French intelligence services planned to assassinate a leading Islamist cleric in Britain and disguise their operation as a neo-Nazi attack, according to an explosive report by anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate.
The plan to kill the infamous hook-handed hate-preacher Abu Hamza al Masri, was the result of growing frustration by French security services over the inaction of British authorities in the face of the growing threat of Islamist terrorism. Specifically, the French suspected Abu Hamza of having links to the terrorists responsible for the 1995 Paris Metro bombings.
The "Gateway To Terror" report alleges that French officials were so "fed up" with the lack of action by their British counterparts that they sought to "take matters into their own hands". They often referred to the British capital as "Londonistan", due to the apparent impunity with which al Qaeda and other Islamist networks were able to operate there.
In the aftermath of a deadly 1999 London nail-bombing campaign by a neo-Nazi terrorist, France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure hatched the plan, in which they would disguise their operation as a neo-Nazi hit.
"The plan was to impersonate the British Nazi group Combat 18 and then allow them to take the blame," said the author of the report, Hope Not Hate's Nick Lowles, according to the Express.
"In the aftermath of the London nail bombings, the French considered sending death threats in the style of Combat 18 and then killing him with the same type of weaponry that the group was thought to possess," he explained.
The report also claims that prior to the assassination attempt, which was never carried out, French agents had planned to kidnap Abu Hamza from his London home and smuggle him to France on a ferry.
That plan, which was also aborted for unknown reasons, was the result of French concerns over an attack by Algerian terrorists linked to Abu Hamza on the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament.
The French intelligence agency also apparently planned to "take out" other senior British Islamists, according to the report.
After a long and controversial legal battle and following several years in a British jail, in 2012 Abu Hamza was extradited to the US over a range of serious terrorism charges.