It’s inevitable that in the wake of tragedy, sorrow and mourning give way to think pieces, handwringing, and a flock of deranged conspiracy theories. Here, a guide to some of the most creative ideas about the Charlie Hebdo murders, proposed by everyone from Russian tabloid editors to a Turkish mayor.
“Magical Jews” orchestrated the Charlie Hebdo attacks to make Muslims look bad.
This one’s reportedly popular in some Muslim-heavy French suburbs like Sevren, where many abstained from attending the weekend’s massive “Je Suis Charlie” rallies for fear of retaliation. The Daily Beast spoke with Sevren residents who believe that the weapons and I.D. cards found at the crime scene were intentionally placed there to implicate Muslims. “It was a conspiracy designed by the Jews to make Muslims look bad,” one man told the Beast.
Others the Daily Beast spoke to believed the event to be the work of enchanted Jewish people. Those who planned the attack are a “‘hybrid race of shape shifters’ who have extraordinary abilities,” reports the Beast. “They know how to get in everywhere,” one man said. “They are master manipulators.”
The United States government did it.
According to the notorious conspiracy-theory cesspool Infowars, the United States government may have taken a break from planning the next Benghazi to “sponsor” the Charlie Hebdo killers. “Who ordered the attack against Charlie Hebdo?” asks French 9/11 conspiracy theorist Thierry Meyssan in a post on the site, pointing out that the Kouachi brothers’ actions differ from a close-read interpretation of jihadist theory. “We should consider all assumptions and admit that at this stage, its most likely purpose is to divide us; and its sponsors are most likely in Washington.”
Meyssan isn’t alone in this theory. The front page of a popular Russian tabloid published yesterday asked, “Did the Americans plan the Paris terror attacks?” The Telegraph writes that this is just one example of a number of conspiracy theories regarding the attack and the U.S. government that have come out of Russia in recent days.
Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, planned the attack.
Melih Gokcek, the mayor of the Turkish city Ankara, said that he believed Israel was behind the shooting in order to “boost enmity towards Islam.”
“Mossad is definitely behind such incidents,” Gokcek said, according to the Financial Times. He also drew parallels between France’s moves to recognize a Palestinian state and the attack.
The footage of a police officer being shot was fake.
A website set up to push various Charlie Hebdo conspiracy theories was yanked down today, but its legacy lives on. Set up to look like a BBC News article and with the headline “Doubts raised over authenticity of Charlie Hebdo footage,” “BBC-news.co.uk” attempted to spread the theory that the violent and disturbing video of the terrorists shooting and killing a French police officer was faked. The operators of the now-defunct site also appear to believe Western intelligence played a big role in the attack.
The Charlie Hebdo attack was a “false flag” operation by Western nations to stoke war between Judeo-Christian and Islamic nations.
Some of the typical conspiracy-theory-peddling sites are already redeploying 9/11 rhetoric and calling the attack a “false flag.” A writer at the website 21st Century Wire believes the event to be a stay-behind operation orchestrated by those hoping to keep the War on Terror alive. “In summary, we find that Euro terror, and in particular, terror events involving in some tangential way connected to France bear all the same patterns and Atlanticist black-op power bloc operations that have been at work since the Cold War and Gladio,” Jay Dyer writes. Add to that the “suspicious suicide” of a French police detective investigating the Charlie Hebdo shootings and you have the perfect formula for a right-wing conspiracy theory.