Gang de Roubaix was a terrorist cell tied with the Islamist group Al-Qaeda. Its members were suspected of various bloody bank attacks, murder and a missed car bombing attack against a G7 Finance ministers meeting in Lille.
Background[edit | edit source]
In 1992, a Civil war began in Bosnia and Herzegovina between two ethnic groups: The Bosnian Serbs, supported by Serbia and the Bosnian Croats supported by Croatia. A lot of foreigners arrived in the country. Among them, Christophe Caze, a French medicine student, began taking care of the multiple casualties in Zenica, considered as one of the primary radical areas. Soon afterwards, he converted to Islam and radicalized slowly. During his stay in Zenica, he made friends with Fateh Kamel, Mohammed Omary and Lionel Dumont, 3 Mudjahedins.
In 1995, the Bosnian War ended with the Dayton Agreement. All the Mudjahedins, including Caze who joined them, were requested to leave Bosnia. Then Kamel, who was working for the GIA, convinced Caze and Dumont, who was an idealist, to commit terrorist attacks in their hometown country because of the diplomatic relationships between France and Algeria.
Kamel organized counterfeited administrative documents in his home country of Canada to allow his associates to escape safely after the attacks. Meanwhile, Caze and Dumont began recruiting in Roubaix, France and went to Bosnia in order to buy heavy weaponry thanks to the financial help of a radical imam in London.
Attacks in France[edit | edit source]
In late 1996, the newly created cell began spreading terror. In order to fund themselves for their future attacks, they planned several criminal acts.
On January 27, 1996, some of their members, including Dumont, stole an Audi car but encountered a police patrol, who thought that they were dealing with minor criminals. Immediately, the group fired on the police with assault rifles, injuring one of the police officers who was hit twice. However, the attackers weapons malfunctioned and the police were able to escape.
On February 8, 1996, they robbed a supermarket but had to flee when the police arrived. The resultant chase ended with the group's car crash. While firing on the police, they killed a Mercedes driver, Hammoud Feddal and stole his car.
On March 28, the group parked a Peugeot 205, with 4 gas tanks linked to a detonator in the trunk, beside a police precinct in Lille. The whole building was supposed to be destroyed by the blast. However, the bomb malfunctioned, destroying only the car.
The End[edit | edit source]
For several days, the gang had been under surveillance after the failed assault against the Brink's truck. The police officers succeeded in locating the gang HQ: the house of one of the members in Roubaix.
The day following the failed attack of March 28, the police decided to intervene. The RAID, a French anti-terrorist Special unit, surrounded the place and stormed the house. The 4 men who were inside fought back with assault rifles, screaming that they'd rather die than surrender. The RAID team fired back and launched smoke grenades. A grenade, launched by the group, injured another policeman and started a fire in the house. After several minutes of heavy gunfighting, the roof of the building, weakened by the fire, collapsed on the 3 remaining gang members. The death toll of the assault was 4 dead and two police officers injured, including one seriously.
The others members of the gang, who were located in several other locations, managed to escape. All the police units were scrambled.
Several hours later, Caze, who had managed to escape, was killed by Belgian police.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
An electronic address book was found on Caze's body which permitted the arrest of Fateh Kamel and Mohammed Omary. Kamel was the leader of a terrorist cell in Montreal, suspected of planning terrorist attacks in Los Angeles.
After escaping all across Europe, Dumont was finally arrested in Germany in 2003. He is currently serving a 25 year sentence in France.
References[edit | edit source]