The mainstream media is still saying it was neo-Nazis, but here is the latest from AP: Muslim radicals are claiming that they have carried the jihad into France.
The official at Paris police headquarters said it was still unclear whether the posting on a Web site known for militant Islamic comment by a group calling itself Jamaat Ansar Al-Jihad was a serious claim….
When the smoke cleared, investigators found anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas scrawled in red marker.
One message read, “Without the Jews, the world is happy,” while another said, “Jews get out.”
France has suffered a long wave of anti-Semitic violence since 2000, coinciding with worsening tensions in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians.
Some of the violence has been blamed on young French Muslims, although the large Muslim community itself is also a frequent target of racist attacks. Both Jewish and Muslim cemeteries have been desecrated in France recently, with swastikas painted across headstones.
Usually, such attacks are not claimed, so the message that appeared Sunday on the Web was unusual.
The message said that “a group of Mujahedeen youth set fire at 4 a.m. Paris time to the Jewish synagogue in Paris in retaliation for the racist acts carried out by the Jews in France against Islam and Muslims, and acts of defiling Muslims’ cemeteries.”
The posting, which referred incorrectly to the community center as a synagogue, said the blaze marked the 35th anniversary of a fire at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which gutted the southeastern wing of the holy shrine.
Rumors quickly spread of Israeli responsibility, though a non-Jewish tourist from Australia confessed to setting the fire. He was hospitalized in a mental institution and later deported from Israel.