New book provides chilling details about French secret organization OAS

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Convinced of the benefits of colonization and the overwhelming need to keep Algeria under French rule, Fraysse joined the ranks of the OAS at age 21, just after completing basic training with the 18th Airborne Infantry Unit. Now 82, Fraysse has gone to the trouble of publishing a memoir in which he lists his experiences and attempts to move the narrative around the group’s far-right label, while effectively drawing readers into his world. .

His lack of remorse is evident when he recounts the murders he committed, sparing no morbid detail. “To this day, I am very proud of the work that I have accomplished,” writes Fraysse in her book. He does not appear to view some of his actions, including the murder of a witness to one of his crimes, as overt acts of terrorism.

The OAS was founded on February 11, 1961 by a handful of French military generals, captains and colonels. Once fervent admirers of General Charles de Gaulle, they came to regard him as a traitor to his country after he renounced the government’s commitment to prevent Algerian independence.

Noted for his involvement in bombings and other acts of violence, Fraysse enlisted in the OAS Delta commando, which he describes as a “paramilitary force specializing in the extrajudicial execution of individuals terrorizing Europeans. Algerians ”. At the time, a fierce underground war was fought between the pro-independence National Liberation Front (FLN) and supporters of French Algeria, in which targeted assassinations began to take precedence over other types of attacks.

Echoing the frequent alarmist statements of the most right-wing French political voices about the country’s Muslim community, the author refers throughout his book to Islam as an inherently bellicose religion doomed to triumph over it. West. Read on for several translated excerpts, which shed light on what led a number of French military leaders to go underground and commit terrorist acts on Algerian soil.

Underlying motivations

“We slowly realized that the French government was unable to nip every terrorist attack in the bud. It was my first light bulb moment. The forgetfulness or the impotence of our secret services only added to the feeling of fear and insecurity which reigned among the Algerian Europeans. This fear provided fertile ground for the FLN assassins, who were all too aware of the cumulative and moral effect of their actions on this particular segment of society. (…)

“Disappointment gradually gave way to outrage and anger. Shocked and troubled by the government’s inability to take the measure of the war and ensure our security, a large part of the population has radicalized. Why did mainland France not put all the material and human resources it could to face the terrorist threat? (…)

“Some of our brothers in arms, generals and colonels, had already understood that difficult times were ahead. They are true visionaries who understood that the metropolis could end up paying a heavy price for a culture of indifference, naive optimism and tolerance, in addition to the sometimes surprising political alliances that are formed in Paris. (…)

… I was the first to enter the store. I lifted my shirt to grab my gun. The target turned, realizing that his life was in danger, but it was already too late.

“In my opinion, the attitude adopted by the French authorities left civilians no choice but to take their destiny in hand. The government’s failure to take urgent action against terrorists sparked our activism, at a time when there were many signs that a new outbreak of violence was on the horizon. (…) What motivated me and so many others was France’s inaction, which we interpreted as cowardice. (…)

“As Algerian Europeans’ mistrust of the government grew exponentially, we came to believe that it was our right, if not our duty, to form a resistance movement. Didn’t we have the right to defend ourselves? (…) We had an increasingly legitimate reason to take matters into our own hands and, given the government’s neglect of duty, we took it upon ourselves to protect our community.

Account of a targeted assassination

“A top FLN leader known for his effective fundraising skills has been seen regularly in the northeastern city of Constantine. (…) Named Abdel, our future first target was a chubby man, measuring about 1.7 meters and wearing a skullcap. He owned a grocery store located along a narrow street on Caraman Street.

“On D-Day, dressed in civilian clothes and with two balaclavas handy, I slipped my gun between my belt and my pants, I lowered my polo shirt and closed my leather jacket. (…) As we parked our car in a side street, I was reviewing the map in my head. Once my hood was on, I was the first to enter the store. I lifted my shirt to grab my gun. The target turned, realizing that his life was in danger, but it was already too late. The first bullet shot through his temple, his face contorting grotesquely in response.

“So far everything had gone as planned, but it turned out that he was not alone. Another man, stunned and momentarily paralyzed by the bloody scene, tried to get to safety. Making a split second decision, I pulled him out, knowing that as a witness he could cause us serious trouble in a police investigation later.

“Without questioning or wasting precious time, before he could escape, I ran after him and put a bullet in his forehead. His bulging eyes stared at me strangely and his head seemed to collapse. on his shoulders. He staggered, his legs flexing before falling to the ground with a violent jerk. (…) There was no need to do a knockout, because I could see with just one blow. eye that my first shot had taken care of both men.

Edmond Fraysse, Commando Delta, Confessions d’un soldier de l’OAS, French edition by Éditions Nouveau Monde. The English edition is not yet available.

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