At the Paris judicial court,
Logan Nisin looks more like a computer scientist than a skinhead. Yet it is a young man with ideas firmly anchored to the far right that the Paris Criminal Court must judge since Monday. Aged 25, he is accused of having been the head of the OAS, a small group which planned, in 2017, to commit attacks in order to “fight against the Islamization of France” and “to provoke remigration by terror ”, recalls the president of the tribunal. Turquoise blue shirt, thin glasses, the face of a timid teenager, the former coppersmith is alone in the glass box. The five other defendants tried like him for “terrorist criminal association”, now aged 23 to 29, appear free.
“My personal life journey has made me like this, there are things that could have made me xenophobic,” says Nisin, hands folded in front of him. On the first day of the trial, he looks back on his schooling and the harassment he suffered from “Maghrebian children”. “It leaves traces. At 13, while other teenagers were playing soccer or video games, he began to take an interest in neo-Nazism thanks to a friend. “I stayed there six months before leaving because I didn’t like everything,” he continues. But a few years later, he joined the Nationalist Youth, “with this feeling of finding like-minded people.” Convicted of having degraded a radar, he was dismissed from it.
Since the other groups don’t want him, Nisin will create one. In 2014, he founded the MPNA, the popular new dawn movement, in reference to the extreme right-wing Greek political party, Golden Dawn. “But the group was created before Golden Dawn committed violent actions in Greece,” he said. In a year and a half of existence, the MPNA has distinguished itself once, during the Gay Pride in Marseille. Its members had hung a banner on which was inscribed “MPNA against exhibition”, had chanted slogans of the Manif for all, before coming to blows with a group of antifas. “We had nothing against homosexuals but we did not accept that it was obvious …”
To hear him, the MPNA was “not necessarily” racist, even if several members had “xenophobic inclinations”. The group eventually split up, one part joining Action Française, the other the Parti de la France. “The people in his organizations all think more or less the same thing,” he breathes. He participated in the creation of two other groups, including a “community eco-village with a survivalist tendency”. “We only wanted to take people who had nationalist, right-wing or even far-right values. The attacks of November 13 are a turning point. In his head germinates the idea of recreating a small group, the OAS for “Organization of social armies”.
The acronym deliberately recalls that of the Secret Army Organization, responsible for a bloody campaign against the independence of Algeria in the 1960s. Logan Nisin then suggests to other boys, with uninhibited xenophobia, to join him. . One explains at the bar having ensured “the close security of Jean-Marie Le Pen” and having been convicted of anti-Semitic tags. Another, who was also a member of the FN, explains having been seduced by the OAS, “an alternative to the rise of the Islamization of France”. A third admits having run a neo-Nazi blog at the age of 14. “Most of us were activists, far right, but not all,” says the one who is presented as their leader.
At the time, the group plans to attack all those they designate as the enemies of France: kebab managers, dealers, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of France Insoumise, or Christophe Castaner, then government spokesperson… Except that the authorities are carefully monitoring Logan Nisin who runs a Facebook page dedicated to the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik. He does not know, but the young man is the subject of an S sheet. In May 2017, the gendarmes landed at his home in Vitrolles. They discover weapons, bulletproof vests, and a sketch of a terrorist project. Placed in pre-trial detention, Logan Nisin continued to incite his partners, not yet arrested, to destroy evidence and to continue the activity of the OAS.
But today, the other defendants swear that they regret this period of their lives. “Looking back over the years, I can understand that my racist remarks are morally reprehensible and I regret everything that has happened”, declares Romain, 33 years old. “I advocated a lot of things, but I did not mean them all”, adds Thomas, considered as the number 2 of the OAS, citing “homophobic remarks” while he is “himself homosexual”. “Obviously I would never have done it,” adds the 23-year-old, glasses and plaid shirt. The six men face up to ten years in prison.