Meet the Charlie Hebdo Truthers. Here Are Their Bizarre Conspiracy Theories.

Not again.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/piaser/16228420881/in/photolist-qJ3U92-qr1Fu7-qFYn4b-qFsr6u-qJ5HBg-pM375R-pM1gBk-qrjEAg-qFusVs-qHADVW-pMrDUB-qHH5SN-qrdokU-qrmVua-qrDHdJ-qrg5Aj-qrmUV4-qHTWFq-qHAgec-qrcazX-qraQPo-qHH8W3-qHvAn3-qrLuxv-qrKCgt-qrknjc-qrmTGT-qJmEeB-pM1i12-qFuuRS-qrg68b-6ovpvH-h5mjM-qG4Xvs-qrhu2s-qJhwvA-qrMDQ5-pMrNWp-6ozzEy-qFuDCE-pMtNNV-jKETTW-5M1oTr-qHJUUB-qFVxcy-qJ4mbx-qrjh2v-qHJwDq-qHKZJW-8ph6dm">Gweneal Piaser</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The available evidence suggests the attackers who killed 12 people and wounded 4 more at the French weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday targeted the magazine because of its history of publishing cartoons about Islam and Muslims. But which radical group, if any, the killers might belong to is unclear: Some reports claim the gunmen shouted their allegiance to “Al Qaeda in Yemen” during the attack; others claim that a Charlie Hebdo tweet mocking ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, suggests that the Islamic State must have been involved.

Unsatisfied by these explanations, some people are digging deeper, asking who really was to blame for the bloodshed. Here’s a rundown of some of the strangest theories:

Israel
The likelihood that an Islamic terror group is responsible hasn’t stopped some people from suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible. The International Business Times India published this piece blaming the Israeli spy agency Mossad:

Although there is no way to verify the claims that Mossad was involved, the backdrop in which the attack took place seems to indicate that they might be involved, many conspiracy theorists have noted. Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection and has undertaken many covert operations for Israel in Europe that aim to further their Jewish cause.

The site has since taken the article down, saying it “should never have been published.” Meanwhile, even less-reputable voices, like that of Kevin Barrett (“the world’s leading Muslim 9/11 truth activist”), alleges the attack was an Israeli “false flag.”

President Barack Obama
As if on cue, American conservatives began figuring out ways to somehow blame President Obama for the attacks. Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama’s proclamation in his 2012 United Nations speech following the Benghazi attacks—”the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”—emboldened the Paris attackers. “You have the president of the United States rationalizing barbaric behavior,” Limbaugh said. “These actions have consequences.”

US Intelligence
Russian website Lifenews.ru ran an interview with a political analyst named Alexei Martynov, who suggested the militants were “the US intelligence services.” Claiming the notion that the Muhammad cartoons motivated the attack “looks funny,” Martynov said, “I am sure that American ‘curators’ are behind the events in Paris, behind those Islamists, in one way or another. The US is conveniently wreaking havoc in Europe with the goal of muzzling the common sense voices that are calling to restore cooperation with Russia.”

France
Some people are even blaming France itself—mainly for allowing Muslim immigration. In America, Laura Ingraham warned that “the principle of multiculturalism and open borders…is pure insanity, a suicide pact,” and Fox’s Eric Bolling said France’s immigration policy “breeds this type of extremism.”

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate