Headlines about a “Qanon kidnapping gang” are hiding a very complex story behind this rather simplistic premise. The incident in question involves a trio of Frenchmen, a highly organized plot, a race across the Swiss border, and a mother desperate to regain custody of her child. While all involved have now been arrested, the story and the portrayal of the events in the media should raise some disturbing questions for observers in France and beyond.
A military style operation
When Lola Montmaggi expressed her desire to live “under the radar” the state forced her into a scenario which would be the worst nightmare of any loving mother.
Mia, her 8 year old daughter, was to be taken from her custody and placed with her grandmother, with Montmaggi given permission to see her child only twice a month and never alone. Immediately, Lola made plans to get her daughter back.
The distraught mother contacted three fellow French survivalists, men who shared her distaste for the state and for mainstream society. This is the trio which have been labeled a “Qanon gang” and are accused of having an extensive history of “anti-establishment” opinions.
The men planned a military style operation to reunite Mia with her mother, plotting out detailed movements and prepared speeches for every stage of the kidnapping.
The men posed as child welfare officials when they knocked on the door of Mia’s grandmother, using forged documents to convince her of their identity.
Only 20 minutes later Mia was back with her mother, who walked with her across the border in Switzerland and attempted to evade the authorities.
“Qanon kidnapping gang”
The pair were found by Swiss police on April 18 hiding in an abandoned factory and Montmaggi surrendered without further incident. Mia has been returned to her grandmother and Montmaggi faces extradition to France.
The men involved in planning and executing the kidnapping, none of whom have any former criminal records, have all been arrested and face charges in France.
There was no violence or force used during the entire incident and, to those who committed the kidnapping, it was clearly considered to be a justified plot for reuniting a mother with a child who had already been abducted from her by the state.
While the morality of the entire situation will surely be interpreted differently by everyone who hears about it, the hysterical response of the government and media will ensure that only one opinion is, in the end, acceptable.
With all involved condemned as “Qanon terrorists” it appears that the media has still more ammunition for puffing up this imaginary threat as a real global danger.
While the defeated Frenchmen may have felt that they were only reversing the damage done by a state sanctioned kidnapping, the law is certain to punish them heavily for their attempt.