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Chirac Attack Reportedly Foretold

July 17, 2002|From Times Wire Services

PARIS — The man accused of trying to assassinate French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday had discussed his plans with fellow members of an extreme-right group and on an Internet site, news reports said Tuesday.

"Watch the Tv This Sunday, i will be the star.... Death to zog,88," read a message posted on the extremist Combat 18 Internet site, signed "Maxime."

The message was dated July 13, the day before Maxime Brunerie, 25, allegedly pulled a .22-caliber rifle from a guitar case and fired as Chirac passed by during a Bastille Day parade. At least one spectator turned the rifle barrel aside and others helped wrestle Brunerie to the ground.

Brunerie also spoke about his plans with a couple close to one radical rightist group and a friend in a student extreme-right group, Le Figaro and other newspapers reported. All three told police that they did not take Brunerie seriously, Le Figaro said.

Judicial officials decided Monday that Brunerie was unfit for questioning and would remain at a psychiatric hospital for at least a month. However, the Internet message may become evidence against him if psychiatrists conclude that he acted with premeditation when he fired the shot.

Brunerie's message was posted on the Web site of the British neo-Nazi group Combat 18.

The number 18 represents the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, A and H, for Adolf Hitler.

The "Death to zog,88" is also neo-Nazi code.

"Zog" stands for Zionist occupied government, reflecting the neo-Nazi view that Jews control "most of the White nations on this planet," as the Combat 18 Web site explains.

The number 88 represents "HH," for "Heil Hitler."

The Web site carried several news reports Tuesday about the assassination bid and messages supporting Brunerie.

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