French cement company Lafarge paid millions of dollars to the Daesh terror group to secure its operations in northern Syria, says Abdulkadir Karakelle, director of "The Factory" documentary.

Abu Luqman who masterminded 2015 Bataclan attacks in Paris was in touch with the French intelligence and Lafarge, says Abdulkadir Karakelle
Abu Luqman who masterminded 2015 Bataclan attacks in Paris was in touch with the French intelligence and Lafarge, says Abdulkadir Karakelle (Reuters)

The mastermind of the 2015 Paris attacks attended board meetings of Lafarge, a French cement giant with links to the Daesh terror group in Syria, the director of a tell-all documentary on the issue has said.

Abdulkadir Karakelle, the executive producer and the director of The Factory, told Anadolu Agency that the documentary by TRT World had examined half a million documents for two years.

The documents were obtained from sources in France, according to Karakelle and he said the company has paid about $13 million to foreign groups, including Daesh, to stay in northern Syria.

The director said there were two main obstacles while shooting the documentary: One was the classification of the documents and the other was finding someone to talk to.

The issue, he said, has not been discussed much in France, although it was reflected in the media before. On the one hand, he said, there is a nexus between the company officials and politicians, and on the other hand a company worth tens of billions of dollars.

"Therefore, if someone gives the game away, it will spread to all sides."

READ MORE: Lafarge indicted for 'complicity in crimes against humanity' in Syria

Karakelle said the press and state institutions are under pressure to prevent this from happening. "Some of the journalists we work with have been targeted by different security institutions of the French state."

"On the other side, there is a team of politicians, business people, and state officials struggling to prevent it from being revealed. These business people have organic or inorganic connections with media organisations. Therefore, the issue is never properly addressed in the French media."

The documentary includes how Lafarge officials called and persuaded investigators after a probe was initiated in parliament, Karakelle said. As a result, the content of the report was based on what Lafarge wanted, he added.

Believed to order Bataclan attacks

The director said the documentary also reveals "details that would cause outrage in the French public."

"The man (Abu Luqman) who plotted and masterminded the 2015 Bataclan attacks in Paris — one of the biggest terrorist attacks in Europe — is the person in contact with the French intelligence and Lafarge," he asserted.

"It's documented, the man is on the shadow board of Lafarge's factory in Syria," he added.

On the night of November 13, 130 people were killed and 400 others wounded near the national football stadium, on several Parisian terraces, and at the Bataclan music venue in a series of attacks claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.

Karakelle said: "It is clearly seen in the documents that this person is in the group that works like a shadow board, which includes French intelligence officers, Lafarge employees, and Daesh members, which strive to reactivate Lafarge's factory in Syria.

READ MORE: Lafarge financed Daesh with knowledge of French intelligence - report

Macron 'approved' loans

He also said that state officials who turned a blind eye to Lafarge's relations with terrorist organisations in Syria continue their duties in similar or higher posts.

"Lafarge is cooperating with the sanctioned people. When you do business with the sanctioned people, banks also impose sanctions on you. But Lafarge has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from a French investment agency for its factory in Syria," he added.

"This investment agency, working under then Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, approved the loans (for Lafarge) or paved the way for the restructuring of the loans, despite it knew that the factory violated the EU, US and UN sanctions, and acted in collaboration with Daesh. In a way, we can say that the approval of the funds transferred to the Deash passed through Macron."

Karakelle said that Lafarge received financial support from the investment agency affiliated with the ministry during Macron's term, and as long as the state officials, who turned a blind eye to such activities, continue their duties within the state, no result can be obtained from the case.

Source: AA