Two terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility for the Paris bombings and have demanded the release of Abdallah and of two other Lebanese prisoners jailed on terrorist charges. The French police believe, however, that the terrorists would be satisfied if only Abdallah were released.
Many influential French now suspect that the terrorists may want far more than Abdallah-far more, in fact, than the three prisoners. According to this view, the terrorists in Paris, linked to the terrorist killing of French soldiers in the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon and to the kidnapers holding seven French hostages in Lebanon, want nothing less than a withdrawal of France and French influence from Lebanon.
In a similar analysis, Le Monde said that Syria has long wanted to erode French influence in Lebanon. At the same time, the newspaper said in its editorial, it was not the style of Syria's President Hafez Assad to crush and humiliate an adversary in the way that the terrorists are trying to humble France.