Far left suspected of sabotaging power lines that shut down factories

Far-left extremists were reportedly involved in the sabotage of power lines in the southern commune of Villard-Bonnot which saw more than 5,000 people without power early Tuesday morning.

In the period from Monday evening to Tuesday morning, a total of 5,539 people in Villard-Bonnot were without power after nine power lines were reportedly set on fire on the Brignoud bridge, which crosses the Isère river near the town of Grenoble.

It has been suggested the fires may have been a deliberate act of sabotage by far-left extremists, who are also suspected of the arson attack on another power station in nearby Froges the night before. An anarchist symbol was left at the scene, according to a French newspaper The Dauphine reports.

A source told the newspaper they believe the Villard-Bonnot fires were a continuation of the arson attack the previous night.

Companies were also affected by the incident, including the French semiconductor company Soitec, which had to temporarily close its factory in the region.

Thomas Piliszczuk, Soitec’s executive vice president for global affairs, said the shutdown will not have a significant impact on the company, but expressed concern that the alleged attacks could target semiconductor companies.

“The incidents of the past two days have occurred outside [semiconductor] businesses. Everyone recognizes that we are a strategic industry for the country, but we see that today malicious acts and attacks can target this industry, so we need collective thinking to achieve the security of all the supply chain of industrial sites,” he said.

STMicroelectronics, another semiconductor company, was also hit by the alleged acts of sabotage, but said it restored power on Tuesday and gradually restarted its facilities.

Far-left anarchist attacks on infrastructure in France have been a recurring phenomenon for several years in certain regions of the country. Last year, anarchists took credit for two arson attacks on telecommunications infrastructure in towns also near the city of Grenoble.

“We want to salute all the arsonists who are acting in the shadows right now and repeatedly beating this technological hell,” the extremists said in a statement posted online.

In 2019, local prosecutor Eric Vaillant said that far-left extremists in the Grenoble area had been behind at least 12 arson attacks between 2017 and 2019 and that in 2020 extremists were suspected of involved in an attack on a broadcast relay that left many dead. Grenoble region without mobile internet or mobile telephony and impacting several broadcasters.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.