A “no-go area” (or “no-go zone“) is an area that has a reputation for violence and crime which makes people frightened to go there, an area in a town barricaded off to civil authorities by a force such as a paramilitary, or an area barred to certain individuals or groups. It has also been used to refer to areas undergoing insurgency where ruling authorities have lost control and are unable to enforce sovereignty. (source: Wikipedia)
A cache of weapons, including a bazooka, was discovered over the weekend in the no-go Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis just one day after young men robbed officers of their weapons in the same suburb, according to French police.
Police reported finding an American-made anti-tank bazooka, along with several other weapons, a large quantity drugs, and police equipment in a bike shed in the Seine-Saint-Denis. Information leading to the operation came from the Central Organization for the Fight Against Organized Crime (OCLCO), L’Express reports.
Police were able to track down two men, one of whom admitted to owning the weapons. In addition to the anti-tank weapon, police seized high-powered explosives, 12-gauge shells and 9mm ammunition, and two sawed-off shotguns. They also found police equipment, which leads authorities to believe it would be used to either cause confusion or allow suspects to escape police detection.
One local police officer said he believed the bazooka was likely to be used in an attack against an armored car. “It’s a good thing that we managed to intercept them before they sold this weapon,” the officer said.
The raid comes just after several officers were attacked in the suburb after attempting to perform a routine identification check on several young men. It’s been reported that a group of up to 30 people went after the officers. Seine-Saint-Denis was the scene of a riot earlier this year after a black teen named Theo was assaulted by officers.
According to police, they attempted to identify a young man who resisted and fled with several other youths. Two of the three officers pursued the young men while the remaining officer guarded the police vehicle. That officer was then attacked by the large group, who stole from him an LBD40 rifle that fires non-lethal ammunition and an electric stun gun.
The suburbs of northern Paris have become riddled with organized crime, drug dealing, and radical Islamism. Many, including France’s foremost expert on radical Islam, Gilles Kepel, say that Seine-Saint-Denis is a hub for radical Islamic extremism. Kepel has warned that radical Islamists are seeking to destabilize France with the ultimate goal of dragging Europe to the brink of civil war.
The surge in radical Islamic thought in the suburbs has also led to a rise in anti-Semitism in the area. Many Jews have decided to move, some out of the country, because of the increasingly hostile treatment they’re getting from Muslims.
EXAMPLES of NO GO ZONES
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were in actuality no-go areas for the Pakistani authorities, where the Pakistani police could not enter. The situation was changed temporarily with the United States invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, when the Pakistani government was supported by U.S. military forces. However, the areas reverted again into no-go zones with the 2005 Taliban resurgence. Even today, the FATA region is outside the jurisdiction of Pakistani law.
An early usage of the term regarding Europe was in a 2002 opinion piece by David Ignatius in The New York Times, where he wrote about France, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.”La Courneuve, a municipality (commune) in the Paris region, was described by police as a no-go zone.
In 2010, Raphaël Stainville of French newspaper Le Figaro called certain neighborhoods of the southern city Perpignan “veritable lawless zones”, saying they had become too dangerous to travel in at night. He added that the same was true in parts of Béziers and Nîmes. In 2012, Gilles Demailly (fr), the mayor of the French city Amiens, in the wake of several riots, called the northern part of his city a lawless zone, where one could no longer order a pizza or call for a doctor. In 2014, Fabrice Balanche, a scholar of the Middle East, labelled the northern city of Roubaix, as well as parts of Marseille, “mini-Islamic states”, saying that the authority of the state is completely absent there. American magazines Newsweek and The New Republic have also used the term to describe parts of France.
In January 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, various American media, including the news cable channels Fox News and CNN, described the existence of no-go zones across Europe and in France in particular, or featured guests that referred to them. In some cases, the French areas termed “sensitive urban zones” were described as no-go zones. Both networks were criticized for these statements, and anchors on both networks later apologized for the characterizations. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said that she intended to sue Fox News for its statements.
A 2016 report from the Swedish Police map 53 so called “exposed” areas (Utsatta områden), of which 15 were “particularly exposed”. An “exposed area” is an area with low socioeconomic status and the area is affected by criminality. A “particularly exposed” area is defined by an unwillingness to participate in legal proceedings, difficulties for the police to carry out their mission, parallel social structures, violent extremism and finally proximity to other exposed areas. These definitions are used to adapt their procedures when working in these areas, for example bringing certain equipment and working in pairs when in a “particularly exposed area”.
In March 2015, journalist Henrik Höjer discussed the rise of criminality, especially organized crime, in various neighborhoods within Sweden since the mid-1990s, especially in the city of Malmö. He interviewed a police officer and task force chief who referred to such areas as “no go areas” and wrote that gangs like to lay claim to an area by throwing stones at mailmen, police, firefighters and ambulances who enter the area.
In February 2016, a news crew for Australia’s 60 Minutes working with anti-immigration activist Jan Sjunnesson reported having come under attack, including having stones thrown on them and a car running over the foot of a cameraman who was trying to prevent it from leaving in the immigrant-dominated district of Rinkeby of Stockholm. 60 Minutes published the video, on which reporter Liz Hayes states “there are now 55 declared no-go zones in Sweden.”
A 10-minute December 2016 film by FoxNews.com’s Ami Horowitz, Stockholm Syndrome, focused on violence by Muslim immigrants within Sweden, and included an interview with two policemen who seemed to confirm that there are no-go areas for police in Sweden. During the interview, one officer states, “If the police is chasing another car for some kind of crime, if they reach what we call ‘no-go areas’, the police won’t go after it.” The police officers later objected to the interview and said that their quotes had been taken out of context, and a videographer who worked on the film supported the officers’ account, saying the video was cut together unethically. The documentary gained significant attention several months later when U.S. President Donald Trump indirectly alluded to it in a speech. The film as a whole, and its description of no-go areas, have both been disputed by sources within Sweden; the Swedish The Local quoted a police spokesperson as saying that, though there are areas “characterized by, among other things, the difficulty for the police to fulfill its duty”, “There are no guidelines that the police should not visit these areas”. The description of no-go zones was also disputed by Felipe Estrada Dörner, a criminology professor at Stockholm University.
In a 2017 interview with the Weekly Standard’s Paulina Neuding (sv), Gordon Grattidge, described as the head of the Swedish ambulance drivers’ union, stated that there were areas where it is too dangerous for rescue workers to enter without police protection, using the English term “no-go zones” to describe them.
*NOTE: The Swedish government denies no-go zones exist.
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