The numbers are bad — an average of 112 cars torched each day through the first six months of the year — but the anecdotal evidence is worse. Two different cops, two different news articles. Quote:

“The attacks of the last few weeks show (the gangs) are very well prepared and using military-like organization,” said Gaelle James with the Synergie-Officiers police union.


“First, it was a rock here or there. Then it was rocks by the dozen. Now, they’re leading operations of an almost military sort to trap us,” said Loic Lecouplier, a police union official in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris. “These are acts of war.”

That last link describes an operation where 50 “youths” in masks rushed out from behind trees and stoned a police car, cracking one cop’s face open. Yesterday in Grigny, between 30 and 50 more masked “youths” commandeered a French bus, ordered everyone off, and set it on fire.

When the firefighters showed up to put it out, they stoned them. Among two people arrested: a 13-year-old.

Total number of attacks on police in 2004: 3,842. In 2005: 4,246. Through the first six months of 2006: 2,458. An official from one police union says the “youths” are known to yell “Allah Akbar” while attacking.

Note this, too:

Police unions suspect that the recent attacks may be an attempt to spark new riots.

“We are getting the impression these youths want a ‘remake’ of what happened last year,” said Fred Lagache, national secretary of the Alliance police union. “The youths are trying to cause a police error to justify chaos.”

When all’s said and done, Theodore Dalrymple will be regarded as a prophet. And not just because of what’s happening in France, either.

Update: Sanctuary says these prices couldn’t get much hotter: