Interior minister fears reappearance of terrorist attacks
During his visit to the US, Gerald Darmanin called for increased exchange of intelligence between French and US counterterrorism agencies.
Not a good omen before the world cup and the Olympics
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin asked the US government to agree to a greater exchange of intelligence and warned of the reappearance of terrorist threats in Europe ahead of the global sports events to be held in France next year.
“We are here to remind them that the primary threat for Europeans and France is the Sunni Islam terrorism, and the cooperation of intelligence agencies in vital in combating terrorism,”
the French minister told AFP. Mr Darmanin added that at a time when the US has a primarily domestic perspective of the challenges – white supremacy, repeated shootings, conspiracies – they should not forget about what appears to be the primary threat in Europe: terrorism.
France will host two major international sports events in the near future, the Rugby World Cup this year, and the Olympic Games in 2024, the minister said.
There is a renewed threat of “Islamist terrorism” that would again target France and its European neighbours, he minister stated. The minister said there is an “endogenous threat” posed by unconnected but radicalised people who can commit terrorist acts in a matter of hours or days.
In recent years, there have been several serious terrorist attacks in France. The most serious so far was in November 2015, when attackers targeted a concert at the Bataclan concert hall, killing 137 people and injuring at least 416 others. This was followed by a Tunisian Islamist terrorist who drove a 19-tonne truck through the promenade of the southern city of Nice in July 2016, ramming into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86 people and injuring 434.
Britons also afraid of new terrorist attacks
Gerald Darmanin, however, was not the only one to call attention to the possible reappearance of European terrorism.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that a “highly co-ordinated” Islamist network had been largely unchallenged as it spread propaganda and warped ideology. She said it was a result of political correctness.
“We have a blind spot in the system,” she said. “It has allowed certain Islamist groups to operate under our radar. There can be no place for political correctness in our national security. In fact, I’d like to banish it altogether.”
the interior minister said.
An independent review into Prevent, the British government’s counterterrorism programme, said that Islamist radicalisation has not been effectively countered. The report added that the scheme is too focused on the growing dangers posed by far-right extremism and that the “Islamist threat is severely underrepresented”, V4NA reported earlier.
The home secretary has also announced that a new programme to combat disinformation will be added to the existing Prevent strategy, and an independent unit will be set up to allow members of the community to raise concerns and ensure that problems are dealt with effectively.
“Extremism is not only dangerous because it can lead to violence. It is dangerous in its own right. And unless we deal with it comprehensively, we should not be surprised when it continues to endure and grow — with disastrous consequences for our shared norms, values, basic rights and freedoms,” she added.