Hi, there is a new documentary on the event, by a team that has done 5 years of research on the subject: THE SIEGE OF MECCA
It seems they have uncovered quite interesting facts about the participation of French GIGN, not only what they did but why they did it. And once again, nothing about Pakistanis.
It wouldn’t make sense, in fact. Why should the Al Saud as the “custodians of the two holy mosques” leave the liberation of the most important shrine of Islam to ANYBODY else than… the Saudis? Think about it, the Saudi government’s legitimisation comes from protecting Mecca and Medina, even before the Third Saudi State came to life in 1932.
As a sidetone, it is strange that nobody mentions the Jordanians. King Hussein of Jordan flew to Riyadh on the second day of the event - there is ample historic factual proof of that - and offered help to King Khaled. But the Saudis never got back to the Jordanians, even if their specials forces were AT LEAST as well trained as the Pakistanis (the Jordanian army is British-trained, too, like Pakistan's army was in the first place). So why did the Saudis not accept their help, which would have been the easiest thing, being Jordan their direct neighbour and all? Because the Jordanians, the Hashemite Kingdom, were the ones who reigned over Mecca BEFORE King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud came and conquered it. So if I were Saudi in 1979, I bet that I’d never accept any help from those guys who ruled over Mecca before me…
Back to the French GIGN unit. You know they were three guys only? Three guys: Paul Barril, Christian Lambert and Ignace Wodecki. Each of them highly specialised in what they did. And it’s not that the French were shooting around or running commando ops in Mecca. Want to talk special forces in this Special Forces Forum? GIGN was founded after the Palestinian terror attacks on the 1972 Munich Olympics, because France wanted to prevent something similar from ever happening again. GIGN from its very beginning was specialised in HOSTAGE situations, and it still is today. Go to their website and you’ll find out that the most important part of their actions was to get the hostages liberated WITHOUT FIRING ONE BULLET. It’s all about strategy and diplomacy and being astute. There is a good documentary about them called “40 ans du GIGN” that came out some time ago about the 40 years of the GIGN.
So the three GIGN guys in Saudi only came to help with their huge strategic knowledge and experience, and with a very special gas. A gas that the Saudis previously had asked for to the Americans. But under President Jimmy Carter, the USA did not give those gases to non-democratic countries such as KSA. So the Saudis had to look elsewhere. At least this is what the facts say.
If these guys who did the new film haven’t found any evidence for Pakistanis in Mecca after 5 years of research, I think that story is finally nothing more than a legend. Which is what I always thought. Because history should not become Trump territory, where people can say all sorts of things just because they have “an opinion”. In history what counts are the facts and the proof for the facts. Sure you can say “the Pakistani forces were there,” (like Usman Waqar and others did).