i don’t know the answer to that question — i only ask because it turns out that several of the paris terrrorists (from the recent attacks) are of berber extraction — and i’m thinking maybe someone should bother to find out if there’s something going on here.
here’s a list of the known (and some unknown) attackers as of a couple of days ago:
– samy amimour, who grew up in france, is of kabyle heritage (like hot-tempered zinedine zidane). libération says his family is of kabyle origin, but deutsche welle seems to suggest that only his mother is berber.
– abdelhamid abaaoud — and his cousin hasna aitboulahcen — were probably chleuhs or shilha berbers from southern morocco. one of abaaoud’s noms de guerre for himself was “abou omar soussi,” indicating that he identified with the souss valley where his parents were from, the souss region being mostly populated by chleuhs.
– bilal hadfi (french citizen, belgian resident) was ethnically moroccan — at least his father was — but i haven’t yet found out if he was berber or not.
– omar ismael mostefai’s father was algerian, but i don’t know if he is berber. reports are that mostefai’s mother is portugese, but the portugese authorities deny having any record of her. however, the mostefai family’s neighbors all talk about how the mother was portugese and was a convert to islam, so i think that must be correct.
– ahmed dahmani is also of moroccan heritage, but i don’t know if he’s berber or not. he’s also something of an amateur boxer.
– mohammed amri is also “belgo-marocain,” but again i haven’t found out of he’s berber or not.
– not sure at all about hamza attou’s ethnic background.
– don’t know what fabien clain’s story is. he’s from réunion originally, and is a convert to (radical) islam (as is his brother). haven’t seen what his ethnic background is, but he looks to be a person of mixed ethnicity/race.
so, out of eleven suspects with confirmed identities, three are definitely of berber extraction (salah and ibrahim abdeslam and samy amimour), two most likely are (abdelhamid abaaoud and hasna aitboulahcen), three have a moroccan background (could be berber), and another is algerian. plus there are two unknowns. that’s definitely a heavily maghrebi group, and i’m betting berber.
since i’m adding up berber/maghrebi islamic terrorists, here are a few more:
– wikipedia claims that the kouachi brothers responsible for the charlie hebdo shootings were berbers, but there is no source, so i still need to confirm this. they were definitely of algerian extraction.