How much will Paris attack ‘mastermind’ Salah Abdelslam reveal under interrogation?

There is a lot of jubilation over the capture alive of Salah Abdelslam, often called the “mastermind” of the brutal terror attack on Paris that cost 130 lives and many more grave injuries. As CNN reports, he is believed to know a lot:

As a suspected jihadist who allegedly executed a mass casualty attack in France's capital with ties to individuals who trained with ISIS in Syria, he may know a great deal about senior ISIS leadership.

Abdeslam could also provide tremendous insight into current and future jihadist threats against the entire European Union. He could walk French and Belgian authorities through every stage of his alleged plotting, including any direct communications with ISIS leadership or facilitators in Syria.

On the European side of the equation, Abdeslam could lay out the logistics and travel networks, operational security measures, and target surveillance he and any other suspected jihadists allegedly utilized to conduct the November attacks. All of this would be essential information that could save lives in the future.

Whether Abdeslam -- or any of the other four suspects taken into custody -- have knowledge of active terrorist cells or operational plots remains to be seen. Belgian and French authorities, however, will no doubt have new phone numbers to trace, computer hard drives to analyze and names to track down. In the coming days, we will have a clearer picture of just how large the November 13 terror network really was, and whether it remains active.

He is currently in the custody of Belgian authorities, for he was captured in the Molenbeek colony established by Muslims near the heart of Brussels, where he apparently received much assistance from the colonizers, aka immigrants, who have enforced their own legal code in large parts of the colony.

Abdelslam is expected to be extradited to France relatively quickly. AP reports:

French and Belgian anti-terrorism prosecutors plan a teleconference call Saturday during which matters including Abdeslam's extradition will be discussed, Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office spokesman Thierry Werts said.

A 2002 agreement among European Union member states speeds up the extradition process, making it a purely judicial process and removing any political aspect. For especially grave crimes, such as terrorist acts, the procedure goes even faster.

Hollande, speaking Friday next to Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel, said in Brussels he was sure "the French judicial authorities will send an extradition request very soon" and that "the Belgian authorities will answer it as favorably as possible, as soon as possible."

The shared French language between France and Belgium will help make the process even smoother. Abdeslam could appeal the extradition, but under the European principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions, that would only give him a short respite.

Samia Maktouf, a French lawyer for several survivors and relatives of Paris attack victims, is urging immediate extradition. "Apart from his (medical) condition, I don't see what might delay his extradition," she told The Associated Press.

So the question becomes, how successful will the French authorities be in extracting information from him? As CNN puts it:

Belgian and French security officials will have to rely on savvy interrogation and whatever legal means of coercion and inducement are at their disposal to get answers from Abdeslam.

AT frequent contributor Richard F. Miniter is skeptical:

…just how are the Europeans going to obtain that information now that the American CIA is no longer able to stick Mr. Abdeslam’s head in a bucket of water for them?  Are they going to appeal to his better nature?  Withhold dessert from one of the three gourmet Halal meals they’ve obliged themselves to provide him (except during Ramadan of course when it’s a buffet after sundown?)  Let’s not be ridiculous: to even capture Abdeslam the European police had to get a law set aside which forbade them from raiding a terrorist’s apartment after nine o’clock at night.  And the European Criminal Justice system as a whole hasn’t even figured out how to deal with Islamic prisoners demanding equal conjugal rights for each and every one of the three wives the Koran allows them.

An then there is all the posturing the French have done over alleged American human rights violations. Just a month ago:

A French judge has summoned retired US General Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantanamo Bay prison chief, to appear in court on March 1 over allegations of torture, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told FRANCE 24 on Thursday.

William Bourdon, a lawyer for former Gitmo detainee Mourad Benchellali, said General Miller was due in court at 10am on March 1 to answer accusations that he oversaw Benchellali’s “illegal detention and torture”.

I am no expert on the French police and judiciary, but I have the strong impression that when it comes down to matters they really care about, the French are glorious hypocrites about the human rights of suspects. As with getting permission to raid the Brussels apartment, they have procedures for suspending various provisions of law when necessary to get what they want. I can’t quote her directly, and can find nothing online, but last night Fox News’s Catherine Herridge spoke about expectations that the French would be rather successful in interrogating Abdelslam, unencumbered by the same degree of restraint imposed on American interrogators.

Over the years, reading about the French police, I have noticed that a fair number of suspects have died during under police custody there. Sometimes they are said to have committed suicide.

I am a great fan of a French TV show, available on Netflix, called Spiral in English (The French title is Engrenages). It deals with a special investigations unit in Paris, and the associated judiciary, and paints a picture of police methods that would not be tolerated in the United States. It is the very first worldwide hit television show from France because it is so very well done and engaging. Now, fiction may not be the best guide to what will happen to Abdelslam under the tender mercies of Fre ch interrogators, but my suspicion is that he will reveal a lot more than if he were in American custody.

I certainly hope so.

There is a lot of jubilation over the capture alive of Salah Abdelslam, often called the “mastermind” of the brutal terror attack on Paris that cost 130 lives and many more grave injuries. As CNN reports, he is believed to know a lot:

As a suspected jihadist who allegedly executed a mass casualty attack in France's capital with ties to individuals who trained with ISIS in Syria, he may know a great deal about senior ISIS leadership.

Abdeslam could also provide tremendous insight into current and future jihadist threats against the entire European Union. He could walk French and Belgian authorities through every stage of his alleged plotting, including any direct communications with ISIS leadership or facilitators in Syria.

On the European side of the equation, Abdeslam could lay out the logistics and travel networks, operational security measures, and target surveillance he and any other suspected jihadists allegedly utilized to conduct the November attacks. All of this would be essential information that could save lives in the future.

Whether Abdeslam -- or any of the other four suspects taken into custody -- have knowledge of active terrorist cells or operational plots remains to be seen. Belgian and French authorities, however, will no doubt have new phone numbers to trace, computer hard drives to analyze and names to track down. In the coming days, we will have a clearer picture of just how large the November 13 terror network really was, and whether it remains active.

He is currently in the custody of Belgian authorities, for he was captured in the Molenbeek colony established by Muslims near the heart of Brussels, where he apparently received much assistance from the colonizers, aka immigrants, who have enforced their own legal code in large parts of the colony.

Abdelslam is expected to be extradited to France relatively quickly. AP reports:

French and Belgian anti-terrorism prosecutors plan a teleconference call Saturday during which matters including Abdeslam's extradition will be discussed, Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office spokesman Thierry Werts said.

A 2002 agreement among European Union member states speeds up the extradition process, making it a purely judicial process and removing any political aspect. For especially grave crimes, such as terrorist acts, the procedure goes even faster.

Hollande, speaking Friday next to Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel, said in Brussels he was sure "the French judicial authorities will send an extradition request very soon" and that "the Belgian authorities will answer it as favorably as possible, as soon as possible."

The shared French language between France and Belgium will help make the process even smoother. Abdeslam could appeal the extradition, but under the European principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions, that would only give him a short respite.

Samia Maktouf, a French lawyer for several survivors and relatives of Paris attack victims, is urging immediate extradition. "Apart from his (medical) condition, I don't see what might delay his extradition," she told The Associated Press.

So the question becomes, how successful will the French authorities be in extracting information from him? As CNN puts it:

Belgian and French security officials will have to rely on savvy interrogation and whatever legal means of coercion and inducement are at their disposal to get answers from Abdeslam.

AT frequent contributor Richard F. Miniter is skeptical:

…just how are the Europeans going to obtain that information now that the American CIA is no longer able to stick Mr. Abdeslam’s head in a bucket of water for them?  Are they going to appeal to his better nature?  Withhold dessert from one of the three gourmet Halal meals they’ve obliged themselves to provide him (except during Ramadan of course when it’s a buffet after sundown?)  Let’s not be ridiculous: to even capture Abdeslam the European police had to get a law set aside which forbade them from raiding a terrorist’s apartment after nine o’clock at night.  And the European Criminal Justice system as a whole hasn’t even figured out how to deal with Islamic prisoners demanding equal conjugal rights for each and every one of the three wives the Koran allows them.

An then there is all the posturing the French have done over alleged American human rights violations. Just a month ago:

A French judge has summoned retired US General Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantanamo Bay prison chief, to appear in court on March 1 over allegations of torture, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told FRANCE 24 on Thursday.

William Bourdon, a lawyer for former Gitmo detainee Mourad Benchellali, said General Miller was due in court at 10am on March 1 to answer accusations that he oversaw Benchellali’s “illegal detention and torture”.

I am no expert on the French police and judiciary, but I have the strong impression that when it comes down to matters they really care about, the French are glorious hypocrites about the human rights of suspects. As with getting permission to raid the Brussels apartment, they have procedures for suspending various provisions of law when necessary to get what they want. I can’t quote her directly, and can find nothing online, but last night Fox News’s Catherine Herridge spoke about expectations that the French would be rather successful in interrogating Abdelslam, unencumbered by the same degree of restraint imposed on American interrogators.

Over the years, reading about the French police, I have noticed that a fair number of suspects have died during under police custody there. Sometimes they are said to have committed suicide.

I am a great fan of a French TV show, available on Netflix, called Spiral in English (The French title is Engrenages). It deals with a special investigations unit in Paris, and the associated judiciary, and paints a picture of police methods that would not be tolerated in the United States. It is the very first worldwide hit television show from France because it is so very well done and engaging. Now, fiction may not be the best guide to what will happen to Abdelslam under the tender mercies of Fre ch interrogators, but my suspicion is that he will reveal a lot more than if he were in American custody.

I certainly hope so.