Information about "Groupe Alpha" leaked on French radio-show
by Patrick Bahzad
The cat is out of the bag: last Saturday, a famous French radio-show aired a programme disclosing information about the existence of what is called the "Groupe Alpha". Although this is not the first time rumours have surface about the existence of this unit, the details that emerged now certainly make for an interesting read.
From "La Main rouge" to "Groupe Alpha"
The last time France's intelligence services used "targeted assassinations" on a large scale was during the Algerian War for Independence (1954-1962). French SDECE (the predecessor to today's DGSE) hit between 200 and 300 targets during that period, either Algerian activists, arms dealers or even lawyers who had made common cause with the Algerian insurgents. Those killings were handled internally or sub-contracted to an informal proxy of French intelligence called "La main rouge".
After the Algerian War and until the mid-1980s, "targeted assassinations" became an exceptional task for DGSE or other branches of French intel, like the "11e Régiment Parachutiste de Choc" or the "Service Action", with the notable exception of Lebanon, where French agents killed the mastermind and operatives behind the assassination of French ambassador Louis Delamare in Beirut in the early 1980s. It is also rumoured that a certain car bomb explosion on a market in Damascus was staged by French agents or proxies around the same period.