Combat 18 website praises Chirac's attacker

John Lichfield
Wednesday 17 July 2002 00:00 BST

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The neo-Nazi would-be murderer of President Jacques Chirac is being celebrated as a revolutionary hero by the British-based internet site on which he announced his plans on Saturday.

Maxime Brunerie, who is 25, placed a message in English on the site run by Combat 18, a neo-Nazi organisation, the day before his assassination attempt in Paris. It read: "Watch the TV this Sunday. I will be the star. Death to ZOG, 88!" ZOG, short for Zionist Occupation Government, is the code name for the "Jewish-led conspiracy" that neo-Nazis purport to believe runs the world and threatens the future of the white race. The figure 88 is the code for HH (the eighth letter of the alphabet) and stands for Heil Hitler.

The same internet site – The Mark III Blood and Honour site – has been bombarded with messages from other neo-Nazis all over Europe. They claim Mr Brunerie, who has been placed in a French secure psychiatric institution, is a revolutionary hero for the neo-Nazi cause.

"ZOG got Maxime when he took action and tried to shoot the French President. Continue the fight. Sieg Heil," one message from Denmark said.

Another caller said that he was "profoundly disappointed that the French white warrior missed his target. Let's hope other patriots come forward."

The professedly democratic French far-right party with which Mr Brunerie was linked – Bruno Mégret's Mouvement National Republicain (MNR) – has condemned his actions. But an far-right group associated with the MNR, to which Mr Brunerie belongs, Unité Radicale, has announced its "support" and "comradeship" for the failed assassin.

Mr Brunerie's parents were being questioned by police last night after cutting short a holiday in Ibiza. "They are devastated and have no idea what was going on in their son's head," a police source told the French news agency Agence France-Presse.

Mr Brunerie was wrestled to the ground by bystanders when he tried to shoot Mr Chirac with a low-powered hunting rifle during the 14 July military parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

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