Read this headline: “Paris: Gang suspected of killing Jew nabbed.” Then the subheadline: “Ilan Halimi, 23-year-old Parisian man, found tied to tree, naked, wounded, with burns covering his body; police arrest 13 suspects, say act not motivated by anti-Semitism.”
OK, so that seems pretty clear, just another dead Jew. But hold on a moment, what is this we see down the page, right down at the bottom?
“We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair,” Rafi, Ilan’s brother-in-law, told the European Jewish Press. “First because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews, and secondly because of what they said on the phone. When we said we didn’t have Euro 500,000 to give them, they answered we should go to the synagogue and get it,” Rafi stressed. “They also recited verses from the Koran. We didn’t know what they were saying but the police told us,” he said.
Now the police say that they are “not motivated by anti-Semitism, but added that they have not yet discovered what led the group to commit the acts.” So what pray do the comments made by the victims family amount to other than possible evidence of a religious motive?
According to AFP, police are still hunting for the gang’s suspected leader, a 26-year-old man named Youssef Fofana, who nicknames himself “Brain of Barbarians” and is described as “extremely dangerous.” So far 12 people accused of the crime have been arrested in France and one in Belgium.