Despite the nature and severity of the attack, which French investigations have conceded was deliberate and with a delicious turn of French understatement “malicious”, yesterday’s explosions at the Berre L’Etang refinery in second city Marseilles failed to make the front page of a single English-language newspaper this morning. The explosions took place on Tuesday morning and set alight two enormous petrochemical tanks which stood half a kilometre apart, immediately ruling out the possibility of blaming an industrial accident.
A third device exploded on another tank but failed to set it alight, reports Le Parisien. One of the tanks contained highly-refined naphtha, and took 50 fire engines most of the day to put out, burning away “thousands of cubic meters of oil”, although thankfully there were no injuries.
French authorities now say they have recovered remains of an electronic detonator, proving criminal intent, and holes cut in the fence around the tanks suggest the explosions were not an inside job. It has also not gone unnoticed that the site of the attack is only 12 miles away from a major theft last week of explosives from a French army depot.
Breitbart London reported on the disappearance of 40 grenades, 200 detonators, and an unspecific quantity of plastic explosive which has left police stumped as the facility had no-one on patrol and no CCTV. The thieves were able to wander the site at leisure, prising open the doors of 12 buildings to search for loot before leaving, unchallenged.
Despite all of this, French authorities are publicly postulating every cause conceivable except for Islamist terrorism...