Are the French incompetent, or is something else going on?

It turns out one of the attackers who killed and beheaded an 86-year old Catholic priest at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen, Normandy was a convicted terrorist.

The as-of-yet unnamed terrorist was ordered to live with his parents and wear an electronic tag to monitor his movements. He was allowed out unsupervised between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm. The murder of Father Jacques Hamel occurred between 9:45 and 11 am. The suspect was arrested after he left for Syria in 2015 to join the jihadists trying to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The attack occurred despite extraordinary surveillance and police state measures imposed on the country following the attack in Paris in November and an earlier attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly magazine that had parodied the Prophet Mohammed.

In January 2015, the French prime minister Manuel Valls announced “exceptional measures to reinforce the fight against terrorism,” according to a government webpage. Valls said the state would add 2,680 additional positions “dedicated to the fight against terrorism,” pump €425 million in investment loans into the effort, and beef up national and municipal police and “gendarme protection.”

Additionally, the government said it would reinforce anti-terrorism courts, add special anti-terrorism prosecutors in court offices, examine links between organized crime and terrorism, and establish a “file listing persons accused or found guilty of terrorist acts” and require those individuals “to regularly report their address and their international travel.”

None of these measures prevented the horrific attack at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Either the French state is not serious about monitoring and imprisoning convicted terrorists, or terrorism is being used—and possibly engineered—to turn France into a repressive police state.

“France just turned into a surveillance state, adopting a sneaky surveillance framework in article 13 of its Defense Bill (Loi de programmation militaire). It drastically extends the exceptional regime of extra-judicial surveillance against terrorism, for broad motives, including for the purpose of ‘preserving scientific and economic interests of France’ which could enable total surveillance of political activists, journalists, corporate watchdogs, etc.,” Jeremie from La Quadrature du Net wrote in December, 2013, well before the latest round of attacks in France.

The state of emergency allowed the French government to put climate activists under house arrest in November. The country’s highest court ruled the arrests during the World Climate Conference (COP21) were in conformance with the constitution.

The state of emergency coincides with the largest labor demonstrations in decades. Thousands of French citizens took to the streets after the country’s the socialist president François Hollande introduced labor reform laws designed to make France more competitive in a globalist market.

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