The 2016 robbery of Kim Kardashian sent shockwaves around the globe and caused observers to question the efficiency of France's state of emergency. However, the incident may have been more serious than authorities and the press have previously admitted. Research by Disobedient Media has revealed that the French government may be attempting to conceal the involvement of terror group ISIS in Kardashian's robbery to prevent further public panic over the event.
Conflicting facts given by sources to the media, analysis of the criminal group allegedly behind the attack given the known involvement of terror groups in organized crime, the French government's apparent mishandling of the investigation into the robbery and reports that the proceeds from the heist made their way into the hands of jihadists all suggest that authorities may be seeking to conceal the involvement of terrorism in the incident.
I. Timeline Of The Paris Incident
The facts of Kardashian’s robbery are muddled and confused even months after the event occurred, but a basic timeline of events still can be constructed. On October 3rd, 2016, The Guardian and other outlets reported that a group of five armed assailants wearing masks and police armbands approached the Hotel Pourtales in Paris both on foot and riding bicycles. The group was captured on a CCTV security camera in a nearby nail salon as they came and went from the incident.
The men made their way into the hotel just a few minutes after 2:30 AM, where they restrained the hotel's concierge. AP reported that they then took Kim Kardashian hostage in her hotel room, restraining her with zip ties and locking her in the bathroom. The celebrity oddly was alone and did not have any security present with her that night. Kardashian feared that she would be raped as she was held at gunpoint.
Evidence indicates that Kardashian's attackers may have originally intended to kidnap her. CCTV footage taken from a shoe shop near the Hotel Pourtales caught a black car with tinted windows passing by the hotel just four minutes after the attackers entered. It circled the block and passed by two additional times.
The presence of a vehicle circling the block just minutes after a breach of the premises is a disturbing sign that the intruders were likely not only after Kardashian's jewelry, but attempted to take her with them. An employee from the shoe shop where the camera was located stated that French police had spent more than 30 minutes viewing and analyzing the footage.
It appears that after entering the Hotel Pourtales however, the intruders may have struck a hitch in their plans and had to exit the premises in haste. Reports have indicated that Kardashian's stylist Simon Harouche was in a different room nearby Kardashian and apparently contacted members of her security detail to raise the alarm. The attackers left, taking a large amount of Kardashian's jewelry worth over €10 million as well as a number of cell phones and €1,000 in cash. In their rush to escape the premises, the robbers dropped a jeweled cross outside the Hotel Pourtales which was found by a pedestrian several days after the attack and handed over the police.
People Magazine reported that Kardashian was somehow able to subsequently free herself from the zip ties that had been used to restrain her and call for help. But Daily Mail has cast aspersions on this claim, pointing out that zip ties are designed to tighten, not loosen when moved. They can be broken if pulled apart with great force, but survival experts warn that trying to break free in this manner will likely cut ones wrists. Kardashian did not display any such injuries after the incident.
In the United States, Kardashian's husband Kanye West immediately walked off the stage of a show at the New York City festival The Meadows to rush to Paris and bring her home. On October 4th, 2016, Page Six reported that West suffered a nervous breakdown the day after the attack and fired 30 staffers from his Yeezus Season 4 fashion show. Media outlets blamed the incident on stress caused by a underperforming fashion show, totally ignoring the fact that West's wife had been attacked just one day prior.
On January 9th, 2017, multiple media outlets reported that French police had arrested 17 individuals in connection with the robbery, confiscating a number of firearms and more than €140,000 in cash. Daily Mail reported that the arrestees included the chauffeur who had been driving Kardashian around Paris the week of the incident.
II. Misinformation About The Robbery, Conflicting Facts Were Promoted By French And American Media
In the months following the Paris incident, the media engaged in a frenzy of reporting on the robbery, promoting a large amount of information which conflicts with government records and expert testimony.
On October 27th, 2016, the concierge from the hotel, identified only by his first name, Abdulrahman, gave an interview to Entertainment Tonight where he claimed, among other things, that the attackers were looking primarily for cash instead of Kardashian's jewelry. His statements directly contradict the contents of Kim Kardashian's police report, which was obtained by Le Journal du Dimanche (an English version can be found here) where she stated that the robbers immediately asked her for her ring, and for her other jewelry immediately afterwards. She also told police that her phones had been stolen and that she could only be reached through her bodyguard. But video taken by an unknown individual in the hotel soon after police arrived shows Kardashian huddled on the couch using a cell phone. Radar Online published the video, asking where Kardashian obtained the phone from and citing security experts who wondered why there had been no cameras installed within her room for security per standard procedure. The online publication was forced to remove the video after legal threats from Kim Kardashian's lawyers, raising questions about whether or not they were attempting to conceal evidence that she made false statements to the French police.
Though a number of the attackers appeared to approach the hotel on bicycles, several others did so on foot. Media outlets mentioned the CCTV footage which caught the attackers approaching the Hotel Pourtales, but only ran footage showing the assailants on bikes and omitted to mention the individuals who approached on foot in an apparent attempt to spin a false narrative about the incident. But CNN ran an interview with former jewel thief turned security consultant Larry Lawton and former Kardashian bodyguard Steve Stanulis where Lawton stated that it is common for robbers to move a few blocks before making their getaway in a van or truck. The notion that the attackers attempted to escape on foot and by bicycle does not seem consistent with what appeared to be a very thorough and well thought out operation.
On February 20, 2017, the Mirror ran a bizarre article where they showed footage run by French TV broadcaster TF1 which they claimed showed "surveillance tape" footage of Kardashians attackers. However, the images were zoomed in, focused on the subjects and very clearly taken by an individual using a telephoto lens, rather than on CCTV or any other kind of surveillance camera. The broadcast appeared to be a strange attempt by the French media outlet to misrepresent information about the case.
III. Evidence Indicating ISIS Involvement In Kardashian's Robbery
In February 2017, Disobedient Media published an analysis piece which referenced studies by the French anti-counterfeiting agency Union des Fabricants (UNIFAB) highlighting the growing involvement of ISIS in petty crime such as counterfeiting and The International Centre For The Study Of Radicalisation And Political Violence, who reported last year that “up to 40 per cent of terrorist plots in Europe are at least part-financed through ‘petty crime,’ especially drug-dealing, theft, robberies, the sale of counterfeit goods, loan fraud, and burglaries.” ISIS supporters have also penned and distributed guides teaching readers how to establish "Muslim gangs" in an effort to fuse organized crime and terror in Western Europe.
On January 24th, 2017, Radar Online cited an official from Interpol who informed them that the stolen jewels had made their way into the hands of money launderers connected to jihadist groups, as well as a European official involved with tracking terror funding networks who said that the proceeds of the haul had gone to terror groups. Radar also spoke with David Levine, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley who stated that terror groups are commonly funded by the sale of black market gems. Hollywood tabloid Gossip Cop claimed that Radar's article was false but offered no proof for this beyond citing "sources close to Kardashian."
On January 28th, 2017, Daily Mail reported that Aomar Ait Khedache, the alleged ringleader of Kardashian's attackers, told French police that his team took the stolen jewelry to Antwerp, Belgium where they had it melted down and sold on the black market. The Financial Action Task Force has designated Belgium as one of several locations in Europe where organized crime funds terrorist groups.
In the aftermath of the attack, The Sun reported that Kardashian majorly ramped up security, purchasing an armored car and hiring former members of the Secret Service, CIA and Israeli Special Forces. Daily Mail also reported that Kardashian was adding a $100,000 panic room to her home in Los Angeles. Ynet News reported that Aaron Cohen, one of Kardashian's Israeli hires had been a member of Israel's elite Duvdevan Unit. Cohen has trained soldiers around the world in fighting terrorism. The drastic security increases and employment of individuals with explicit counter-terror backgrounds suggests that Kardashian's attackers were likely more than mere jewel thieves.
IV. The French Government Is Covering Up ISIS Involvement To Prevent Fears About Security Failures
There are a number of concerning indications that the French government has no intention of properly investigating the Kardashian robbery and may in fact be attempting to cover up details of the incident to prevent further embarrassment. As Kardashian left Paris the day after the attack, Daily Mail ran an interview with Matt Fiddes, Michael Jackson's former bodyguard, where he expressed surprise at the French government's decision to allow Kardashian to leave the country so quickly and noted that it is common procedure for victims of serious crimes to assist police and prosecutors with inquiries for at least a few days. Kardashian has still not returned to Paris since the incident, possibly due to reports in tabloids that Kanye West will not allow it out of fears for his wife's safety.
The French government has routinely displayed a disinterest in speaking to any of the key witnesses who actually interacted with the attackers in the Hotel Pourtales. Despite being labeled a key witness by the media, the concierge at the hotel who was one of the only individuals to see the intruders face to face appears to remain outside of France, and is being denied re-entry by authorities. On January 9th, 2017 the concierge spoke with Daily Mail and revealed that he had left for Algeria to recover from the stress of the attack. He stated that the French authorities were refusing to renew his residence permit so that he could return to France, and that investigators had not contacted him to identify the suspects who were arrested. These details are troubling indications that France is more concerned with suppressing details about the attack than conducting a transparent and fair investigation into the incident.
French police have also insisted that there was no CCTV footage or cameras installed in the Hotel Pourtales. On October 5th, 2016, Fox News interviewed several security experts with backgrounds in law enforcement and private investigation who expressed skepticism about these claims given the relative cheapness of security surveillance equipment and the high end, prestigious nature of the Hotel Pourtales. The experts stated that the claimed lack of security cameras indicated that either French authorities were lying about this fact, or that Kardashian's security team was so utterly compromised that the attackers had foreknowledge of this blatant weakness. The Hotel Pourtales and Paris police department refused to comment to Fox News when the media outlet reached out with questions.
An alleged coverup of ISIS involvement in Kardashian's robbery would not be the first time that the French government engaged in unethical censorship to keep details about terror attacks from the public. In July 2016, online publication Heat Street translated and published a report by France’s Commission of Inquiry which revealed that the attackers of the Bataclan Theater in the November 2015 Paris terror attacks subjected victims to horrific torture, including disembowelment, cutting off body parts while victims were still alive, decapitation and other actions too graphic to put into print while videoing the acts for future use in propaganda. French lawmakers were outraged when prosecutors tried to claim that these details were just "rumors" despite a preponderance of evidence that this was not the case.
The involvement of ISIS in the Kardashian attack would be a major blow to French efforts to ramp up security in the city after ISIS killed hundreds there in 2015. The day of Kardashian's robbery, The Washington Post noted that the incident would do nothing but fuel already heightened concerns about the security situation in Paris and would create doubts about France's state of emergency which was ostensibly put in place to prevent further terror attacks. BBC News has noted that there were a million fewer tourists visiting Paris in 2016 compared with the year before. To admit that not even an A-list celebrity was beyond the reach of terror groups operating in France would continue to cripple the vital tourism industry, which makes up more than 7% of France's annual GDP.
The facts surrounding the Kardashian robbery indicate that both authorities and various outlets of the media have not only ignored telltale signs that terror was a factor at play, but in some cases have actively sought to minimize or ignore evidence in the case. Given the unwillingness of the French government to address the increasing involvement of terrorism in European organized crime and its focus on prioritizing the prevention of public alarm at the true state of affairs in Paris, France could continue to remain unsafe, even for the rich and famous, despite the country's longstanding state of emergency.