Jean-Louis Bruguière


The Speaker

A judge with an international reputation, Jean-Louis Bruguière is the High Representative of the European Union in the United States for the fight against financing of terrorism as part of the “Terrorism Finance Tracking Programme/ SWIFT.
Until 2007, he was responsible for the supervision and coordination of the anti-terrorist section in Paris.

After receiving a master’s degree in public law, Jean-Louis Bruguière passed the Concours National de la Magistrature [National Magistrats Competitive Examination] in 1968. He was appointed as the examining magistrate in Evreux in 1973, a position he left in 1976 to assume the same post in Paris.

After being responsible for investigations of serious crimes, in 1981, he was then assigned to deal with terrorism cases. He has investigated more than one hundred incidents of terrorism, the most well-known of which were conducted against Action Directe in France, a terrorist group acting in conjunction with the Red Brigades and the German RAF, by domestic French terrorist groups, namely Basque and Corsican, and especially by international terrorists.

From 1981 to 1994, he investigated terrorist cases linked to the Middle East, such as in the attacks perpetrated by Palestinian organizations of the “Rejection Front” or sponsored by Iran (including the CSPPA affair in 1986 and the assassination of Chapour Bakhtiar). He was also in charge of the dossier related to the attack on the UTA DC-10 following the Lockerbie attack.

Starting in 1994, he directed most of his attention to all investigations concerning radical Islam, Al-Qaeda, in particular, including the 1994 hijacking of the Air France Airbus, the 1995 attacks in France, the Pakistan-Afghani rings and the dismantling of Al-Qaeda cells.  He also investigated the September 11th attacks, the 2002 Djerba attack and the Madrid attacks in 2004.

In addition to his responsibilities as an international judge, Jean-Louis Bruguière is an expert with the Council of Europe, the European Union and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He has also provided counsel to several governments with respect to the fight against terrorism and has participated in numerous colloquia in France and abroad.

Jean-Louis Bruguière is Officier de la Légion d’Honneur [Officer of the Legion of Honor] and Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite [Officer of the National Order of Merit]. He has also been decorated with the silver medal of the Spanish Civil Guard and is a recipient of the 2007 Spanish Dialogo prize.


Trans-Atlantic Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism

The fight against terrorism is a high priority issue on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated this in his inaugural address. France has always been mobilized towards this end, and has recently developed a true doctrine, published in the Livre Blanc [White Book], to confront the plague.

After observing the evolution and the typology of international terrorist threats, Jean-Louis Bruguière will stress the necessity for trans-Atlantic cooperation. Particular attention should be given to the use of modern means of communication by terrorist networks, for example, Al-Qaeda’s use of the Internet for propaganda for operational purposes.

The arrival of the new U.S. administration and the rejection of the concept of the “war on terror” should facilitate this trans-Atlantic partnership at a time when new threats are on the horizon.

The Case of France

France is among the rare European countries to have been affected by the terrorist threat for more than thirty years. Other European countries, like the United Kingdom with the I.R.A, Italy with the Red Brigades, Germany with the R.A.F, and Spain with E.T.A, have, nevertheless, been hit hard by terrorism. These countries have even paid a very high price for terrorism, especially Spain with E.T.A and the 2004 Madrid attacks, the U.K with the I.R.A and the more recent attacks in London.

France has not found itself in the same situation, but unlike its neighbors, the country has seen all forms of terrorism: domestic terrorism, European terrorism and Palestinian terrorism in the context of East-West tensions generated by the Cold War.

France has been the victim of threats which are, in large part, the result of its position in Europe and the weight of its history and influence in the Arab world, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. It is this geopolitical fact which was to expose the country to the threat of radical Islamic movements through the activism of the G.I.A [Armed Islamic Group] in Algeria, from the beginning of the 1990s.

Jean-Louis Bruguière will first set forth the major facts on terrorism in France during the Cold War and then will go on to outline its evolution after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. He will mention the stakes that this terrorist threat represents in a now globalized world.

Link to an interview of Jean-Louis Bruguière:

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