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Terrorism In Hungary!

by DoDo Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:50:04 AM EST

Be afraid, be very afraid!

I don't want to paint the issue as unserious, but as usual, the menace of terrorism can be used to create a much more problematic police state and shift focus from even more problematic government policies in other fields.

In the first hour of Tuesday, in what now looks to be a first act of political terrorism, someone fired a dozen rounds from a Kalashnikov at the national police headquarters in Budapest (photos from Index.hu):

Context. You may remember the protests and riots of last year (you can read back my coverage from here), which were staged by far-right activists believing themselves to be revolutionaries, using the occasion of a leaked taped speech of the PM behind closed doors, in which he urges support from party members for his neoliberal 'reforms' and austerity measures (none of which he spoke about during the election campaign) by declaring "we lied".

Now, recently, there have been three important developments.

  1. Preceding the last and worst day of riots and police violence, on the commemoration day of the 1956 Revolution, police removed permanent protesters (with legal permit!) from before Parliament, supposedly to ensure the security of foreign official visitors attending the state ceremony; arresting those not willing to go on their own. A court ruled now that the arrests were unjustified.

  2. Back in October last year, after police removed the protesters, it erected cordons. Which remained in place ever since, with reference to security threats. Now some two weeks ago, MPs of main opposition party Fidesz, a (currently) right-populist outfit that refuses to clearly renounce and part with the far-right, played nonviolent civil resistance by dismantling the cordons. (To which the Socialists and, eh, liberals in government responded by howling in best law-and-order tradition.)

  3. On 6 February, an ad-hoc commission of various experts (from sociologists to retired police generals) entrusted by the government with analysing the events released its report. Though they can be placed closer to the government, they spared no one with criticism: police, protesters, rioters, government and opposition parties in Parliament, the government itself, the PM, and the (figurehead) President of the Republic.

And then things turned 'interesting'.

First an amateur video surfaced from the time of the riots, on which two idiots in their late thirties (one arrested since and claiming drunkenness as excuse) discuss what weapons should be used and against whom. It has the ring of people not having a clue, but having the intent.

Then came the spraying of the police headquarters, from a parking lot too far away for security cameras to resolve any detail.

This was good occasion for the government to again justify their security measures near government buildings, and extend them further, with automatic weapon-armed guards strolling the places (paralleling similar measures in Paris or London, which were criticised even despite a much higher security threat).

A silly power demonstration by some mafia looked the most likely explanation, until yesterday, a bad-quality video surfaced on YouTube, on which a masked guy before a flag and with an AK-47 lying before him declares on February 9 that if the government won't step down in two days, the "Hungarian National Revolutionary Judgement Executing Regiment" will take the war path.

Now, if one asks cui bono, there are too many possible answers. Conspiracy theorising runs wild.

What looks certain is that both the 'reforms' and the cold civil war between the mainstream political sides will continue, while everyone will talk themselves blue about the terror threat/provocation.

And no, I'm not afraid, not very afraid...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:52:37 AM EST
A ring of alleged Al-Qaeda organizers was busted near here yesterday (local news report). It's very worrying, very.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does it seem more of a genuine thing or more of a theatrical Sarkozy performance to you?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:11:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria sent back to France two people from Paris who were trying to get into Iraq. The arrests seem to be among their contacts. The allegation is they're a recruiting ring sending youngsters to fight in Iraq. To me it sounds more genuine than fake, but of limited importance.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 08:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understood that much, what I understood less is how al Qaida came into the picture. If I got it right, some 'documents' found with the two caught in Syria are the proof.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 10:12:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al-Qaeda gets into every picture... Sarkozy's people did frame the communication on the issue, though, by making sure it was said that Sarko was right on top of the file (even though he was leaving for two days on Réunion).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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