174 telecommunications equipment targeted by attacks in one year, after calls made to sites associated with the ultra-left


For a year, 174 telecommunications equipment, the majority of which in rural areas, have been sabotaged or set on fire, France Inter revealed Thursday April 1. This report from the Ministry of the Interior, which France Inter was able to consult, was drawn up a year after the start of the calls for “reconnect with Direct Action” by attacking telecommunications infrastructure such as cell towers or fiber optic cables. These calls were relayed by websites that the ministry associates with the ultra-left.

The vast majority of these sabotaged or burned down infrastructures (137) are located in rural areas, only two infrastructures were targeted in the Paris conurbation. The most affected departments are Haute-Garonne, Isère, Ardèche, Drôme and Bouches-du-Rhône. These actions caused significant damage, including network cuts in many municipalities, as well as consequences on the functioning of services deemed to be of public utility.

In one year, only 26 people suspected of being involved in 14 incidents have been arrested. They seem particularly motivated by the desire to damage equipment suspected of being “an instrument of surveillance and enslavement of the masses”. Beyond these political convictions, some seem to have acted out of fear of collecting personal data, fear of the airwaves, refusal of visual pollution, or because of the loss of value of their homes located near infrastructure. .

The Ministry of the Interior notes a growing mobilization against infrastructure linked to 5G, whether technical equipment or commercial equipment. This mobilization, qualified as “large”, ranges from apolitical opposition to politicized movements. While the French make intensive use of the Internet, the fiber optic network is also increasingly targeted, in particular because of the ease of access.

Certain actions are directly claimed by groups associated with the ultra-left, but in the majority of cases, the sites only relay information about these degradations. Among the texts that may have inspired actions, the one posted in April 2020 and entitled “In May, do what you want: a call to conflict”. We can read there: “At a time when almost everyone is working / studying / sharing / relaxing / learning / rebelling / having sex … in front of a screen, what would happen if a few fiber optic cables under a easy access hatches were sabotaged (sic)? “ These texts are sometimes accompanied by manuals detailing the means to be implemented to degrade or destroy the equipment. They also give advice in order to avoid any questioning, in particular requiring action on isolated, poorly protected and therefore easily accessible infrastructures.

This situation is not unique to France. Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom also faced a series of telecommunication tower fires during the spring of 2020. Some groups even went so far as to exchange their “advice” with one another. country to country.


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