Quick Brief, 10 June 2024: Pro-Russian terrorist building bombs in Paris hotel suffers accidental explosion

11 June, 2024 Hotel Attacks

(Muir Analytics’ Quick Brief is broadly based on the Pentagon EXSUM briefing method. The aim is to quickly explain an evolving hotel threat issue in about 15 lines in executive summary format. Muir has added a quick analysis of the issue that can help hotels mitigate certain risks).

Chain of events

  1. On the afternoon of Monday, 3 June 2024, a terrorist triggered an accidental explosion when he was making bombs in his hotel room just outside Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, reports the Daily Express.
  2. The Daily Mail says the hotel in question was the B&B Hotel Paris Roissy CDG Aéroport, a 2-star property at 17 Rue du Verger, 95700 Roissy-en-France.
  3. The explosion, which caused burns to the perpetrator’s hands and face, happened when he was “manipulating” acetone peroxide, a component of the explosive TATP (triacetone triperoxide), says the Telegraph and French news source Europe 1.
  4. TATP can be made from commonly available materials, it is highly unstable, and it has devastating explosive power – ISIS calls it “mother of Satan.”
  5. The Telegraph reports that authorities evacuated and closed the 200-room hotel immediately following the explosion.
  6. The Telegraph further reports that investigators found traces of TATP, batteries, and barbecue lighters in the perpetrator’s room.
  7. Europe 1 says investigators also found ammonium nitrate, money, as well as small arms in said room.
  8. The perpetrator, a male Ukrainian citizen born in Donbas who had fought for Russia against Ukraine, was traveling with Russian, Ukrainian, and other countries’ passports.
  9. The man was charged with “participation in a criminal terrorist association and that of possession of explosives or substances intended to compose an explosive, in relation to a terrorist enterprise,” says Europe 1.
  10. The Telegraph reports other evidence suggests he was targeting French companies supplying armaments to Ukraine.
  11. In the past many months, says the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron has taken leadership of the European coalition supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion regarding the supply of military weaponry: Intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance technology, fighter jets, aerial bombs, artillery, ammunition, and, if necessary, troops.
  12. Reporting from the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and other outlets say three European governments, including that of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, recently warned that Russia had sent sabotage agents to destabilize Ukraine-friendly Europe via political warfare and physical attacks – stabbings, beatings, arson, bombings, shootings, and the like.
  13. Polish authorities arrested nine people in May, including operatives from Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus, allegedly planning attacks against various countries in Europe, including, but not limited to, Lithuania, Latvia, and possibly Sweden.
  14. The bomb-building explosion occurred two days before France’s commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which included multiple world leaders, including the US President Joe Biden, the UK’s King Charles III, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and President Macron, says the Daily Mail.

Analytical takeaways

First, tactically, this incident was a failure because of the amateurish bomb-building accident. It was fortunate that no hotel guests were injured, and no damage was done to the hotel.

Second, this incident was also a strategic failure. It did not, and will not, deter France from supporting Ukraine, nor will it dissuade other European countries from the same. These countries perceive Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as a serious threat to Europe overall and to their own existence. Moscow’s terror attacks will likely increase their anti-Russia sentiment.

Third, the hotel explosion and Russian bombing attempt are not surprising. Muir Analytics predicted this would happen in March 2022. See: 10 March 2022, Hospitality threat analysis – hotel exposures from the war in Ukraine. Russia and its allies will see hotels both as targets and as safehouses from which to conduct clandestine and terror activities.

As an aside, it should be noted that the ISIS terrorists who raided Paris in November 2015 used two rooms at the Appart’City hotel in Alfortville, about three miles southwest of Paris, as a staging point for their attacks. See Muir Analytics’ analysis here: 13 November 2015, ISIS Raid on Paris – the hotel connection.

Fourth, this incident can be considered a failed state sponsored terror attack. The perpetrator was likely working at the behest of either Russia or the self-proclaimed and pro-Russia government of Donbas, which politically is the same thing. Additionally, the multiple passports, rudimentary bomb-building expertise, and reported small arms all suggest some kind of government agency tradecraft support.

Fifth, it is possible that the perpetrator’s bombing schedule, if successful, might have coincided with the D-Day commemoration ceremonies, which would have garnered sensational headlines and caused embarrassment for France’s government. It also would have been a message of intimidation to Russia’s enemies – specifically, their heads of state.

Sixth, because the risk of terrorism in Europe was already high – this based on threats from Islamist jihadists (like ISIS), Iranian agents, Hamas supporters, and domestic left/right extremists – Muir Analytics would consider the terror threat to this region to now be even higher. The threat warnings from Poland and other countries regarding Russian-sponsored terrorist operatives, plus the failed bombing attack in France, prove this point.

Seventh, looking ahead, because Russia appears dedicated to inflicting violence on its enemies, either by invasion or terrorism, and because the pro-Kyiv European coalition does not appear to be dissuaded from aiding Ukraine, additional Russian or Donbas-sponsored terror attacks in Europe or against other pro-Ukraine countries cannot be ruled out. And these attacks will impact hotels.

More pointedly, the threat to hotels regarding summer tourism in Europe, European business traveling, and the 2024 Summer Olympics in France should be considered highly elevated.

Muir Analytics runs the world’s largest, most sophisticated hotel violence database – the SecureHotel Threat Portal – with over 3,000 hotel attacks (and growing). We can provide the hospitality, insurance, and law enforcement/government sectors with intelligence that facilitates full-spectrum risk reduction, which helps hotels protect guests, staff, buildings, brands, and revenues. Contact us for a consultation:  1-833-DATA-444.

Sources and further reading:

Ukrainian Su-25s now armed with French Hammer bombs,” Defense Blog, 10 June 2024.

Isis issues chilling terrorist bomb threat to France ahead of Paris Olympics,” GBN News, 9 June 2024.

Ex-Russian soldier accused of planning France terror attack,” The Telegraph, 6 June 2024.

Roissy-en-France: Un Russo-Ukrainien, soupçonné de projeter une action violente, placé en garde à vue,” Europe 1, 6 June 2024.

Russian ‘terrorist’ triggered ‘Mother of Satan’ bomb in Paris airport hotel,” The Express, 6 June 2024.

Terror suspect who triggered ‘Mother of Satan’ bomb in a Paris airport hotel is ‘Russian soldier who wanted to target companies supplying weapons to Ukraine’,” Daily Mail, 6 June 2024.

Russian-Ukrainian ‘terrorist’ arrested in Paris following blast at Charles de Gaulle airport as police find ‘Mother of Satan’ bomb-making kit favoured by ISIS at the scene on eve of D-Day anniversary memorial attended by world leaders,” Daily Mail, 5 June 2024.

Macron outlines his vision for Europe to become an assertive global power as war in Ukraine rages on,” Associated Press, 25 April 2024.

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