
Marine Le Pen is not the only second-generation politician dodging their parents’ unfortunate views on the attack. The Ron Paul Institute published an article last week entitled “Charlie Hebdo Shootings: False Flag?” while presumptive presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, reacted to the murder by emphasizing “the utter barbarity of the people who are opposing us.”
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