Until today, the operation to Mecca officially doesn't exist in France. And if it wasn't for Paul Barril, that might still be the case. Barril headed the GIGN special forces team sent to Mecca by French President Giscard d'Estaing. Barril later became one of the most controversial figures of recent French political and military history. Unhappy with the way they were treated after the mission, he decided to speak about it, breaking orders of absolute secrecy. He believes the main motives for that secrecy are the - never admitted - high number of thousands of victims during the siege, and the stark increase of French military contracts with Saudi Arabia after the successful GIGN operation.