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French press review 4 August 2015

The French press grills Turkey's dubious play in the war against the Islamic State armed group. A field of solutions to the migrant crisis in Calais and startling revelations about how France narrowly escaped a bloody attack on a church in April.


Le Monde says it is able to report that the investigators have identified three French citizens who were accomplices of apprentice terrorist Sid Ahmed Ghlam in the foiled plot to unleash a killing spree in a Villejuif church in April. One of the masterminds is an Islamist convert close to the terrorist Mohamed Merah, shot dead by police after the shooting in Toulouse, according to the newspaper.

Le Monde reports that the terrorist, whose name is being withheld, is an ex-convict who has since joined the ranks of the Islamic State armed group after spending five years in a French prison.

Also according to Le Monde, French police are now in possession of documents showing that trainee terrorist Sid Ahmed Ghlam took his orders from Syria about where to find the weapons and the target of his projected attack. The newspaper says the plot was foiled through mere stroke of luck on 19 April, when Ghlam accidentally shot himself in the foot while trying to manipulate a Kalashnikov he had obtained for his gruesome assignment.

Le Figaro takes up the disturbing game played by Turkey in the fight against the Islamic State group as Ankara responded to a terrorist attack on its soil instead with air raids on positions held by Kurdish rebels waging an armed struggle for a homeland of their own. At least 260 militants of the PKK rebellion were killed during last week’s airstrikes.

Le Figaro says by opting instead to weaken the Kurds the West’s best allies in Iraq and Syria have become a source of embarrassment for the US-led international coalition.

Libération takes up the chaos caused by thousands of migrants massed at the French port city of Calais in an attempt to cross the channel into Britain. This is as police reported on Monday that a Sudanese man was killed as more than 2,000 attempts were made to breach the defences of the 650-hectare Channel Tunnel site but were pushed back.

At least 10 people have died since June in the rush to sneak into England, seen by migrants as an "El Dorado."

There are several solutions to the impasse, argues Libé, including a denunciation of Franco-British border accords, the opening of a humanitarian corridor towards the United Kingdom, organising a common European reception for immigrants and the promotion of legal immigration through visa sales.

But the left-leaning newspaper points to some crazy solutions as well. Send the army in to guard the Eurotunnel site, as proposed by Nigel Farage, leader of the British gar-right UKIP party which scored 12.8 per cent in the 7 May British general elections.

Or you could back the idea tweeted by Florian Philippot, vice-president of the French Front National party: Build a Berlin wall to protect France’s borders and get chartered flights to airlift the migrants back to their countries, according to Libération.

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