The weekly newspaper Valeurs Actuelles revealed on April 7th that “the person who threw flour at François Fillon in Strasbourg on Thursday April 6th was under government surveillance following his travels to Afghanistan. (…) It is believed that he went there twice and participated in fighting.” The article, the title of which was in the present tense at the beginning of the day and was later updated: “Exclusive news: The man who threw flour at François Fillon is under government surveillance and has just returned from Afghanistan” was shared over a hundred times on Facebook in under two hours.
In reality, the person who flour-bombed François Fillon in Strasbourg was put on the government’s watchlist back in 2012.Surveillance ceased in 2015 after the set period of surveillance measures had elapsed. According to corroborating sources contacted by French media LCI (a Crosscheck partner), the person in question (thought to be a 27-year-old man called Quentin) travelled to the Afghan-Pakistan border zone in 2012 as well as to India. These travels resulted in his questioning by administrative authorities upon return to France, but these gave “no detection of radicalization”. Under these circumstances he was nevertheless put on France’s watchlist as a measure of precaution.
(Translation: The person who threw flour at François Fillon is under government surveillance and has just come back from Afghanistan.)
(Translation: The person who threw flour at François Fillon was under government surveillance and has come back from Afghanistan.)