Why was the Bataclan Theatre the Focus of This Paris Terror Atrocity? Watch This 2008 Video
The Bataclan theatre on Paris’s Blvd Voltaire was turned from a 151-year-old place of frivolity and entertainment into the scene of a barbaric terrorist massacre Friday November 13 when Islamist suicide bombers besieged a rock concert as it played to a very full house.
The tragic coldblooded mass murder that ensued — the worst such atrocity in France since World War II — cost the lives of more than 100 spectators and at least one concert crew member of the Eagles of Death Metal, the American group that was performing.
The theatre horror ended after an hour when three of the four suicide bombers responsible blew themselves and eight other people up as a French SWAT Team stormed the building to lift the siege and kill the fourth terrorist in the process.
The attack on the theatre was the bloodiest but not the only atrocity to strike Paris that night. At the Stade de France, three suicide bombers who apparently planned to attack a France vs Germany football match in progress, blew themselves up, while a fourth died during an attack on a restaurant in the Blvd Voltaire, according to BFMTV. All told six separate attacks took place on Friday night and as investigators pieced together details it emerged that three separate terror teams appear to have coordinated the atrocities.
The three suicide bombers at the Bataclan, who did not hide their faces behind masks, were armed with AK-47s and hand grenades. Eyewitnesses described them as young men who acted calmly and methodically as they stalked the auditorium shooting their terrified victims one by one. The eyewitnesses added “they said they were taking revenge for Syria”. Shouts of the Islamist war cry ‘Allahu Akbar’ were reportedly, also heard.
The self-styled “Islamic State” that occupies parts of Syria and Iraq and is dedicated to spreading its particularly barbaric 7th century form of religious terror around Europe and elswhere, later claimed responsibility for the attacks that occurred simultaneously across the capital.
— Charlie Winter (@charliewinter) November 14, 2015
Meanwhile the French broadcaster BFMTV published this report headlined “Why the Bataclan”:
prompting several comments on its twitter feed below the story. Two followers drew attention to a mysterious video dating from 2008 that purported to be a possible explanation for the outrage.
The first commenter said simply: “BFMTV the video is here its from 2008.
— Marine Indiana ?? (@wickedmarinou) November 14, 2015
A second tweet was a little more forthcoming: “#daesh carefully chose the theatre for the reasons given by these young people disguised in Keffiyeh and making threats”:
The mysterious video clip apparently dating from 2008 was published to YouTube on the day of the attacks — November 13, 2015 — by a pseudonymous user “MultiShane14”: “Islam Clash Bataclan ‘La prochaine fois on ne viendra pas pour parler’ ” or “Next time we come back it will not be to talk”.
In the video a heavily masked group of protagonists are filmed approaching the Bataclan cafe, part of the theatre complex of the same name, politely but firmly demanding that the security men blocking the way allow them to speak to the management. The group’s spokesman, who appears to be of African origin, is then filmed delivering a nearly four-minute lecture to the silent security men warning them the cafe should stop supporting Israel.
(There are unconfirmed reports in social media that claim the theatre complex is Jewish-owned but no further details were immediately available).
The militants who are identified by a superimposed transcript as supporters of Palestine, (see the three screen grabs in the slide show below) warn the security men: “If as in previous years, Bataclan and Migdal organise a gala in support of Magav, the Israeli army border police, we will no longer accept this and you will suffer the consequences. Next time we come back it will not be to talk.”
Apart from the tweets on the BFMTV twitter feed there do not appear to be any other mentions of this video, nor any supporting reports of it, in French media and none of the French media scanned so far appear to have pursued the story nor attempted to authenticate the video in any way. (See November 22 update below, Le Monde and Daily Beast have now expounded on the video.) It is published here because it is publicly available and because it may offer some clue to the terrible events that have wracked Paris. The capital is not immune to these types of radicalised gangs as our earlier report of a particularly destructive anti-Israel riot in Paris in July 2014 shows.
The Bataclan theatre and its associated cafe websites were both password protected today Saturday November 14 but the wayback machine showed the images in the gallery below of the two websites before they became unobtainable.
BFMTV also published a later tweet showing Daesh’s claim to be behind the attack:
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) November 14, 2015
Center stage for this well-planned assault appears to have been the Bataclan concert theater, where more than 100 people have died. One witness there, according to BFMTV television, claimed that he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” And French radio reported a shooter shouting, “This is for Syria… Jihadism has well and truly taken root among an entire generation of angry young Muslims. This is particularly the case in Europe, where thousands have left to join ISIS. This insurgency is incredibly hard to tackle, because its recruits remain invisible in our very own societies, born and raised among us, fluent in our languages and culture, but full of venom for everything they have been raised into… Unfortunately for France, though not unique to it, between 5 and 10 percent of its population is Muslim. Real, serious problems with economic and social integration prevail in this group, fuelling resentment on a scale that baffles most expert policy makers. Even if (just) hundreds, out of millions, take this resentment to its deadly conclusion, France has a huge problem on its hands, as we saw on Friday … Recognizing this is not to stigmatize every European or Western Muslim—the vast majority of whom are not, of course, jihadists—but it means being realistic about … what the challenge is called: Islamism. – Maajid Nawaz Chairman of Quilliam writing in The Daily Beast ”
On the France Musique radio station on Saturday one presenter paid homage to those so brutally murdered in the theatre by playing “The Revolutionary Trio” aria from Jacques Offenbach’s Ba-Ta-Clan, an operetta written in 1855 and linked to the theatre which was the scene of Friday’s tragedy. According to Wikipedia: “Ba-ta-clan is a “chinoiserie musicale” (or operetta) in one-act with music by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens, Paris, on 29 December 1855.The operetta uses set numbers and spoken dialogue and runs for under an hour. Ba-ta-clan was Offenbach’s first big success, and opened his new winter theatre, the Salle Choiseul. The witty piece satirised everything from contemporary politics to grand opera conventions.”
Below are two versions of the piece the longer one in French and the shorter in English
BA-TA-CLAN—THE REVOLUTIONARY TRIO From the 1990 Comic Opera Guild production, Fe-An-Nich-Ton (Tracy Thorne) and Ke-Ki-Ka-Ko (Mitch Gillett), actually a French viscount, meet for the first time, reveal their true identities and reminisce together. They speculate on the times they may have had if they had only known each other than, and join in a can-can. For more comic operas and operettas, visit comicoperaguild.org.
BA-TA-CLAN—THE REVOLUTIONARY TRIO
Uploaded on Mar 8, 2011
Fé-Ni-han – Dan Chamandy
Wiener Kammeroper (Oct. 2009)
The Bataclan is a theatre located at 50 boulevard Voltaire in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, France, Wikipedia continues. “Designed in 1864 by the architect Charles Duval, its name refers to Ba-Ta-Clan, an operetta by Offenbach, but it is also a pun on the expression le tout bataclan (the whole caboodle), the oldest written use of which predates Offenbach in a journal entry of 11 November 1761 by Favart. The Bataclan is known today for a very eclectic programme of events, including rock and pop concerts, spectacles, stand-up comedy, discos and café-théâtre. Its façade was repainted in its long-lost original colours in 2006, but its original pagoda roof no longer exists.
“The works of Jacques Offenbach span perhaps the greatest range of human expression of any composer— from lunacy to the most poignant emotions. Ba-Ta-Clan, a one-acter written for the Bouffes Parisienne early in his career, is one of the nuttiest operettas of all time. Set on the imaginary island of Che-Ni-Or in the China Sea, it is a parody of operas with exotic settings that were then the rage, from Aubers The Bronze Horse though Lakme and Madame Butterfly. Of the four main characters, three are Frenchmen in disguise. The opening number is entirely in gibberish.”
Meanwhile France24 carried this report on the “massive outpouring of social media support for France and for Paris after the attacks:
Published on Nov 14, 2015
Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN
Story: Ken Pottinger
Christopher Dickey writing in the Daily Beast on November 22 provides more details about the video above which French News Online, alerted by a tweet from BFMTV, was the first to report on:
“According to the respected French daily Le Monde, the Clains and their Muslim-convert wives connected with Olivier Corel, a ‘spiritual leader’ of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in France, in 2000.
“The Syrian Brotherhood, crushed by the Assads in the early 1980s after a failed uprising, scattered its senior figures across Europe from Aachen to Granada to a farm near the little town of Artigat, where the Clains went for inspiration. There they also connected with the family of a young man named Mohamed Merah who years later, in March 2012, went on a killing spree, murdering French soldiers and Jewish civilians, including children, in Toulouse and the nearby city of Montauban.
“As early as 2003, according to Le Monde, the Clains started setting themselves up in Belgium. In 2009, the Clain brothers and a couple of their buddies were talking about an attack on the Bataclan in Paris, the site of the worse carnage on Friday the 13th.
” ‘This hall, whose owners at the time were Jewish, organized every year a concert supporting the Magav, the Israeli border police, which triggered the anger of many radical associations and little groups,’ says Le Monde.
“In the meantime, Fabien Clain was part of the underground railroad channeling would-be jihadists and martyrs to Iraq to fight the American forces there. He routed them through Belgium and Syria. But his cell was exposed and in 2009 Clain was sentenced to five years in prison. Released after serving three of those years, he spent some time teaching religion classes (of course) in Normandy, then slipped away to Syria — or, in fact, the nascent Islamic State — in early 2014. There several other jihadists from the old Artigat crowd joined him….”