Le Monde- the reprisals begin
Charges pressed by Alliot-Marie after the disclosure of GDES documents
Paris (AFP)- The Defence Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, has decided to notify the Minister of Justice in order to request pressing charges, after the disclosure by Le Monde of classified documents warning of a hijacking of American airliners 8 months prior to 9/11, according to the Ministry.
“The Minister has decided to notify the Minister of Justice in order to request that charges be pressed for removal, seizure, and disclosure of defence secrets,” stated the spokesperson for the minister, Jean-Francois Bureau, at his weekly press conference.
These charges relate “specifically to 6 classified GDES (the General Directorate of External Security) notes,” he specified.
According to the article and the documents published by Le Monde on Tuesday, French foreign intelligence had, in January 2001, 8 months prior to 9/11, alerted their American colleagues to an Al Qaeda plot to hijack American airliners.
The minister “does not see it so much as an offence by the press,” stated Mr Bureau, reaffirming that her “main concern” was to ensure “the protection of national defence documents given that they come under a particular system,” and, “if that fails, to impose sanctions upon the people responsible” for their disclosure.
“She is leaving up it to the magistrates and the chancery to judge the facts, and to conclude whether, over and above the people who have committed what appear to be infractions, there might also be other people involved”, he said.
Le Monde stated that they were in possession of 328 pages of GDES documents bearing the label: “Confidential- Defence”, and “notes, reports, summaries, maps, diagrams, charts and satellite photos.”
All of this was “dedicated exclusively to Al Qaeda, its leaders, sub-leaders, hideouts and training camps”, but also “its financial benefactors.” It represents, according to the newspaper, “nothing less than the essence of GDES reports between July 2000 and October 2001.”